Shannon P. Drake
I think the real appeal of Victoria 3 and the series overall is it’s very self-directed. Picking one game can result in a completely different experience. Managing the diplomacy and economy of the British Empire at its peak is absolutely insane, then during the next run, you are trying to do things like “figure out how to even have diplomatic relations” and “wtf how do i economy???” in some backwater nation you are gracing with your benevolent rulership.
I found it compelling. Even if you don’t like tactical combat, you have to admire something so completely insane and very much its own thing when the world is busy making roguelike soulslikes platformers. It’s also an excuse to buy a cowboy hat of your very own.
Stubbs is emblematic of the end-of-lifecycle game in that it is extremely weird, kind of janky, and beloved by those who happened to pick it up in the game store, which was something we had way back then, because console games hadn’t invented online purchases yet.