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They might say that "the first cut is the deepest", but when it comes to video games there are many experiences where the second time through is the one that you really love. From games that intentionally offer a "New Game +" where you go again with more equipment and upgrades, to games that are more fun once you know what's really going on, this is a list of games that people love to play a second time.There are different reasons to play a game a second time, once you have finished it. Maybe, like Somerville, you just enjoyed it so much that you just want to go again. Maybe there's a twist, like Bastion, at the end that subverts what happened at the start. Or maybe, like Oxenfree, the game unlocks items or narrative that requires more than one play. This list includes 31 games from the last 26 years, with 726 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to get iteratively better.
Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sandscape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...
Release Date: 19/05/2015
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an action-adventure game where you play monster-hunter Geralt in a vast open world as he searches for his missing adopted daughter. The game responds to your actions and has dynamic environments, weather and day–night...
Release Date: 19/06/2020
Out Now: PS4
Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Day and Night
The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...
Release Date: 15/09/2022
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made
Wayward Strand is a narrative game about Casey Beaumaris, an intrepid teenage journalist. You visit an airborne hospital, uncover the airship's mysteries, and explore the lives of its inhabitants. It's a Tintin-style point-and-click adventure with a...
Release Date: 21/12/1998, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Dice and Open World
Baldur's Gate 3 is a role-playing game that recreates the Dungeons & Dragons experience in a digital world. You explore the world and fight enemies by rolling dice and weighing up your stats to see what happens. But...
Release Date: 24/02/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
Components: 2D Overhead, 2D Side-On and Day and Night
The Pale Beyond is a narrative simulation game where you captain an exploration ship stranded in the frozen Antarctic waters. You carefully manage and gather resources and keep your crew in good health to hopefully survive until the summer. It stands...
Release Date: 13/03/2023
Out Now: PC
Components: 2D Side-On
Barotrauma is a cooperative space-submarine adventure set after humanity has fled to Jupiter's moon. You work with other players to steer your submarine, work the ageing machinery, fight monsters and fix the endless leaks. It's a game that revels in not...
Release Date: 14/06/2013
Out Now: PS3 and PS4
Components: 3D Third-Person and Weather
The Last Of Us is an action-adventure where You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a...
Release Date: 26/10/2018, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an adventure game with a wild west theme and a prequel to Red Dead Redemption. As you explore a vast and varied open world, you partake in shootouts, heists, and elaborate chases across the...
Release Date: 01/06/2018
Out Now: Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
West of Loathing is a comedic adventure where you roleplay as a stickman cowboy. The quipping characters and intricate puzzles work best with teenagers, but the slapstick comedy will make anyone laugh. Traverse snake-infested gorges, punch skeletons...
Release Date: 25/05/2018
Components: 3D Third-Person
Detroit: Become Human is a branching narrative game from Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. This is the third game in the series and offers a more refined version of the filmic branching experience.
Release Date: 14/01/2016, updated in 2016
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Oxenfree is an adventure game where a teenagers’ beach party spirals into a supernatural story. You guide the outcome with your choices as the well-written dialogue reveals characters coming to terms with family breakdown, death of a sibling, blame...
Release Date: 08/10/2013, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS3 and PS4
Beyond: Two Souls is from the same developer as Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain. Although not a series, they follow a similar style and approach. They provide a filmic interactive experience of a story that branches in substantial ways depending on...
Release Date: 06/10/2010, updated in 2019
Heavy Rain is from the same Quantic Dream studio who made Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human. It preceded these games but shared the same branching narrative and photo-realistic aspirations.
Release Date: 21/08/2007, updated in 2016
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Components: 3D First-Person
Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy, and what happens when a society develops with a power mad genius in control. It's an unusual combination of...
Release Date: 09/10/2012, updated in 2017
Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Dishonored is an adventure game series set in the fictional, plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall. You play Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles. But you are framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin.
Release Date: 23/02/2017, updated in 2018
Nier: Automata is a role-playing game, that span off from the Drakengard series. It's set in an alternate future where there is a war between alien machines and human androids. But this isn't a game about winning the war. It's more focused on the plight...
Release Date: 20/11/2007
Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Mass Effect is a sci-fi adventure where you role-play a soldier named Commander Shepard, who must save the galaxy from a race of powerful mechanical beings. The series started in 2007 and has fourth substantial instalments that take you from that first...
Release Date: 15/11/2022
Out Now: PC and Xbox X|S
Somerville is an atmospheric platform game about a family in a warzone. A man, a woman, their child and their dog work to survive and progress through the landscape.
Release Date: 03/10/2022, updated in 2023
Out Now: Android, Mac and PC
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: Day and Night and Text
Upheaval is a narrative game where you have 30 days in a village before a wizard arrives. In those days, you can stir up chaos, lay low, go adventuring or do countless other activities. With over 5000 possible endings, it stands out for the sheer...
Release Date: 11/03/2014
Dark Souls II is a fighting game with an emphasis on precise timing and extreme difficulty. You navigate through labyrinthine ruins and ancient kingdoms, defeating monsters with your weapons and magic. It pairs immense difficulty with a grand story and...
Release Date: 03/09/2019, updated in 2020
Out Now: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch and Xbox 360
Components: 2D Side-On, Blocks and Cartoon
Catherine is a narrative puzzle game about a young man torn between two lovers, struggling with the temptation and consequences of infidelity. During the daytime, you interact with characters in a visual novel that sets up the nighttime traversal...
Release Date: 08/03/2023
Out Now: Android, PC, Switch and iOS
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is a horror narrative game about a seemingly unconnected group of people in a suburb of Tokyo caught up in an ancient rite of resurrection. You search for clues and talk to characters all the while trying to...
Release Date: 29/01/2023, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC and Switch
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Annalynn is a running, jumping, and collecting game that recreates a classic arcade challenge with more expansive levels. You work to collect every coin on the stage while avoiding enemies. While it appears easy, getting a perfect score requires...
Release Date: 20/07/2011, updated in 2018
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead
Bastion is an action role playing game, where you explore a series of floating, fantasy-themed levels. What starts as a familiar exploration quickly becomes an engaging and interesting game. This change is driven by a mysterious and often hilarious...
Release Date: 02/06/2023, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Minabo - A Walk Through Life is an adventure game about the path of life. As you move along the road your turnip character is born, grows and thrives (or not) in all manner of family and social relationships.
Release Date: 18/04/2016
Out Now: Mac and PC
Components: 2D Overhead and Grid
Stephen's Sausage Roll is a puzzle game where you push sausages around to grill them perfectly on both sides. It sounds easy but is actually really tricky. You can only roll sausages in certain ways and each level is limited in size.
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: PC
Baladins is a narrative role-play game where you play a troupe of entertainers wandering through the countryside. You visit towns, talk to the locals and complete quests over your a short span of weeks, then start again and have a new adventure. It...
Release Date: 21/02/2024
Out Now: PC, PS5, Switch and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Penny’s Big Breakaway is a running and jumping game in which you also swing and roll your way through a colourful world filled with obstacles and enemies. Play focuses on your yo-yo powers that offer varied traversal and point-multiplying tricks. It...
Release Date: 23/08/2023
Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Pixels
Rush For The Ages is a fast-paced strategy game where you play cards to build a civilisation faster than your opponents. Play involves choosing cards that build your civilisation and hamper your opponents. It stands out for the interlocking complexity...
Components: 2D Overhead, Blocks, Day and Night and Grid
Tinytown is a creative puzzle game where you build and refine a miniature living-breathing city out of tiles. Play is simple yet strategic: you must place each tile to maximise your score and make efficient use of the limited space until you fill up the...