Over the years I’ve played over a million video game reviews. There are many factors that go into a video game. Most video game reviewers want a good story, good characters, good graphics, good sound and good replay value. All those things are usually created pretty equal but is replay value really that important?
First of all, no matter how much you think replay value in a video game is, there is no way it should be equal to all the other factors in a good review. If a video game has a great story, character, sound and graphics then it is a great game the first time through. A great game one time through is still a great game isn’t it?
How many people really play through a video game over and over again? I guess there are some examples. Maybe mutliplayer first person shooters or sports games are played over and over again but I think that most video games that are great are probably played one time through and then the player switches to a new game.
I especially wonder if the economy today will effect how people play video games. Most people I know already rent video games over buying them because it’s cheaper and a lot of people are going to continue to find a way not to spend so much money. A lot of video gamers will only have a video game for a few days and playing the game over and over again won’t be such a big issue.
If you think about the great games from 2008 how many of them really need to have replay value? Gears of War 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, Fallout 3 and Fable 2 are all great one time through and you don’t have to play them multiple times. So if the very best video games don’t need replay value then why do any of the others?
I have no problem with a video game reviewer mentioning replay value on a video game where replay value is necessary. Obviously I don’t want to play the latest version of Madden if it gets old after 10 games because you’re likely going to play many seasons of a game like that. But replay value should not be an issue on most games, especially games with in depth stories that are probably not going to be played through more than one time except by a handful of players.