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Which Game Takes The Longest To Beat?

The length of a video game is an important balancing act. Developers need to ensure their projects have enough content to make audiences feel like they got their money's worth (or more), but they also need to ensure a game doesn't wear out its welcome. When done right, a game can keep audiences entertained for countless hours. Many studios use that to their advantage and stretch out their games, some way more than others.

Titles such The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Persona 5 Royal are infamous for their lengths, averaging hundreds of hours to finish. These games earn their expanded playtimes through engrossing stories and tons of replayability. Despite being on the longer side of the game length spectrum, however, they are nowhere near as long as one particular title, which earns the award for being the longest game to beat. And no, it isn't Watch Dogs Legion, despite that game having a near infinite number of collectible NPCs.

The Longing

When you think about lengthy games, huge AAA projects developed by equally huge AAA companies usually come to mind. If a studio wants to stretch a game's length into the triple digits, it more than likely needs a sizable squad of wizards to create plenty of content. You might not think a studio few have ever heard of could pull this off, but that's exactly what happened when Application System Heidelberg created The Longing.

The Longing is a game about waiting. You take the role of a shade who basically serves as the living alarm clock of a king, and it's your job to wake him up after a quick nap... that lasts 400 days. This isn't 400 days in-game time, by the way — it's 400 days of real, actual time. That's 9,600 hours worth of waiting, and you can spend it reading in-game books, painting pictures, or just staring longingly at the ground, pondering the meaning of life.

While not all endings take 9,600 hours, and you can occasionally speed up the clock, most of The Longing is time-gated. Some areas are locked until you wait for mold to grow or a stalactite to fall. Still, if you start The Longing now and intend to see it through to the end, you probably won't finish it for well over a year.