You can use another software like VLC or MPC on N Editions of Windows. They pose no problem for playing audio, video, DVD and so on. But if you want to connect Android devices (telephone, tablet et.) you need the media feature pack. But if you have performed WinSxS clean up (install.wim), it is not possible to install the media feature pack.
Other Windows versions work fine with Android devices even you have removed Windows Media Player and performed WinSxS cleanup.
This results from the MTP driver supplied with windows media player. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find an alternative windows driver for Android.
By the way, I don't have other information on games, etc... that depend on windows media player.
Hope this helps.