From The Last of Us to The Legend of Zelda, we all have our favourite video games. But, what is it that makes a truly great game?

All games have their quirks and unique parts that make them special, but some are undeniably far better than others. There are loads of aspects that go towards making a game, but only a few of those define a great game; the games that stick with us long after completion.

Obviously the main thing you’re looking for is the story. If a game has no story – or if the story is incredibly slow and boring – chances are, you’re not going to be interested. This doesn’t mean the story needs to be extremely long and convoluted, however, as this can have the same effect. To make the game as interesting as possible, the story should be not too short but not too long – players seem to enjoy a length of around 20-30 hours for the main campaign – and have lots of plot development. Similarly, the game’s characters need to have development and relatable personalities. Too bland and they’ll bring down the whole feel of the game; overcomplicated and people won’t relate.

To make a great game, the controls must also be easy to understand. They can be complicated as long as the player can adjust to them well. There seems to be a pretty standard control scheme that most games use nowadays as it feels the most natural. To optimise the game, it’s best to not stray too far from that.

The only other thing that helps to make a good game become great is its individuality. The game needs to be unique and unlike others to really stand out in the player’s memory. This can come from the story, the art style, or even the whole game’s concept.

Ultimately, whether a game is great or not comes down to the player. Everyone is different, so people enjoy different things. However, while this is true, there is still a generic formula that goes a long way in making games more enjoyable for all players. If the game is focussed on story and the gameplay is good, then chances are the majority are going to love it!