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Games you should play more than once to fully understand

Certain games cannot be understood with just one playthrough. Like certain films and books – such as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment – there are complex games that you should play more than once to fully understand. I thoroughly believe that video games are an art form, and the entries on this list are prime examples of modern art.

Please note that this list contains no spoilers for any of the listed games.

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BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is similar to the previous highly-acclaimed games in many ways. But at first glance, it isn’t a direct sequel and it’s more like a successor. You don’t need to have played the previous two games to enjoy this game. However, I highly suggest playing the whole series.

As for the story in Infinite, it’s set in a quaint city that’s built up in the sky. There are characters and events in the game that makes you question many things about the game. I’ve seen certain posts on the internet saying how people needed to play this more than five times to fully understand what was going on in the game. Storywise, it’s safe to say that BioShock Infinite is a masterpiece.

Elden Ring

While many players play through Elden Ring while paying little attention to the lore and the story, I advise against that. While Elden Ring lore is widely discussed and loved by a large portion of the fandom, its philosophies and meanings are often disregarded. There are many characters in the game that depict certain philosophies. For example, Melina was an example of a girl with an existential crisis and how she overcame it. You can read more about it here.

Elden Ring is a game that allows for near-endless replayability in nature. The thought-provoking lore and philosophies of the game further encourage subsequent playthroughs.


Games you should play more than once to fully understand

The Half-Life franchise is full of little details and missable plot points that reveal so much about the Valve universe with each attentive playthrough. Even the first game from 1998 is extremely detailed and contains mind-blowing symbolism and metaphors. There are characters in the game that really disturb players (mainly, the G-Man) and they also are symbols of various things.

A major theme of these games is the concept of free will. That’s a philosophical topic that’s been discussed since time immemorial. It’s for these reasons that Half-Life is one of the greatest franchises in history. While it may feel hard getting into the first game after playing the sequels, you should at least check out a gameplay walkthrough on YouTube to notice all the hidden stuff. I also highly suggest playing every DLC of the games.

Spec Ops: The Line

Games you should play more than once to fully understand

At first glance, you’d expect just another third-person military shooter from Spec Ops: The Line. At least, I went into the game expecting something like that and I was surprised, to say the very least.

This game takes drastic turns as it progresses, and I’m positive that it’ll leave a mark on your mind for days to come after you finish it. It tackles topics that are very disturbing and depressing. It aims to deliver a message to the player and it succeeds in doing so.

But the thing about this game is that many people don’t like to replay it more than once. If you make up your mind and do that, you’ll uncover many hidden metaphors and details. It’s worth multiple playthroughs.

NieR: Automata

Games you should play more than once to fully understand

NieR: Automata feels like a gimmicky and overly anime-esque game at first glance because of the character’s appearance and the way many side quests progress. But in all honesty, NieR: Automata just might be one of the best depictions of existential crisis and existentialism itself as a philosophy in a video game. It allows for great gameplay too, so you won’t be bored with each playthrough. New mechanics are introduced in subsequent playthroughs, further encouraging replayability.

What do you think? Let us know the games you should play more than once to fully understand on the forums!