I noticed today that, according to my X-Fire stats, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has taken over the top spot from Half-Life 2 as my most played game. I have now played Oblivion for 86 hours, compared to just 85 hours for HL2.
Now, with HL2 that includes at least 4 play throughs, a lot of mods that register as being HL2 rather than a mod, and a lot of hours just testing levels I was building using Valve's SDK tools. With Oblivion, I haven't even played through all the quests. I did one run through as a nice, upstanding fighter character, including completing the main quest, all the Fighters Guild quests, and most of the general side quests. Now I'm doing one as a shady magic-based character, doing all the Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, and Assassins Guild quests, only the very small part of the main quest that you pretty much have to do at the beginning, and a repeated a couple of the general side quests for the purpose of leveling up. There's still a handful of side quests I've yet to do, and a ton of random dungeons and caves I've never explored, so there's still some game yet to play. And I haven't even touched any of the expansions/add-ons you can buy from Bethesda. I guess I got my $50 worth!
I'd feel guilty about dedicating 86 hours to a video game, but it is over the course of about 5 months, so it's not that bad. I don't think I ever played more than 8-10 hours in a week, so I've paced myself and not gotten completely sucked into it.
Though, I am starting to burn out on it a bit, so it may be time to find a new game, but what? The demo for Prey was really solid, but the reviews said that, while it was a really good game, it did suffer from some repetitiveness. I still haven't picked up the Civilization IV expansion, mostly because I know I'll get sucked in again. (Civ IV currently sits as number 3 on the X-Fire list, with 71 hours.)
Maybe it's time to put away the video games for the remainder of the summer and fall, and pick back up again this winter. *laugh*