When do you consider a game to be properly “played”?

Recently I’ve been browsing through my shelves and finding games that I don’t think I played them enough to rate them accurately. The cases I’m specifically referring to are:

  • Party games that I’ve only played quick matches with my friends, like Mario Kart/Party or CTR.

  • Multiplayer games that I played only a couple of matches before losing interest, or with a low population so it’s difficult to play a match like it was intended, most older Valve games are here.

  • Or a similar case, I used to play a lot of COD 4&5, but only for the multiplayer, I never touched the campaign.

  • Games that I played when I was very young but didn’t stick with me enough to cause nostalgia, so they’re harder to remember.

  • Even very short games (under 1 hour), that go by too quick for me to assess the experiences

  • Or the opposite, games without an ending, like infinite runners.

  • Or just games that were too hard or uninteresting for me, so I just ended up quitting halfway or a quarter of the way through.

So I decided to ask others, when do you consider a game as “played”? (Besides reaching the credits).


Personally I marked games played when I have played them any amount. Doesn’t matter if I have played them for 30 minutes or 300 hours. I struggled with the same issue you did some time ago, but when I switched to the mentality of “well, I did play it even for a bit” it made my life so much easier. I have separate shelves for amount of completion such as “Played: Finished” (when I have seen the credits), “Played: 100%”, “Played: Never ending”, and “Played: Dropped”. Exactly when I mark things or remove them from my Playing shelf is a bit random.

I use Grouvee to log my experiences with things, and if a game made me want to turn if off after 30 minutes for whatever reason, then that was my experience. Doesn’t matter if it was because of the game or because of external factors. Same goes for me with rating things; if I feel like I had an experience I want to rate then I rate it. Doesn’t matter if I completed the game, dropped it after an hour, watched a let’s play. I am not personally a fan the “you need to have a valid experience set by these arbitrary allegedly objective rules to rate something”-mentality – it’s simply not fun.


I find ironic how I used to have the same mentality as you do now, but I’m currently switching to the mentality you had before.

Adding every single game I came in contact with honestly feel like I’m bloating my shelves with unnecessary stuff just for the sake of saying that I played a lot of games.

I also use Grouvee to log my experiences, but in those particular cases, I don’t feel like I actually experienced them.

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For most games, with a story, I consider them finished when their credits roll. For multiplayer/party/infinite runners, its usually when I feel that I’ve experienced most of what that game has to offer. You do raise a goodpoint about games that were too hard or uninteresting to me, for those I would classify them as played but make sure that I note the reason why I haven’t finished them fully.


I suppose I don’t see it as bloating as long as I have a way of distinguishing and searching, which is why I have the additional shelves. I don’t look at my Played shelf and think “look at how many games I have played” but more “look at how many games I’ve been in contact with”. Also have “Played: 2020” and so on so I can at the end of the year see what I played that year. Whether or not I finished them isn’t too me all that interesting at a glance (but I can always find that info in other ways), but I suppose that’s because I play fewer games than I used to so the lists aren’t that long. I also log my time with things with “journal entries” (Feature suggestion: Gaming diary) that I can read.

I have always been a bit of a data hoarder; I would rather have too much than too little and find ways to organise and search. It would be a shame to me if I tried something out, spent an hour of my life on something, and didn’t in any way log that I did so, and Played seems like the natural choice there. But there are lots of different ways of using a service like this, you just have to find a way that gives you something of value :slight_smile:


That’d be my ideal way of sorting games, I only have problems with the sorting of a handful of games that don’t fit that criteria. Maybe I need to stick more with games, but with so many things to play, I tend to jump ship the moment I get bored.

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I see what you mean. That’d be an intersting way of sorting my shelves, but honestly I don’t think I have the mental power to organize every single entry in categories. I like being organized but I have a more minimalistic approach to the whole thing.

That said I really like your way of doing things, I wouldn’t do it myself but is very cool to see. A shelf for your top game of every year is a great idea, I might have to copy that lol.

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I don’t seem to play games nearly as often as most of the other people here on Grouvee, but I can throw in my two cents: I have two main ‘DNF’ style shelves I put games on when they fall into the same uncertain area you’re describing, ‘Incomplete’ and ‘Continuous’. Games on my ‘Incomplete’ shelf are anything I’ve played a bit of and stopped (either gave up on or intend to get back to later - the classic Goodreads-syle DNF). Games on my ‘Continuous’ shelf are ‘infinite’ games, mostly phone games since I don’t play multiplayers.

Obviously a lot of this categorization is subjective. Since I don’t leave reviews often I don’t feel like I need to ‘properly assess’ my experience with the games; I just throw them onto my Played shelf once I have beat the main ‘goal’ of the game, or if I feel satisfied I got what I could out of the game and am moving on. If not, then onto my Incomplete shelf they go.

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That might be a good way of sorting but I can see it becoming very overwhelming with a large amount of games.

