10 Best "The Game Is Bigger Than You Think" Moments

Elden Ring's map reveal was something else.

When games seem like they won’t take a long time to play and then it turns out they’re way bigger than you thought they were, it’s either a really cool thing or a really annoying thing based on whether you’re a ‘bang for your buck’ kind of gamer or an ‘oh god, I only have an hour a night to play this’ kind of gamer.

Either way, the games on this list are fantastic so we’re going with the ‘more is better’ route. Whether you didn’t know just how big the map was, the gameplay format took a hard left, or things got a little funky with time–which happens way more than you’d expect in video games–these ten titles all pulled you along for the ride and then some.

10. NieR: Automata

Nier Automata

One of the most popular instances of a game being bigger than you think is Nier: Automata which, along with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, lets you finish the entire game before letting you know there’s a whole lot more game to go.

Nier: Automata requires you to play through its story multiple times if you want to experience the whole thing and every ending it has to throw at you. Which, let's be clear, is 26. 26 endings. Even those prepped for multiple endings because they have experience with Nier or other branching video games, wouldn’t have expected Automata to go this far, but that’s part of the magic of this game. It’s not until your second playthrough that you’ll experience things as a totally different character, and then not until your third when you’ll drop into yet another pair of android shoes and get another big piece of the story.

Even if you were anticipating this game might have a lot to offer in the realms of replayability or the sheer fact of its jam packed open world laid out for you to explore, nothing can quite prepare you for the way that its story just keeps going.

If Nier: Automata didn’t hit you with this moment the game would miss out on a huge part of its impact and the way everything coalesces between its plotlines and characters to tell you an extraordinarily unique story that you should experience for yourself.

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Likes: Collecting maiamais, stanning Makoto, dual-weilding, using sniper rifles on PC, speccing into persuasion and lockpicking. Dislikes: Escort missions.