With its 20th anniversary upon us, I got to wondering how long it would take to actually play the entire Mega Man Battle Network series. Protagonist Lan and his NetNavi MegaMan appeared in six numbered games (made up of 11 versions) and two non-numbered titles that technically take place in continuity. As well as a few games only released in Japan, of course!
I figured that I would only take into account the games released in the West, and then only one edition of the titles that had multiple. The six numbered entries were RPGs, with a GameCube exclusive platformer, and a turn-based netbattling game. So you can probably guess that the RPGs are going to be longer. They included sections where you controlled Lan and tried to find places to jack in to the digital world, and the rest of it had you guiding MegaMan around the internet, getting into random battles.
For reference, here are the games that count for the purposes of this article:
- Mega Man Battle Network
- Mega Man Battle Network 2
- Mega Man Battle Network 3 (Blue/White)
- Mega Man Battle Network 4 (Red Sun/Blue Moon)
- Mega Man Battle Network 5 (Team Protoman/Colonel)
- Mega Man Network Transmission
- Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge
To help me work it all out, without having to actually play them all, I looked to HowLongToBeat.com, and the category of finishing the main story. Obviously, your playthroughs may vary, but at least you’ll know roughly how long it would take.
It will take about 152 hours for you to finish all of these games at a regular pace. The one that takes the longest to complete is Mega Man Battle Network 5 at over 27 hours, and the quickest is Mega Man Network Transmission at almost eight hours. Bear in mind that if you wanted to complete everything the games had to offer, you had to finish each one up to seven times.
However, there’s another way to play through games. Rather than play the whole thing, I also wondered how long it would take if I decided to learn some strats and speedrun the whole series! This time, I looked to Speedrun.com, and added up the fastest times for Any% runs - which means they literally finished the game as quickly as possible.
It will take exactly 14h 25m 8s for you to finish all of these games at a world record speedrunning pace. That’s like 90% faster! The longest is Mega Man Battle Network 3 at 2:45:21, and the quickest is Mega Man Network Transmission at 54:07.
So there you have it - you either have to set aside a single day or a whole week, if you want to play through the whole Mega Man Battle Network series. More than that, if you know Japanese or actually wanted to play the multiple versions. If you instead wanted to know which the best Mega Man Battle Network game was, then I’m sorry but I already answered that question five years ago.