• Introducing Image Options for ResetEra 2.0! Check the left side navigation bar to show or hide images, avatars, covers, and embedded media. More details at the link.

Does Not Finishing A Game Invalidate Your Opinion On A Game?

Oct 25, 2017
Let's say there is a game. "Game X". A lot of people love Game X. It has won many awards. I play Game X, and do not enjoy myself. I consider it to be mediocre, boring, shallow, etc.

So much so, that I can't bring myself to finish the game.
"I feel as if Game X isn't as great as everybody is saying", I say.
"Yes, but you also never finished it, so how much does your opinion really matter?" Game X fans ask.

Is this appropriate? Or is it just defensive? Gaslighting?

To name something specific, many people on the internet will agree that the game, "Castlevania II: Simon's Quest" is awful, mediocre, sluggish, bloated, or otherwise bad.

But how many of those people have played Simon's Quest?
How many of those people have finished Simon's Quest?
How many of those people believe that Simon's Quest is bad after having been told so by an internet review?

Is it possible to form a "legitimate", whatever that may entail, opinion on a game without having experienced it to its "completion", again, whatever that may entail?

Are there some games where this is considered acceptable, and others where it is not? Why or why not?

To clarify, "Game X" is a purely hypothetical game, and not a stand-in for any one specific game from personal experience. This post is also not a "I like Simon's Quest But Nobody Else Does So I'm Pissed" thread, I promise. Also yes, I have completed Simon's Quest.
Oct 25, 2017
No but I finish games anyways and use that as an excuse

I hate myself T_T
so many kusoge....

Time and Eternity or Senran Kagura has mediocre gameplay for example. I don't need to beat those to tell you that.
Oct 26, 2017
Of course not. If I hate a game, should I spent 20 more hours into it so that I can criticize it? Professional reviewers are required to finish the game though.


Oct 29, 2017
In my opinion, you need to play at least 10 hours (or an equivalent percentage) of a game to have a decent opinion about it.

You need to have sunk into it, from head to toes, and then you can talk.

Finishing a game is sometimes a chore, wich can sour the player's opinion on it.
Oct 28, 2017
there's a value curve that starts to flatten out once you've experienced enough of the game to see the majority of its unique systems and where playing more is just going through the same loops
Oct 26, 2017
No, absolutely not. That why i don't care about my backlog much, i think it's enough to just play the game once to satisfy the purchase, though i of course aiming to 100% completion if it's possible. But sometimes it's just not worth the time when you have hundreds other, much better games to play. For example, Driver: Parallel Lines felt like it showed everything i need to know about this game after first 2-3 hours, it's just didn't aged well to continue any further

Angel DvA

Oct 27, 2017
Of course not. If you aren’t liking a game, why should you spend hours and hours into it before posting your opinions about it ?!
Oct 25, 2017
Maybe in regards to story... and probably mainly if you’re praising it as amazing. Some crappy stories can still turn themselves around but you’d still be dealing with a crappy story up to that point, something that looks amazing early on and completely shits the bed at the end however can totally rewrite your opinion (case in point: Mass Effect 3.)

But for gameplay I think as long as you spent a few hours with it you can give a reasonable opinion usually. I wouldn’t consider it one of the more helpful reviews, but many games are built around a gameplay loop and if it doesn’t satisfy within the first few hours it’s not likely to ever satisfy, at best it’d be an RPG that shines when you have the systems fully unlocked and twinked. But that in and of itself is a specific flavor that those who want it will probably hunt down opinions that explore that angle.


Oct 25, 2017
Great Britain
Absolutely not. If you don’t like a game enough to finish it, there are reasons for that.

Enough reasons for you to form an opinion of it.

I can’t stand it when people say, “you have to play X amount of hours of Y game, to have an opinion of it”.
Oct 27, 2017
Depends on the game. Some games change radically at a certain point in the story for good or bad. This is especially true of games with a narrative focus.

Someone who finds a game boring and dropping can have totally valid criticism, but their opinion has to be taken with a small grain of salt knowing that they cannot possibly have a hollistic view of the experience.
Oct 25, 2017
Depends. I had someone agreeing with the EDGE score on Xenoblade 2 one day after the game was out. Turns they had played for 8h. Yes, that invalidates their opinion whether the EDGE score is something I end up agreeing with or not down the line. Ultimately, it depends on genre and the specific game. I believe you can draw a lot of conclusions from a FIFA demo but generally, I think you need to see a substantial amount of the game to confidently state an opinion about it. Nothing wrong with quitting a game 5h in you didn't enjoy but be transparent about it.
Oct 25, 2017
As an absolute rule, no, it obviously can't invalidate your opinion, whether because of the practical point most people never finish all the games they play (especially if there's 'postgame' content), it's can at times be an arbitrary line in terms of content - why not say only people who 100% a game can judge it - or ultimately because the game still made you feel some way, even if you only did 10% of it, and that feeling is still valid and a thing.

