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I am trying to get ready for ME 3, assuming I played to win, and not for completion. However I have never played the earlier two games before, nor do I have a strategy guide. How long would it reasonably take to complete them and be ready for ME 3.

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Just for another data point: It took me about 50 hours for each. And I side-quested the hell out of both, and explored many non-critical conversation paths. –  Iszi Jan 11 '13 at 17:01
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marked as duplicate by Frank, Unionhawk, Ashley Nunn, Billy Mailman, shanodin Oct 17 '13 at 4:49

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

How Long To Beat has cross-platform averages for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, shown below (although I would I consider these to be a bit high, it's all very dependant on the player, obviously):

                Main        Main Plus    Completionist
Mass Effect     17:11:56    30:44:28     48:26:54
Mass Effect 2   26:09:34    36:48:34     47:19:13

Main is the barebones main quests, no side missions etc, so is what you're asking for.

However, Main Plus includes additional side missions, etc, so if you just play "normally" instead of speeding through (and you should, a lot of ME1 and ME2 side mission results are carried forward to influence the later games so if your aim is to play the series it'd be a waste to skip these) then this is probably more representative of what you need.

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So average to good gamers would consider these "no greater then" times. –  Pyrodante Mar 3 '12 at 18:56
    
Wow, those averages are much higher than I would've thought. I just recently replayed ME2 in preparation for ME3 and my completionist on hardcore is definitely not nearly as long as 50 hours. –  z - Mar 3 '12 at 18:59
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@yx. Did you skip over any dialog that you'd already heard? Did you run around your ship after every mission talking to everyone just in case they had new things to say? That sort of thing adds up. Prior knowledge of where to go and who to bother talking that will say interesting things can cut down on even completionist play time significantly. Also, if you click the link, you'll see that platform makes a pretty big difference. 39 hours for a completionist playthrough on PC, versus 57 hours in the 360. –  Sterno Mar 3 '12 at 19:07
    
@DMA57361 Btw, +1 for the link. Never knew a site like that existed! –  Sterno Mar 3 '12 at 19:08
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Thanks for the heads up @iananananan, fixed. –  DMA57361 Oct 17 '13 at 7:39
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