As developers continue to push the limits of technology and craft more immersive experiences, we’re witnessing an increase in both the size and scope of emerging games.
Next-gen hardware like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are looking to shorten the gap between console and PC gaming while introducing players to even longer RPGs, survival sandboxes and simulation games.
Today we’ll be ranking the longest video games ever, from least to most hours needed to complete the main story based on player polls from HowLongToBeat. Included is a mix of both older and more recent titles available across different platforms.
For this list, we’ve chosen to eliminate games that rely almost entirely on multiplayer to extend their playtime.
Whether you enjoy games with an exciting story, addictive gameplay or a mix of the two, these titles are sure to keep you busy for hours upon hours.
Make sure to check back as we continue to update this list in the future with new games. Also, while you’re here, consider reading through our other curated lists/guides:
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Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Average Length: 48 Hours
The latest entry in Nintendo’s long-running strategy-RPG takes players on a lengthy adventure that sees you becoming a professor at a prestigious academy located in the heart of Fódlan, a massive continent composed of three rivaling nations.
After swearing allegiance to one of three factions (the Black Eagles, the Blue Lions or the Golden Deer), you’ll begin training students out in the field while also managing their daily schedule, giving you an abundance of opportunities to improve their combat skills and craft a strong team.
In many ways, Three Houses harkens back to the series’ roots, with weapon durability, permadeath and combat arts making a return alongside updated visuals. All these features contribute greatly to the game’s expected 48-hour+ runtime, depending on how you play. It also means that Three Houses ranks above its predecessors, including Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, which held the title for the longest entry in the series.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Average Length: 48 Hours
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an earnest attempt at balancing a compelling narrative with open-world gameplay while still checking all the boxes you expect from a Rockstar game. It fulfills its duty as a satisfying closure to the original game, while giving players a mesmerizing world to inhabit. Each activity is emphasized through long animations that are symbolic of Arthur Morgan’s character arc.
While this has some messy side effects, such as uncomfortably long animal-skinning sequences, some would argue they are central to the overall experience. When you also factor in the sheer scope of the game’s world and duration of the main story, it’s easy to see why Red Dead 2 demands nearly 50 hours of your time and patience.
Monster Hunter: World
Average Length: 50 Hours
It’s almost laughable to suggest Monster Hunter: World can be beaten at all, let alone in 50 hours, but it technically can if you’re only in it for the story and not the end-game grind.
The series has historically appealed to a much smaller niche until Capcom decided to focus on refining its notoriously obtuse gameplay systems to attract more players. Although some parts can still feel cumbersome and confusing at times, Monster Hunter: World does an excellent job of making you feel like you’re continually improving.
Whether it’s taking down a tougher version of a monster you’ve already fought or crafting more powerful gear, progression is measurable and visually represented.
But if you’re looking to get the best weapons and armor, you’re going to have to invest hundreds of hours. Of course, with the right group of friends and some useful mods, the entire ordeal can be a lot of fun. The Iceborne expansion adds an entirely new campaign, a bunch of never-before-seen monsters and an increased Master Rank rating.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Average Length: 50 Hours
Suggesting that anyone try to beat Breath of the Wild in less than 100 hours should be a criminal offense. That being said, the game gives you the option of taking on Calamity Ganon rather early in the game.
Assuming you stick to the beaten path as much as possible before deciding you’ve already seen and done enough and are ready to wrap things up, you can restore Hyrule to its former glory in 50 hours or less. Still, we definitely don’t recommend doing so, since this is arguably the best Nintendo game of this generation, going on to sell more copies than the Switch itself.
BOTW manages to update the Zelda formula while staying true to the series’ roots with references and easter eggs related to the older games. While you could easily spend hundreds of hours wandering around Hyrule’s massive environments, most of it can be avoided, meaning only the most curious players will stumble upon the game’s greatest secrets.
Average Length: 50 Hours
There may be no official ending in Stardew Valley, but some players have made the case that the game is pretty much done once you’ve fully restored the Community Center and received the highest farm rating from your Grandpa. You could also make the case that even in a video game, having kids is somehow still the ultimate goal.
If you’re a dedicated player, most of this can all be accomplished in about 50 hours, assuming this isn’t your first rodeo.
New players will need a lot more time to become acquainted with the game’s mechanics, find their own routines, and get to know the quirky citizens of Stardew Valley. It really offers a lot of flexibility in terms of how you choose to spend your days, so however you decide to play, just remember to have fun.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Average Length: 52 Hours
Although The Witcher 3’s main quest-line can be completed in roughly 50 hours, most players are going to need a lot more time to wander through the bustling cities, war-ravaged swamps, dense forests and sprawling caves that make up the open world known as The Continent.
