Everyone has them: the game that sits in your Steam library, maybe not seeing as much action as it used to, but still with a corner the size of a few gigabytes on your hard drive, waiting patiently for the day the desire to play it again crosses your mind.
Arvind: One word: Multiplayer. This is the criteria that games must pass if they are to remain on my HDD. Most of the time I will play a single player game for a while, play the heck out of it, and then uninstall it. For multiplayer games on the other hand, they still remain on my HDD long past their due dates. Heck, CSGO & Rocket League have stolen countless hours from me.
Clay: Honestly, not much. I keep World of Warcraft and Hearthstone as I play both on and off. Fallout 4 because I love getting lost in the world. And Warmachine Tactics because I make youtube videos on it. That’s really about it. I am very… ADHD when it comes to games, frequently removing them and reinstalling them as the mood strikes me.
Francisco: There’s just so many of them. Roguelikes have a special place on my HDD, partly because they don’t take much space anyway, but if I had to single out a couple of games that have a permanent spot on my hard drive it’d be Europa Universalis IV and Tabletop Simulator. I’d actually expand the Europa Universalis IV claim to include every Grand Strategy game out there – Hearts of Iron IV, Stellaris, Distant Worlds: Universe, Crusader Kings II – you name it, I got it. I got it and I got it installed, too, ’cause you never know when that urge to invade Europe as the Aztecs will come knocking by.
Tabletop Simulator shouldn’t require any comments. This is probably one of my favorite games of recent times, if only due to how amazingly versatile it is. Cards against Humanity with my friends? Check. A good interface for online role-playing Pathfinder and Shadowrun? Check. A virtual board that lets me play all the classics, from UNO to Carcassone, with people both online and locally? Check. The only resentment I have towards it is that my girlfriend, who doesn’t play any video games and is totally inept at them, manages to beat me in Carcassonne four times out of five.
Mihai: My desire for keeping my (relatively) large HDD free, plus a sense of security that the Steam Cloud offers and not to mention ultra fast Romanian download speeds means that I don’t usually keep games installed. There is an exception though – Team Fortress 2. Valve’s Hat Simulator is my favorite multiplayer game (and most played game) of all time. Even though there are long periods of time where I don’t touch it, I never uninstall because I know that sooner or later the prospect of a nostalgic CTF on 2fort would be something I can’t refuse. To put simply, TF 2 is ma petite chou-fleur.
Nomnaut: Thanks to the popularity of legacy console emulators and online game distributors, there is little fear of losing a game to the annals of gaming. That said, as a serious gamer, I have made the choice to dedicate an entire storage drive to my games. For my main game library, mostly consisting of Steam and GOG games, I have an internal 1 TB HDD. For my personal favorites that would benefit from the faster loading times, I also maintain an internal 100 GB SSD, currently home to GTA V and Rocket League.