Achieving 100% completion in a video game has long been a coveted milestone for avid gamers. Games like Grand Theft Auto, with their detailed stat screens, prominently display your completion percentage, serving as a constant reminder of the progress made and the journey still left. Interestingly, wrapping up the main storyline in role-playing games (RPGs) or open-world genres typically only contributes to about 60% of the completion percentage. The remaining fraction comprises side quests, collectibles, character progress, and myriad other minutiae that the developers cleverly interweave into the gameplay.
In the era of trophies and achievements, I have found my engagement with games that lack these features dwindling. I can’t help but wonder if securing 100% completion in expansive games remains a feasible endeavor, particularly without the lure of a trophy or achievement.
Admittedly, it may seem silly that digital accolades are the force driving people to dedicate hours into games. But for the quest of 100% completion, they provide a tangible marker of progress. For instance, securing the platinum trophy in Skyrim on the PlayStation 3 took me roughly 100 hours—a significant chunk of my time. Even though my engagement with the game has waned, that trophy, forever etched into my PSN account, serves as a memento of the countless hours I’ve invested.
My first encounter with 100% game completion was with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PlayStation 2—a time before trophies were even a concept. I had limited means to purchase new games frequently, so I spent a considerable amount of time exploring every facet of San Andreas. However, one day, I discovered that my younger brother had inadvertently overwritten my 100% completion save with a new game. My laborious journey to that 100% completion mark had been erased. Had trophies been present back then, I would’ve had a tangible reminder of my achievement, independent of the game save.
This disheartening incident with GTA San Andreas significantly contributed to my affinity for trophies. While I’ve largely overcome my fixation and can enjoy games without trophies or achievements, they still hold value, especially in the context of 100% game completion. The process often entails tedious grinding; having a tangible token to reflect your efforts seems only fair.
Some might scoff at the importance I place on these digital rewards, considering it frivolous. However, in my view, unless there’s a more gratifying way to commemorate the considerable effort put into securing 100% game completion, these digital badges will continue to hold their appeal.