If you asked me what my favorite medium of entertainment is, I would say video games. Now, if you were somehow able to see the amount of hours I dedicated to each medium, video games would rank somewhere below TV shows, movies and whatever category of entertainment browsing Reddit falls under. I think this discrepancy exists because the “gaming stigma” still lurks somewhere in my mind and whenever I turn on my PlayStation, it starts a timer in my head which tells me how long I have before I need to go do something that’s “actually productive”. The timer isn’t as apparent when I’m binge watching TV, reading or scrolling through memes.
I may have a knack for pseudo-psychology but this is not the post where I will explore that. I started to consider the amount of time spent on video games because I’ve recently been playing one called Persona 5. P5 is a Japanese role-playing game developed by Atlus (I promise they didn’t sponsor this post) and it’s the 5th and arguably best in the series. Currently, my playtime is 23 hours and 43 minutes. After noting that in 17 minutes I would’ve officially spent a day playing Persona 5 without having made any significant progress, I promptly saved, turned off my PS4 and went on to HowLongToBeat to get an idea of how much of my life I would be dedicating to this endeavor.
While on HLTB, my curiosity extended to the amount of time spent on games that had been released over the years so I took a sample of 180 games out of their “Top Rated” and “Most Submissions” sections to get an idea of how long the average user took to complete some of the most popular titles.
Of the top rated and most popular games on HLTB, Persona 5 is apparently the longest – the average player spent 96 hours just to finish the main story. So I just need to persevere for roughly another 3 more days… (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻)
It’s either people that submit to HLTB really love the Persona series or Atlus has designed a video game franchise that’s the ultimate time sink. 5 of the 10 longest titles are Persona!
I took a different approach to find the games that took the most time to beat – I looked at the longest games each year since 2004. The longest game of the year never exceeds an average 50 hours playtime unless we’re talking Persona… or Rocksmith 2014 which is interesting but doesn’t fit my current narrative.
Lastly, for fun and just because I could, I averaged out the hours spent clearing each game and grouped by platform to get a snapshot of the consoles that have consumed the most of our lives. Playstation 2, the greatest console ever made, takes the crown here – mostly due to Persona 3 and 4… but with other franchises like Final Fantasy, GTA and Resident Evil hitting their stride on the PS2, it’s no wonder we spent so much time on it.
Obviously the charts above do not represent the fun factor of these games in any way. The truth is that I’m having a lot of fun playing Persona 5 but the pressures of being a functioning adult weigh on and make me very conscious of how much time I’m dedicating to a game that won’t bring me any tangible rewards after I clear it. On the other hand, if it were a eSport game… that’s a topic for another post.
That concludes my data-driven rant. All the data in this post is from HowLongToBeat; if you have any questions about how I retrieved and/or organized it, feel free to reach out!