10 Long Games to Binge Over Winter Break 2023

edited December 2023 in Gaming

As winter sets in, hunker down, lose yourself in these long games, and immerse yourself in new worlds. These deep, complex titles demand days of marathon gaming sessions where your tenacity pays off. 

Let your imagination run wild in sweeping worlds with vivid characters and intricate narratives. These 10 epic PC games give over 100 hours of gameplay—perfect for whiling away frosty days.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt casts you as Geralt, a monster-hunting Witcher roaming an expansive open world brimming with secrets and adventures. With its deep RPG systems and morally ambiguous choices, this 100+ hour epic immerses you in dark fantasy brought to life. 

Around every corner, something awaits to reward the curious—combing through this rich, vibrant realm always pays off. Fans of the Netflix show can now experience the monster-hunting action and gritty storytelling firsthand. 

Rushing the main story takes 60-80 hours, but you can pour 200+ hours into side quests and wander the stunning landscapes before tackling the DLC expansions. Hearts of Stone, sends Geralt on adventures in the existing No Man's Land area. Then, Blood and Wine introduces a new Toussaint region that doubles the first expansion's length.

Estimated playing time for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 

  • Main story: About 70 hours. 
  • 100% complete: Over 200 hours​​.

2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 

Delve into Skyrim's snowy peaks and verdant valleys, a Norse land where every choice you make shapes your journey. As the Dragonborn, you're thrust into a sprawling narrative where dragons return to a fractured world. With its nonlinear open world and endless quests, this genre-defining RPG will keep you cozy through the Winter.

Roam freely in this colossal world, where the thrill of exploration is unparalleled. Fight towering dragons, uncover secrets tucked away in dark dungeons, or wander the countryside as you see fit. Your actions carve your path from a heroic dragon-slayer to a crafty thief. 

Skyrim's rich lore and detailed environments make every playthrough unique. Spend hours perfecting your skills, aligning with factions, and impacting the world's balance. Whether you're battling dragons or simply absorbing the lore of the game’s universe, Skyrim's world is yours to conquer. 

While the main quest takes around 30 hours, completing all side content can push playtime over 200 hours. And with mods, the possibilities are endless. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Radiant system continues to generate random quests, so it's unending.  

Three major DLC game expansions extend your adventure:

  1. Dawnguard plunges you into a feud between vampires (Volkihar Clan) and elite vampire hunters (Dawnguard). 
  2. Hearthfire lets you design and build a customizable home to reside in. 
  3. Dragonborn allows you to tame and ride dragons in Skyrim.
    Skyrim’s rich lore and detailed environments make every playthrough unique. With infinite quests and entire new lands to uncover, lose yourself for hundreds of hours and still discover new legends over the winter break.

Estimated playing time for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 

  • Main story: About 34½ hours. 
  • 100% complete: Around 231 hours​​.

3. Baldur's Gate 3 

Baldur's Gate 3 brings the revered RPG series into the modern era with a visually stunning return to the Forgotten Realms. Create unique heroes to lead through sinister mysteries and dark prophecies across intricately modeled fantasy cities and dungeons. 

You control a motley crew with deep character customization, uncovering mind-flayer conspiracies in a richly detailed medieval world. Every decision influences the quintessential D&D realm as you fulfill heroic dreams. Baldur's Gate 3 earned an outstanding 96 Metascore, pushing player freedom to the limit. 

Focusing on just the main quest provides a hefty 44 hours of playtime. But completists can pour over 100 hours into side adventures across taverns, temples, and more before uncovering all secrets. Whether you're a series veteran or newcomer, Baldur's Gate 3's moral choices and engaging characters hook you in for a lengthy journey.

Estimated playing time for Baldur’s Gate 3 

  • Main story: About 44 hours. 
  • 100% complete: Around 100 hours​​.

4. Red Dead Redemption 2 

Saddle up for an unforgettable journey in Red Dead Redemption 2. This gritty western prequel has you roaming 1899 America as Arthur Morgan, an outlaw navigating the death of the Wild West. 

From picturesque mountains to dusty frontier towns, the game brings Old West America to life with unrivaled detail. Lose yourself in this world as you hunt, explore, and battle rival gangs and government forces. Red Dead 2 is a benchmark in open-world gaming with immersive gameplay and a sweeping story. 

Focusing on the main story takes around 50 hours. But completists can pour over 180 hours into fully experiencing Red Dead's dynamic world. Get swept away in this poignant tale of loyalty and the slow death of the outlaw era. 

Estimated playing time for Red Dead Redemption 2 

  • Main story: About 50 hours. 
  • 100% complete: At least 180 hours​​.

5. Persona 5 Royal 

Persona 5 Royal masterfully combines a high school drama with metaphysical heist elements in this JPRG. You play as Joker, a student wrongfully accused of assault and transferred to a new school. You team up with other outcasts to explore the Metaverse, where suppressed psyches morph into distorted realities. 

The game weaves an intricate narrative, balancing everyday student life with the fantastical adventures in the Metaverse, where battles against shadowy figures in surreal dungeons await. This dual-life dynamic creates a compelling experience as you navigate turn-based combat and social interactions, uncovering the truth behind Joker's predicament. 

Persona 5 Royal is not just combat; it dives deep into personal stories against a jazzy soundtrack. With around 100 hours required for the main story and over 140 for completionists, it offers a rich, immersive experience. This edition's extensive post-game epilogue adds even more depth, making it an exceptional journey in the JRPG landscape. 

Estimated playing time for Persona 5 Royal 

  • Main story: About 100 hours. 
  • 100% complete: At least 140 hours​​.

