Take note, fellow gamers — these overwhelming story arcs definitely aren’t for the faint-hearted. In fact, the following spool of stories are so incredibly hollow, that you’d be much better off calling it a day and refreshing your calendar altogether. That said, if you’re opting to stick around for the ride, then we can only assume you’re one of the wild ones that thrive off of lengthy conquests and region grinding. And by “lengthy”, I’m implying around a hundred hours or more in a single playthrough. That’s around the ballpark we’re looking at to be considered a “wild one”, of course. Anything less and you’re just a run-of-the-mill gamer, right?
It’s fair to say that one hundred hour campaigns aren’t anything short of routine in this day and age. And if anything, a title that boasts anything less than a few dozen hours can often be slandered for pettiness. After all, we often pay top dollar for experiences that will keep us entwined for the weekend and beyond — not just for an hour before returning to the shelves. And that, of course, is why we adore these five incredibly powerful entries. Completionist or not — these five games are definitely worth forking out a few hundred hours for.
5. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (110 – 130 hours)
Ever since Assassin’s Creed drifted from condensed storylines and narrowed in on nonlinear open-world gaming, the platform surrounding the brotherhood has only continued to flesh out with ten times the rich content. And Valhalla, in specific, homes some of the most ambitious regions we’ve ever ever seen over the past decade from the series as a whole.
As well as boasting a sixty-plus hour story arc to shovel through, the journey also crams in an additional fifty hours of mysteries, collectables and world events to discover across the Viking-scourged English countryside — making the Valhalla chapter easily the lengthiest campaign in the saga. Exploration is plentiful, and each borough employs enough lore to keep you traversing the lands for hours on end without succumbing to boredom. All in all, you’re looking at about 120 hours of raiding, pillaging and sweeping England of all its riches.
4. Red Dead Redemption 2 (150 – 170 hours)
Rockstar gifted us with one of the most compelling Western narratives in modern-day gaming with Red Dead Redemption 2. As the best-selling prequel that hoarded well over twenty awards over 2019 alone, Red Dead 2 homed some of the most heartfelt connections and genuinely intriguing stories we’ve ever laid eyes on. And there we all were slating Rockstar for removing John Marston from the forefront pre-launch. If only we knew what level of success the follow-up chapter would amount to.
Working through the main story in Red Dead Redemption 2 will more than likely set you back fifty-five hours or so. However, if you’re homing in on that incredibly threatening 100% status — then you’re looking at another hundred or more hours of unearthing New Austin of all its wandering strangers, bounty hunts and gang hideouts. Overall, Red Dead 2 will have you pitching in around 160 hours before pinging the platinum.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (160 – 180 hours)
CD Projekt Red sure aimed high with the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when it came to developing a world big enough to keep us satisfied. On top of the sixty-plus hour story that takes you all across the Continent, The Witcher 3 also crams in a bunch of extra material that can effectively stretch your overall session to the two-hundred-hour marker. And that’s something even CD Projekt confirmed prior to the launch of the game, too.
Dig deep enough and you’ll stumble upon some untouched secrets that urge you to explore. Drift away from the warming trail and you’ll be quick to notice the number of secondary objectives piling up on your to-do list. And then, of course, there are the missable quest chains and impending failures looming over several story arcs if you’re not careful with your time management. Overall, acquiring the 100% status can be a slightly intimidating, albeit thoroughly entertaining challenge to endure. But hey — if you’ve got 200 hours of spare time lying around then we implore you to give it your best shot.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (160 – 190 hours)
Despite the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be completed in under an hour using the right strategies, it is worth pointing out that, as Nintendo would’ve originally intended — the game as a whole should push you into the late hundreds region. With an overwhelmingly long list of things to discover, grind and complete, Breath of the Wild sets a new benchmark for the enormous open-world adventure platform.
From collecting all 900 Korok seeds (yes — 900) to scouring every cobblestone walkway and shadowy crevice in Hyrule — this Nintendo Switch chapter will have you superglued to the screen for upwards of 175 hours or more, depending on your play style. And so, with that, it’s definitely a must-play for any die-hard completionist or Zelda enthusiast. Plus, being able to hold the bragging rights for drawing 100% is a major reward in itself, right? I mean, how many people can say they’ve wiped the slate clean on this one?
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (210 – 250 hours)
It’s not very often we feel compelled to divert from the beaten path laid out before us. Skyrim, on the other hand, naturally courses you towards the thousands of secrets that embed themselves in every nook and cranny of the wide-open world. And that’s something Bethesda designed with such beauty, to be honest. The fact you can immediately drift from the main story and pursue goals elsewhere and ultimately get lost for the next forty hours is truly a remarkable flex in itself. And, rather than scolding us for abandoning the main questline, Skyrim praises you for branching out and establishing yourself as anything but the all-powerful Dragonborn.
With some of the most jaw-dropping landscapes we’ve ever seen, it’s incredibly easy to get lost in the living, breathing world that is Skyrim. The lore is plentiful, the regions are packed full of life — and the many residents that call the northern providence of Tamriel home are always reeling you towards their intriguing tales. And for that reason, touching the apex of completion can easily take you anywhere from 200 to 250 hours overall. Of course, you’d be crazy to try and unearth every square inch of the game overall — but we’d admire you for trying.
Looking for something else? You could always take a look at these lists: