The Tom's Hardware Defintive List of PC Games: Most Playable Hours


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Feb 28, 2016
The submission period is now over. Click here to vote on the Tom's Hardware Definitive List of PC Games

The Tom's Hardware Definitive List of PC Games: Most Playable Hours

Are we living in a new "golden age" for PC Gaming? Of course, it is impossible to give a definitive answer. The distance of time and a heaping dose of nostalgia are both necessary prerequisites for any "golden age". And, while it may be easy to argue the merits of one generation over another, one thing is abundantly clear: PC Gaming in 2017 is more widespread and more accessible than ever before. The maturation of digital distribution, a new diversity of platforms, and the adoption of x86 CPU architecture by console manufactures have together, created the perfect environment for a PC Gaming renaissance. PC Gamers have access to more games than ever before, including overlooked titles from past generations and current games that would have been either too costly or too difficult to port. Games are so ubiquitous that you're more likely to hear complaints of having too many games, rather than too few. The number of "good" games is now so great that even the hardest of the most hardcore gamers struggle in their search to find the very best.

To help navigate this brave new world for gaming, Tom's Hardware is in the process of assembling the definitive list of PC games in a number of genres. We've already put a few lists together, but the number of titles is lacking. While the Tom's Hardware Editorial team is few in number, the Tom's Hardware Community is legion. With your input we hope to assemble a list of the best and worst PC games that can truly be called definitive. Over the next few weeks we'll be collecting Community feedback across multiple categories. Once we have a sufficient number of submissions, we'll have the Community vote on the most popular, with a showcase of the winning games on the Tom's Hardware homepage.

This thread will decide the best PC games with the most playable hours.

To help get you started here are the Editorial Team's list of best PC games with the most playable hours. Remember we're looking for suggestions that aren't on the list below.

May the best game win!

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

Grand Theft Auto V

Arma 3



The submission period is now over. Click here to vote on the Tom's Hardware Definitive List of PC Games


Nov 17, 2010

I have the most hours in Just Cause 3.
I spent over a year wandering around and blowing stuff up before I decided to try to "finish" the game.
Once I finished, I immediately erased my save game and started over.


Win 11 Master
Diablo 2: there are still playing a game from 2002...

what about mmo? there is no limit to amount of time you can play them, perhaps just your sanity.

Civ games are time sinks, I agree with that one.


Oct 10, 2014
I've actually been weaning myself off Witcher III. 2nd playthough and somewhere between 100-200hours. I just started to feeling too guilty for not playing/finishing other games.

Both Metro's and Crysis 2-3 all in 3d. These games rock in 3d and I'd don't even know how many times I've replayed them.

Kings Bounty Series.


May 24, 2017
Overwatch, Knights of the old republic, half life 2, battlefield 2, mass effect 2, Borderlands, and a few racing games, like F1 and project cars.

Deleted member 217926

Single playthrough? Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 both come in at over 200 hours. I've done a 200 hour Skyrim playthrough but it had over 50 mods. Dragon Age Inquisition is about 140 and I think Andromeda will be close after DLCs. New Vegas with a few mods took about 120.



Win 11 Master
reason I mentioned mmo: I used to play wow and one of my characters had a year of ingame play time on it (real time), so I expect anyone who played it for more time than I did would easily beat that and that is in the 1000's of hours. I assume some Eve online players can beat that easily too.
I still play civilization 2.42.
Unfortunately, it is a 16 bit game that only runs on a disappearing 32 bit windows.
I keep a pc just for this purpose.

Of the others, Civ IV is good, V is beautiful, but 6 is dumbed down graphics.


Jan 25, 2011

I have 400 hours on Steam since February and I almost never start the game and spend less than four hours in it. It isn't turn based but it does have the Civ problem of there is always just one more thing to do. Research is stalled because there isn't enough steel for the piercing rounds because iron throughput is low because my miners have run out of ore? No it is a power death spiral because I am still using coal boilers to run the factory. Ill just go jump start the steam engines and set up a small solar field to get me by until... its 4 am and I have to be at my real job in three hours.
Some like skyrim and witcher 3 add to the playable hours if nothing else but for the various choices, order in which someone chooses to do things, which side they pick to fight on etc. Can be played through several times and changed up a bit from the previous run. Compared to say a scripted game like cod ghosts or similar that shove you down a narrow path toward the goal with predictable enemy counts and movements. Two different types of gameplay, fps vs rpg but in the end they cost about the same at release and skyrim/witcher 3 offer a LOT more gameplay. Weeks/months vs hours.

Ghosts was my first cod game for pc and my first run through getting used to everything, a couple hours a day I think it lasted maybe 2-3 days? I didn't even complete old 8bit nes games that fast.


Definitely Skyrim for me. Over 1000 hours in the game itself, plus over 100 hours in the Creation Kit writing and testing mods. Skyrim SE not so much, since it won't play on some of my older hardware.

Fallout New Vegas comes in second with almost 900 hours. Only wrote one mod for that one for some reason.


Dec 1, 2009
Definitely Fallout 4. I have a ton of hours in it. I love building settlements, upgrading weapons and armor, finding legendary items, arming and armoring my settlers, and so forth.


Mar 13, 2013
6,792 hours on Steam playing Empire:Total War Generally play as the Brits, although I will occasionally play as Sweden or Russia and usually play on the most difficult battle and second most difficult diplomatic/ non-battle setting.

Anton Hunter

Apr 24, 2013
I've got 3000+ hours into Skyrim on 4 play-throughs; I'm at 264 hours on Skyrim SE, first play-through; and, heck, I still play Oblivion! LOL


May 26, 2017
Factorio...It's only "slightly" more addictive than air. We are all doomed when they actually finish making it (its only at version 0.15).