6. Cyberpunk 2077 

Get lost in the neon-bathed dystopia of Night City in Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red's ambitious open-world RPG drops you into a high-tech future where body augmentations, corporate interests, and vice run rampant. 

You play as V, a cyberpunk mercenary whose ambitious heist goes wrong, and you must navigate through the seedy criminal underbelly. Combat blends hacking abilities and gadgets with frantic gunplay for thrilling gameplay matched by an intricate main quest. 

Night City brims with side activities from illegal racing to shadowy mercenary gigs. Character customization lets you craft unique hybrid classes to match your gaming style. And choices throughout alter the story in weighty, unexpected ways. 

Cyberpunk 2077 delivers a gritty, adult sci-fi tale matched by immersive world-building. With over 24 hours for the primary campaign and 100+ to obtain 100% completion, it's an expansive future playground where you decide: 

  • Who to trust. 
  • Who to work for. 
  • How much body chrome to add.

The Phantom Liberty DLC represents Cyberpunk 2077 at its best - an engaging 12-hour expansion extending Night City's shadowy adventures.

Estimated playing time for Cyberpunk 2077 

  • Main story: About 24 hours. 
  • 100% complete: At least 100 hours​​.

7. Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition 

Fallout 4 drops you into a vast post-nuclear war Boston Wasteland. As the sole survivor, every moment is vital, and every decision shapes this post-apocalyptic world. 

The deep RPG progression systems and unrestricted sandbox gameplay let you create a unique journey. From battling raiders to building entire settlements, Fallout 4 tailors the experience around your gameplay choices. The main story takes around 33 hours, while completionists can play for up to 212 hours. 

Winner of 200+ awards, including the 2016 BAFTA, Fallout 4 is a testament to ambitious game design. This edition includes the acclaimed core game and six add-ons, including Automatron and Nuka-World. Determine the fate of civilization however you see fit in this genre-redefining post-apocalyptic RPG. 

Estimated playing time for Fallout 4 

  • Main story: About 33 hours. 
  • 100% complete: At least 210 hours​​.

8. Kenshi 

Kenshi is the definition of an open-world sandbox RPG in this Sword-Punk adventure. With no set quests or paths, you forge your destiny in this harsh yet atmospheric single-player PC game.

Survival is a relentless challenge as you battle bloodthirsty cannibals, brutal slavers, and wild beasts. You are no chosen hero; you must earn your strength and significance. Kenshi's unforgiving realism means you are not inherently superior. 

Explore diverse landscapes, recruit followers, and build your settlements, as every choice shapes your emergent story. Your actions dictate your role, whether lone wanderer, settlement leader, or martial arts master. With 273 hours for 100% completion, forge your saga however you see fit in this genre-defying RPG. 

Estimated playing time for Kenshi 

  • Main story: About 83 hours. 
  • 100% complete: At least 270 hours​​.

9. Assassin's Creed Valhalla 

Assassin's Creed Valhalla plunges you into the heart of 9th-century England, a land ripe for the taking by Viking raiders. As Eivor, a Viking warrior, you lead your clan from the icy shores of Norway to conquer the fertile lands of England. With over 96 hours of gameplay, engage in a gripping narrative that intertwines Templar and Norse mythology. 

In this open-world action RPG, your saga unfolds based on your decisions. Engage in brutal battles, lead fiery raids, eliminate foes by stealth, and forge alliances to establish dominance. The game's advanced RPG system creates a deeply personalized journey from every combat or conversation. 

Three expansions extend the game even further:

  • Wrath of the Druids whisks you to mystical Ireland to uncover Druidic secrets. 
  • The Siege of Paris concludes the Viking saga against the forces of Charles the Fat. 
  • Dawn of Ragnarök has you take the mantle of Odin to rescue his son Baldr from the dwarven realm.

See your legend evolve as your Viking settlement expands, unlocking new quests and activities. Assassin's Creed Valhalla offers an immersive Dark Ages experience where your decisions shape your path to glory. 

Estimated playing time for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 

  • Main story: About 96 hours. 
  • 100% complete: 130 - 160 hours​​.

10. Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a masterpiece by Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin, redefining open-world gaming with its expansive dark fantasy universe. Elden Ring is a challenging game where you can't mash buttons to victory. Patience is required. 

Set in the Lands Between, a realm rich with cryptic lore, intricate landscapes, and formidable boss battles. The shattered Elden Ring and the resulting chaos set the stage for an epic adventure. Enter as the Tarnished, rejected, and exiled; you must rise to power and rebuild the shattered Elden Ring that controls this expansive open world. 

Elden Ring sets a new bar with its seamless world design, blending breathtaking landscapes with legacy dungeons full of secrets. Traverse these stunning environments on foot or horseback, alone or online. Extensive customization and strategic combat allow you to approach each challenge as you see fit, from stealth to all-out assaults. 

Characters have complex stories; the creatures you encounter add to the game's rich narrative. The world seamlessly combines vast landscapes with dark dungeons. You can explore these stunning settings on foot, horseback, alone, or with friends online. The gameplay sets a new standard in the RPG genre, with many options for building your character and tackling battles.

Elden Ring rewards perseverance and exploration, inviting you to uncover its hidden stories at your own pace. Elden Ring is a masterclass in gameplay and narrative. It offers an adventure that's both challenging and profoundly rewarding. 

Estimated playing time for Elden Ring 

  • Main story: About 30 hours. 
  • 100% complete: Around 100 hours​​.

As winter tightens its icy grip, now is the time to escape into sweeping realms of fantasy, history, and imagination. Lose yourself in legendary lands with these 10 long video games. Adventures expansive enough to make the bitter cold fade away. Burrow in, fire up your PC, and don't emerge until spring. 

Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech.


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