The longer I play video games the more I realize I can’t recall a time where I have ever finished a game at 100 percent. There have definitely been games where I completed the main story and even did almost all of the side quests. But being able to boast about finding every collectible there is, unlocking every secret tucked away in a level, it’s not something I can put a claim on.
I’ve written many times on this blog about the decision to do all side quests or the overwhelming amount of them. When a video game is as massive as Dragon Age, Mass Effect, or even the recent Cyberpunk 2077, it takes a lot of commitment and patience to leave no stone unturned. If, for instance, you are able to check off every single side quest, including the ones that are the tedious fetch quests, that will still leave you with the collectibles or finding any hidden extras within the game itself.
I’ve never considered myself much of an achievement hunter where I had to have every single achievement unlocked for defeating a boss fight at the highest difficulty level or managing to find every single note left behind by an NPC character. Perusing what those requirements are in the achievement section of a game or reading about it in a walkthrough is more demotivating than appealing. Oftentimes the requirement to meet the conditions necessary to get the trophy involves something far more challenging than I’m willing to spend a lot of time on. For some the challenge is part of the reason why someone will go for it.
My cousin is one of the people I know who has a number of video games completed at 100 percent. Not only does he enjoy the challenge of getting that full completion, but his will to do it is also driven by the love he feels for the entire game. If my cousin has had an amazing time playing it, he’ll often go back and finish everything else he’s still missing.
I’m usually impressed when someone I know, like my cousin, would casually say they have successfully finished a game at 100 percent before retiring it to move onto the next great video game adventure. As for me “completing” a game means knowing how the story ends and where all the characters wind up.
When two of my friends recently mentioned they would like to 100 percent Cyberpunk 2077 I already knew it meant they wanted to do all the gigs and side jobs the game had. Neither one of my friends are achievement hunters like my cousin, and our definition of “finished” will be vastly different from how other gamers would define it.
In many ways it would be nice to have that one game where everything you could do and find has been reached. I’ve come close with a number of episodic games, like Life Is Strange, where I almost found every collectible scattered throughout each episode only to be short of one or two that I overlooked. I’m more likely to 100 percent an episodic, choice driven game than I am at a sprawling RPG, but in the end I feel like I got everything I wanted out of the game I played.
If I ever do 100 percent a video game in my lifetime that would be the crowning achievement.
Have you ever completed a game at 100 percent? Which game was it and what motivated you to do it?