Is it more fun to not have a game backlog?

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Topcyclist

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Poll Is it more fun to not have a game backlog? (125 votes)

yes 27%
no 19%
Sometimes 20%
I don't care. 31%
none of the above 4%

Those of you that we're able to finish their backlog, or remember a time (likely when games were expensive relatively as a kid and you got about 1 game every few months) what do you remember about not having a backlog. Is it less stressful. Is it more fun just putting all your attention into 1 game. Knowing you will for example, come home and pop in for another few stories beats in that rpg regardless of if it's peak gaming. Is having a backlog nice cause you always have options (with or without option paralysis.)

Personally, backlogs cause me to only play games for the first hour or so then say Ill come back but never do. I usually fill up time playing repeat games like overwatch. When I force myself to focus on one game I scroll through all the others I have saddened cause I might not be in the mood for the same game I've played for a week, but its satisfying really getting into the single game's mechanics and world, like finishing a book regardless of quality, you got the authors or creator's vision in full, and it's nice.

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Shindig

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Backlogs give me something to look forward to. Sure, I could and do replay old games but not to the fervour I try to crunch my backlog.

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Topcyclist

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@shindig: Something about the stress-free crave of a kid when you got one game and looked super forward to it played it to completion before moving on was nice. I imagine kids today have so much options even without money to play games then move on. I assume they don't even keep backlogs and just assume games they stop playing are DOA.

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Efesell

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Backlogs are arbitrary homework that you give yourself and there's no fun homework.

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csl316

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You can not have a backlog?

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Topcyclist

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@csl316: When I was a kid, and I only brought new games when I finished old ones, yes. If you include games you dont have than sorta no. Thou I don't have a backlog of tv procedurals I need to watch for example, I watched one and dont have any others I'll ever watch. I don't have a backlog of tv shows for the most part, cause Im more into movies these days. But thats an example.

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BladeOfCreation

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There's the backlog you say you have, and the backlog you actually engage with. I imagine that, like me, most people's stated backlog is much larger than what they will realistically play.

I've found it healthy to go through my backlog (and my wishlist) and every so often and say, "Look, I haven't played (or purchased) this game in the 5 years it's been on my hard drive or list, it's safe to say I'm interested in the idea of the game more than the game itself."

I'm not perfect at this. I try.

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sodapop7

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Where's the "I wouldn't know" option haha.

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elisdee1

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depends on the backlog your talking about? I have theree stages of backlog.

level 1 - recent titles that need small cleanup to finish

level 2 - older titles that I never quite started (for what ever reason at the time)

level 3 - these are long distance goals or more ideals of the games I wish I had time to put the hours in like I did with Destiny 1 but I know I never will. (destiny 2 is now in this stage)

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ajamafalous

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I just play whatever I want to play at the time.

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Justin258

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@bladeofcreation: The problem is that there’s so much I do genuinely want to get around to playing. I just have to figure out which ones I want to play the most and that can change more frequently than I’d like to admit.

But I wouldn’t trade that for the paltry collection I had as a kid. Sure, I valued each individual game more, but always having something new to try on hand is real nice and something I always dreamed of as a kid. Is it sometimes weirdly stressful to think about the pile of games I want to play versus the pile of games I have time to play? Yeah, but just like everything else in adulthood, you learn to manage it and just move on. And at the end of the day, as long as you had fun it doesn’t matter if you missed out on something you may have also had some fun with.

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ThePanzini

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#13  Edited By ThePanzini

I pretty much only ever play one game at a time. I feel for sanity sake its much better to finish a few games than try/start a lot, I just have so little time nowadays.

Game Pass is a wonderful service that I have to simply avoid like the plague, wish it was around when I was younger.

The fact I never have the time doesn't stop me spending, its basically a game collection I have for having sake, which I can pick and choose what to play next between the titles that I really want on releases.

My library has never been a point of stress, cause most of my games I know I won't necessarily have time for are bought on steep discount.

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Shindig

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@csl316: When I was a kid, and I only brought new games when I finished old ones, yes. If you include games you dont have than sorta no. Thou I don't have a backlog of tv procedurals I need to watch for example, I watched one and dont have any others I'll ever watch. I don't have a backlog of tv shows for the most part, cause Im more into movies these days. But thats an example.

I've kinda reverted back to the one in, one out backlog. I look at mine periodically and think, "Hey, I've cleared some space. What do I want next?"

It's really helped with my buying habits. Especially when services like PS Plus throw games that I've wanted right at me.

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csl316

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@shindig said:
@topcyclist said:

@csl316: When I was a kid, and I only brought new games when I finished old ones, yes. If you include games you dont have than sorta no. Thou I don't have a backlog of tv procedurals I need to watch for example, I watched one and dont have any others I'll ever watch. I don't have a backlog of tv shows for the most part, cause Im more into movies these days. But thats an example.

