Many games leave a lasting impression and often warrant another playthrough or two. What if you could replay any game you've already beaten for the first time? Wouldn't it be something to revisit the best video game experience you've ever had? To experience that initial awe and wonder of being introduced to stellar gameplay mechanics, intriguing characters, and stunning worlds.
It's an idea worth contemplating as we explore grand adventures that would be wonderful to revisit as if we've never played them.
1. Final Fantasy XV
Wanting to revisit any Final Fantasy game would be no surprise, and something like Final Fantasy VII would probably be the obvious choice. However, it's hard not to get drawn to Square Enix's 2016 standout RPG, Final Fantasy XV. This particular game was an excellent gateway for those who have never played a Final Fantasy game, with an intuitive interface and characters worth getting to know. Despite the game's scope, there is something cozy about it as you spend so much time on what is essentially a road trip with friends. It's fun and refreshing, especially for a series that is often very heavy in its themes, and it would be a delight to jump into that convertible-topped Regalia for the first time again.
Final Fantasy XV was followed by DLC episodes, short anime series, and prequel movies, further enhancing the experience. There was a lot of media to consume, making it feel less like a solo gaming experience and more like an event.
2. Horizon Zero Dawn
The open world and beautiful design of Horizon Zero Dawn are reason enough for anyone to want to revisit Aloy's adventure. Fortunately, a second installment was released, giving players precisely what they were pining for—the chance to play Horizon Zero Dawn like it was their first time again.
3. Silent Hill 2
The emotional impact that Silent Hill 2 had on players during their first playthrough is enough to warrant wanting to wipe it from memory. There are so many shocking moments you don't know are coming, and that's the best way to play a survival horror game: blind to what awaits around the corner ahead.
4. Gears of War
Part horror game, part war shooter, Gears of War was a stroke of brilliance for the Xbox 360’s library. While it’s fun to play repeatedly, partly thanks to the co-op campaign, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the beautiful destruction or going up against a Berserker for the first time. They’re some of our favorite gaming memories, seared right into our brains. Gears of War was something special, and it would be a treat to dive into it again, not knowing what awaited as we pressed forward through the ruins of war.
5. Alan Wake 2
Alan Wake’s return to Bright Falls was as epic and emotionally draining as players could have wanted. Though some segments were slower than others, requiring a lot of patience from those just wanting to fight the shadowy Taken, we would gladly erase the experience from memory in a heartbeat if it meant playing it again with fresh eyes. “We Sing” and “Summoning” were two of the game’s strongest moments and a fantastic testament to the lengths true creativity can go.
6. Bioshock Infinite
The wonder and awe of BioShock Infinite would undoubtedly be worth revisiting, especially to be blown away by that crazy plot twist revealed mid-game. The BioShock series has always been big on its twists, and Infinite doubled down by tying the trilogy together.
The jumpscares, story, and characters made Bloodborne popular among players. Though it shared similarities to the Dark Souls series, the game stands on its own in its overall aesthetic. We'd love the opportunity to be introduced to Yharnam again for the first time, stumbling cluelessly across its many horrors like a babe in the woods.
8. Elden Ring
Is it a surprise that Elden Ring landed on this list? The switch to an open-world format separated Elden Ring from other FromSoftware titles, giving players free rein to roam and duke it out against horrifying, monstrous bosses as they saw fit. Elden Ring also had an element of surprise that kept it fresh, and being ignorant of those shocks is the only way to truly appreciate the experience.
9. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro was a special experience for many players. Its gritty story about a bond between two friends isn't as popular as other titles with similar playstyles but remains beloved by those who have enjoyed it. It's worth noting that this is the third game developed by FromSoftware on the list. The legendary studio has a legion of fans, and for good reason: their games rock!
While marketed as an adventure game, Subnautica had another element going for it: horror. The fear of the unknown and the mystery of the planet where the story was set made this game noteworthy for players and exploring the underwater world for the first time was a thrill.
11. Dragon Age: Inquisition
The beautiful setting, endless customization, and limitless story options made Dragon Age: Inquisition a standout. Fortunately, those who wish to experience it for the first time again are in luck: thanks to the different paths you can take, the storyline will change every time you play.
12 Detroit: Become Human
Some may call this RPG “life-changing.” Others may say that if they could only play one game for the rest of their life, they'd choose this one. The heartbreaking story mixed with stunning visuals makes this PlayStation exclusive stand out.
This tumultuous tale about living through loss is enough to make any player cry. An evocative, powerful story about navigating the stages of grief can be a valuable tool to help its players heal in their own journeys.
14. Jedi: Fallen Order
Most Star Wars fans likely wish they could re-indulge in the franchise for the first time, but Jedi: Fallen Order is a standout pick. Players who went in blind were stunned by the twists and turns in the storyline.
15. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
In the third installment of The Witcher series, the Wild Hunt is on the prowl for something the titular Witcher, Geralt, holds dear. You need to track down a child who will fulfill a prophecy and who can either save or destroy the world, all the while duking it out with monsters of all shapes and sizes. The adventure is epic, and it would be wonderful to experience it again for the first time.
16. Outer Wilds
Many fans have raved about how mesmerizing the critical darling Outer Wilds is. The game is an open-world mystery about a solar system that's trapped in an endless time loop, and you have to figure out the mysteries that surround it.
17. Hollow Knight
This 2017 video game is set in a fading town where an ancient kingdom sleeps. As you play the game as Knight, you'll travel down to find adventure. This game is beautiful, and a game people have loved playing for the past few years.