Most games gives the player a single main objective at a time, completing which either results in victory or lets you advance to the next level. Others give you a list of objectives that need to be completed before you can move on.
This trope is about games that give you several objectives but let you choose in which order to complete them and award you the victory once a certain percentage has been done, meaning that you never have to complete the tasks you particularly dislike. This is not to be confused with bonus objectives, which may give additional rewards but are irrelevant to story progression.
Another variation is found in games that don't give the players distinct objectives but instead a single objective that can be completed piece-by-piece (e.g. collect hidden items, conquer neighboring lands, etc.), and declare them victorious after the objective is mostly complete. An important feature of this, however, is that the total number of such pieces is limited. This concept is related to Cash Gate, where you have a single overarching objective (collect money) and may not need to complete all subordinate objectives to meet it.
The main difference between this trope and Scoring Points is that in the latter, there is usually no hard limit on how many points can be gained, except when the winning condition actually is "be the first to get this many points". With this trope, however, there is a known limited number of things to be collected or completed, but you don't have to catch them all to win or to proceed to the next stage.
This trope is a mild form of Story Branching closely related to Do Well, But Not Perfect. Contrast Gotta Catch Them All and Arbitrarily Serialized Simultaneous Adventures, where you get to pick the order in which levels are played but you still need to complete every objective before you're allowed to proceed. A staple of the Collect-a-Thon Platformer. Contrast also 100% Completion.
- In Heroine's Quest, you have to obtain the two Eyes of Thiassi to confront the Big Bad. Each eye has a protector, who will tell you to get the endorsement of at least half the named NPCs in his city. It doesn't matter which half, so you are free to pick which sidequests to perform. Depending on class, you can also Take a Third Option by challenging one of the guardians to a duel, or for the thief class, sneak in at night and steal both of the artifacts.
- Several of the 3D entries of the Super Mario Bros. saga are focused on collecting Plot Coupons (Power Stars, Green Stars, Star Coins, Power Moons); however, not all of them are necessary to collect in order to reach the Final Boss. For example, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy 2 have each 120 power stars, but in both cases only 70 of them are necessary to reach the final level and the ending. Super Mario Sunshine is an exception; it requires collecting the first seven Shines of each of the seven major areas, and you'll need the first Shine at the airport to open the rest of the game. The rest of the Shines are optional.
- Platformers made by Rare (then Rareware) on the Nintendo 64 usually require collecting a specific number of the Plot Coupons with no regard to which ones you get specifically. Banjo-Kazooie is the closest game to avert this, as there are 100 Jiggies of which a whopping 94 are necessary to complete all mandatory pictures (those which unlock the worlds plus the one which unlocks the final battle against Gruntilda). Other games give more leeway (though not necessarily becoming easier as a result: Banjo-Tooie, for example, can be completed with 70 Jiggies out of 90, but the majority of them require a lot more effort to collect than those of the first game).
- Accessing the final dungeon of An Untitled Story requires collecting a number of golden orbs across the game world, a number that varies from a fraction to all depending on the difficulty level.
- Qix. As soon as you claim at least 75% of the map you immediately move to the next screen. This is a necessity, as the nature of the game makes claiming 100% of the map theoretically impossible.
- The Cartography Sidequest in Uncharted Waters: New Horizons (which is the main quest for Ernst) counts as complete once you've surveyed about 90% of the world map.
- Chapter 2 of Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark ends after you complete four out of five main quests presented at the start, though it is possible to complete all of them, since the final stage triggers when you speak to the seer and you don't have to return to him before you have beaten everything. Which quests you completed affects what characters appear during the ending battle.
- You can only obtain the most hidden ending of Bloodborne (the jury is still out whether it is the "best" ending) by consuming three One Thirds of an Umbilical Cord before final battle. There are actually four of these items in the game, but two are Permanently Missable, depending on your actions, and one is hidden in a very hard-to-get-to location.
- Mass Effect:
- The original Mass Effect has five rather tedious Collection Sidequests (asari writings, salarian medallions, turian insignias, Prothean discs, and useful minerals), which are completed by scanning or manually exploring optional planets. Thankfully, there are actually more collectibles of each sort in the game than is required to mark the respective assignment as completed and to receive your one-off completion XP. You do still get the individual XP and cash rewards if you find the remaining collectibles afterwards, however.
- This is also how War Assets work in Mass Effect 3. You don't need to get all of them (and depending on your actions in prior games getting them all might actually be impossible), but the more you have, the better off you are.