This is because CD Projekt Red designed environments to encourage exploration by rewarding players for venturing off the beaten path and into the unknown.
Its uniquely designed locales and otherworldly beasts are further complemented by a cast of well-written characters and a gripping narrative centered on Geralt of Rivia, a for-hire monster hunter on a quest to find his adopted daughter and put an end to an evil force known as the Wild Hunt.
If you’re a fan of RPGs and big open worlds, The Witcher series is a great pick that’s sure to keep you hooked for hours.
Average Length: 58 Hours
Not many games manage to blend Lovecraftian horror with dungeon crawling as masterfully as Darkest Dungeon, a turn-based RPG that tasks players with recruiting and training a team of heroes as they traverse hellish environments littered with both physical and psychological dangers.
Featuring hand-drawn, gothic crow-quill visuals, the game presents a disturbing world filled with enough supernatural horrors to keep you busy for a long time. Each of the 16+ character classes included come equipped with special skills and flaws that can be combined in exciting ways and often lead to devastating outcomes for both party members and enemies.
Challenging turn-based battles are made more intense thanks to features like permadeath and an affliction system that assigns characters psychological debuffs such as paranoia, masochism, fear and irrationality.
Average Length: 60 Hours
Octopath Traveler is a turn-based RPG from Square Enix that stands out for its unique HD-2D aesthetic. In a nod to retro games, characters are represented by 2D sprites that are then set against highly detailed environments with special lighting and particle effects. Complementing the game’s distinct look is a lengthy 60-hour campaign spread across eight playable characters that come from wildly different walks of life.
As you get to know each adventurer, you’ll find yourself exploring the magical and dangerous lands of Orsterra, a massive continent brimming with diversity. Octopath Traveler features an engaging turn-based combat system that sees characters using special class-based abilities and talents. By the time credits roll, you’ll have grown fond of at least one adventurer whose experiences are part of a much bigger picture.
Divinity: Original Sin
Average Length: 68 Hours
Edging out its successor’s runtime by about 10 hours, Divinity: Original Sin is the kind of traditional fantasy RPG that we look forward to getting lost in over the course of a long winter break or summer vacation.
The game clocks in at 68 hours for modest playthroughs and sees you playing as two Source Hunters, members of an organization looking to save the world and get rid of a dangerous form of magic known as Source. While on a routine murder investigation, things quickly take a turn for the worst when you find the fate of Rivellon placed in your hands.
During your journey, you’ll encounter a diverse cast of party members who will lend you their unique skills in tactical turn-based battles. In addition to offering hours upon hours of readable lore and fully voiced dialogue, Divinity: Original Sin features a co-op mode that allows you to experience the entire game with a second player.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Average Length: 70 Hours
One of the best RPGs to have the unfortunate luck of being trapped in Nintendo’s Wii U console, Xenoblade Chronicles X has you playing as an original character who joins BLADE, an organization fighting to ensure humanity’s survival following Earth’s destruction.
After crash landing on a strange planet called Mira, you and your fellow survivors set out to explore Mira’s five continents amidst a war with an alien race known as the Ganglion. Xenoblade Chronicles X’s campaign takes place over the course of 14 chapters, including prologue and epilogue sections, in addition to a plethora of side missions that can easily extend its playtime beyond the suggested 70-hour runtime.
Although the game is considered a spin-off, it features many themes and references to older Xenoblade Chronicles games that longtime fans will instantly recognize.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Average Length: 80 Hours
It seems like the Total War series has been dominating the real-time strategy PC scene for as long as we can remember. And while Creative Assembly has released some lengthy entries in the past, such as Total War: Rome I & II, none are on the same level of scale and scope as 2019’s Three Kingdoms.
The game is set during the Three Kingdoms period in China lasting from 220-280 AD and you play as one of eleven rivaling factions tasked with defeating the remaining ones to become China’s new ruler.
Improvements to the game’s UI and enemy AI behavior make completing an estimated 80-hour campaign a lot less daunting than you’d expect. If you’re an RTS fan, chances are you’ll feel right at home handling your units and resources on the battlefield while increasing your influence across the land.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Average Length: 84 Hours
It may not be the most recent entry in the Nintendo social sim, but Animal Crossing: New Leaf retains the title as the longest game in the series. While there’s no official ending, completing all of the significant milestones and in-game events will run you about 80 hours and up, depending on how committed you are.
