Some games are so good that it’s frankly hard to put them down, but we inevitably do as enticing new releases stack up and threaten to leave us behind. The very best games will only temporarily loosen that grip, however, drawing us back in at any given opportunity (usually the summer games drought) to rekindle the special something we share.
Limitless New Game + runs don't hurt RE4's replay value, either.
Liam | Mario Kart DS
The year is 2006. It’s Saturday afternoon and the early Premier League game has just kicked off. I’m sat next to my brand-new DAB digital radio – an excellent Christmas gift - listening to the commentary, Nintendo DS in hand.
I was playing Mario Kart DS, still one of my favourite entries in the series, despite now seeming a bit simplistic compared to the likes of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
I played and thoroughly enjoyed it every week, without fail, whilst listening to the football. It was the perfect accompaniment; engaging enough to keep me entertained during the more boring matches, but not so distracting that it could pull focus from the better games.
This was my weekend routine for almost a whole season, and it was glorious. It didn’t matter that I’d beaten every track countless times, or that the AI no longer posed a challenge, it was simply great fun and I loved every minute of it.
Those days might now be over, but whenever I stumble upon that small grey DS cartridge in a drawer, it always calls to me and brings back fond memories.
It looks a little dated now, but that can't keep Mario Kart DS down.
James | Worms Battlegrounds
I often say the simplest ideas are the most effective, and there's one series which best executes on this to keep me coming back - Worms.
While I never played the game in its first iteration, Worms 2 was a seminal part of my gaming experience way back when, as were Armageddon and World Party, the latter of which kept me glued to my computer for years.
While not the most current iteration (that’d be Worms WMD), Worms Battlegrounds is one of the longest-installed and most-played games on my Xbox One, rivalled only by Grand Theft Auto V for the purpose of GTA Online.
The tactics on offer in a turn-based game like Worms, which has you brutally murder the enemy team of titular invertebrates with all manner of elaborate and over-the-top weaponry (like the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch), is a rarity in gaming and one which never fails to find new depths with each and every match.
Terrain is randomly generated, the worms themselves randomly placed, and you can customise everything down to individual weapon selection, making it extremely replayable. There's also a constant threat of drowning on most maps, since the water level rises as matches progress, so even the most experienced players can't get too comfortable.
Just about everyone has dabbled in Worms to some extent, but James is a true devotee.
Which game are you always the most eager to revisit? Let us know in the comments below.