Challenge #8: What Is The Most Addictive Game You’ve Ever Played?

In this challenge I hope to get some great games mentioned, and analysis for the reasons that make these games so great. The question is: What is the most addictive game you’ve ever played? You might remember some old game that you just had to play – over and over.

Saying just one game is really tough, and there were some really great games that I just had to keep playing:

  • Stratego: old board game where the other player didn’t know your troops. That feature was also the key strength of the game: you could bluff.
  • Civilization: The first version was simply great. The possibility to conquer the world in different ways (I liked to build the space ship rather than nuke other countries) and the great number of variables really hit me.
  • Bridge (card game): Elder British ladies aren’t the only ones who play this card game. The rules, bids and strategies make this game really interesting.
  • Sims: Some people hate this game, but I loved it. It was really fun to earn cash, get new stuff, and then repeat. Over and over. Collecting stuff and building your own house that was my key reason for playing.
  • Risk based games like Lux. I’ve played many of them, and there something really great in the concept. Playing it on computer makes the rounds fast (compared to board game version) and the rules and game mechanism is really simple: move pieces to attack. I believe the simplicity, short rounds and possibility to play with friends made this really addictive to play.
  • Texas Hold’em: I actually haven’t played – only watched this poker game being played – but again there’s something fun in bluffing and simple game mechanism.
  • Evil Genius: again world domination, but this time you get to play on the dark side. That was fun. Dungeon Keeper was also fun for the same reason.

I believe I could keep listing more games and the reasons I played them, but I think I stop now and let you speak.

What games have been really addictive or fun to you? What was the reason that kept you playing?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Age of Empires has been one of the games that i have been playing for last 8 years and still addicted to it. I prefer to play multi player but when ever i get time but no companion, start it all alone having computer as my enemy..

    2nd game that i liked a lot was Commandos, i played all the 20 levels of Commandos 1 during my 3rd semester of engineering and then in next semester, played Commandos 2 and 3!

    another game that i have been addicted to for a long period was GTA Vice city. Its lovely game to play but i could to go through some jobs and just left the game!

  2. Hrm… I guess Ill just use the ones where entire blocks of my life are remembered in gameland rather than reality.

    Astroblaster – First Addiction (Intellivision) wow what a great simple game that was.
    Warcraft, Starcraft, Warcraft3 – Blizzard can do no wrong in my opinion.
    Quake, Quake 3 and Doom 3 – Crack City (especially Q3DM17 :-)
    Diablo II – I never played the first one too much, but Diablo 2 pwned me.
    WoW – Um ever meet someone who plays that game? Just do a search for Leroy Jenkins… now those guys are addicted (i am too).
    EV Override – Great simple RPG by Ambrosia… Great Drug for us mac users.
    Military Maddness – Turbo Graphics 16 Strategy Game… great with a friend or solo.
    Herzogs Zwei – Unbelievable, Addictive and great game play made this a genesis classic.

    Im sure Ill think of others, but not at them moment. I have to play some WC3 =)

  3. Logically, the most addictive game of all time would have the least chance of appearing on this page because the players would be too focused on playing the game to ever arrive here.

  4. Game&Watch: Takatoku Robot Maker
    Boulder Dash
    Head over Heels
    Cauldron 2
    Zelda – Ocarina of time
    FF7 up to FFX-2
    Vampire the Masquerade
    Dungeon Keeper 1&2
    Lucasarts Adventures (Zak Mc Kracken, Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island and all others) & Adventuresoft games (The Feeble Files and Simon games)

  5. Civilization 3, Counter strike network,Final fantasy S, the romance of 3 kingdom III(Japan Koei), starcraft & knight online are some of the games that have made me forgetting my meals in the past. I stopped playing core games long time ago as most of them tend to be overly addictive like ….

  6. I started off on Game&Watch :es sitting in airports… ahh Donkey Kong..
    nowadays it takes a lot to get really hooked. World of WarCrack is the only game to have really got me for a while, but its not so much the game as the multiplayer thing. Commandos 2 was great multiplayer LAN stuff, quite challenging. Lets see, what else have i spent more than a month with… Gotta say it’s getting really rare for me to bother playing a game through these days. HomeWorld got close, with the old space feel going off. I’ll look forward to Edoiki as it sounds up my alley tho we’ll see when the demo is out.. ShadowGrounds for multiplayer. I favor multiplayer a lot for action stuff, more fun with friends..

  7. Tetris is great. Civ is great. North & south is great. Pretty soon Runes of Avalon will join addicting games club :)

  8. Tetris.

    By far the most addictive game there is on any platform. When it comes to modern and or more complex games, I would have to go for Civilization 3.

  9. Baldur’s Gate 2. Period! The game is over 6 years old and I STILL play it. Sure, I know how to do everything in it. I could probably play it backwards while blind folded. But the story keeps me coming back. Not to mention the fact that I’m a D&D geek. Neverwinter Nights comes in a close second, mostly because of all the great mods available for it.

    As for time wasters.. Bejeweled! When I had a normal 8-5 job I probably spent at least 4 of those hours playing bejeweled. That game is pure evil (in a good way)!

