Digital Obsession: The Most Addictive PC Games Ever - HotHardware

Digital Obsession: The Most Addictive PC Games Ever

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Minecraft is the sort of game that makes game publishing executives slam their heads against a wall. It doesn't feature any big-budget voice actors, massive special effects, or an army of animators and artists. There's no plot, no scripted combat sequences, no multiplayer mode with character levels, weapon unlocks, or finely-tuned multiplayer maps.

A Minecraft world map

It's not that features like multiplayer don't exist -- they do -- but the game's open-ended design puts as much control in player hands as possible. You can explore dungeons, fight monsters, and build up a base of operations for yourself, or you can flip to creative mode with unlimited resources and build to your heart's content. Worlds are procedurally generated, which makes each game a new experience. There's an extensive crafting system and a huge variety of resources players can gather in their explorations.

Minecraft's website summarizes it as "Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out, make sure to build a shelter before that happens."

What can you do? What can't you do?

People have built scale models of Hogwarts, a 1:1 model of the Enterprise D, the house from Up, and much, much more. Some folks make scenery, while others design functional CPUs.


Yes, you can create a functional circuit in Minecraft. And people do.

With over eight million players, the game's popularity shows no signs of waning. It's a powerful testament to the joy of creativity even when players are given little more than blocky graphics and a handful of options to show them how to play.

World of Warcraft:

When it comes to to the number one spot, there was never any serious question which game would take home the prize. World of Warcraft's star may be fading, but no other game, MMO or otherwise, has sucked in so many players for so long. Answering the question of why WoW was so addictive, however, is surprisingly difficult.

We couldn't take the Hunter anywhere...

When WoW launched, Blizzard was the new guy taking on Everquest II and Sony's established empire. I played a lot of WoW, starting from six months before the game launched and continuing, off-and-on, through the Mists of Pandaria expansion. I was a guild leader, a raider, and a casual at various points. It was the first MMO I ever played, but far from the last.

The most recent expansion, Mists of Pandaria, is gorgeous.

I think WoW grabbed people because it nailed the quests, storyline, and dynamic play that were sorely missing from previous games. Before WoW, MMO gameplay boiled down to standing in one place and killing the same mob over, and over, and over. Most quests still boiled down to "Kill X number of Ys", but they were often interwoven with plot developments and zone-spanning adventures. Most quests could be completed without ever joining a group.

WoW's broad appeal has faded in the past few years, but no other MMO has remotely challenged its dominance. It seems as though no game ever will. Even the high-flying Star Wars: The Old Republic, the last major title that attempted to adopt per-month pricing, has gone free-to-play in an attempt to encourage more subscribers.

That's our list -- what's yours look like? What games have kept you coming back year after year, even as graphics advance and new titles launch?

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Man, I know all of these games as to well with the exception of civilization, I just couldn't get into it. I wish I still ran x-fire so I could tell you how many hours I had in WoW, Minecraft, and CS:S. I didn't get into Diablo 2 until years after it was released, and even then I just played single player. I was probably bigger into the first Diablo honestly.

Warcraft definitely was the worst. At one point I took a 9 day vacation and literally just sat at home playing warcraft for the entire duration. Do I regret it now? Nope. It was something I really enjoyed, and still wish I could find a way to play it, unfortunately that game just demands way too much of your life than i'm willing to give it. I'll just stick with planetside 2 for now.

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If you happen to remember the nickname you used there, you can still access the profile online:

That's mine; so just replace my name with yours at the end.

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The multiplayer grind typically doesn't do it for me. It's usually open world games that keep me coming back. I think the most hours I've clocked in was in Morrowind, followed closely by Shenmue on Dreamcast. Skyrim is up there as well.

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Personal experiences with every one of these.

I loved civilization and ended up getting sucked into more than a few 12+ hour games (not consecutively though), but it was that very facet that turned me away from it. It took SOOO long to complete just one game, other than that it was challenging enough to be pretty damn hard against the computers but not impossible to win (although it got close)

I never played counter-strike but I've heard good things about it everywhere, I might have to give it a chance because Half-life and the source engine is among my favorites so something based off that has to be decent at the very least, I loved the comparison to the COD series that cannibalizes its self, that's a really interesting way to look at things

I remember playing Diablo II at about 12 years old for hours with a friend.. the cache, it wasn't online it was single player. A friend and I would make a character and just take turns playing through quests and would switch at a quest completion or death. This was also played for entire days at a time over the course of sleepovers lol.

I played WOW towards the end of Middle school, experimented with a character up to level 40 and never got into the guild/raiding aspect of the game but it's appeal was the continuation of the story I enjoyed from WC3, but I definitely preferred RTS to MMO games. I found the repetition of Kill X and get Y really boring.

Minecraft is a continuation and evolution of Legos from Childhood and I still play it every now and then and sometimes play with friends on small servers they have set up.

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A bunch of games REALLY sucked me in over the years...

Impossible Mission - C64: Spent WAY too many hours trying to beat that one.

All of the classic Sierra games - PC: Kings Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Manhunter, etc.

Wing Commander Series - PC: Simply one of the best franchises ever.

CoD Series - PC: Up to MW3

And my ol' standby - Left 4 Dead 2. When I want instant gratification and don't have much time to game, I jump in, kill a bunch of zombies, and jump out.

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The Walking Dead is another one that really pulled me in. It wasn't much of a "game", but the story was so gripping, I plowed through all 5 episodes in 2 nights.

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What about Ultima Online?  Anyone here ever get into that?  I played for about 5 years, and made my first man sized paycheck of $1200 playing that.  I was 13 at the time I made all the money, so i'm pretty sure the money went to music and t-shirts.

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Leisure Suit Larry?!
Marco... dirty dirty.. hahaha

Also have you seen any of the stuff for the planned sequel to Wing Commander? I never played any of the originals but this upcoming game looks like it's going to be amazing.
Also do you have any input on that 100% indie fan-made Wing Commander game? 

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If you like Wing commander, the you should go download Wing Commander Saga. Great game to break out the old Wingman joystick for!

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Games that I've sunk more than 200 hours into, each:

Asheron's Call (MMO)


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Civilization V

Counter-Strike: Source

Duke Nukem 3D

Half-Life 1 Multiplayer

Lineage II (MMO)

Test Drive Unlimited 2

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