I also don’t review games usually, but I still want to give them a fair shot and assess them properly. It might be a bit corny, but sometimes it feels like I’m not respecting the developer’s efforts if I don’t. Very dumb if I really think about it, but I feel like that lol

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I typically add them [to “played” list] after defeating the final boss/credits [when applicable]

I started my list from scratch earlier this year

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I know this topic has already been sufficiently tackled by previous responses, but if I may inject my two cents as well. I would consider something properly “played” if I have either:

  • Experienced the vast amount of content available to me that the game provides.
  • Played to the point where I no longer enjoy myself (whether that is 5 minutes or 500 hours into the game, it doesn’t really matter.
  • Played enough to realize that it is either not for me, or has lost the luster that grabbed me in the first place (not necessarily due to boredom).

Honestly, the notion of finishing a game or having played enough is so subjective to me, that it is truly on a case by case basis game wise. I have and continuously try to play games from a wide variety of genres but at the end of the day I also understand that there are just some genres that don’t interest me as much (sports games I am looking your way). I try to be as fair as possible when dipping back into the genres that don’t glimmer as much as others, but that also means to reserve writing an essay-long review for a game that I feel I have truly delved into more. I cannot say I have done that for a lot of sports games in quite some time with my last true foray being, NCAA 2007.


Really interesting question. I’d say when you have finished about two thirds of a game, it’s unlikely that the last third will change your opinion of it, so that’s what I consider ‘played’.

There are exceptions, of course. E.g. Mordheim: when I was playing my second campaign (out of six), I realized that each campaign is always more or less the same story, only told from different angles. Which I find pretty neat, but after finishing the 2nd campaign I had the feeling I had gotten enough out of this game and considered it ‘played’.

Endless runners are a different case. Have I actually, really played Canabalt? I guess I’ll be able to say that once I’ve made a real effort and invested an hour or two to achieve a new personal best. (That being said, I just checked and found I’ve already added it to my ‘Played’ shelf :sweat_smile:)


Yeah I agree, I think that I’m trying to go back to the days where I’d play a game several times before calling it “played”, but in those days I also played like 4 games a year so it think I’m enjoying myself more now.

I ended up making a shelf just for games I came in contact with, but I don’t feel like I’d played them enough to form an opinion about them. Kinda silly, but it does put the OCD portion of my brain to rest


Interesting. I’d go as far as to say that finishing 1/3 of the game is usually a sweet spot to form an opinion about it in most cases (specially linear or arcade-like games). Most games don’t change after that and just keep building on the foundation settled by that first third of game, so if you don’t like that you aren’t going to like the rest. Of course I’d also say that, if you at least tolerate the game, try to finish it, just in case. That’s how I see it at least.

I think the ones that elude this rule are long RPG where they keep adding mechanics 10 hours-in or fighting games where you might unlock a character that you enjoy playing more.

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I put every game I touched in the Played shelf, after that, I put the game in at least 2 other shelves I created: the year I played and the state of Completition: Completed, abandoned, played for some matches (multiplayer focused games, or brawlers, or party-sports games), or watched a longplay. it’s a bit of work to start with, especially if you have a large library, but it becomes simplier and simplier when you get into this mindset


Aren’t there any games in which a plot twist towards the end makes you reassess the whole game? For instance, while not the perfect example, my appreciation of Warcraft III definitely increased when Arthas turned evil.

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Man, that’s sounds like an insane amount of work. I don’t even remember the playthroughs I watched. I imagine organization like that must take a lot from you. I think I prefer a more minimalistic approach, without having to change the fundamental structure of the shelves.

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Without counting the prologue, that part of the story happens at the end of the first campaign, still around 1/3~1/4 into the game, so I guess my point still stands. That said it’s a good exception to my rule, since 2/4 races play fundamentally different from the rest and someone who didn’t enjoy he first two might have fun with them later on. But someone who just doesn’t enjoy RTS might decide to quit at that point and watch the rest on YouTube if they are interested in the story but not the gameplay.

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I put games in the “played” shelf once I’m happy with the amount of time I’ve played it. For most games, this means beating the game. For multiplayer games like Mario Kart, it’s usually several hours in, after the novelty/excitement wears off or after I’ve become proficient at it.

Then there’s the games I have full intentions of beating, but they end up not being fun for me. I still usually try to beat them in most cases, but there’s been some games where I seriously had to consider whether the time investment was worth it when I have so many unplayed games in my backlog. If I determine the game is not worth playing any longer, I mark it as “played” and I move on to the next.


OK, here’s a good example: Hatoful Boyfriend. It’s one of those visual novels where you have multiple endings, and when you have reached a certain number of them, you unlock a continuation of the story that goes on for really long, and sheds new light on everything that happened before. It’s almost like an entire new game. So when someone claims to have “played” (or even “finished”) Hatoful Boyfriend, it’s worth asking: have you really? Up to which point?