  10. I’ll define addictive and any game where I’ve played for longer than six hours in a session

    Heroes of Might and Magic III
    Duke 3D
    Fallout I
    The Sims
    Emperor (and the other city building games)

  11. Just too many to list, but maybe I get addicted too quickly. For example, Laser Squad/Xcom, Tie Fighter, Doom, Larn, Baldurs Gate, Bejewelled (clones), Breakout (clones), Archon, etc I could go on for ages.

  12. The most addictive games, I’ll list only a few:

    – Tetris
    – Pentix (a more complex Tetris clone)
    – Heroes of Might & Magic II/III

  13. Civilization III, now this was pure addiction.
    Warhammer: Dawn of War =3 I love the IP, and relic knows what they are doing. Great game.
    Startopia, great game, shame few people knew of it.
    CS:S, I just love squad based games, and I like FPS, so I play this one regularly… for the past 4~5 years or so.
    FF X/Jade Empire/Zelda:Ocarina of Time/Kotor, I couldn’t stop playing until I finished the game.

    Honestly though, I think Warhammer Online will be my new source of digital heroin :P

  14. Most Addictive Game…Hmmm..

    All Final Fantasy’s – I find these terrifyingly addictive Im having to book time off work to play no.12 when its out here in the UK

    Deus Ex / SystemShock 2 – Absolutely amazing stuff, solid story and play areas which really relate to the story. Half life is close too here.

    Star control 2 – Marvellous space RPG game which ive not seen much like since except for StarScape by MoonPod. You can Starcontrol 2 for free now! amazing stuff!

  15. Most addictive game would probably be some MMORPG like World of Warcraft. I don’t play them myself, but I think that a lot of people are addicted to MMORPGs.

  16. The game that has addicted me the most has been Castlevania Symphony of the Night (PlayStation). I played this one for 700+ hrs to get Alucard to level 99 and all familiars as well. I also love to collect items in games so I had to go and kill enough monsters to collect 99 of each drop item. I was even saving money to buy 99 Duplicators from the Master Librarian. That was insane. No other game has drained more time from my life than SotN.

  17. Civ is a class of opiates unto itself, but SMAC (Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri) is the purest heroin of them all.

  18. Two of the most addictive games I ever played were “Wizard Of Wor” and “Oil’s Well”, both on the C64. They are a challenge everytime, and they both have got that “okay, I’ll just play it one more time but THEN I’ll quit”-factor (of course a promise which you repeat after every “game over”).

    But there are more around, of course. I noticed that often those games are the most addictive, that haven’t got too much “different worlds” and such, but keep challenging though. Just look at the original Pacman, every level looks the same. Tetris is another good example ;)

  19. Most addictive ever? Tetris and Crystal Quest! I must have spent more hours on these 2 games, than on all other games I ever played combined :)
    More recently, I’ve been quite addicted to Tiltilation.

    For me, the addictive aspect of these games is building the skills and improving to beat the topscores.

  20. Ultima Online : The Second Age – Was well balanced and enough hard to keep me interested.

    Descent Freespace 2 – Great game! Not much to say, try it out. :)

  21. NiGHTS (Saturn)
    Shenmue (Dreamcast)
    Tempest 2000 (Jaguar)
    Pokemon (GBA)
    Theme Park
    Sim City

    I could play any of those games for hours and still not get bored. NiGHTS and Tempest have great score systems, and NiGHTS has A-Life as well. Although Shenmue has a linear storyline, there are plenty of other things to do whilst playing. The same goes for Pokemon, but that also has all the multiplayer features to keep players engaged. The other three are all god games, where how the level is completed is entirely up to the player.

  22. I must note that I chose the games for the countless hours I played them.
    There were other really good games, which didnt have the same replayability as these games.

  23. Its a really tough question, because its not the typical “what do you think are the best games ever?” question. There were some other games in this list which are really addictive for that while (Tetris for instance), but I removed them afterwards. Here is my list:

    Toonstruck (PC)
    Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 (PC)
    Kirby 1 (GB)
    Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
    Banjo & Kazooie (N64)
    Vampires: Bloodlines (PC)

    Weirdly, these are all old games (except of vampires) and I really notice my biased favor for Nintendo games. Kirby, for example is a really short game.. it has.. 6 or 7 stages with one big enemy, no saving function, sometimes it is boring. As I was a child I was nuts on this game to play it through, I did several times.. it was so much fun. Banjo & Kazooie is for me still the best platformer I have ever seen (even better than Mario 64) and I really liked this day, I even remember the day that I bought it. I played it directly after school, even in the nights, I began playing it 3 weeks ago.. kinda funny. It is a masterpiece on its own (I didnt played the second part or DK64) with outstanding graphics at this time and really addictive gameplay.
    As a result from my job and my studies I dont play much these days, I only play RedSteel and Twillight Princess on the Wii, its great. But Vampires is the last “newer” game I played which was really addictive. Ok, its really, really buggy, but who cares? The gameplay and the story is great, I’m a huge fan of exactly THIS vampires theme and -tenor, and it bounded me a lot in front of my screen.

    There are other really outstanding and fascinating games, well made, some masterpieces as well which I played and which I like really. Though, they dont fit in this category.


  24. Civ came to my mind first, I think I liked civ3 the most.
    Battlefield 1942 would be another one, playing multiplayer of course.
    Virtual fighter with its brilliant AI.
    NWN1, multiplayer.
    These perhaps represent different types of addictive games.
    There are countless others which fall into these categories, such as: nox, nolf and etc.

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