GamerSushi Asks: What’s Your Ideal Game Length?


There are as many different types of gamers as there are stars in the skies, it seems. Some hoard games and consoles, never trading them in. Others buy a new game, beat it as soon as possible and then trade it back in for something else, repeating the cycle over and over. But all gamers want decent value out of their purchases (or trade-ins) and for many people, that comes down to length.

How long should a game be? It’s a question that is asked on every message board when a new game comes out. The answer varies from person to person. Some people want a decent 8 hours, while others want something in the 15-20 hour range. In middle school and high school, hearing about a game that was 60 hours in length made me drool with excitement.

GamePro has an interesting article arguing for shorter, tighter games that don’t lose the narrative while trying to artificially lengthen the game. Personally, I think it depends on the genre, but the author is right in his assessment. Red Dead Redemption lost its strong story somewhere in Mexico and didn’t get it back until the end. At the same time, I enjoy the myriad tasks and I don’t want to see games lose those features just for story purposes.

What do you think? What’s a good length of time for you when it comes to games?

Source: GamePro

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Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

7 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: What’s Your Ideal Game Length?”

  1. I would say 6-20 (Big span, I know XD ) hours or so. Sometimes shorter games can be nice, but the longer (though enjoyable) games are also amazing at times.

  2. In comparison with music, a typical “pop single” is around 3 minutes, that’s your typical 8 hour game. But people who really appreciate music know that some of the best songs ever written range from just over a minute to 10 minutes in length. If you’re shooting to make something that “everyone likes”, than yeah, make your 3 minute (8 hour) game. But like most of us here would agree, quality > quantity. Braid and Machinarium were only 2 – 4 hours for me personally and they were a few of the best games I’ve played in years.

  3. Maybe it’s because I’m still in high school, but I like really long games. 8 hour games are very good, but they generally don’t have much replay value. It’s mostly about more bang for my buck right now. I’m getting a PS3 this Christmas, and I have long games like InFamous and Red Dead Redemption on my wishlist, because they’ll last longer than things like Killzone 2 or God of War.

  4. I’d say for a standard-length game, 8-12-16 hours is the best length. 8 hours let’s you keep the content condensed, 12 let’s you put in some padding that, if done right, can make the enjoyment last longer w/o feeling tacked on, and 16 allows for more storytelling time and whatnot, so it’s a good length for a longer medium-length game. 20-30 hours is for bigger games that have large worlds, lots of locations and quests, and want to feel big. If done well, an epic story, with proper pacing, can feel both long and not too long with 20-30 hours of enjoyment. 40-60 hours naturally seems to be pushing it; just separate the game into 20-30 hour installments; you get more money, and players won’t feel overwhelmed. Shorter games that are under 8 hours need to have excellent story and/or gameplay aspects, and if they do, they’ll tend to be the outstanding hits or cult classics that people remember and play over-and-over again for years to come. It all depends on the pacing, the variability of the gameplay, and epicness of the story.

    I agree that there’s nothing wrong with long, epic games (I have a lot of fun playing Persona 3 and Fallout because they’re so massive), but that shorter, more condensed and polished games should get some love. Still, I’d rather developers stick to 8-16 hours so I’m not forking over $60 for a short game; decrease the value by $10 or $20 for a shorter game. That might take a revolutionary way to determine value in terms of story length, but I think everyone knows that Portal should not cost the same money as Fallout 3; it’s not about the quality costing $60, it’s the absolute content you’re getting. I don’t know, maybe short games should still cost $60, but I don’t want developers copping out making 4-8 hour games for $60 when they could be adding more features and longer stories and bigger worlds that actually warrant $60. Leave it to the gourmet chefs (the good developers) to make perfected short games, and stick with 8-16 hour games. You can have a lot of quality content that lasts a satisfyingly-long time with the standard length.

    Hm, this seems kinda rambling. Oh well. Basically, 8-12-16 hours is the best length range.

  5. I love long games personally, because there is that much more to explore and find. I dislike long games that lengthen it by putting in unnecessary collectibles, like the original Assassin’s Creed or Fable 3 (gnomes?).

  6. It gets tricky when you go into the freeroaming games but I feel like I got my moneys worth with an 8-9 hour campaign. I dont get mad when a game is on the short side though, as long as there is no repetitive bs

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