I'm not going to be diculous and say things like "achievements!!!" or "an easy mode!!!". These are things that I REFUSE to play a game without.
1: THE ABILITY TO SAVE MY PROGRESS
2: THE ABILITY TO PAUSE THE GAME
If I can't do these things, I will put your game where it belongs: the trash.
THINGS I WISH ALL GAMES HAD:
1: The ability to save any-fucking-where I fucking want to and pick up RIGHT where I left off. Huge-ass RPGs like Oblivion, Deus Ex and New Vegas can do it. BioWare games can do it. Why do I have to head all the fucking way across town in GTA IV to get to my safehouse? Why do I have to play the game for an hour to find a goddamn save point in any given JRPG? WHY DO I HAVE TO HEAD TO A GODDAMN BATHROOM IN FUCKING DEAD RISING? Get your head out of your fucking ass. Sometimes, shit happens and I want to be able to stop my game and take care of shit without fucking around for a fucking half hour to get to where YOU say I CAN FUCKING SAVE MY PROGRESS. DON'T SAY YOUR GAME CAN'T FUCKING HANDLE IT. THAT'S FUCKING BULLSHIT. DON'T SAY SAVE POINTS ARE "CLASSIC" OR "TIMELESS", BECAUSE THEY'RE RETARDED. THIS ISN'T FUCKING 1998. GODDAMMIT. note: sports, music, fighting and racing games can get away with this i guess Also, "buy safehouses so you have more places to save!!!" started being retarded around 2008. It's fine to have "buy safehouses so you have more places to store cars and change your clothes!!!", but I shouldn't be fucking hindered by your save system. Even "THE WORST GAME EVER", Dragon Age II, lets you save any-fucking-where.
2: Direction. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten turned around in some games. I AM A GIGANTIC FAGGOT PLEASE RAPE MY FACE II/III gives you a "breadcrumb" trail (which sometimes refuses to show up), and Saints Row and GTA IV give you a GPS. JRPGs are easy to navigate nowadays, since they've evolved into a straight line. However, both Fallout 3 and New Vegas have a fucking shitty mapping system. The maps are confusing and the marker that tells you where to go leads you into a fucking wall 95% of the time. I'm not saying you need to fucking hold my hand, but Christ. Give me a fucking readable map and a waypoint system that isn't retarded. The Godfather has a fuckhuge city with nearly no landmarks. The map system is useful, but I shouldn't have to refer to it every five seconds. Make your cities smaller and more interesting, rather than huge and generic.
3: This isn't a feature, per se, but game developers NEED to learn that big open worlds aren't the only way to go. There were four open-world Spider-Man games, only two of which had a fun city to explore. Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man had loads of shit going on in the city and tonnes of shit to do. Spider-Man 3 was shit. The city was boring and the game was boring. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was a great game, but the city was SHIT. Bland, uninspired, unfun. The missions were the only good part. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions fixed this by going back to levels, which fucking WORKED BETTER. You get a level based around each villain and get to see how they do shit, rather than "HEY HERE'S A NEW VILLAIN IN YOUR FUCKHUGE CITY GET TO IT". One level was even a big tanker that allowed you to explore. That is linearity done right.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution gave you two big cities that you go to twice each, each time with different shit going on. The world felt alive, AND it was a small contained area. It was a level. You could do loads of shit in there, and it was easy to navigate. You had a level you could explore and it wasn't overwhelming at all.
Crime games demand a huge city, however, this city NEEDS to be interesting. The only crime games where I KNOW the layout of the cities are GTA III/Liberty City Stories, Vice City/Stories and San Andreas(/Stories). GTA IV gave you a big city that wasn't interesting AT ALL. The godsend was cabs which could take you anywhere for a fee. It worked, but I never got attached to the city, even after The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. It was just another city. Saints Row/2's city is pretty interesting and I know it well enough, but cabs are just too convenient. The Godfather, again, gave you a huge boring city. The gameplay was orgasmic and where I was headed was enough to look forward to, but the drives were pretty bad sometimes.
Oblivion's world was, well, boring. Fast travel took me to the meat of the game, the cities, but heading to new areas was kind of boring. The world itself was almost sterile. The vast countryside was just there for the cities and towns. I barely touched the world, as it was just a boring plain. Fallout 3 suffers from this, but MUCH worse. You have Megaton, the only non-shit town, and Rivet City, the biggest hunk of shit you've ever seen. Other than that? Ruins and flat, boring wasteland. Gee. I get that these games sort of need open worlds, and your first Bethesda game instills you with "WOAH THIS PLACE IS HUGE I GET TO EXPLORE ALL THIS WOW", but make them interesting, goddammit. New Vegas sort of did that, with towns and settlements scattered throughout, and a huge buildup to "NEW VEGAS WHERE YOU CAN DO ANYTHING", and Skyrim promises to be a beautiful hand-crafted world (and radiant AI was supposed to allow NPCs in Oblivion to kill their own dogs).
4: FUCK YOU PETER MOLYNEUX YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING