There's nothing more pleasing than witnessing a boss fade to black, a black void transition into a cluster of credits — and then a text box welcoming you to the final leg of the journey. You know, the Shangri-La of your exploits, where all the juicy leftovers are bundled into one enormous bunker? That's a little something we like to call the Endgame, where developers make one last-ditch effort to include the rest of the content that failed to make the original cut.
From side quests to secret bosses, new explorable zones to top-tier raids — video games have always managed to locate ways to keep us plundering post-credits. Look hard enough, and you'll find yourself venturing down new paths for days, and maybe even weeks before cutting the cord and retiring altogether. Just take these five games as an example, all of which have plenty of reasons to stick around after mopping up the main storyline.
5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Like most life simulators, Animal Crossing doesn't technically “end” until you yourself decide to pull the plug and call it quits. New Horizons, despite following that same formula with an infinite number of routes to take, does actually have a finale — or at least the closest possible thing to a finale, anyway. And that's when you manage to persuade the beloved K.K. Slider to come and perform on your island. After that, the credits begin to roll, and the actual game begins, giving you free rein over every little nook and cranny of your already bustling island.
So, what unlocks after you attract K.K. Slider to perform for you every Saturday? Well, ROADS — and lots of them. As small and insignificant as that may sound to anyone who's never stepped foot in an Animal Crossing world — that really is a big feature that many embrace with fleeting arms. And then, of course, there's terraforming, an advanced tool that gives you the creative freedom to shape the land that homes your villagers and the rivers that weave between your beaches. All in all, I'd say it's definitely worth sticking around after the musical pup comes to visit — seeing as 90% of your vision can only really be replicated post-credits.
4. The Sims
Again, following that life simulator recipe, The Sims keeps players trucking on for lengthy periods of time before finally having them succumb to the pressures of juggling five generations at once. Until that time falls, however, one can quite easily lose track of time and watch the circle of life loop around a million times over before finally backing out of it. And while there are no credits involved in The Sims, one could quite simply say that the departure of the first generation of characters is an appropriate ending in itself. And as for the generations that follow, well — I guess you could call that Endgame content.
With the number of expansions EA put out, it's no wonder people spend countless years working to carve their perfect family and ideal household. It's something that doesn't really have to end, even when the entire family tree has achieved their life ambitions and happily retired on a paradise Island somewhere. The fact is — there will always be another baby to raise, a career to pursue, and a life to build. It's up to you to decide when the story ends, whether it be today, tomorrow, or next year.
3. World of Warcraft
Most players that have sunken into World of Warcraft will tell you that “the game doesn't even start until you're max level”. And that's surprisingly true — even with the number of things that are available to you over the journey en route to said level. Of course, it could very well take years to reach such a place in order to reap the rewards of the Endgame content — but the vast majority will tell you that its most definitely worth the price of admission.
After toppling over the final level, PvP becomes a pivotal part of the game, where only the elite come to battle and clash together to form all-powerful raid groups and guilds. Your gear becomes overpowered (but with enough room to be upgraded), your professions act as a crucial part in your Endgame expedition, and the world around you opens up to a flux of treasures and new locations to explore. So, it may be a long road to reach such an enchanting place, but like I said — it's definitely worth the price of admission.
2. NieR: Automata
Unlike most New Game+ modes that resort to putting you back at the beginning with the exception of a few new weapons or stats, NieR: Automata instead transforms your entire world so you're basically playing a new game altogether. And what's more, believe it or not, is that the game actually has four different campaigns, and a total of twenty six endings, some canon and some thrown in for the fun of it.
Although you could probably mop up the main storyline in just shy of nine hours, in order to truly complete NieR: Automata and unravel all of its mysteries, you'll first have to immerse yourself in a full-on library of modes, effectively transforming those nine short hours into a good fifty or more. So, not just your box standard post-credits content, but more of a 4-in-1 sort of deal.
1. Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends
It doesn't matter if you've heard the Romance of the Three Kingdoms tale a dozen times before — because at the end of the day, you really only endure it for the hack and slash mayhem that Dynasty Warriors delivers with every release. And the eighth iteration of the Xtreme Legends is perhaps the most fleshed out entry to date, with more action and than you could shake a stick at.
All in all, Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends includes six lengthy story modes, all of which can take upwards of ten to fifteen hours per conquest. Top that off with an insanely high level cap of 150 per character, a selection of other modes to soak up as well as a whole new “Ambition Mode” that acts as an entirely new game within a game — and you've got yourself one monster of a bargain. It's basically the game to own if you're heavily in to your hack and slash worlds.