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has five main quests that Lightning must complete in the thirteen days before The End of the World as We Know It. It also has a vast number of sidequests that Lightning can also complete. Completing quests will reward Lightning with stat boosts and postpone the aforesaid apocalypse for up to twelve days, with The Very Definitely Final Dungeon unlocked on the thirteenth day once all main quests are complete. Completing enough sidequests* before Day 13 will unlock a fourteenth day, pushing back the Final Boss for long enough to explore a Bonus Dungeon and fight a Bonus Boss. Doing this on a New Game+ and beating said Bonus Boss will unlock the True Final Boss, thus defying Bragging Rights Reward for the prizes at the end of the Bonus Dungeon.
- Legend of Mana doesn't have a main plot, instead being comprised of a whole slew of self-contained subplots involving specific casts of characters. Each consists of a series of related sidequests, and three of these subplots are more important than the others (marked by a specific icon underlying that subplot's quest's title screens). To unlock the Final Boss the player only needs to finish one of them.
- The operations system in Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation works this way: each mission is subdivided into several (three to nine) localized operations, wherein the Garuda team must complete certain objectives (provide close air support, destroy enemy planes, etc.). Completing an operation frees up its surviving allied troops to assist Garuda on other ops, so the choice of the first one is important. Winning a mission requires beating about two thirds of the available ops; ops can be failed if neglected for too long, but as long as the mission winning condition can still be met, it will continue.
- Most levels in the Thief games allow you to finish the level after pocketing just a portion of the total available loot. On the lower difficulties the loot requirements are exceedingly forgiving, but even on the hardest you usually have some leeway. Of course, since the loot you find is used to finance your equipment purchases for the following mission, it's recommended to find as much as you can, and many players make it a point of pride to justify Garret's legendary reputation by not leaving a mission until they've completely stripped it of valuables.
- In Flash Point: Fire Rescue, you win by getting seven out of ten victims out of the burning house. Nevertheless, the game is not over until all fifteen person-of-interest markers (potential victims or false alarms) have been removed from the board, giving you a chance to rescue the remaining three tenants (provided they didn't already perish) even after you've technically already won.
- Shadows over Camelot is a cooperative game with a variety of one-time and repeatable quests, which grant white swords when completed or black swords when failed, plus other benefits or penalties. The players win when they collect 12 swords, a majority of them white, but random events advance various quests towards failure, so gameplay involves choosing which quests to focus on completing and which to write off as strategic losses. Players can even purposely lose quests to hasten the endgame once they have enough white swords to win.
- The extermination missions in Warframe task the player with killing a number of enemies provided on the HUD. Once the player reaches that number, extraction becomes available even when there are still hostiles alive and kicking.
- The final mission of Into the Breach becomes available once you secure two islands in a given playthrough, with its difficulty rising with the number of islands you secure beforehand.
- Shattered Union battles take place on maps of the region being contested, with several cities on the map starting under the control of the defender. Each city is worth a certain number of points, and the attacker has a limited number of turns to capture enough cities to reach the target number of points to win. In most cases, the points goal is less than the sum of the points of all cities on the map, meaning the attacker doesn't have to capture every city to win.
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: During the gang war minigame, where CJ has to defeat three increasingly well-armed waves of rival gangsters to take over a 'hood they control, the game counts a wave as complete after the second-to-last enemy in it is killed — just in case the very last one runs off to the other side of the city because the pathfinding AI in this game is, uh, not great. Also, in order to unlock the final missions of the main storyline, at least 35% of the 'hoods in Los Santos must be under Grove Street Families control.
- Saints Row:
- Throughout the series, the optional Snatch activity tasks you with driving a certain number of prostitutes from deep in a rival gang territory to a safe location. However, because rival gangsters are more than happy to shoot the ladies rather than let you have them, there are usually a few more of them in any instance of this activity than is needed to complete it (sadly, you don't get any bonuses for "over-delivering").
- In the final story mission of Saints Row: The Third, STAG stirs up trouble at three locations throughout Steelport. You only need to pacify two of them before proceeding to the next stage of the mission.
- Assassin's Creed had a more formulaic setup by having a bureau head assign you to five different assignments to investigate a certain target before assassinating him. You only needed to accomplish three to proceed to the assassination mission and move on, but if you proceeded to finish off every mission, you not only got an achievement for accomplishing every mission but also get bonus experience so you could get extra upgrades like more health.
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: In order to advance to the second half of the story, Talion only has to kill four out of five orc warchiefs in the first half (including the one dispatched in a mandatory story mission). The fifth warchief thus becomes a Bonus Boss.
- In the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games, you only needed to do some of the available objectives to unlock the next level. Underground 2 assigned different point values to each objective, and you could clear your choice of objectives to satisfy the point goal.
- Trauma Center has a level where you have to complete five operations in a row in under ten minutes. The game will give you a pass if you are on the third one when time runs out.
- Gunstar Heroes has the boss Seven Force, which has seven forms. You only fight a random sample of them on normal difficulty, while hard difficulty requires fighting them all.