I've kinda reverted back to the one in, one out backlog. I look at mine periodically and think, "Hey, I've cleared some space. What do I want next?"

It's really helped with my buying habits. Especially when services like PS Plus throw games that I've wanted right at me.

That's kind of the thing, with these subscription services I download a bunch of games, start them, and then start something else. The backlog's gotten bigger than ever despite me spending far less than I did 5 or 10 years ago.

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triviaman09

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I don't even understand how anyone could not have a backlog at this point. Even just with Game Pass there are about a dozen games at any one time I want to check out but haven't yet. That's not even mentioning Steam, PS Store, etc.

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chaser324

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#17 chaser324  Moderator

Unless your taste in games is extremely narrow and specific, it's impossible to have the time to play every game that you would like to play. It's best to just not stress over it or put undue pressure on yourself to complete some arbitrary number of them.

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BaneFireLord

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I think of it less as a backlog and more of a library, especially since I buy basically nothing at full price anymore. I do not feel burdened by it in the slightest, and I enjoy having a wide variety of untouched material I can dip into and out of as the urge strikes me.

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wollywoo

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I don't have a backlog. The reason is that I don't care. I just play the game that's fun to me at the moment. Occasionally that might include a game I bought a long time ago. But if I buy a game, play it for a couple hours, and lose interest, I will usually drop it like a bad habit and move on to other things.

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FacelessVixen

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All the more reason why me getting into PC gaming was a questionable decision.

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Nodima

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Never really been a backlog guy, to be honest. It's as silly to me as having a favorite restaurant and ordering ten steaks ahead of time just so I can get that steak whenever I happen to remember to show up. I'll pay for things when I'm ready to use or consume them and that's just fine if I miss a good sale.

...Usually! I did recently binge on the PSN Under $20/Indie sale, so I do have a decent amount of games to take a look at or get through this fall/winter, but the idea is to get through them, not take a look at them. Someone drew this art and wrote these words, I'd like to see what they got up to even if I'm not particularly smitten with it.

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sombre

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My steam list is a passive backlog

My consoles are an active backlog

If that makes sense

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wobag

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Having a backlog is cheaper potentially. If you dont care about being in on the multiplayer or whatever of the hot new title, when something new comes out, it joins the queue, and you very quickly learn anything you buy will be a fraction of the price by the time you actually get round to playing it, so you stop buying things until you need them.

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CaLe

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A backlog is a mindset, nothing more. I've never had one and probably never will.

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Shindig

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@sombre said:

My steam list is a passive backlog

My consoles are an active backlog

If that makes sense

Totally. I split mine between games I've paid for and games I've got as part of a service. I care about the former.

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styx971

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#26  Edited By styx971

Backlogs are a funny thing . i remember as a kid i always wanted more games and never felt like i didn't have time for them. When an open world/sandbox game would come out i was always ecstatic because that ment i could play it longer and run out of things to do less soon which when your a daughter to a single mother who had next to no friends because your gaming = taboo for females (not to mention being a heavier girl to boot) ...well i digress it was a awesome thing to have.

Fast forward time when i graduated HS i got married to a military man i met while playing FF11, sure playing a MMO made it so i slowly developed a small backlog but nothing too bad , money wasn't an issue much and games were still generally shorter and those longer ones were still a treat. When the ex deployed all i did was mope around the house and game for a yr ( i was a housewife for my 3 years of marriage as he made enough and i didn't drive), when we moved to germany even moreso because while previously we'd live on base n i had friends/neighbors i got to know that were cool suddenly we were in a country where English was not a first language and we lived off-base so there when conversations with ppl outside oof online and family ( pandemic training i joke about honestly considering i only got out to walk the dog and food shop twice a month)...needless to say plenty of time to game and the games being shorter took less time , this was 2008-2011/12

Fast forward to being a young divorcee (ex was a dog) who had to find a Job after moving back home with family i was 21 and times changed , i had to walk to work still not having learned to drive ( ex's empty promise of teaching) i was lucky to get a job close by but that still takes time away, i also had to sleep for work and working takes it out of you at times , so while there was still time to game it was mostly weekends , games were still a respectable length and the longer stuff was still far between so still nice here and there but i slowly became harder to find the time and juggle what you wanted to play.

