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What makes a great game?

What makes a great game?

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Bibarel's adorable.
Graphics: As long as the game's good, I could care less.

Gameplay: Of coarse, the optimum word of a videogame. You can have graphics, musics, even a character roster entirely composed of anthropomorphic animals, and still have a crappy game thanks to bad gameplay.

Puzzles: Puzzles make good challenges in the game, which can be good, but if their too easy, it doesn't add much.

Characters: Even the characters matter to me. I will usually have more fun with a game if it stars an animal or a dragon or something cool than if it stars a human.

Action: Keeping the action varied and diverse is key to making good gameplay.

Guns: Keep them out of the game entirely and it will already be fun.

Customization: Oh man, this is my favorite part of the game, and I'm slapping myself for not selecting it. I ALWAYS liked to customize. Making your own characters or monsters, or even your own game is always a blast. ...But again, if you can only customize a human, it's not as fun. (Note: Nothing against humans, it's just that in games, I have more fun playing as something that I'm not already.)

Hidden Secrets/Achievemnets: You need to have unlockables, they add to the longevity of a game.

Music: Even the MUSIC is important. If you don't have a good soundtrack backing up the game, the game could be less fun. Some of these things are why I will always prefer Sonic to Mario, especially here. Sonic has always had great, catchy tunes while Mario has always had tunes that get on my last nerve.


Well-Known Member
Though everything on that list (sans guns) is good to have, I only voted gameplay because it's the most important. For example, I just got the original Legend of Zelda on the Wii's Virtual Console. I wasn't even alive during the NES era, so I thought the game would feel pretty outdated. The 8-bit graphics might be an eyesore, the game might be boring, etc. But the gameplay, after all these years, is still fun, making it a good game.


Wielding Übersaw.
Games with characters that have definable personalities are uncompromisingly rare, but they add a great deal to a game. When you find yourself wanting to talk to a certain character just to hear what they have to say about a situation, you know you have a good character.

I think non-linearity is important. It makes the game feel more real and less like a box.

Music and graphics really don't matter a great deal, graphics less of the two. Music helps you get into the game, and if it's really good, you'll associate pleasurable feelings with it and that will make you want to play the game even more. Graphics don't need to be "good", persay, but it's all the better if they look at least presentable.


It depends, because there are different types of games. There are games like Call of Duty and then there are games like Pokemon. But anyway, a great game would have a good story, characters, online gaming capabilities, and something to keep the replay value high.

1000th post!


Well-Known Member
Replay value. I love being able to beat a game and go straight back to it a day later.
Also, creativity with the characters. I don't really enjoy games that just feature human beings as the characters. The main games I usually play have animals (or made up animals) as the main characters. Music and obviously the gameplay is important as well.


Angry Subway Employee ~Eat Fresh~
Focus on the gameplay all the time, THEN worry about the rest later.
Graphics: As long as the game's good, I could care less.

I think you mean "I could not care less." This one always gets me, so uh.

Guns: Keep them out of the game entirely and it will already be fun.

It is fully possible to have a game that's fun and uses firearms. Many do skirt a fine line, though.

An important thing I forgot: Controls. The controls have to be good. I'm not going to start an arrows vs. WASD debate, suffice to say that the arrows seem more natural to me than WASD. I can still play WASD, but I'd like to be able to use the arrows if possible. This was one of my problems with BioShock V1.0 -- it didn't seem willing to let me bind movement to the arrow keys. Rule of Rose is an even better example; the controls were clumsy as hell, which was sad, because it was a game with an at least above-par storyline and concept that became hard to play because of the controls.


Depends on the genre really. My top 5 games of all time are from 4 different genres and I like each for different reasons. What they all have in common is an incredible plot, so I guess the plot & characters tend to be what makes me love a game instead of like it.

But really, from music to gameplay to graphics all have their roles. People that select only one feature are those that play mostly games of one genre I think. I play almost all kinds of games so maybe that's why can't single out one thing as the definite most important factor.


Its all 100% game play to me.

Everything else just contributes to the gameplay.

If a game is fun, then its fun, who cares about the rest


Not really, no.
Its all 100% game play to me.

Everything else just contributes to the gameplay.

If a game is fun, then its fun, who cares about the rest

How woefully uninformative.

Anyway, I'd prefer for my games to have amazing soundtracks, first and foremost. Good graphics are optional, though I'd prefer that they have a unique art style rather than just going for general realism. Gameplay must be solid, otherwise, I won't bother; what would be the point in playing it?

