Almost every gamer has a guilty pleasure game. It’s that game that makes the player feel a little ashamed they’re playing. The reason behind every guilty pleasure games is a little different for each person. Players can feel guilty they spend too much time playing a certain game.
Some feel guilty because the game’s subject matter is perceived as silly, made for children, or risqué. Still others feel guilty because they get to do mischievous things while playing a game – and enjoy every minute of it. Despite the variation in reasoning, there are many games that are universally regarded as guilty pleasure games.
10 Star Wars: Force Unleashed II
Star Wars: Force Unleashed II was not received well by professional reviewers, and most gamers absolutely hated it. The two main complaints were that the story was a bit lame and the game was too short. To be fair, the game can be completed in about 40 hours and the plot was a little simplistic. The game’s mechanics, graphics, sound, and control are commonly considered above average though. In other words, beneath the poorly written story is a well-made game – a game that lets the player control a jedi knight. This game also gives the player the choice of going to the dark side; that's some low-hanging fruit in terms of guilt for some players.
9 The Sims Games
The Sims games are fantastic. They allow the player to control every second of a sim’s life, and decide how the sim uses those seconds. Many consider these games to be their guilty pleasure. The likely source of the guilt is the amount of time and money a lot of gamers have spent playing. The Sims titles.
There are so many expansion packs for The Sims games that it can get expensive to have the complete experience. The fact that some players may spend more time working on their sim’s life than their own could be another reason for this being a guilty pleasure game.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all been a griefer at one point. Probably more than once actually…because tearing down a stranger’s castle wall, letting in some creepers, and stealing some valuable loot during the chaos can be seriously entertaining. Much like The Sims, a lot of gamers consider Minecraft their guilty pleasure game due to the large amount of their waking hours they spend playing it. Whatever the reason, it is important for gamers to know they’re not alone; many four-hour sessions of Minecraft begin with the player wondering, “Why am I playing this again?
7 The Angry Birds Games
These simple yet addicting mobile games have been many gamer’s choice for their go-to guilty pleasure game. The recent Angry Birds animated movies have the franchise feeling as though its target audience is little kids. In fact, the series is old enough (it started in 2009) that a lot of players now have their own kids old enough to enjoy Angry Birds. Getting enjoyment out of something meant for little kids can make an adult feel as though they are playing with toys. The Worms franchise, which is very similar to Angry Birds, does not have this “toy” label associated with it; and is likewise not considered a guilty pleasure game.
6 The Lego Games
The modern Lego games are usually mentioned when the topic of guilty pleasure video games is brought up. Say what you will but the Lego games are highly playable, and have tons of little extras that give them high replay values.
In many instances the Lego version of a licensed game (Star Wars for example) is better than the official licensed game. Sadly, these games also suffer from the “toy” connection mentioned in the Angry Birds entry. Despite this it is hard to find a personal PS3 or Xbox 360 library that doesn’t have at least one Lego game.
5 Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever was delayed for so long, fifteen years to be exact, that it had no hopes of living up to expectations. It was destined to be ruthlessly panned the second it was released – and it was. Much like Force Unleashed II, beneath the minor flaws of Duke Nukem Forever is a fun game with good control and solid game mechanics. However, this game was panned to such an extreme that it has caused many gamers to feel a little guilt that they enjoy playing. There are other players who feel a little guilty for thinking Duke Nukem was cool back in the ‘90s.
4 Diablo 3
Some games allow the player to have a little mindless fun. Diablo 3 is one of those games. The story and controls are as simple as the main goal; which is to kill everything that attacks the player, while meandering through a wide-open level.
This game requires no thought to play, but sometimes that is what gamers want. With Diablo 3 there is no need to solve complex puzzles or perform complex button combinations to advance. Just hold the down the button for the primary attack ability and aim the character toward the enemies.
3 The Pokémon Games
With the Pokémon games we have another example of a series that seems forever associated with being made for children. Having a long-running daytime cartoon and several animated movies will do that. Maybe this is why the Pokémon games are many gamers' guilty pleasure games of choice - like the cartoons the games provide some innocent fun. It could also be that the goal it to trap animals and force them to fight each other. Pokémon GO is probably the top of the list when it comes to guilty pleasure Pokémon games. This is probably due to the fact that GO has to be played in public.
2 No Man’s Sky
This was supposed to be “the” game in the months leading up to its release. The player was free to explore a vast procedurally generated universe in their own ship. However, players were quite vocal with their displeasure shortly after the game’s release. The biggest complaint was that there really isn’t much to do in the game, and much of the promised content was missing. A lot of gamers don’t care about all that; they were happy to be able to explore the universe with the ease of a Sunday drive in the country – as long as none of their friends know about it.
1 The Grand Theft Auto Games
The Grand Theft Auto series are the ultimate guilty pleasure games. This is not because it is a game meant for little kids, or because micro-transactions caused players to spend more than they like to admit. This is #1 because it lets gamers role-play behaving abhorrently without any consequences. You can rob gas stations, steal any car, and lead police on a high speed chase down the wrong side of the highway – all while trying to get a higher body count than the last city-wide rampage. These games are unmatched in their ability to let players vent their frustrations with the world. Games like this can be therapeutic, which is the likely source of the guilt we feel when playing.