A gamer’s backlog can be a terrifying beast. From the moment of its inception, it is almost doomed to complete and utter failure. At first glance the list is manageable: 2-3 games that you’ll get to “at some point” or “hopefully in the near future”. You keep adding and adding, thinking “Oh yeah, Final Fantasy XV, I should get to playing that. I hear that game is 200 hours though. Eh, I’ll get to it eventually…when I have time”.
Except “when I have time” never comes because the game releases keep on coming. And sometimes, they hit hard and fast.
Take, for instance, the onslaught of October and November 2017. In the next two months I am interested in playing 14 games. That is almost an average of 2 new games a week. Between school, work, and other responsibilities that is close to impossible. One of those days, the 27th of October, is the release date for Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, and Super Mario Odyssey (which are all must-plays in my opinion). That is insanity.
So while our gamer backlogs grow exponentially by the week, how do we manage them? As much as we’d love to get to each and every one, the list will get out of control and many will inevitably fall to the wayside, never to be played. Eventually, games will need to be cut out or pushed aside for more important titles, but this begs the question: which of those games do you let go?
First, Separate the Most Important From the Least Important
Your first task should be to sort out which are most important to you. These can be the games that came out too close to a different release you just couldn’t wait to play so you saved it for another day. Think back to when this game released and how excited you were for it then, and gauge how you feel about it now. Maybe it was all pure hype and that fire you had to play it has diminished by this point. Perhaps it never left the back of your mind and it’s been nagging at you to play for weeks now. Figure out which releases you won’t regret spending time on and go from there.
Next, Listen to Others’ Opinions and Maybe Choose A New Type of Game
Your second task should be to locate those games on your list you know you really should play because of good reviews or good word-of-mouth. Trying out a new genre of game can sometimes be an intimidating leap, but at the same time surprisingly refreshing. Maybe you’ve heard of the high praise a game like XCOM has gotten but are frightened of the RTS genre thinking maybe it will have too steep of a learning curve or that you just won’t enjoy that type of game. My advice is to take the plunge. When Bloodborne released, I went back and forth on trying it out for fear of the difficulty. Eventually, my curiosity won over, and now it is one of my favorite games of all time. Venture outside your comfort zone. You may regret it, you may not, but you’ll never know unless you try.
Finally, (and this is the tough part) Scrap the Remaining Games in Your Backlog
This is the (sometimes) heartbreaking moment. Scrapping those games from your backlog you know you kind of just put there as filler in case you got bored one day. Cutting a game doesn’t mean it’ll never be played but it does put it on the far back burner. At the end of it all, there are only so many hours in the day and only so many hours of it can we devote to gaming. While you may miss out on the rare conversation with someone about a game you decided wasn’t worth your time, sleep well knowing you spent time with a (possibly) greater game in its place. It’s a busy world out there gamers. Ensure you make the most of your gaming time and trim that backlog.