For some players, beating the game means getting a “Perfect Town” status, obtaining every badge, maxing out the catalog, obtaining every golden tool and fully upgrading your house. However, we like to keep things more open ended and suggest that the game is over when you feel satisfied with your town, and everything looks exactly how you imagined it.
Kerbal Space Program
Average Length: 100 Hours
Although sandbox-style games are notorious for not having a traditional ending or a proper way of “beating” the game, everyone has their own personal cap for wrapping things up.
For the average person playing space flight sim Kerbal Space Program, that time would be after about 100 hours. By then, they’ll likely have visited every planet, crafted a variety of ridiculous-looking spacecraft and filled in every tech tree.
That being said, Kerbal Space Program emphasizes setting your own goals using your imagination, which will significantly differ from player to player. Perhaps beating the game means visiting every planet in a single launch or bringing back a surface sample from Eve, or maybe it’s as simple as putting down the controller once you feel you’re getting bored.
Persona 5 Royal
Average Length: 106 Hours
As if Persona 5 wasn’t long enough, clocking in around 100 hours for most standard playthroughs, an enhanced version called Persona 5 Royal tacks on a few more hours of content.
This includes a brand-new character, Kasumi Yoshizawa, who joins the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. There’s also an additional palace to take on, an extended plot via a playable third semester, and a range of new social activities to search.
The result is a deeply engrossing RPG that will keep you hooked from start to finish, at which point you’ll likely have spent around 106 hours going to high school, clearing dungeons and shopping for the perfect gift to give to your crush. Since there are five different possible endings, you may even feel encouraged to undertake a second playthrough just to see what you may have missed.
Average Length: 120 Hours
While it’s possible to speed-run Minecraft’s main adventure in less than five minutes, the average player is going to need a lot more preparation before they take on the Ender Dragon and the Wither, the game’s two final bosses.
Keep in mind that this includes finding an exhaustive amount of crafting materials and using them to unlock new tools and tech trees, which will give you access to the best gear in the game.
Along the way, you’ll ultimately find yourself battling hostile mobs, getting lost at least once in the caves, and you’ll likely end up sidetracked as you try to build the perfect home. By the time you start feeling like you’ve seen and done all there is to do in Minecraft, chances are you’re more than ready to enter the End dimension and watch credits roll before returning to your home for more adventures.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Average Length: 120 Hours
Studio Wildcard’s survival sandbox ARK is best known for its multiplayer component, which can keep players busy for hundreds of hours. However, ARK: Survival Evolved also includes a single-player mode in which you’re free to explore the game’s open world without fear of enemy raiding.
This makes the whole experience a lot more toned down and provides the perfect opportunity to explore ARK’s story, which is told through Explorer notes spread across each map. Gathering up every note is no easy task since many of the locations put you face to face with fierce prehistoric creatures like Carnotauruses and packs of Raptors.
When combined with other milestones such as reaching the highest crafting tier and acquiring every tamable creature in the game, you’ll end up spending roughly 120 hours experiencing a majority of what ARK has to offer.
Farming Simulator 19
Average Length: 190 Hours
You may have noticed there’s a clear correlation between farming and lengthy video games. This is most evident by one of the longest entries on this list, Farming Simulator 19.
The game makes a couple of noteworthy changes to the long-running franchise, such as totally overhauling the game’s graphics engine and expanding its roster of included farming vehicles and machines based on leading real-world brands like John Deere and JCB.
However, what stands out most about Farming Simulator 2019 is its colossal Career Mode, which shows you the many ins and outs of managing a farm from the ground up. This entails completing a variety of daily tasks such as tending to livestock, planting and harvesting crops, and maintaining your farming equipment.
By the end, you’ll feel like a professional farmer ready to either sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor or dive even further by adding a wide selection of community-made mods.
Average Length: 9600 Hours
Last but certainly not least (in any sense of the word), we’ve arrived at The Longing, an adventure RPG currently available on Steam.
In it, you control a Shade, the last remaining servant of a king who was once powerful enough to lead an entire underground kingdom. However, in recent years, the king’s strength began to fade, causing him to enter a deep slumber lasting 400 days, at which point he’ll wake up with his power restored.
Your goal is to keep yourself busy while you await the king’s return, which will take about 9600 hours. Your options entail exploring a sprawling underground cave filled with collectibles to decorate your living quarters, reading an array of classic literature from an in-game library or simply returning once the 400 days are up.
Thankfully, the developers have made it so that The Longing’s countdown timer progresses whether or not you have the game open.