The Daily Five: Great Games With Zero Replay Value

September 13, 2013 | By | 11 Comments

People will espouse the virtues of their favorite medium, but for me there’s nothing quite like sinking my teeth into a great game. Whether it’s addictive gameplay or an enthralling story, gamers everywhere love discovering something that they just know they’ll want to play over and over again.

I’m sure you read the title of this article before clicking through, however, and can imagine that some rare exceptions exist. Perhaps you know what I mean: Playing a well-designed game and enjoying yourself throughout, but once you get to the end credits something terrible awaits — nothing. You’ve just finished something that you know for a fact is great, but all you want to do now is put it on a shelf forever.

Here are five games just like that.


Before they were selling Wii U games to nobody, Platinum Games put out great multiplatform titles such as Vanquish. They still sold trash, but that wasn’t for the lack of an install base. But I digress.

Vanquish is what would happen if Gears of War freebased meth at a rave, and all of the TVs were showing some kind of anime (I don’t know anything about anime [or meth {or TV }] except that it kind of looks like Vanquish sometimes? Sure). It’s a euphoric game that’s arguably the most exciting in its genre, but its lack of multiplayer and crazy difficult Trophy list put a damper on playing through it more than once.

L.A. Noire

Team Bondi’s first and only game is an impressive technical feat, no doubt about it. It’s a shockingly accurate recreation of 1940’s Los Angeles, and the MotionScan technology used to map actors’ faces is still some of the most accurate in the industry. For all of that, though, it had some weird problems.

For starters, after a strong start, the story takes a strange dive near the end. The interrogations are difficult to gauge despite the MotionScan, leading to Cole Phelps getting way out of line real fast even as you try to play it cool. And the collectibles? Finding all of the newspapers, film reels, and driving every car is a tremendous pain in the ass.

It’s worth playing all the way through, but I’ve never met anyone who’s started another playthrough.

The Walking Dead

It’s strange putting one of the greatest gaming phenomenons in recent memory on a list like this. The Walking Dead introduced two of the most well-developed characters that we’ll ever remember, weaving them into a story that, in my opinion, surpasses that of the television show and comic book that share its name.

That’s all well and good, but you’re practically punched in the gut at every turn. “Hey, that character’s really cool!” DEAD. Dead as hell, every time. By the time the credits roll on the final chapter, you’re an emotional wreck. Unless it’s your job to play multiple versions of the game, why would you do that to yourself again?

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  • Reneid Klein

    You know, I actually got the platinum in both L.A. Noire and Enslaved and although they don’t require you to play through the full game again, they did require a *LOT* of chapter replays. L.A. Noire is impossible to plat without a guide. No way in heck anyone will find all those film reels without a guide in anyone’s lifetime. I searched like crazy for them the entire time I played through the game and I found one of them, ONE OF THEM, without the guide.
    They are in places that you can imagine the programmer being in a dark room with a red light illuminating his face, laughing maniacally as he hides them.

    Enslaved stupid red orbs were a pain to collect but I got most without a guide.

    I have wanted to play Vanquish for years (and I have it through PS+) but I see how hard the trophies are and it honestly makes me not want to play the game. The same happened with TLoU. I had high hopes for replaying it but when I beat the game and had a whopping THREE trophies (Easy, Normal and craft every weapon) I got pissed. I tried playing on NG+ but couldn’t justify it knowing how depressing the game is and how few trophies I’d get.

    TWD I bought on Vita when it came out and I am finding it hard to get past ep 3. It was my least favorite ep by far and I haven’t felt like doing it again. I know what is going to happen and it feels pointless. I will finish it, though, for that sweet, sweet plat.

    I’m surprised you didn’t put Journey on the list instead of Enslaved, btw.

  • Randy Silver

    I played The Last of Us 3 times in a row. LOve that game!

  • Danda

    Played L.A. Noire all the way through twice. Played the second time with all the dlc missions which I’m sure helped but even if i didn’t have them I’d have played it again. And I’ll play it more in the future. Same with the walking dead, played through again once 400 Days came out. And I intend to do the same with The Last Of Us but GTA V is going to keep me busy for a while I’m sure. So I highly disagree with this list. Usually spot on.

  • Travis Tucker

    I have played The Walking Dead on the Xbox 360, replayed it on the PC, and just started playing it on my Vita. TWD is the one game on this list that I can’t seem to agree with. But I’m weird, lol

  • Dalinkwent

    Noire, Last of us and The Walking Dead have insane replay value, at least for me. I still pop in Noire from time to time and end up finishing the game.

  • Eli Hanson

    love the last of us… The damn thing had me in tears ten min into it and the end well lets just say blew me away

  • Ryan Deadpooln

    Definitely disagree with The Last of Us. There is plenty of replay value there. It also has multiplayer which is pretty good.

  • Adam Funny’Random Yanes

    I’m honestly waiting for DLC from TLOU

  • Fred

    L.A. Noire is the best game

  • Ben H.

    I’ve played through L.A. Noire from start to finish at least 5 times now. And that’s after getting 100% completion on the 360 version the 1st time through. And the Walking Dead? Really? How could I NOT play it again, what with all the different choice possibilities throughout? And although I haven’t played The Last of Us yet, I can already tell from everything I’ve seen that it is going to be a game I play more than once as well. I just don’t think you’re the right type of gamer to give these games more than a once-over. But for those of us who truly appreciate all of the intricacies and details put into these games by the developers, its easy to go back for more…and more…and more!

  • Troy Harter

    I fully intend on playing The Last of Us again because wedged in between heartbreaking story is amazing gameplay that I would love to experience again. I plan on playing through Walking Dead again in a far different manner than my first playthrough too.