That said, I do believe any opinion on a game - or any media for that matter - must be taken in part from the context in which it is formed. If your opinion is formed by an incomplete assessment, then yes, it's not going to hold as much water for someone who generally judges things by the 'overall' experience. Equally so though, it can be especially worthwhile in the context of that section of the game; if it's put you off before the ending, then your assessment I would say still holds up to the point that you gave up, and is especially worth considering in terms of what might make a barrier of entry for a game's experience, and how differing people's tolerances will reflect that. Even if a later part of a game effectively, specifically addresses the criticism apparent in earlier stages, it's at least worthwhile to acknowledge how initial presentation will be received among a range of people.
Oct 27, 2017
I think it depends on the game. If it's something like Journey, that you can finish in one sitting, yeah, you've gotta finish it. But you probably don't need to play an entire 100 hour RPG to know whether it's recommendable or not. People understand that mainstream reviews are always going to be under time constraints. If you're one of the Youtube essayists writing an in-depth assessment months after the fact, then you've really gotta know your stuff, obviously.

I do feel like it's worth mentioning just how much of the game you played, though. Like, if you actively didn't want to finish a game because you thought it was bad, that should be in your review; that's perfectly valid criticism.


Usage of alt-account.
Oct 27, 2017
Depends entirely on the type of game it is. Like if you only get halfway through Uncharted and proceed to complain about how it handled the story, then there's a problem.

Contrarily if you played something like 2D Mario and didn't finish it, and your complaints are with the core gameplay loop, then that's totally valid as the gameplay as a whole doesn't really change regardless of how far in you are, there's just some new elements here and there that likely wouldn't change your opinion much.
Oct 27, 2017
I don't think there's an easy answer to this, and it can definitely vary from game to game. I think it would make alot more sense if people actually treated reviews as what they are, subjective, instead of trying to figure out if a game is objectively bad or good.

In general I don't think it's fair to call out certain things in a review, such as depth of combat or complexity of the AI if you haven't played enough, and more importantly if you didn't play on at least normal difficulty.

I have to think about situations where I enjoyed a game 99% of the way through, but then the last dungeon, or boss, or just the ending ends up sucking. If I hadn't finished the great game with terrible ending I might have given it a higher score for example. I think these sorts of things matter.


Oct 31, 2017
No. It’s an absurd argument.

You don’t dismiss something out of hand, but a game should have revealed its mechanics and respective charms within the first two hours or so.
Oct 28, 2017
Depends on the game.

I don't think there's much difference in opinion from someone who finished a game like Ghost Recon Wildlands or someone who is simply halfway through it. You don't need to see every single thing in that game to make a judgment call on its quality.

I would be wary of someone's opinion if they didn't finish a game like Wolfenstein II. Game is only like 8 hours long. There is no way to give a good and complete opinion on that game without first getting to the end.
Oct 27, 2017
No. If you don’t like something, you don’t like it and that’s valid. I hate when people go, “but you didn’t get to the good part/twist/whatever.” Why should I slog through something I’m actively disliking to see something someone else thinks is awesome, especially if they liked the parts I didn’t up to then?
Nov 15, 2017
Depends on the game doesn’t it, if it’s a short linear story based game then playing a portion of it doesn’t tell you anything. Same for a game like dark souls where the challenge is 80% of the enjoyment. If you haven’t overcome that challenge you haven’t experienced the game.

Absolutely not the case for open world games like GTA though, where some people have played for hundreds of hours and still not seen everything. The games job there is to immerse you in the world which it could do or not do within an hour
Oct 27, 2017
It depends. I knew from the first 20 minutes that the OG version of Final Fantasy XIV was trash. Conversely, I sunk about 20 hours into Demon’s Souls before I started to appreciate just how good it is.


