What separates a good game from a truly great game? Some might say it’s the attention to detail that goes into its design, the quality of its storytelling, or the innovative use of in-game mechanics. While these are all undoubtedly true, many people use a simpler metric to separate the wheat from the chaff – replay value.

After all, if a game is so good that you want to keep playing it, it’s surely doing something right. There are numerous ways and means by which a game can aspire to replay value.

Secrets still to unlock that cause the determined player to continue plugging away at the game until they reach that fabled 100% completion rating.

There are so many different ways and approaches to playing a game that part of its fun lies in starting over from the beginning with a new character, class, or approach.

With open-world games, many people find that they’ve fallen in love with the vast map and love nothing more than to return to it like a favorite book. Multiplayer games can also enjoy impressive replay value, especially when home to a thriving community of players.


And while many games achieve some degree of replay value, others distinguish themselves by sticking around far longer than they have any reasonable reason for doing so – games that people still return to, despite them being based on old engines or discontinued consoles.

Below, we’re going to take a look at two of the longest-lived games that remain well-loved and played, even a decade or more following their release.

Starburst Slot

If you sat down for a chat with a long-time online slot player and asked them for the title of the first online slots they played, there’s a good chance Starburst was one of them. This futuristic-style slot has a timeless feel which resonates with today’s slot players just as much as when it was initially released by NetEnt in 2012.

In the iGaming industry, Starburst is considered the most popular online slots in history. It’s comfortably NetEnt’s most successful slot release, achieving cult status online. It’s still listed in PokerStars Casino’s library of ‘Popular’ titles, demonstrating how well Starburst has stayed the course.

There’s an arcade feel to Starburst, which also generates a sense of nostalgia for slot players of a certain age. The gameplay is far from complex, with only ten active paylines and one bonus feature on this five-reel game, powered by the Starburst wild symbol. The fact that many operators in the industry still use this slot for free spin promotions is also a testament to its durability for slot players, new and old.


Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came out 12 years ago, and yet in spite of several worthy successors coming our way, from Elden Ring to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Skyrim retains a special place in the hearts of many open-world RPG gamers.

Some people suggest this is due to its vibrant modding community that has created tons of new playable content and added unique features, bug-fixes and graphical updates to keep it in line with the latest triple-A titles.


And while there’s no denying the fact that has helped extend Skyrim’s natural lifespan, there are at least as many console gamers who continue to return to it without any mods at all.

Instead, Skyrim’s success seems to be down to its true choose-your-own-adventure stylings. With hundreds of quests, dungeons, and locations to explore and one of the best and most in-depth character creation systems of any game, every single play-through promises to offer something unique.

What’s more, when it comes to the story beats, NPC dialogue, and familiar locations that are common to each run-through, the pervasive power of nostalgia can be thought to be a factor in why people keep returning to its frost-crapped mountains.

Many people grew up with this game, and with its true sequel, Elder Scrolls VI, still thought to be some years off, it may continue to be enjoyed and played for some time.