Top 5: Video Game Binges

As you well know, the holiday season is looming, teasing us with its glowing goodness and promise of days off of work and school alike. However, there’s one other thing that the holidays bring to us every year, lumbering towards us like great Godzilla-monsters ready to trample our social lives to ruin: video games.

Sometimes, in these awesome and terrible times with nothing but free time and a pile of gaming to get through, we do things we are not altogether proud of: We binge. It’s like that inner beast takes over, a beast that isn’t satiated until we finish those games. You know what I’m talking about.

I bring you several instances where this happened in my life. Here are my top 5 video game binges:

5. Suikoden III (RPG, PS2)

The summer before my Junior year at Florida State University, I stumbled across a wonderful RPG called Suikoden III. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, they typically sport huge, sweeping, grandiose plots that suck you into their respctive fantasy worlds. In addition, they have casts of characters that number in the hundreds.

The kicker? You can collect all of these guys and form your own army. You also get a house, and each additional character brings his or her own touch to it. Also, the story is incredibly long and complex. All told, this game ruined my life that summer, as I dumped 65 hours into it in a week and a half’s time. My excuse? I had nothing better to do. Which was only partially true, seeing as how I DID have a job. You can do the math on sleep/work/play ratios. It ain’t pretty.


4. Guild Wars (MMORPG, PC)

I’ve always known that if I ever allowed myself to even flirt with the seductress known as the MMO, then I would immediately be pulled into its grasp, never to be released. The Guild Wars free Beta weekend back in 2004 taught me that I was right to expect this psychotic behavior from myself as I proved it in each and every way.

From Friday night to Sunday night, I spent over 40 hours playing the Guild Wars Beta, literally taking breaks to eat, sleep, and spend a small amount of time with my fiancé (now my wife). My excuse was that it was a good chance to spend time with my brother, who was also in the Beta. This was only partially true, as both of us ended up hunting with different parties all weekend. We ended up meeting in a PvP match and we kicked his team’s ass.


3. Final Fantasy VII (RPG, PS1)

This game destroyed my soul. Many of you are familiar with FF7, but I have to be honest- it was the very first RPG I ever played in my life. It was the first time that I realized that a game could tell you a meaningful story with fun characters. I couldn’t believe it as I played. It was like participating in a living, breathing novel.

Over a couple of weeks, I threw 40 hours into this game, and then immediately turned around and played it again, finding all the secrets, moving through each sidequest, to ultimately play another 95 hours. I beat it again in 65 hours a month later. 200 hours of gameplay in about a month and a half’s time.

2. Halo 2 (FPS, XBox)

In college, I was that guy who always swore off the console FPS. Until I started playing Halo with my roommates every night before we went to bed (Rockets on Prisoner, bitch!). The night Halo 2 came out, we waited in line for an hour in front of GameStop, and I couldn’t believe that I was doing that for a video game release.

At the time, the big draw for the game was that XBox Live was going to make a major splash with it. For the first time, my roomies and I could play online against other people to test our might. The twitch gunplay as well as the addictive matchmaking system (which was so innovative for a console FPS at this time) spawned my week long Halo 2 binge, where I played the game over 40 hours in just three or four days, stopping only to sleep and go to class. I didn’t even spend time with my fiancé for this one, it was that good.

My excuse at the time? “I wont’ get to do this kind of thing when I’m married”, which was only partially true. It’s sad that I played this game so much, given how much I grew to hate it the weeks following.

1. Knights of the Old Republic (RPG, XBox)

Never has a game dominated me this thoroughly, and I think that’s partly because I played it over the Christmas break that year. Having borrowed my friend’s XBox, I was ready to see what all the fuss was about with this new KOTOR game. Well, as it turns out, the fuss is that it very effectively combined two of my favorite things, RPGs and Star Wars.

I was a dark side maniac and I couldn’t get enough of the game. My schedule was as follows from Sunday night to Thursday morning. Wake up at around 8 or 9 am. Play KOTOR until about 1 or 2 PM, then break for short lunch. Play KOTOR until about 7 PM. Eat dinner and call the fiancé. Play KOTOR until about 3 or 4 in the AM. Repeat.

I finished this game in 55 hours in 3 1/2 days. And then I wanted to play it again, light side.


So, with the holiday season upon us yet again, I look forward to more video game binges of this kind as we all struggle to get as much gaming into as short of a time span as possible. Between Resistance 2, Tales of Symphonia 2, LittleBigPlanet, Gears of War 2, Fable II and Fallout 3… A repeat binge will be hard to avoid before going back to work.

