The 10 Most Addictive Video Games Of All Time, According To Ranker

For video game fans, there is something special about a title that draws the gamer in and keeps them coming back again and again. Since the first The Legend of Zelda for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimsome games stand out in video game history for this reason.

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Across all game genres and throughout the history of gaming, certain titles have become incredibly popular because their addiction means most gamers can’t help but spend tons of hours enjoying them. For players of private soldierthese are the games for which this is most true.

ten Mario Kart 64 (1996)

Screenshot of Mario Kart 64

The first true 3D Mario Kart game and the first to support 4-player multiplayer racing, Mario Kart 64 became an instant classic in 1996. Although there are better Mario Kart games, the N64 edition of the series is the one most remembered for its simple and addictive fun.

When it comes to creating addiction, nothing is more important than having precise and intuitive controls, and, for a game as old as it is, Mario Kart 64 more than manages to deliver on this. With new characters and fun new tracks to boot, Mario Kart 64 is an incredibly easy game to love.

9 Super Mario 64 (1996)

Super Mario 64 jumps away from Chain Chomp

Well over 20 years after Mario’s large-scale 3D platforming debut, Super Mario 64 remains one of the best Mario games to play. Although aspects of the title, like the unwieldy camera, mean it’s aged a lot, the range of acrobatic movement it gives Mario means it’s still a joy to control.

Super Mario 64 is a game instantly associated with the Nintendo 64 era and its iconic status has a lot to do with it. For many players, Super Mario 64 was the first realization of how addictive 3D platforming could be and hasn’t been surpassed since, even with huge newer titles like Super Mario Odyssey.


8 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

Although many fans are excited for the upcoming breath of the wild sequel of which little is known yet, there are aspects of previous games that it will have a difficult task to live up to. In the case of Ocarina of timethe memorable story, the small but fun world to explore, the well-designed dungeons, and the tricky little puzzles gave it a kind of addictive thrill that the series has rarely done so well since.

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Although relatively short by the standards of new The Legend of Zelda games and doesn’t have a ton of replayability or post-game content, Ocarina of time is a great value for the content it gives. In the case of Ocarina of time, its compactness is its strength and only helps it feel more fun to play.

7 The Legend of Zelda (1986)

The Legend of Zelda 1 NES title screen

Given the limitations of the Super Nintendo console for which it was designed, The Legend of Zelda punched way above its weight when it was first released in the mid-80s. Although it may seem archaic, simplicity is key when it comes to addictive and The Legend of Zelda is one of the best examples.

By exploring the world, beating dungeons and enemies, and earning pieces of the triforce, the gameplay concept was incredibly simple. Despite this, the title is by no means easy, forcing the player to explore deep and think abstractly at times in order to keep the game moving. The challenge level also helps bring the player back in time.

6 Minecraft (2011)

Proving that detailed graphics and clear direction are not at all necessary to produce an incredibly popular and replayable game, Minecraft definitely deserves to be considered among the most addictive games. Although it was created by a small team around the simple concept of breaking things down and building things, no game has sold more copies than Minecraft.

The advantage of not having a story to drive the gameplay is that there is freedom to Minecraft allowing the player to set their own goals. As a result, the motivation to spend more time playing becomes all the higher and it becomes easy to waste countless hours playing. Add to that the ability to play with friends online and it’s easy to see why. the game was so successful.

5 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)

GTA San Andreas Trilogy CJ Arcade logo

Rockstar Games took off with the series’ fifth mainline entry in 2004, launching grand theft auto san andreas critical acclaim as well as some controversy. Incorporating mechanics that would come to define the series in later years, including a huge open world with an absurd amount of things to do, San Andreas is still one of the franchise’s most memorable games.

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The game’s violence may have been the source of some concern in the mid-2000s, but it also means tons of action-packed fun and that freedom to do almost anything is something the Grand Theft Auto series has always been known for. San Andreas may have been overshadowed by its even more expansive sequels, but its easy-to-handle qualities still shine through.

4 Super Smash Bros. (1999)

Cover of the original Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64

Spawning a series that produced some of the best fighting games ever made, Super Smash Bros. defined the local multiplayer experience in the late 90s. When it comes to games to waste hours playing with friends, it’s hard to think of which ones match this arcade-style fighting game that has brought together characters from the Nintendo world.

Super Smash Bros. doesn’t need a huge roster to impress, though, as each of the characters has a kit with depth and personality that means picking randomly can lead to even more fun. By emphasizing this, Super Smash Bros. was able to outperform even more technical fighting games.

3 World of Warcraft (2004)

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The MMORPG gaming experience can seem frustrating and inaccessible to newcomers, with a daunting level of complexity and many genre-specific terms, so it’s even more impressive than World of Warcraft has managed to win so many players over its huge lifespan. With a highly anticipated new expansion called World of Warcraft: Dragonflight on the way there is a chance for the game to capture even more fans.

For those who give the game a chance, World of Warcraft rewards the player with the best MMORPG experience and is even surprisingly newcomer friendly. The only downside is how time-consuming the game can be for players who jump into it.

2 Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

the original Super Mario Bros. may be more popular and Super Mario World may be more polite, but there is something about Super Mario Bros. 3 this makes it stick in the memory of anyone who has played the iconic 2D platformer. With charming music, intuitive controls, and smart level design, Super Mario Bros. 3 hits all the right notes.

Not only that, but the game also introduced a ton of characters and mechanics that have become synonymous with the Mario franchise. Whether it’s navigating treacherous airships or hovering over hapless enemies with the Tanooki Suit power-up, Super Mario Bros. 3 is always a pleasure to play.

1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

Box art for Skyrim Anniversary Edition

Genres that lend themselves to simple, memorable game models like platformers are generally considered the most addictive, but there’s also something about well-made, story-based fantasy games that means they can be just as captivating. Skyrim is the best example of this as it continues to be re-released to the delight of gamers on the latest generation of consoles.

Skyrim encourages the player to explore and fully immerse themselves in the game world. In Skyrim more than almost any other title, the player can spend countless hours without advancing any central plot and still feel satisfied. It’s easy to see why Skyrim is considered the most addictive game of all time by Ranker players.

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Carolyn M. Daniel