This is Why I'm Trapped Under the Heavy Weight of My Backlog

I'm not alone in this. The maturation of the gaming industry led to many great systems with many great games to play. This is a good thing.

The bad thing is it's easy to fall behind. It starts out slow. You back burner Uncharted 3 to finish off Skyrim once and for all. But then, while you're still playing Skyrim, you pick up The Walking Dead for cheap through Steam, and people LOVED that game, so you have to play that, right? Before you know it, your backlog went from 1 or 2 games to 10-15.

That's where I am, and that's where I HAVE been for some time. It's not helping that I'm finally picking up some new systems that I never had before. I got an Xbox just this Christmas and immediately picked up 10 games or so to play for that. I just picked up a 3DS this weekend, and I've never even owned a regular DS. Yup, that's a lot of good games I never got to try.

But then I go and make it worse. I picked up the entire Mass Effect Trilogy on the Xbox (well, each game individually - it was cheaper) with the intention of playing it front to back in quick succession. I remember listening to the glowing reviews of ME2 on the Bombcast, and at the time I had no Xbox or any prospects of getting one. I've been looking forward to playing this series for some time.

Well, I'm now in my fifth play through of Mass Effect 1. I'm roughly one and a half play throughs from the S Rank in it, currently playing as a FemShep Infiltrator on Insanity. (From level 1, working on the Sniper Rifle medal and a few Engi medals.)

After my first play through, I intended to move on to ME2. But then I wanted to open up a few more of the achievements that gave you bonuses in ME2, namely the level 60 character one. I ended my first play through at level 50, how hard could it be to get 10 more levels? At the end of that play through, I was level 59, and before I knew it, I was on play through #3. By the time I finished that, I was 75% of the way to the S Rank. May as well get it done, right?

Right?

So here I am. Bioshock Infinite is now unlocked and ready to play. ME2 and ME3 are still staring me in the face. Fire Emblem Awakening should be arriving at my house today, and I'm about a quarter of the way through Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon. But that's not all. I also have Uncharted 3, Arkham City, Crackdown, Halo 4, Gears of War, XCom, Sleeping Dogs...

Hello, my name is Ryan, and I'm a Backlogaholic.

Oh, and I still haven't finished the main quest in Skyrim, 130 hours in.

How bad is your backlog? What do you do to try to keep it under control?

30 Comments
30 Comments
Edited by believer258

This is something that happens. The only way you'll finish all of them is if you don't buy any more games, at all, until you've beaten all that you have - but you will buy more games, and you'll only beat a third or so of them unless you restrain yourself to like one game a month or something.

Is there a way to spin this in a good way, or to turn it into something positive? Well, yeah. You'll never want for a game you haven't beaten already again, like most of us did as kids. Still, I sometimes find it depressing to look through my Steam list or my 360 shelf at games I never finished.

Posted by Chop

I embrace my backlog. I just think back to the days when I was a teenager with no money who just played the same games over and over. Now, I have something new to play no matter what and it's great. LONG LIVE BACK LOGS

Online
Edited by Irishdoom

I've signed up on the Backloggery site, but I'm not sure how much good that will do me. :)

Posted by Veektarius

My backlog isn't so much games that I know I would legitimately enjoy finishing but have not done so, it's games that I've put aside for some reason and need to talk myself into getting back into. Syndicate, DMC, Nier and the Witcher 2 are the most prominent of these on my list. I also have a number of strategy games that didn't quick click but I never really invested the time to truly learn them (Star Drive/Fallen Enchantress) . I just recently cleared BL2 out of it.

Edited by Ezakael

My backlog currently has 37 unfinished/unplayed games on it. The only reason it isn't growing is a lack of money but I'm still struggling to get that number down so I know how it feels.

Edited by Slax

I have a lot in my backlog. I should go through and figure out what is actually worth playing.

Edited by Video_Game_King

Is there a way to spin this in a good way, or to turn it into something positive? Well, yeah.

You can turn it into a blog series: Beating the Backlog. The only problem is if somebody beats you to it and there's no way to spin it as a competition between two bloggers.

