There are some games we never quite finish. Maybe it's a favorite platformer from when you were growing up; or a competitive game you just can't quit. Either way, some games just stay with us throughout our lives.
In this week's Community Question we want to hear about those games. The question is: "What game do you play at least once per year?"
As always, we go to the USgamer staff first, who share some of the games that they return to immediately. Make sure to share yours in the comments!
I missed my window last year, but Star Fox 64 is generally an annual tradition in this household. In my mind it's the perfect shoot 'em up: a wildly entertaining arcade game that takes an hour at most to beat, but features a huge number of routes and secrets. As such, every single playthrough feels like a brand new adventure. Star Fox 64 also really holds up. Area 6 is just amazing—an incredible setpiece space battle with a boss battle that is still legitimately cool even today. The battle on Katina is still a blast, even if its connection to Independence Day is lost to history in many ways. Sector Y is a delightful tribute to Mobile Suit Gundam that I didn't truly appreciate until just a few years ago. Seriously, Star Fox 64 is the greatest, and I will happily buy an N64 Mini just to play it with a proper controller. But ya know, if Nintendo wanted to make eShop-exclusive sequel for Switch, I certainly wouldn't complain.
My answer to this used to be Metroid: Zero Mission, up until I moved to New York and left my DS Lite behind on the West Coast. While Super Metroid might be my favorite of the series, Zero Mission is the one I definitely had drilled-down the most. I was never speedrunner-level good at it, but I was speedy enough that I could dust off the cartridge once a year, start a game, and have it finished in under two hours. I think that's the perfect kind of game to revisit on a yearly basis—one that'll only demand as much time from you as rewatching a favorite movie.
When something particularly bad happens—and let's be honest, something particularly bad happens to all of us at least once a year—I return to Secret of Mana. It's such a soothing game; even its colors make me feel calmer when things are rough. Its soundtrack is also great balm for a chapped soul, and the repetitive nature of the combat lets my mind drift. Secret of Mana has been there for me for over 25 years, and I hope I can continue to count on it when the chips are down.
I don't really replay games like I used to. Who has the time in this biz? However, right now I'm replaying Final Fantasy 7 ahead of the remake. I'm totally cheating though. I got bored of the combat (again) five hours in, so I turned on auto-Limits. I am so thankful the port has that and three-times speed. It's made the adventure much more worthwhile.