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The 10 most addictive games

- December 22nd, 2011

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You might as well face it, you’re addicted to games.

According to press release issued by Gamasutra in partnership with GamePress, 63% of gamers surveyed said they feel “addicted” to gaming, 42% admitted they often missed out on social events in the name of leveling up and 82% said they regularly missed out on sleep because of video games.

There are, admittedly, worse things to lose sleep over than enjoying a favourite pastime, but as someone whose been stood up for a date because of Everquest, I beg of you, don’t do that. It’s douchey.

Here are the 10 console games respondents said they were most addicted to. I’m a bit bummed that machine-gun toting bros beat out dragon-slaying nerds for the top spot, but it warms the cockles of my heart to learn that Tetris is still ruining people’s friendships and health after 27 years.

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 73% of gamers who said they’d played said they felt ‘addicted’ to it
  2. Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V – 70%
  3. Halo 3 – 68%
  4. Final Fantasy VII – 63%
  5. Grand Theft Auto IV – 58%
  6. Oblivion: The Elder Scrolls IV – 56%
  7. The Sims – 55%
  8. Red Dead Redemption – 46%
  9. FIFA 2012 – 42%
  10. Tetris – 39%

So what games can’t you live without?

[Editor's Note: If you enjoyed this post, there's plenty more where that came from. Check out our video game content on the Button Mashers blog.]

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29 comments

  1. BobFrantic | January 4, 2012 at 3:12 am

    The “Descent” series was a favorite of mine, especially “Descent II” just good clean fun and adictive. Would still play it but it runs not so well on Win 7… Oh well, still got Tetris LOL…

  2. KR | January 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

    God of War

  3. k8ee | January 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Mass Effect 1 and 2. Can’t stop playing them, have played them through to completion dozens of times… Every game I’ve played since ME2 has been a disappointment and not nearly as engaging. I can’t wait for Mass Effect 3 to come out!

  4. grndmstrsrs | January 4, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Fallout 3 – Hands down one of the most addictive games of all time!

  5. Sheena Goodyear | January 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I still haven’t played them, but they are next on my list after Dragon Age II. I am very much expecting to be entranced.

  6. ObscureNameHere | January 4, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Nothing from “Civilization” series? List fail.

  7. Jer | January 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

    STARCRAFT – Can’t believe this game is not on the list.
    ASSASINS CREED – Not surprised it’s not on the list, but those that know it, are all addicts.

  8. brandon | January 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

    How is world of warcraft not on this list 7 years old and still over 10 million current players

  9. Sheena Goodyear | January 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I was really surprised more MMORPGs didn’t make the list. If it was a larger-scale survey, I’d bet you’d see more of that.

  10. Dwano | January 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

    People that are playing MMORPGs are most likely playing the games rather than responding to/reading this page or participating in surveys.
    Just sayin…..

  11. Stee | January 4, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Agreed on the point about MMORPG’s. I lost 5 years of my life to Dark Age of Camelot – the successor to Everquest and predecessor to WoW.

    I’d still play it if they still had the same servers online.

    …and how about solitaire ? I’d love to see the metrics on time wasted playing games at work

  12. Sheena Goodyear | January 4, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Is Solitaire addictive? I always thought it was more of a game played out of sheer boredom, rather than one you were compelled to play.

  13. brandon | January 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    ive personally played seriously most of the games on this list and nothing even compares to WOW or before that for me diablo 2. I finished everything to do in every FF game all the way up to 13 and any game that has a identifiable end point i cannot consider for this list. Blizzard has a solid handle on my video game life lol

  14. Hype | January 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Yes.. Very surprised that WOW and Civ are not this list.
    While I have sunk many a night into those two games, one game that find myself coming back to constantly is Team Fortress 2. Balanced as all can be and such a rewarding game when a team comes together. The game has been out for years and still has a very strong base too.

    Sheena, as for Mass Effect, do yourself a favour and play a few games in between playing Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. I played Dragon Age (and all the DLC) then immediately played Mass Effect 2 and it felt like Dragon Age in space. Mass Effect 2 is a great game but it had been hyped up too much for me so I was let down when I played it. Characters are great, voice acting is perfect and the music is pretty good too – found the pacing was off too much though and the long load times when you are on your ship broke the immersion feel way too often.

  15. Sheena Goodyear | January 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Hmm, I will take this under consideration. Portal 2 is on my list too, so perhaps I’ll play that one first.

  16. BigMac66 | January 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Missing Warcraft, Starcraft (which is almost a religion in Korea) and Civilization? In fact are any of these games in the strategy genre? Very selective sample population…

    The only one on the list I have played is Tetris and not for some years now…

  17. Alekos | January 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Well I am addicted to the Demon’s souls series. Right now Im playing Dark Souls and I am obsessed with killing some of the bosses and leveling up. I any case, though, and addiction is an addiction is this is no matter to be bragging about. If we just spend half of the time we use playing in other activities such as sports, reading or socializing we all be better people and all senses. Shame on us¡¡¡

  18. Danimal | January 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    The reason MMOs and Starcraft didn’t make the list is because they only surveyed console video game players. The source artice states: “According to the study, the top 10 ‘most addictive console video games’ were as follows:”

  19. Sheena Goodyear | January 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Right you are. I’m going to edit the post to reflect that.

  20. Paul N | January 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Going a little further back -

    Lemmings,
    Sim City (the original),
    Populous,
    Star Control,
    King’s Quest (Police Quest, etc..)

    (I suspect most posters are younger than me otherwise these games surely would be mentioned already :))

  21. Lapointe | January 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    The Call of Duty series is actually one of the most addicting games of all times. I think they didnt consider games such as W.O.W as they are PC games. I guess this study is for real gamers who own PS3, XBox360 and WII’s. :0)

  22. My Life for Auir | January 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Civilization and Starcraft should be on the list. Their gameplay and depth make them both addictive.

  23. Routs | January 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The game that sucked the most out of me in my life was Baldur’s Gate. Hands down.

    More recently I’d say Mass Effect 2. Haven’t touched Skyrim yet. Scared to…

  24. Mark | January 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Obviously the person who did this list has NO idea about the gaming industry. If they did, they’d realize how many MILLIONS of people are playing MMO’s right now. Yes Skyrim belongs up there, but not even a mention of SWTOR or even WoW?

    Yep, this list was done by a complete and utter NEWB!

  25. Sheena Goodyear | January 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Dude, nobody “wrote” the list. It’s from a Gamasutra survey.

  26. T | January 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I have to say to everyone mentioning WoW and similar MMORPGs that the above list is of console games, not including PC games

  27. tom lott | January 5, 2012 at 12:03 am

    only a loser who doesn’t value their own life would be addicted to a videogame.

    yes, i play videogames, but 1 hour a week on average. i go months without playing.

    real life is more interesting.

    and for the record, street fighter 2 is the greatest game of all time.

  28. Me! | September 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I started playing grid defense awakening two days ago and it is the most addictive game I’ve played in a while. Also angry birds took up a lot of my time last year. And by addictive I don’t mean I like it. I like games like crysis but this… this is different. My back and neck get sore and my eyes feel like they’re burning but I keep telling myself this is the last game and end up sleeping really late. The next morning I have regrets but the next night I’m back at it again.

  29. niks | May 23, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Starcraft missing :X

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