Lets talk about backlogs for a minute (or longer)

I’ve been wanting to discuss this for a while and didn’t want to just make a “step by step” kind of list but instead wanted to make something that’s well thought out and really portrayed how I feel about backlogs. Because I would reckon that nearly everyone here has it and probably a good majority of people have fairly sizable backlogs that they feel they have no hope of ever completing.

And they’re right to feel that way, backlogs never die, they always grow because games never stop coming out. Games that you thought may not have been on your radar can suddenly jump to a high spot on your “i gotta play that” list. I never thought I’d want to play Saints Row 3 again but Lo and Behold its now on a top spot on my supposed “backlog”

I believe that part of what makes what we consider a backlog is psychological. Most would agree that a backlog is simply a list of games that have come out that we haven’t gotten around to playing. However lets think about how we form our backlogs.

For my example I’ll use 3 games, Sekiro, Nioh and Bloodborne. I made another thread recently about games that we want to play but know that we never will because we have to make room for other games. I would love to play Sekiro, Nioh and Bloodborne but I know that I’m likely never going to play these games. So…would I put these 3 masterpieces on my backlog? I wouldn’t, because even though I have a desire to play these games, I don’t have the intention of playing them.

So I consider that a good parameter on if a game is truly a backlog game. Do you have the intention of playing a game? Or do you simply just want to play the game? In the former case, I wouldn’t consider it a backlog game.

Another factor to consider with a backlog game. How do you mark a game off of your backlog? Do you have to beat it? Or just simply play it. Obviously with the latter one can clear a backlog fairly quickly. You can play a game for an hour and check it off the list. So ask yourself, how far am I willing to go with this game?

One game that was a heavy backlog game for me ei wanted to play it, had the intention of playing it and in this case have the intention of beating it is Persona 5 Royal, been playing it for the last few days now and am loving it and will likely play it through completion. Not Platinum it but pretty much go through the main story and the extra content.

Also ask yourself, are you or will you actually enjoy the game? I feel that a lot of gamers including yours truly suffer from mild OCD on actually finishing a game. Could be the addictive nature of achievements and how some people hate having a game where the achievements show that you played it but never finished it.

I suffered through games like Dead Rising 4, Arkham Origins, Assassins Creed Syndicate and Unity etc that I wasn’t enjoying and in some cases even hated but still had to finish them because I felt I could only mark them complete and off my BL if I actually finished them.

Life is too short to play games you won’t enjoy and I’m happy to say that I finally kicked that OCD habit. Last year I played an JRPG on the Switch called Octopath and about 2 hours in once I stopped enjoying it, I no longer had to urge to finish it. I put the game down, never touched it again and have no intention of ever touching it again. Moral of the story, if you’re not enjoying the game, then put it down and go play something else.

Let me summarize this with 4 tips I believe can help with someone who may be overwhelmed with a backlog

  1. Rethink what you consider a backlog, the game itself and why its on your backlog, what do you have to do to get it off of your backlog ei play it, beat it etc

  2. Your backlog is never going to be completed, and that’s OK. Even if you have no other hobbies or commitments, its inhumanly possible unless you have a DBZ Hyperbolic time chamber somewhere you can play for a year where only day passes in the real world. Its just not going to happen especially if you’re backlog is riddled with 40+ hour long RPG’s.

  3. Remember that there is no time limit, aside dying of course. Recently I had to create a new gamertag as I deleted my old one of 15 years. Part of my backlog is all the main Assassins Creed games but I intend on taking my time, even if I only do one sequence a week or even a month. Progress is progress.

  4. Finally and most importantly…If you’re not having fun then STOP, games are meant for enjoyment not to suffer. Knock that fucker off your BL immediately and never look back.


Obviously everyone treats their “backlog” differently, but I try not to overthink it. For me, merely wanting to play the game puts in in my backlog, and I even have PS1 games that I never got around to playing but still plan to, lol.

As for the rest, just playing a game is good enough for me. I don’t have to beat it or get all the achievements, I just wan to experience what the game is.

There was a time when it would stress me out, but I’ve since gotten over that and just try to have fun playing games. And if I find the time to finally play some games I’ve been neglecting for years, great. If not, oh well.


It helped me to start tracking the games I played each year. Once I realized that I beat about 15-20 games every year, very consistently, it helped me put in perspective that having 60 unplayed games was over 3 years of playing, with no new releases. So the idea of “clearing” it is pretty much a fantasy given that in any given year I also discover and acquire a bunch of additional games via new releases, sales, etc.

It didn’t decrease my “backlog” at all, but I feel less stressed just knowing that, yeah, it’s not going anywhere. So my job is just to pick the 15 or so games I most want to play this year. Some will be new releases, some will be game pass surprises, and a few will be from that stack of 60 (or whatever) backlog games.

I have to say I’m not putting nearly as much thought in it as you obviously are. I also don’t maintain a backlog in any form, there’s just a bunch of games that I have access to, either through ownership or some service, and I choose the next to play depending on the mood. I’ll play the game as much as I feel like, then move on to something else.

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I’m only going to speak for myself but I’ve seen quite a few people on Reset, Reddit and other forums that get so stressed out and overwhelmed by the number of games that come out that it can actually deter their enjoyment of games

Could just be some really mild gaming related OCD or anxiety which shouldn’t even be a thing tbh

What I started doing this year is to write a massive list of all my 360 and Xbox One games and work through them all without worrying about achievements. I love achievement hunting, but I just don’t have the time to chase every achievement now and just play it until I finish the campaign.

So far I’ve completed around 40 games off my list this year. Really enjoy going back to most of the 360 games that are now backwards compatible. Just wish all my 360 games were BC because turning on the old 360 just feels outdated and it’s too bloody noisy.

Then we have Game Pass… :grimacing:


I’ve actually deleted my list of backlog games and will be going into this new gen fresh without any. Sure I may have missed out on a few games but I can’t stand a backlog anymore, just going to play new games as they come out as a fresh start.


I used to care about tackling my backlog and made a list of games with varying levels of priority but I just stopped caring this year. I’ve only finished around 12 games this year and I only go for 100% if I truly enjoy the game and it won’t be a hassle to achieve.

Long games usually turn me off completely so I usually put the ones I know I’ll like to the side for when I have time and ignore the ones I only have a slight interest in.

I add a lot of games through Game Pass so I’m continually adding games to the backlog but I honestly don’t care if I ever get around to finishing most of them. I’m enjoying what little time I have gaming now that I don’t stress over my backlog

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My backlog wasn’t that big until I added the entire mainline Halo series to the list. LOL. It was 5 games but is now at 11.

Looking to play through Dishonored 2 next week before Mafia comes out and then in October, play through Middle-Earth: Shadow of War which would cut down my backlog to 9 games.

All 9 games won’t be played until I get the Xbox Series X. The 9 games are -

  • Control
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Halo 2
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 4
  • Halo 5
  • Halo Reach
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Wasteland 3

Gamepass Is making my backlog ridiculous, I just keep playing the third party games that interest me, I play these as priority for fear of missing them before they leave the service, but once I finish one, another pops up! I can’t even make a dent in my backlog, or MS 1st party on GP.

I don’t really count gamepass games as being part of my backlog, More so the games i spent money on but never got around to playing. Doom 3 and Little Nightmares are 2 games i bought during Christmas and i never bothered to try them. That’s all i have though. I want to play spiritfarer and Tell me Why but I’ll have them done by this month I’d imagine so there’s no real pressure for me to rush or beat certain games.