Someone is plagiarizing this post
Oct 25, 2017
It depends on the game and the amount you've played it in my opinion. If you've put 10 hours into a single player, story focused game but haven't completed it yet then you can still have a perfectly valid opinion of it. I tend to view 10 hours as being a good amount to get an idea of whether I like a story focused game. If it hasn't grabbed me in 10 hours then I take the view that it probably won't ever. Things like Mario Kart though? I think you could probably play that for 5 hours and have a pretty good idea of whether you like it or not and why.

MOBA games like DOTA or LoL though? As you need to put SO many hours into those just to learn the basics then you probably need to spend a lot more time with them before you can offer really valid criticism on their systems. You could easily criticise DOTA or LoL based on their hideously toxic playerbases within one game though. I bounced off LoL afer just 5 matches, in each of which I was screamed at and verbally abused throughout, all because i hadn't sunk hundreds of hours into the game and didn't know the true intricasies of it's incredibly poorly explained mechanics. I was therefore, after 5 matches, able to say clearly that this wasn't a game for me.

I will say though, that an opinion of a game you have not finished might be less valid, depending on what aspect you are criticising. For example, it is, in my opinion, wrong to criticise a story focused game's story if you have not properly seen it through to it's conclusion. Criticising mechanical issues could also be problematic if you haven't played enough to actually experience all of the mechanical issues. To give a very simple example - you might say you loathe Doom's guns but have only used the pistol and the shotgun. This would be poor criticism because you haven't actually seen the full variety on offer.

Basically, criticism of a game requires you to have put enough time into it to experience the majority of it's systems / story.


Oct 30, 2017
Absolutely not. If I don't enjoy a game I don't need to finish it to know why I don't enjoy it, or what it is like. I'm not going to finish a game I don't like lol. Who does that?
Nov 5, 2017
Yes. You have attempted to play it, it was terrible. The ending/whole experience is irrelevant if the game can not even get you that far. The game has failed to entertain you.

A game is like a meal. If it tastes horribly, it tastes horribly. No need to finish the whole plate to be sure.

Will people who disagree with you dismiss your opinion as invalid? You are on the internet, so yes they will.

Edit: autocorrect
Oct 30, 2017
there's a value curve that starts to flatten out once you've experienced enough of the game to see the majority of its unique systems and where playing more is just going through the same loops

If you experience enough of the mechanics you can comment with confidence.
Oct 27, 2017
It diminishes it, but it doesn't invalidate it. You can have an opinion on the parts you played.
Yep, that about covers it.

You can't judge the game holistically, which I tend to find the most useful and insightful judgements, but you can still fairly judge the game in parts. Part-judgements can be useful in some circumstances, like games with glacial beginnings or steep learning curves.
Oct 25, 2017
Even with a heavy story based game, not finishing it doesn't diminish one's opinion on it. I've been growing to hate the "stick with it, it gets good" phrase, lately. The most erroneous example I encountered was Final Fantasy 13 (this is cheating because this is a gameplay moment, but thr story was sucking hard anyway). People said the game oprns up at chapter 11, and it did. Then it went back to being a hallway simulator. Maybe they mean you could backtrack, but why would you do that in this game? In any case I dropped it shortly afterwards.

To tie that into story, I shouldn't have to sit around for a story to get interesting. The pay off can be amazing, but if I have to sit for hours to get to it, that game can go straight to he'll. I've dropped a number of animes due to this reason despite acclaim


Oct 27, 2017
I think you need to have played enough to get out of the tutorials and see the core mechanics unfold and interact, so essentially into ‘act 2’ of the game. For an action game that might only be a couple of hours, for an RPG that can be a dozen or more. I certainly don’t think you need to finish a game to have a valid opinion on it.


User banned at own request
Oct 28, 2017
Yes. If you don't like an MMORPG you can't voice your opinion until you've completely finished it.

Of course not.
Oct 27, 2017
No, opinion is still valid. If a game is bad, there's no point in keeping at it.

I remember a lot of people saying "stick with FF XIII until you get to Grand Pulse!"

That's like 20 hours in.

It also doesn't improve the gameplay at all.
Oct 27, 2017
Well, it doesn't invalidate it, assuming you played or saw some amount of it, but it will likely have less value as a review and it will limit how you can write about a game while remaining honest. It kind of depends on what you're trying to say in the review to be honest. If you play 10% of the game you probably can't give a proper review of the plot as a whole right? You can't add much about weapon variety, boss variety, how grindy it might get, the scope of the game, how the characters develop, etc. But, if your review is something along the lines of ''the initial 10% of the game is boring because the plot has a generic start, the characters are not initially interesting, and the game immediately requires a grind'' with examples that support your claim then I think it is fine. However, because the review is based on a small portion of the game it would be hard to claim that something is generally positive or negative because good or bad aspect could change for the better/worse at some point in the game. There is no rule stating that every mechanic, the plot, etc. should be revealed within the first 10% of the game so how much you could say about certain aspects in a general sense would depend from game to game, if you're trying to stay honest.

