My top 10 most played games and my excuses for them

Only Todd can judge me.

There comes a point where "I spent X hours on Y game" becomes less a mark of honor and commitment and more just a badge of shame. The exact threshold, incidentally, is 73.5 hours. Below that and you are a filthy casual; above that and you are a pitiful human being. Don't @ me -- that's just science.

Anyway, here's a list of my top 10 most played games and my poor excuses for why the numbers beside them are so awful. This is absolutely not just some filler I wrote to run while I was off on vacation for a week. Don't tell Laura.

10. Super Hexagon - 75 hours

Terry Cavanagh's super-hard geometric twitch game is best played in short bursts, so how the hell did I rack up 75 hours on it? I actually accidentally left it running overnight, but no one's going to believe me if I say that, so let's just say I really liked the soundtrack (which is also true).

9. Mass Effect 2 - 93 hours

Arguably the best of the trilogy, Mass Effect 2 is just much easier to pick-up-and-play than either the first or third installments. Plus it has Mordin. And you can date Garrus. And... well honestly there are few things I don't love about it.

8.Skyrim - 94 hours

The really surprising thing is that Bethesda's definitive time-waster ranks so far down on this list. I think I got about 20 hours in before I started just going wild with console commands, though, so the bulk of that play time was honestly just spent positioning cheese wheels for my roleplay photoblog.

7. Dragon Age Inquisition - 113 hours

THE FUCKING. HINTERLANDS.

6. Fallout 4 - 119 hours

I'm more partial to New Vegas (as is any discerning Fallout fan) but Fallout 4 had two gigantic timesucks against which I was helpless to resist: settlement-building and Nick Valentine.

5. Yakuza 0 - 124 hours

It should come as no surprise that open-world games dominate this list, but Yakuza 0's overall "open-world" space is limited to a few square blocks of two 1980s Japanese neighborhoods, so what gives? Everyone assures me that I must've just gotten very distracted on the cabaret club minigame, which is kind of like Diner Dash except all the menu items are emotional labor, and it's fair to say that I did spend a lot of time on that. But I know what the real reason is: Goro goddamn Majima and his pretty goddamn face.

4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown - 134 hours

This number pales in comparison to some of my friends, who to this day spend their weekends sending symbolic representations of their buddies off to suffer and die at the hands of mutons and those terrifying floating disc things. But as someone not particularly interested in Iron Mode or the Long War mod, this is an unusually long time investment out of me. Maybe I just refused to accept how much I sucked.

3. Audiosurf - 156 hours

No, I didn't load seasons of Serial into this game and play while listening to Sarah Koenig's soothing investigative cadence, although that sounds kinda fun, now that I think about it. This was another case of leaving the game open but minimized overnight, uh, several times. And certainly not because I had a masochistic fondness for sticking 12-minute metal songs into the thing and playing on Ninja till my wrist was about to fall off.

2. Fire Emblem: Fates - 223 hours

I'm only guessing because I since lost the 3DS that logged these play times, but I have a pretty good visual memory for obscene numbers printed next to games I'm ashamed of. Two-thirds of Fire Emblem: Fates is just objectively bad, but the third, DLC-only campaign grants access to both cartridge campaigns' characters and the "true ending," so how was I supposed to resist something like that? Do you know how long matchmaking 40-odd characters for babies with perfect stats and abilities takes?

1. Being alive - 273,864 hours

I'd have shut this one off a while ago already but I haven't been able to find the cloud save feature.