Within the first thirty minutes or so of a video game, you can generally tell if it is going to be good or bad. If it sucks, you'll probably return it and never touch it again. However, if it's good, you might try and complete every side mission, max out your online stats, or try out the game's hardest difficulty setting. But what happens when that other AAA game comes out that you've been waiting so long to play? Or when your friends want you to join their co-op match in something different? There are plenty of things that can interrupt a good gaming session, and once you have stopped playing a game, you might have a hard time jumping back in. Though it seems daunting, here are five reasons why you should always complete your games.
You Can Finally Put Them Away
I don't know about you, but I generally have two stacks of games in my house: those that are "active" that I am currently playing, and those that I've already completed but occasionally like to pull out every once in a while to play online or casually. Once I finally finish a game, it's like a mental check mark, and I can move it from the active pile to the completed one, or, in the case of a rental, I can finally take it back. If you are the type to trade in your finished games, you can also bring it back to your favorite game retailer and get some coin for finally finishing your game. And if you do go this route, you've got added incentive to finish fast, as the quicker you can trade it in, the more money you'll get.
Pretty much every game gives you something for finishing its main story mode. Whether it's an achievement, trophy, online weapon or skin, or new difficulty setting, there is almost always a tangible reward given to players who take the time to actually sit through the final moments of a game. In fact, plenty of games include "Game +" modes that allow you to play through the game again with bonus content. You never know what kind of stuff will be unlocked when you finish a game (okay, maybe you do if you've used a guide or cheat code), but generally, it is something worth your while.
Finish the Story
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it's still one of the biggest reasons to finish a game. Sure, Cole McGrath's story in inFamous 2 may be riveting when you are playing the game for the first time, but if you are coming back to it after a month or two away, apathy can set in. Unfortunately, not all games feature stellar stories, but even the ones that are predictable deserve to be seen through to the end. Sure, you may have predicted the ending three hours into the game, but when you finally get to see that last cutscene, you might be pleasantly surprised by a twist or unexpected turn.
Be Ready for the Sequel
Let's face it, in today's video game world, original IPs are made just so we can check out the sequel. Even games in franchises like Final Fantasy have derailed into sequel territory, so you have to finish each entry in the series (even if you didn't particularly like it) if you want to fully understand what is going on in the sequel. Unfortunately, the more I played Final Fantasy XIII, the more I got bored with it, but in order to play the much-improved XIII-2, I'm going to have to knuckle down and just finish those last few hours (as painful as they might be). The good thing is that even if an original game has some issues, developers have wisely gotten in the habit of listening to players and implementing positive changes for a sequel. Even if you have no hope for the game you are playing, if you think there's sequel potential there, it's best to see it through to the bitter end.
Satisfaction and Personal Accomplishment
It may sound cheesy, but nothing feels better than actually finishing a game. Sure, it may not have been the best thing you ever played, and the story might have been predictable, but at the end of the day it is better to finish what you started and have the satisfaction of knowing that you didn't quit or leave something unfinished. If you can initially spend 20-30 hours in an RPG, the least you can do is spend the extra four or five hours to see the ending. I can understand quitting a game after an hour or two if it's straight-up awful, but if you've passed the 50% progression mark, you owe it to yourself to see it through the end.
We don't typically think of video gaming as an endurance sport, but sometimes it can feel like one. I know sometimes I get bogged down playing three or four games at a time, and the thought of going back and finishing a game I started a year or more ago can seem daunting. But that's what weekends were made for. So get in there, finish your old games, and get ready for more. You'll be glad you did.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: February 3, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*