The story could be about a pile of dog crap for all I care; I generally don't pay attention to stories in video games. It's not that I don't appreciate a good one, but it's easily the least important aspect to me.
For me its:
-Storyline - Give me an objective. Tell me a story, let me figure things out.
-Characters - Have some emotion, some quirks, something to make me like you or dislike you.
-Environment - How do I feel about being here, where exactly am I and does it feel like this is a good setting for the story.
-Immersion - Can I get deeply involved in this game, and does it really get me thinking
-Gameplay - Can I move around and do what I need to do in a manner that won't make me want to hurt people.
-Everything else

In that order. A game doesn't need to look pretty to be good, and it doesn't have to have guns, action, or anything like that to be good.


The bare minimum for a great game is gameplay. All of the other choices on your poll can only add to the experience.

Well every other factor makes up the quality of gameplay if you think about it.

I voted for puzzles. Easy games are easy, and rarely fun. A game with some good ol' puzzles to give us a challenge are always welcome.


-Good Graphics
-Good Art Direction and Design, something that's creative
-Simple mechanics for my simple mind
-Again, good controls
-Something that's gripping
I chose other... it would have been all of the above but I do not find Guns or puzzles to be neccesary in every good game... or even customisation or acheivements.

TL;DR - I like nice visuals, good characters, nice music, good gameplay, bit of challenge, bit of extras all they have to do is come together well to make a good game.
Dislike co-op.

What I like in a good game and what I find to be included in a good game is:
- Good storyline that may be as simple as a spyro game or as in depth as a final fantasy.

- Good characters and character development, even the bad guys have a good character. Not all games have characters, some use them for small purposes and aren't meant to be key to the game enjoyment but for games that rely on story and whatnot, good characterisation is very important.

- The characters you love to hate... Tingle, as much as I despise him he makes the game a little more interesting and makes a talking point.

- Gameplay, I like my controls to be sharp and fluid with a good sensitivty so i'm not hammering on the buttons or making sily mistakes which cause the character to miss or die. The bike in the 5th gen pokemon games for example is a bit too sensitive when you need to move one square.

- Nice visuals, i'm not one to disregard a game for it's graphical quality, most of my favourites are from the 90s but as long as the visuals are really nice and fit the game then that's a major plus for me.

- Challenge, whether it be brain wraking puzzles from prof Layton, simpler yet still annoying puzzles from Zelda or the insanely simple ones from pokemon, theyall make you think. Not just the puzzles you're thinking of either, figuring out how to slay a boss is a pizzle in itself. Of course I said not all good games have puzzles... and they don't but I like them most of the time.

- Sound, having decent sound effects and nice music are another plus, even if after a while I turn the sound down on my DS, I like the option to do so.

Little extras such as acheivements, rare wow pets and shiny pokemon add a little something to games and they are welcome, as long as they are completally optional.

Mini-games in games that have them are usually good... however sometmes there are too many and as with co-op and achievements they shouldn't interfere with the main story too much or for too long. When they are thrown intoyour face and you HAVE to do them to progress it is very annoying, but only if you get that situation a lot. Breath of fire IV is very bad for it.

The thing I don't want in a good game is to have parts of it be co-op only. Now while I enjoy trading on this site the game itself doesn't need it to be enjoyed. Once the trade is done you have the pokemon and you can do what you wish with it. When battling you rely on yourself unless it's a double.

However a game that I really enjoy is World of Warcraft and I know a big thing in it is the co-op between people but for me playing a game is an escape and having to rely on other people and having other people rely on me takes a bit of that away. Yet to get the best content and actually beat the end game bosses you HAVE to play with other people, it's something I took on board before beginning and even though i'm frustrated at the amount of things I cannot do myself it's still a great game.

It wouldn't be that much of a problem if all my friends who play it are on different servers/factions.

Oh the other thing I find in a good game is that it used a hand held mechanism to play, specifically a controller. none of this kinect rubbish and even the wii motes do my head in. I play to chill and use my brain, not use my arms and legs. Sorry but I am lazy like that.

Sometimes you get the little exceptions which are so bad they're good or so simple yet addictive... like bejewled or QWOP :p terrible visually yet still fun.

Night Shadow

Well every other factor makes up the quality of gameplay if you think about it.

Not necessarily, I could turn off the volume on a game and still enjoy it. Besides, think about really old games like Super Mario Bros. While that game may have been a 10 back in the day, it certainly isn't up to modern standards, yet it's still enjoyable. The graphics are bad compared to our era, the characters have no personality, no achievements, etc. But the game is still good because of it's gameplay.


Espurr will HM01 you
First of all, nice idea for a thread/good topic of discussion/poll.

Second: Anyone with half a mind selected "All of the Above" but the three most important to me are: (in this order) Gameplay, by far. Customization, though not a close second. Thirdly, Hidden Secrets/Achievements as I LOVE seeing those in games, probably why I enjoy Xbox 360 over Wii most of the time.