11 Games That Were Too Short for $60

Video games come in all shapes and sizes, but customers generally expect to get a decent amount of game time for their money. While a tightly scripted action game might ring in somewhere around 12 hours, some games can last 100 hours without breaking a sweat. Here are 11 modern games, for better or worse, whose end credits roll much sooner than you’d expect.

As for the methodology, we’ve consulted the website How Long to Beat, which tracks the average amount of time players spend playing games. (Fortunately, if you still want to play these games, most of their price tags are probably now well below $60.)

1. Asura’s Wrath


Time to complete: 7 hours

In Asura’s Wrath, you play as a demigod whose wife and daughter have been killed by deities, leaving you with an unquenchable thirst for revenge. Like most games on this list, Asura’s Wrath is an action game, but it’s full of way-over-the-top set pieces, including a scene where an enemy’s sword reaches from the moon to the Earth to stab our poor hero.

The game is divided into 18 episodes, which might sound like a lot until you hear that each episode is only 20 minutes long and features lots of quick-time events to pad out the running time. What’s really ironic about the whole thing is that the game takes place over the course of 12,000 years.

2. Wet


Time to complete: 7 hours

Wet is a hyper-stylish action game that features amazing acrobatics, high-powered artillery, masterful swordplay, and enough blood to fill a swimming pool. It takes inspiration from games like Max Payne and Prince of Persia but mixes them into a creation all its own. It’s a lot of fun, but the game ends in a mere seven hours. Sure, the developers have packed in a lot of action, but it would be nice if they’d added a little more.

3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance


Time to complete: 6.5 hours

Like most Metal Gear games, the plot of Revengeance makes no sense — and for that matter, neither does the made-up subtitle. But thanks to all the satisfying sword-based action, you’ll be too preoccupied to care. The game stars the cyborg Raiden as he hacks through enemies, racking up killer combos and fighting building-sized bosses. The biggest downside of the game is that it’s over well before most players would like it to be. No one wants a game that overstays its welcome, but when a game is this good, we’d welcome a lot more of it.

4. Super Mario 3D World


Time to complete: 6.5 hours

It’s practically a given that any new Mario game is going to be full of colorful characters and joyful platforming. And it’s true: Gamers and critics agree that Super Mario 3D World most definitely is a top-notch game. However, it’s also a fairly short one, with an average completion time of just 6.5 hours. Sure, you can replay the levels to see out all of the collectables, but frankly, most people would rather have more levels to enjoy.

5. Murdered: Soul Suspect


Time to complete: 6.5 hours

Murdered: Soul Suspect has a cool concept: The hero has been killed, so you play as his ghost, a lost soul who hangs around trying to figure out who killed his corporeal body and why. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have many plot revelations, and it’s over all too quickly. Worse, the runtime includes side missions that have you helping other struggling souls solve their problems to reach the afterlife. A soul may be eternal, but this game ends before you know it.

6. The Darkness II


Time to complete: 6 hours

One of the better first-person shooters of 2012 was The Darkness II, a game that stars Jackie Estacado, the head of a mafia crime family who also happens to have supernatural powers. To wit, two demonic arms can emerge from his body to do massive damage to any person or thing that gets in their way. They can fling enemies around in the air, tear them in half, pick up heavy objects to smash, or impale bad guys. The fun could be endless, if only the game lasted longer than six measly hours. No matter how much you savor what’s there, you’ll probably wish for more once all is said and done.

7. Mirror’s Edge


Time to complete: 6 hours

If a studio had said it was making a first-person platforming game prior to 2008, most people would have said it couldn’t be done — at least not in a way that anyone would want to play. Mirror’s Edge proved those people wrong. You can run, jump, roll, and do all kinds of parkour-style acrobatics, all from a unique first-person perspective. The worst part about it is that it only lasts six hours, and there’s not much reason to replay it once you’re done. Thankfully, a sequel is currently in the works. I just hope it sticks around longer.

8. Ryse: Son of Rome


Time to complete: 6 hours

An Xbox One exclusive that launched alongside the system, Ryse: Son of Rome is a gory romp through an ancient city. Just like the historical battles it depicts, Ryse is shamelessly violent, with sword-based gameplay that’s downright drenched in blood. If you play your cards right, you can end the battles with a spectacularly gruesome finishing move. By all accounts, it’s a decent game, but at only six hours, the campaign doesn’t feel as epic as you might expect based on its historical setting.

9. Call of Duty: Ghosts


Time to complete: 5.5 hours

Every Call of Duty game offers up a somewhat brief (yet action-packed) single-player mode, but the campaign in Ghosts feels particularly slight. The game is set in the near future, after a devastating attack has left the U.S. in shambles. The story mostly goes downhill from there, but the game could still work if only it lasted longer than five and a half hours. Online gamers, of course, can play the multiplayer modes as long as they want, but if you’re just here for the single-player campaign, keep your expectations in check.

10. The House of the Dead: Overkill


Time to complete: 4 hours

An on-rails shooter is kind of like a ride at an amusement park: the camera moves through the level automatically, leaving you to aim and shoot at enemies as they burst onscreen. The genre is most popular at arcades, where most people only spend a few minutes at a time playing a game. At home, this kind of shooter makes less sense because the guided gameplay leaves no room for exploration. That’s the case with The House of the Dead: Overkill, a game that comes and goes in just four short hours. It’s a fun four hours, but for a full-priced game, people deserve a little more content.

11. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes


Time to complete: 1.5 hours

Including this one is kind of cheating, since the game debuted for $30 instead of $60, but even if you were to double both its price and runtime, it would still deliver the least amount of content of any game on the list.

Ground Zeroes is actually a prologue for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is weird in and of itself. But even for what it is, nothing that only takes 90 minutes to play should cost $30. Most reviewers seemed to like Ground Zeroes, but its blink-and-you-miss-it running time caused the game to get a mediocre 75 out of 100 from reviewers on Metacritic, and a 60 from users. It goes to show that you can give players what they want, but if you don’t give them enough of it, they’ll get restless.

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