Fast forward another few years , we're in 2019 ( because pre-pandemic life) i had every system i wanted and a good pc But i worked a usual 8.5 hour day in a factory that doesn't give 2 shits about you ( ya know pretty normal) having learned to drive at 23 because you have to if you want to find a decent job in NH , even still most jobs are between 5-30 mins away you've had years to have to flip flop jobs and while your current is closer (15) it added up over the last number of years cutting into your free time. you oddly got a social life at a job a few yrs before so you started drinking and going to parties with work buddies also cutting into your time, you found a SO who is good to you that you spend time with also once again adding something to eat more free time. If your lucky tho you can afford games you want and over the years bundles and sales have given you many. ...problem? you have less time ...also somehow those nice big games that were once a treat started to become the main course taking more time to beat while limiting time for other games long and short alike......who wont even mention podcasts you fell down the rabbit hole of once listening to cause you wanted game news to being something you started to ingest regularly at a job you no longed had ( one of 4 places you'd worked in said time gap) so while you Could play other things you seek games you can play And listen to stuff with. Tastes started to change and games with it , you got games you want to make time for cause you know you'd like them and no time to spare.

Current day...pandemic forces you at home , you can't wear a mask because of a neurological issue you had since you were 9 , lost your job and were a factory worker with no skillset for remote work and have been generally trapped inside for the past yr. you have a backlog of games that you've collected over your working life, your mostly broke and lucky you have a fiancee who loves you enough to not wipe his hands of you cause of the imbalance in workload. Family moved in to help make ends meet so your once comfy home (rental) is cramped with your mother who 'is always right' and also doesn't really love your partner or respect him and bashes him when she can , and your grandmother with dementia who while you love her is just a husk who needs to pass on ( sorry not sorry). Either way life is depressing , but you have Tons of time to game if you want and Tons of games to fill it with.......problem...too many games and still not enough time. what do you do? How do you pick what to play? ....sometimes you try things and they click , sometimes they don't , sometimes you just don't pick anything cause you spend hours trying to pick just what you want and its not actually anything you have. Games you know you'd always loved start to feel like a chore cause of their size and games you would have almost never picked years ago hit the mark more than expected.

This was an extremely long post , more than i expected to type (sorry?) if you read it all thanks a ton i guess. either way its a hard question to answer so i voted sometimes. my perspective changes on it depending on context and i hope the length helped answer why . these days i both love and hate my backlog , i have a bunch to play but more often idk what i want to play because i have too many options . others started that they only count games they bought as their 'true' backlog and thats the same for me . I've also learned to take things off my backlog if i just don't enjoy them which is something i wouldn't have done when younger. even with more time time is still limited and you can never get it back. i also keep a google doc for what i start playing ( for the past few yrs) its really helped my backlog shrink by crossing things off ( green) unfinished ( red) and dropped ( blue). when i start it it goes on the list and with a date , when i beat it that date gets put in and changing it green can feel good like a small weight lifted , sometimes you put something down and it stays red for years but once in a while if you pick it up after a while it might click and you beat it shortening your backlog. the choice paralysis can be strong so i get it all too well sometimes i wish i didn't have a backlog of what feels like guilt ( 993 in my steam library how? -grumbles in bundles- ) but at the same time at least i have something to choose which a young me could only dream of and there Has to be something fun in that.

TLDR: please see last section at the least. ^

example of running backlog see link, i've carried the red over every yr removing the beaten and dropped entries from the new yr to keep it 'clean'.

also sorry for randomly switching from saying I to you randomly when i was clearly taking about personal circumstances ..very weird i know and idk why that ended up happening but here we are.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DOJJy03ssI6SPewRhZXQ9ev3y30fQxA0fQVrYhItWwg/edit?usp=sharing

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styx971

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There's the backlog you say you have, and the backlog you actually engage with. I imagine that, like me, most people's stated backlog is much larger than what they will realistically play.

I've found it healthy to go through my backlog (and my wishlist) and every so often and say, "Look, I haven't played (or purchased) this game in the 5 years it's been on my hard drive or list, it's safe to say I'm interested in the idea of the game more than the game itself."

I'm not perfect at this. I try.

this method is super useful to the wishlist i find ,also looking at reviews of it , seeing a mixed is enough Sometimes to remove things i've had sitting in mine after a number of month/years.

I pretty much only ever play one game at a time. I feel for sanity sake its much better to finish a few games than try/start a lot, I just have so little time nowadays.

Game Pass is a wonderful service that I have to simply avoid like the plague, wish it was around when I was younger.

The fact I never have the time doesn't stop me spending, its basically a game collection I have for having sake, which I can pick and choose what to play next between the titles that I really want on releases.

My library has never been a point of stress, cause most of my games I know I won't necessarily have time for are bought on steep discount.

a number of my 'bought on a steep discount' aka bundle games i don't count with the exception of a game i bought it for so this is worth noting i think... i'd also agree for sanity's sake it can be better to just sit and finish what you start and i personally try to do that with newly purchased games, that said sometimes games don't always hit ( ryza 2 for me even tho i loved 1?) and your just not in the mood top play them. ...it can be a conumdrum.

