10 Video Games I Loved but Never Finished

Being a kid during the initial run of the NES, I have very fond memories of a ton of video games. Some of them maybe imprinted on me for other reasons, but for a lot of them, it was just because they were damn good. Of course, being good isn’t always enough. Life gets in the way, so there are a number of video games that I have loved, yet never managed to finish. Speaking of which, here’s a list of those games now!

Grandia (PS1)

a true adventurer is like the wind

Yeah yeah, I know that this game originated on the Saturn, but who the hell owned one of those?! Grandia, a truly sprawling RPG, had one of the most engrossing stories of its era, and was also one of the earliest RPGs to have a fully 3D world. This meant you were in control of the camera, which meant I wasted half of a year of high school checking every single nook and cranny of the world, for fear that I would miss an important treasure chest or something. This lead tome making a long game even longer, and I never ended up finishing it.

Phantasy Star VI (Genesis)

welcome to the inn

Another giant role-playing game, Phantasy Star VI also had the misfortune of being on a system I didn’t even own, so I only had the chance to play it at my friend’s house. The game also didn’t give anyone a great idea of where you were supposed to go at any given time, which lead to a lot of wandering to the wrong map areas where players were promptly destroyed by incredibly strong enemies. I watched my friend beat Phantasy Star VI, though, and he described the final boss fight as “a f*king pain in the ass”, which his Mom heard and promptly grounded him over (I was sent home; it was a whole thing.)

Any Grand Theft Auto Game (Various Systems)

grand theft auto covers

I’m even including the first two top-down GTA games, because I played all of them. I tend to really love each one of these once I first start them, but after a while it all starts to become so routine. Not only that, but I find the ability to play in the open world however you want with no impact over the storyline hurts my enjoyment of the game. Nico can talk all he wants about how this life is destroying him on the inside, but it seems disingenuous when he then immediately gets in a car and starts mowing people down.

All Pokémon Games (Various Game Boys)

pokemon covers

Okay, maybe not ALL of them, I’m sure I missed some of the alternate colors (I’m not buying every version of each generation, as I am not made of G-D money.) All the Pokémon games I did play, though, were never completed. Why? I’d get hung up on catching ‘em all, and that would take so damned long that I would totally lose my enthusiasm for the game.

Diablo III (PC)

diablo III game start screen

There is a theme running through this list — each game I failed to beat is very, very big. Of course, Diablo III also has the problem of being largely about loot collection, and since there’s essentially always a weapon or piece of armor better than the ones you currently have, can you ever truly be done with this game?

Contra (NES)

contra box

A game so difficult, I think I may have failed to beat it even after employing the Konami code, one of the all-time most devastating cheat codes in video gaming history. Just because you have infinite lives doesn’t mean you have infinite patience, and when I was playing Contra, I got tired of getting hit by tiny circles that were meant to represent bullets or energy or whatever. Just let me keep my gun! It was the spread shot! I loved that gun!

Mega Man X (SNES)

mega man x screen

Literally the only reason that I didn’t beat Mega Man X was because I rented it from Blockbuster, got through 80 percent of it, and then had to return it. You’re maybe like “but Will, couldn’t you have just rented it again?” Ah, but you see I had lost the password that tracked my progress in the game, and despite essentially writing an entire strategy guide for the damned thing, I was not going to be starting over from the beginning.

Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

final fntasy xii battle

All Final Fantasy games are massive in scope, and Final Fantasy XII was no different. While it featured characters that were, in my opinion, huge upgrades over the ones from Final Fantasy X (what an annoying batch of protagonists, my God), Final Fantasy XII also came out at a point in my life where I had real responsibilities and a real relationship. That made it real hard to find time for the thing.

Perfect Dark (N64)

elvis asks what your name is

The spiritual successor to GoldenEye, Perfect Dark was a hard one to finish because you just wanted to spend so much damn time playing the VS mode. I mean, there was a sniper rifle that could SHOOT THROUGH WALLS! Did GoldenEye have that? No, good sirs and madams, it did not.

Dungeons & Dragons: Shadows Over Mystara (Arcade)

shadows over mystara

Growing up in the second era of arcade games, I actually managed to beat a few I truly loved — X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time, and The Simpsons (SIDEBAR: The Simpsons was a great game, but holy Hell did it have nothing to do with The Simpsons.) But Dungeons & Dragons: Shadows Over Mystara was the one I could never finish. First of all, being a late generation arcade beat ‘em up meant that the game frequently cost somewhere between 50 cents and a freakin’ dollar to play, and the game itself had a lot of RPG elements to it (loot collecting, leveling up) that you could hold onto by writing down a password you got when you finished playing. But who the hell wasn’t going to lose that? Much like Mega Man X, it was hard to start all over…

No need to feel any shame, it’s okay to not finish video games, even the ones you love! Need some support? Let us know about the games you loved but never finished on Twitter @Smosh!

Will Weldon
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