Posted by phantomzxro

Yeah i know what you mean i have a dangerous backlog of my own. My problem is getting too deep into one game and letting all the others stack up. I've easily dropped a 100 hours in a few games this year already which is killer for stopping my backlog.

Posted by Oscar__Explosion

How bad is your backlog? What do you do to try to keep it under control?

Stop buying games.

Posted by Traegan

Whenever I start a new game, I always story-mode it first. I do not allow myself another playthrough until my back log is clear. Then I can look back at all the games I wanted to play again, earn achievements, etc and pick one. That helps me stay on top of my backlog (which I still have one, but only because of XMAS gifts).

Posted by DeF

I've signed up on the Backloggery site, but I'm not sure how much good that will do me. :)

It only made things worse for me. Now I constantly stare an actual number of unfinished/unplayed games right in the eyes. I have 342 unfinished games (at least half of them unplayed) in my backlog. Many of them are small indie games though so I might actually get to cross those off the list sometime.

Posted by Irishdoom

@video_game_king: Hmm. I might could do that. Might give me a way to focus on knocking stuff out instead of sitting on individual games. :)

Posted by believer258

@believer258 said:

Is there a way to spin this in a good way, or to turn it into something positive? Well, yeah.

You can turn it into a blog series: Beating the Backlog. The only problem is if somebody beats you to it and there's no way to spin it as a competition between two bloggers.

Hey wait. That's what I was do...

@video_game_king: Hmm. I might could do that. Might give me a way to focus on knocking stuff out instead of sitting on individual games. :)

...ing.

Edited by ImmortalSaiyan

Leave the dropped games in the dust is what I say. I it never grabbed my attention enough to finish then it was not worth the effort.

Posted by pweidman

I have this issue too tc. So many games unopened, or unplayed, or barely started. This, for me, is partly due to going deep into longer games, rpgs and arpgs especially. For instance, I have well over a thousand hrs between Borderlands 2, Diablo 3, and Skyrim. Will I ever stop playing that ME3 mp? Dunno. And every new shiny release that either intrigues me, or gets a lot of critical acclaim, I will still give in and buy. :(

Rationalizations include 'I'll play them some day when there's a drought', or 'when I'm off work in summer', 'or some day down the road when I'll get the urge or have the time'. And I can't even use the many platform excuse, as I'm only a pc/360 guy. If desperate, I'll use the 'oh it's my disposable income, and I don't buy much of anything else hobby wise', lol.

Now about storage....that's a whole 'nother story.

And I lol'd at how VGK's solution of choice is a blog series. So predictable! ;))

Posted by Irishdoom

@believer258: Sorry believer, I didn't realize it. :) I won't do anything yet, but be warned. If you aren't following through regularly, well... ;)

Edited by DarthOrange

At some point you just have to let go.

Posted by believer258

@believer258: Sorry believer, I didn't realize it. :) I won't do anything yet, but be warned. If you aren't following through regularly, well... ;)

It seems like I'm only going to be able to do it monthly, actually.

However, there are more users than just myself playing through their backlogs. There's no issue with doing that, and I'm only doing it so I can get my thoughts down somewhere for people to potentially see, but "my backlog" blog series don't seem to be too successful.

Posted by Irishdoom

I've also found that my blogs about specific, older games are not interesting to people. I guess nobody wanted to talk Mass Effect 1 with me, even though I did a three part series on it. I guess I can't blame em. But then I've had throwaway blogs, ripped off in 10 minutes, that get tons of comments and activity. Kinda like this one here.

So maybe I should just stick to blogging about more philosophical or controversial topics, and not care so much about gaming diary types of stuff.

Then again, maybe I could just get a life.

Posted by TheManWithNoPlan

One at a time. One at a time.......

Posted by musclerider

I'm playing Dark Void. That says more about the nature of my backlog than an entire book could.

