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Seven Ways To Beat Your Gaming Backlog

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Seven Ways To Beat Your Gaming Backlog

Ah, the gaming backlog. The dark secret that plenty of gamers have. Why do we do it to ourselves? Why do I have ten games still in their cellophane wrapping? Why did I buy even more (I’m looking at you’ Steam Summer Sale)? Can you even beat the backlog? Well, in this article we’ll be going through some steps that might help you deal with the inevitability that is... The Gaming Backlog.

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Take this as an almost step-by-step guide. Give each step a go and see if it helps. If not, come back and try another one.

Without further ado, let’s beat the backlog!

Afif Kusuma via Unsplash
Afif Kusuma via Unsplash
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Give Up!

I know this is a pretty disheartening way to start a list that’s supposed to help with your backlog but it really might be the best option for some people. Playing video games doesn’t mean having to collect and play every game ever. Don’t ruin it by making yourself play everything that has come out. Say goodbye to all those old games that you'll never actually play. There are only so many hours in a day, don’t waste them by stressing about the most optimal way to play a video game. Try watching some YouTube videos and playthroughs of certain games, that way you get a feel for the game without it taking up your time and money, despite knowing you’ll never actually play through it.

Everyone Loves A List

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If giving up doesn’t do it for you, then we need to start getting serious. Get some lists started. Maybe have one list for games you want to play (check out ggapp), one list for games you're currently playing and maybe another for future releases or games you’ve completed. There's a great website called The Backloggery which allows you to keep track of all your games, and you can even tick them off which is very satisfying.

Delayed Gratification

This step ties in nicely with the lists. Try holding off for as long as you can before playing a game. Especially newer, more expensive releases. This way you create a bit more time to finish some games and you'll probably save yourself some money in the process. You can keep an eye on your lists as well and plan what your next game will be once you’ve tackled some titles from your backlog.

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Japheth Mast via Unsplash
Japheth Mast via Unsplash

Trade 'Em In

This one applies more to console gamers but if you've got a bunch of games that you haven't even opened (let alone started) trade them in. You'll make a bit of money and by the time it comes round to picking them up again, they'll most likely have dropped in price. Also, just seeing that you have less games taking up space will feel like progress and help you focus on what to play next. Having less games to worry about will definitely help if you need to move onto the next step.

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Stick To One

Have you ever gone back to a game you played for a few hours, several months ago, and you have literally no idea what’s happening? The controls might as well be randomised, the plot an interpretive dance and for some reason, you’re stuck in a dark room with no health? The amount of times I’ve had to start games over because I’d left it too long between sessions is ridiculous. In my experience, and this may sound obvious, but sticking to just one game tends to mean that it gets completed a lot quicker. A good way to find "the one" is to start off by playing a bunch of games that you've got in your backlog, find one that really grabs you, then delete all your other games. It might seem extreme, but having the temptation of the games will be too easy to fall into. Stick to one game that you can smash through and you'll notice your backlog slowly, but surely, getting smaller.

Genre Specific

If you’re looking at an article about beating a gaming backlog, then I’m going to assume you play many different styles of games. Try playing just one game from a genre at the same time. So, instead of playing a few massive RPGs, as well as three different multiplayer games, plus some racing games and some real-time strategy titles, stick to one of each genre and try to only have one big expansive adventure like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla or Skyrim. Even if you’re only into one type of genre, say racing, you can still mix it up a bit. Have one super arcade-y game like Mario Kart and then something more like a simulator - the F1 series for example. That way, each game feels more distinct when you play them and you won’t get genre fatigue as quickly. 

Just Enjoy It

If none of the previous steps has helped then this is the step for you. Did you know gaming is supposed to be fun? It’s the absolute best hobby and getting bogged down with having to complete everything can be daunting. Sometimes it’s easier to just say f**k it and play whatever games you like. Relish in your hobby and don’t beat yourself over the fact that you haven’t gotten around to playing through the Ultima series because you’re playing new releases or vice versa. Maybe you'll get around to it, maybe you won't, but either way, it's fine. If spending money on games and collecting special editions makes you happy then enjoy it my friend. Just try not to turn your hobby of gaming into work, that's a sure-fire way to get sick of games as a whole. Video games are awesome and you're awesome, let’s keep it that way!

So, those were a few tips that might help with your gaming backlog. Do you have any tips that might help out a fellow gamer? Be sure to let us know below.

Featured Image Credit: Rockstar / Sucker Punch Games

Topics: Free Games

Jay Scarrott
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