What about you guys? What are your all-time crazy gaming binges? Feel free to share your story.

Written by

I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

16 thoughts on “Top 5: Video Game Binges”

  1. One of mine happened last week, in 3 days i had gotten over 40 hours of RF online in, only to find that they are shutting down the servers permanently, i was very pissed lol.

    And yes over 40 in 3 days + i had school. XD

  2. [quote comment=”1055″]Summer I got mono…Final Fantasy Tactics and Castlevania Symphony of the Night…too many hours to admit,lol.[/quote]

    Yeah dude, FF Tactics was like a runner up for this thing. I was sick in 8th grade and I ended up playing it all day after playing it all weekend. Then I pretended to be sick the next day so I could finish it.

  3. Number one binge for me probably has to be Halo: CE. Two days straight on a legendary play-through with a buddy. I’ve had binges before, but never ones that made me talk in my sleep.

    Apparently, after reaching 343 Guilty Spark at 4:00 in the morning, I fell asleep, and started to talk about how the shotgun was the weapon of choice against the flood.

  4. Let me think on my top 5….

    1. Ultima Online (UO) – First MMO ever. I played it back in middle school. It ate up so much of m time. Its the only game I have ever skipped school for. One day I stayed home to play. Seriously, MMOs are addicting.

    2. Oblivion – Good lord I played the shit out of that game in high school. Im only putting this above my #3 because Oblivion would warrant me sitting and playing for like 4-5 hours after school. Awesome game

    3. Halo 2 – Agreed. halo 2 was unbelievable. Common, we played in church XD Me and the other guys, Eddy you know who, played that religiously when it came out. Every day after school. Its debatable the game I have spent most time on ever. Im unsure though because Oblivion gives it a run for its money.

    4. Halo PC – Best halo game in the series. My cousin and me would get on our cellphones and play that at night. Honestly its arguably the most fun Iv had gaming. Halo PC was the best. I spent a lot of time on that.

    5. Rush 2049 – N64 baby. Man I played that all the time by myself and with my friends. This is just one game I remember playing constantly.

    My list is kind of iffy. UO is defiantly worthy along with Obi. Its just hard to know which game I spent most time on. halo 2, UO, and Obi all took so much of my life hahaha

  5. Gears I’m gonna play non-stop, but I think Fallout 3 will drain me of social life. (cause it an RPG, and RPGs take more time away than any other game.)

  6. I’ve only “binged” once in my short career as a gamer. And it was awesome. Eheh, guess which game I binged, though. Yeah, you guessed it: CoD4.
    Frankly, there’s nothing more satisfying and fun and rewarding [to me] than spending nearly 16 HOURS playing CoD4 – making swiss cheese out of people’s heads with M40A3’s, gunning guys down to the ground with AK-47’s, and frustrating noobs with an advanced array of Claymores and maybe some C4 as they try to rush your sniping nest.
    Yes it was a fun night. Keep in mind I was, what, 14, 15 when this binge occurred, so 16 hours was a lot, since it was just a 4-day weekend, and I understand other people might have more time. Whatever. It was great.

  7. How about all those times when you re-lived your binges, by watching me waste my life away playing those games… good times.

  8. Good to see that you like the Knights Of Old Republic the most. It’s one my favorite too.

    Did you hear? KOTOR 3 is on it’s way. I hope that it comes out soon and that it won’t be short.

  9. Haha I like this one

    5) Pokemon Gold/Silver. Yes I know. Sad. These games were EPIC. Stfu lol.

    4) Legend of Zelda DX, Oracle of Time, Oracle of Seasons. Only zelda games worth mentioning for me. I never had an N64. So sue me. And you know what? I fricking loved them.

    3) Final Fantasy Tactics Advance/Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis. I dunno why. I just freaking loved those games. And the stories. Final Fantasies more so.

    2) Baten Kaitos. Both games. For some reason, even though that game was all card-ish n stuff, I could really pound it down.

    1) TALES OF SYMPHONIA. OH MY GOD I COULD BINGE ON THIS GAME ANY DAY. I loved it more than I loved final fantasy. I mean, final fantasy was EPICALLY cool. But Tales of god that game was so secksy. I mean, who could have thought of that story, the characters, the places, EVERYTHING. That game was epic.

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