Posted by Clonedzero

dont buy games if you have other games to play. i don't get how people can get into this backlog nonsense.

i plan on eventually playing bioshock infinite, but not anytime soon. i'll grab it for cheap months or a year from now. no sense paying more for something just for it to sit on a shelf or just sitting there on steam. no point.

stop buying games unless you want something new to play, if you have new games to play, then play them.

ya'll crazy!

Edited by ApolloJ85

Recently I just stopped buying new games. Last year was almost solely spent on playing Skyrim, Diablo, and Borderlands, with a few sidetrips to other games. This year seems to be no different - I'm still playing Borderlands, and I'm planning on getting back into Skyrim again.

I want to play some new stuff, but I guess I've changed from wanting to play new games all the time to taking my time with games I already have. I took a look at the shelf of recently played games and realised I didn't really remember much about them, as I'd just rushed through them wanting to get to the new games. So I thought - what's the point of that? I could probably spend the whole of 2013 just playing games on my backlog and still enjoy it just as much playing all the new games.

Edited by cloudymusic

Play the games you want to play. If you genuinely want to get to all of those old games, then do it, but don't treat your "backlog" like some kind of onerous to-do list. Playing games is supposed to be what you do for fun. If you seriously do intend to get through your backlog no matter what, then yeah, you're probably going to have to stop buying any new games, and stop re-playing any games you've already beaten.

Personally, there are a number of games that I've left unfinished for more than 20 years that I still intend to get around to. I'm not really going to sweat it, though.

Posted by probablytuna

It's both a gift and a curse to have old games waiting for you to be played while the new ones come out. I think if there's ever a video game crash in the future, I think my backlog can last for at least five years. Granted I play games quite slowly, so it's not like I have hundreds of unplayed games.

Posted by tread311

I think often how I wish games just wouldn't come out for a year. Especially as I get older and have less time for playing games. The problem I think many people have is wanting to stay part of the conversation, even if it's just as a listener, so they try to play all of the big new games they can.

Posted by PillClinton

I'm actually quite proud to say I've successfully tackled my own backlog problem. It really wasn't too hard; I just stopped buying games after the last of the holiday/new year sales, and actually, y'know, started playing some of those games. For real. One by one to completion. It's an awesome feeling, although I do still have an intimidating library. The trick is to not get overwhelmed by it and just be spontaneous, say 'fuck it,' and play one game at a time till it's done (or you're done with it, which is ok too; it's alright to be 'done' with an uncompleted game).

I had even fallen into that terrible circumstance of consuming more games-related media than actually playing games. But no longer! I nipped that shit in the bud, and have been bangin' out 1-2 year old game after 1-2 year old game. I like it.

Posted by ll_Exile_ll

I've only had a gaming PC for a few months, and I already have a steam account with around 45 games (I like steam sales), only a handful of which I've completed, so I know what it's like to have a seemingly insurmountable backlog.

Edited by benspyda

I found my issue is once I get to my backlog after I finish all the new releases, I realise why those games are in my backlog. Its because I really don't want to play them that much. If I actually wanted to play them I would have by now. So I just leave them be and keep playing the games I'm excited about and ignore the half finished games I don't really feel like going back to anyway. If one day I feel like going back to Yakuza 3 maybe I will, but I doubt it.

My biggest issue was buying games on sale that I barely even had a parsing interest in because they were cheap, like the steam sales. I avoid doing that now, but it is damn hard. Like 'The Cave' is now half price and I thought to myself, I should get that. But I have zero interest in the game and will probably not even play it, so why buy it?

I just don't think of it as a backlog any more. There are just games I feel like playing right now and ones I don't. If there is a game I really want to play that I haven't got to yet I will get round to it eventually. If the game I'm currently playing holds my interest to completion good on it, otherwise whatever.

Posted by The_Hiro_Abides

A backlog is easy to make. Currently, on Steam I have 206 games and I've completed about 85 of them. To be fair, some of things I didn't count but shouldn't even be included like various multiplayer only games or modes.

However, on the xbox I recieved 5 games for Christmas and I've completed 4 of them. The one I haven't touched at all is Assassin's Creed: Revelations.