How Many Games Can You Play At Once?

I have been having a tremendous amount of trouble playing more than one concurrent game. The trouble is, I typically run out of hands when I attempt the second game. There just isn’t any chance I can manage two controllers at once. Years ago, I easily could control 3 and sometimes even 4 controllers simultaneously, playing all four games masterfully, and with relative ease, considering the feat.

I joke of course (OR DO I), but what I am serious about is the ability to enjoy several playthroughs at once, jumping between games when the mood strikes. There are tons of games out there, and if you limit yourself to only playing one (particularly if the game is too long), the allure of a new shiny title is sure to pull you away, right? So what do we all do – we end up starting multiple games at the same time, and a large portion of the time, we never finish everything that we’re playing.

I have been trying to mitigate this issue I’ve been having where I do just this. After getting my PS5 and enjoying some excellent PS+ games, I found myself starting something new as soon as I found myself a tad bored, thinking, “I’ll just start another one!” That didn’t go so well.

It started while playing Uncharted 4 and Final Fantasy VII Remake. They are wildly different games, both in gameplay and, especially, tone. Third-person Spiderman simulator + shooting gallery and a remake of one of my favorite JRPGs of all time – theoretically that should have been very do-able. And yet, what ultimately happened is I got bored of both because of a lack of overall progress, and wanted to try something new.

Just typing that out hurts. “Progress.” This is a fun hobby, damnit! I sincerely miss the days where I had a bazillion hours of free time every week, but sadly those days are over, and now I’m here talking about “progress.”

The main issue with playing multiple games at a time, is that if you have limited gaming time to begin with, it can be very daunting to take on multiple full-length games, since you won’t really see a completion for a long time. Again, it sounds crazy to reduce gaming down to “how much can I get done“, but I’m sure you can relate if you’ve been in this situation before. If you have a lot of games you want to play, finishing one feels absolutely amazing, but if it’s two months and you’re 90% of the way through two games, it can feel like you haven’t finished anything in ages.

Before I had a family and a house to keep them in, I had a lot more time on my hands, and I’d typically have 3-4 games ongoing at any given time. Maybe a puzzle game (I was super into Picross for a long time), Monster Hunter (since it doesn’t end), and then some longer adventure. Maybe something spicy thrown into the mix like a platformer or something level-based, which are much easier to jump into and play for 5 minutes. But, I finished games, and always had something new and interesting to take on.

Now, things are a lot different, and when I do sit down to play, I like to spend my time on an end-goal. A buffet of games to play just doesn’t fly anymore.

The short version here, for those Starcraft players out there, is lately my method has been to “focus-fire” my way through my games. Recently, I received my steelbook edition of CrossCode, and it’s probably my favorite game I’ve played in ten years. Here’s the thing though – it’s gigantic. Like 50+ hours long gigantic. Sitting right in the (very short!) queue is The Last of Us Part 2, and Ys IX: Monstrum Nox will be arriving at my doorstep in a week or two. Unfortunate timing, I suppose, but I’ve got three sweet games ripe for the playing. And I’ve still got two chapters left in FF7R!

Besides wanting to see through some games to the end, there’s also more of a desire lately to allow myself to be more immersed in a game world. This is hard to pull off if you’re constantly jumping back and fourth, or between different genres. I think dialing things back to an absolute maximum of 1 story-focused game at a time is the way forward from now on. At least until I’ve caught up a bit on these excellent RPGs I’ve been playing!

Speaking of which, let’s do a quick run-down of what I’ve been playing; Final Fantasy 7 Remake – two chapters left, really enjoying this game. I like how it’s much more a reimagining than a graphical overhaul, because it’s not predictable in the slightest. Anxious to see where this one goes. CrossCode – I waited three months for this to arrive from across the globe, and it’s been my most anticipated game since I placed the darn order – three months before that! That being said, it’s been absolutely delivering on all promises. It’s fast-paced, action-RPG goodness with a Chrono Trigger meets Secret of Mana feeling and it’s one of those where within minutes, I thought “yeah, this game was made for me.” More on it later, after I finish up FF7R.

And that’s about it for my off-the-cuff rambling about how I can basically only play one game at a time anymore. Thanks for reading!

How many games can you play at a time? Am I just getting old and impatient, you guys? Please tell me I’m not, in the comments below. πŸ™‚


  1. Man, your gaming musings are always so interesting! I’m sure you won’t be surprised at all to read that I can hardly focus on more than a single game at once. 😜 Two games at once is the full height of my switching abilities, and I can’t even pull it off on a regular basis. This is why I ultimately decided to focus on a single game for shorter periods of time; this way, I now have a chance of actually playing my whole collection before kicking the bucket. πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

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