Most (and Least) Time Consuming Game Genres

Time… When you’re a young adult like me, with a full-time job and other responsibilities, it’s quite hard to find time to play video games, which is a pity because I love them. It’s become such a valuable commodity for many of us that we base our daily activities around how much time we have to spare. I’m sure we’ve all had to cut something out of our daily routine because there’s not enough time. This list is designed to show you which game genres take the most time to play through, starting with the least.

 Consuming Game Genres

1. Platformers

When I think of platformers, I think of Super Mario World, Kirby, and Mega Man. These games are typically broken down into individual levels or stages that you must complete. Often, you are allowed to save your game after a set, meaning that you can shut it off afterward if you are out of time. Also, these types of games are fairly short. Megan can beat Super Mario World in just a couple of hours, whereas I… I’ll get back to you on that.


2. Third-person Shooter/Action

We go from cutesy-looking character sprites to hardcore action and destruction. For this genre, I’m thinking of examples like Max Payne and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed to give you an idea. These games are also broken down into stages commonly referred to as “missions,” they’re usually longer than your typical Mega Man stage. They’re almost always action-packed, so it can be easy to lose track of time. Luckily, these games are also fairly short. You can get through Max Payne 3 in an eight-hour day if you’re skilled like anyone but me.

3. Turn-based Strategy games

There are SO many different types of strategy games. It’s such a popular genre, but I’m thinking of games like Disgaea, Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and Gungnir for this entry. In these sorts of games, you control a party of characters, Eli, minute enemy forces, and usually meet some conditions during battle. Typically, you retain all your feelings; then, the enemy gets to make their move. Games in this genre can be pretty lengthy and take up several hours of your time if you’re not careful.

4. Real-time Strategy games

The next type of strategy game on the list is the Real-time strategy. For this genre, picture games such as Age of Empires and Starcraft. You must build up your forces in these games by collecting resources and upgrading units. This genre ranks higher than the turn-based strategy because while some battles may be short, others can take several hours if you evenly match forces with the enemy. This can make it a very time-consuming game genre.

5. Turn-based RPG / J-RPG

For this genre, I’m turning to one of the most well-known turn-based RPG series to date: Final Fantasy. You knew it was coming, didn’t you? As soon as you saw the title, your mind immediately thought of Final Fantasy. These games have a very in-depth storyline and can often span multiple CDs/DVDs worth of content, containing hours upon hours of gameplay. The average playtime of a turn-based RPG can be between 18 and 36 hours, and even the cut scenes of these games can be lengthy. So before you pick up one of these games, ensure nothing else is planned for the day. Now, you may ask, “If these games are so long, why aren’t they higher on the list?” Well, keep reading, my friend.

6. Epic RPGs / Action RPGs

Do the titles “Skyrim” and “Fallout 3” ring a bell? Yes, these little gems are notorious for being long games, and for a good reason. You have vast worlds to explore, epic quests to complete, and many game people to talk to. These games give you a lot to do and keep you busy, so losing track of time is straightforward. The other day, I picked up Skyrim to record some gameplay, and *poof*, 3 hours were gone. These games are entertaining but can take up many days worth of precious time. I’ve logged about 160 hours in Skyrim so far, though that pales in comparison to some people. Surely, this is one of the most time-consuming genres, but there’s one more on the list…


For the maybe 7 of you who don’t know, MMORPG stands for “Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.” We don’t call it that, though, because it takes up precious time we could spend playing games. So, we call them MMORPGs for short. World of Warcraft, I’m lookin’ at you. Games like these are often pay-to-play, meaning you pay a monthly fee to keep playing. This genre is the most time-consuming game genre because people have lost jobs and spouses due to how immersive the games can be. You can spend countless hours on these games and may even become addicted if you don’t moderate how much time you spend on them. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not one of those who try to get MMORPGs banned because of how addictive they can be. I happened to spend a lot of time playing Guild Wars and enjoyed it. Just don’t let them take control of your life because they will.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.