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LyndBako

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I feel like the concept of a backlog is something you age out of. At some point you reach a point where you realize you DON'T have to play every game ever

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bybeach

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I'm of mixed mind about my backlog, particularly at Steam. I really do not like the number of games I will probably never play, primarily because of money out.

However, it has been an appreciated source of games for me, all those small dev/AA/or however you rank them. I have found pure gold in games I forgot I had, in-between big releases that I am more and more not buying. At least right away. Those other games I heard about, didn't cost too much, and I bought them on sale.

I will never clear out my backlog, that would be a joke. But I sure like what I have accumulated.

Sort of.

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eccentrix

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I can't imagine thinking "After this game, there are no other games I want to play next." Unless you're just not that interested in video games or haven't heard of many.

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apewins

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It would be impossible for me to not think about games that I own and haven't played without some kind of memory wipe device. It's nice to know that once I'm done with one game there's always another one waiting. I also have nostalgia for those times as a kid but realistically those times are gone and not coming back. With all the other adult responsibilities I could not imagine playing a game that I don't like just because it's the only one that I have and my parents aren't willing to buy another one before Christmas.

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Brendan

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Luckily my poor memory means that when there are games I'm interested in at one point, I end up forgetting they exist if I don't get them. As an adult without kids I have more time than many for gaming but even then there's so many games I won't get to that I just don't worry about it.

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daavpuke

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I'm not the biggest fan of replaying games, nor do I have the attention span or motivation to stick to one specific game, most of the time. So, a backlog presents more options. These days, with games as a service, it's easier to hop around, but that doesn't quite cover the full spectrum. Sometimes you just want a nice, linear experience or hop into a random farm sim and a backlog can help fill those gaps.

That said, I own hundreds of untouched games, so you know.. there's a downside.

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Efesell

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@eccentrix: I don’t think that’s a backlog though.

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eccentrix

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@efesell: How does your definition differ?

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Efesell

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@eccentrix: A backlog is a build up, it's an obligation of sorts.

So not this is something I want to do next but instead these are things that I need to get to.

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eccentrix

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@efesell: Then I guess I've never had a backlog and probably never will. Maybe I've been socially obligated to play a video game before, but I don't think even that's a strong need.

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apewins

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#38  Edited By apewins

Yeah I don't know if anyone out there has a literal backlog written on paper that they follow religiously. I have a bunch of games that I want to get to eventually in my brain and that is my backlog, but if something more interesting comes along I will absolutely play that thing first.

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Shindig

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Mine's a spreadsheet. It's useful because there's always one I forget. It's usually Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

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Matt_Parker

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It all depends how you view your 'backlog'.

If you see it as a bunch of work you need to do before you get to play something you'll 'actually' enjoy, then that's terrible.

However, I've got a bunch of games that I'm looking forward to play on my machines. Where's the harm in that?

I'll also say - don't be a completionist! I give all games a 1 hour minimum and then take it from there - the minute I 'fall off' a game, I'm onto the next.

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Ginormous76

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Thanks to COVID, I cleared my 42 (and more as games released while clearing) game backlog. Some games I played for less than an hour and went, "Yeah, I don't want to play this." Some games I played for 2-3 hours and went, "Yeah, I don't want to KEEP playing this." Some games I spent 40+ hours on (according to my annual PSN report, I spent 80 hours on TLOU2, 121 hours on FF7R, and 229 hours on Avengers in 2020). Now that I'm on the other side, my answer to your poll is "sometimes."

My backlog is slowly climbing back up, because I just spent 38 hours finishing my first (and likely only) play through of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Having no games that I have an interest in playing was at times relaxing and at times boring. After thousands of hours of Socom 2 back in the day, WoW and various CoD games, I just cannot play the same game over and over and over and over and over again. I'm actually a little jealous of those that can. I need to have a handful of games available depending on platform. That way I don't feel like I have to stretch a game out until a new game comes out. So, I have picked up some things to make sure I also have something available.

PS5 (in main gaming room): Tormented Souls, FIST: Forged in Shadow Torch & Mass Effect Trilogy (played each of these multiple times when they launched individually, so this is my comfort game)

Xbone (in bedroom): Game Pass

Switch (for lunch break at work usually): No More Heroes 3, Mario & Rabbids

Phone: Final Fantasy 3 (the only mainline one I have not played), and soon Final Fantasy 5 (because I really want to play it again, might be my favorite pre Playstation FF)

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Brendan

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I should add to my previous response: I don't buy games unless I'm about to play them so I won't have a gaming backlog, but usually gaming wishlists which I'm fine with because I haven't spent the money already.

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Hamst3r

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I remember being a kid and not having a backlog per se, but I still had an aspirational list of games I wanted, and I feel like that's really the same thing. To me a backlog just means I already own the games and I don't have to wait for a parent or relative to buy them for me. I really don't have a collection of partially completed games.