In the end, whether your review is invalid or not really depends on what the reader is looking for. Your opinion might be valid, but it might also be extremely easy to disregard.

tldr; No, your opinion isn't invalid. You can have a valid opinion of the title screen if you want if that's all you saw. However, your opinion might be easy to disregard and it may hold no value to certain readers when discussing aspects that you have not experienced.
Oct 28, 2017
I mean it all has to do with how you present your opinion, right?

There's a huge difference between "Don't play this game. It's bad." and "I played x amount of this game, and I think it's not worth my time. Here are the reasons, therefore I won't recommend it to others."

I just dropped Hollow Knight after ~17 hours, because I didn't seem to make any progress and everything seemed too convoluted to me. Controls and some of the gameplay mechanics were another reason to stop playing.
Oct 27, 2017
Here, duh.
No. You can get the gist of what it's trying to with enough time invested.

I stopped playing Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z at the last boss. However many hours playing through it, and then some 15 or so retries at the last boss before I said "fuck this, I have better games to play" and shelved it for good.

Is my opinion on the game invalidated because I didn't see an ending cinematic? I should hope not.
Oct 25, 2017
Lmao I'm so dumb. But yeah. Awesome Minato avatar.


Tempted to derail this thread into a Persona 3 thread but I won't....
Plenty havent finished p3 and thats fine, opinions are valid cause the gameplays hot fire by the answer in most opinions off gaf/era anyways.

Also youve seen me and my profile picture before places, asdfghjkl
Oct 28, 2017
It depends on what your opinion is. Like, if I played 3 hours of Persona 4 and dropped it 'cause it was boring (and the first 3 hours of P4 are), saying that "it's a boring game with no gameplay" is silly because I haven't really seen the game (as I would after ~15 hours). Saying "it never grabbed me and I'm not interested in finding out more" is perfectly alright though, it's essentially having no opinion. I personally dropped BotW after about three-four hours, nothing I've seen in the game interested me. I'm not gonna say it's a bad game, I'm just gonna say that I have no interest in it.
But at the same time, with some games you don't need 10 hours to see what it has to offer, you can tell after 45 minutes that it's not going to get any better. It's not an informed opinion in the fullest sense, but it's perfectly alright to say it was so bad that you dropped it within the first hour.
Oct 28, 2017
Absolutely not. If I don't enjoy a game I don't need to finish it to know why I don't enjoy it, or what it is like.
No, opinion is still valid. If a game is bad, there's no point in keeping at it.
That's all fine and good. That's how you yourself think about the game. That's an opinion all right. But it's not something you could say/write/use in a review/recommendation for others.

You can form an opinion about a game within minutes usually, but you shouldn't use this kind of opinion to convince other people to/or deter them from playing a game. At least that's what I think. Also I can't seem to properly convey my thoughts into words on this topic. So, sorry if it's hard to understand what I'm trying to say.
Oct 27, 2017
Does not finishing a meal invalidate your opinion of the meal?

I know the above example is comparing apples and pears, but often the argument that you need to play a whole game seems to stem from the fact that literary critics normally don't critique a work of literature without finishing it. But these are two different mediums, and I don't buy that comparison. Compared to for example books and movies games are often designed knowing that few players will experience everything in the game.

As an aside, I also reserve the right to start reading a book, and putting it down halfway through because I am an experienced reader and found it lacking, and still having an opinion. Same with movies. I'm really not seeing why my opinion wouldn't be valid. Even though it would be difficult for me to talk about the second half I still found the book or movie so lacking that I didn't even want to finish it.


Game Developer
Oct 28, 2017
Of course not. You need to play enough to get familiar with all the major game play systems and I’d say your opinion is valid by then.
Oct 29, 2017
It depends on how far you are in the game to validate the opinion . If you're 3-4 hours in and it still doesn't click , than it makes sense to have a bad impression on it . But if its just 30mins to an hour , nah that opinion is never valid .

And then if a game that is only good for the last 30% portion of it , its still not a good game on a whole package .