Replay Those Old Games
They Don't Charge Extra For Nostalgia
My son loves Marvel's Spider-Man on the PS4. He'd replay missions dozens of times, utterly destroying wave after wave of Demon gangsters. I got to see his mastery of the game gradually increase, even after I secretly upped the difficulty from "Friendly" to "Amazing." He'd make personal challenges for himself, like clearing the room without touching the floor or doing a mission without being discovered which he has adorably coined as being a "Mr. Sneakypants."
He's four. He's mastered the game. He won't stop playing.
So one night we went scrolling through my Playstation library, trying to find something fresh for him to play. That's when we discovered an old gem that I had put over 300 hours of gameplay into, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
He became the most chaotic mage that I had ever seen in all my days of gaming. I had no idea that in doing so I doomed his slice of Skyrim to an existence of absolute destruction. I had never played a true mage like he was, no matter how I started out I always managed to turn into my own Mr. Sneakypants with an ebony bow. I felt such pride seeing my son take on the world, and it gave me an incredible feeling of nostalgia which made the price of this game absolutely worth every penny.
Maybe we should all play games like a 4 year-old...
1. Set Personal Challenges for Yourself.
Whether it's not touching the floor on Marvel Spider-Man or doing a melee-only build on Fallout 4, this kind of standard that you can set for yourself can add a whole new way to play a game.
2. Mess with the Default Settings
This can include a wide variety of options. While playing games with incredible scenery, try turning of the HUD. It doesn't make sense that Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2 knows where all the bad(or good) guys are at all times via the compass. Change the default language and turn off the subtitles. In Far Cry: Primal you play a literal caveman and without subtitles, the players needs to use context clues and the NPC's facial expressions to figure out what's happening.
3. Do It Differently
This one seems obvious, but it's good to be reminded sometimes. While playing the OG Mass Effect, I had two different Shepards. One was a pure was the wind-driven snow Paragon and the other was a Chaotic Evil Renegade who took every oppurtunity to be a scoundrel, including punching a news reporter in the face while on camera. Games with morality give the player a smorgasbord of choices that can affect the game's ending.