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How to beat your games backlog

The world is drowning in a sea of games.

Seriously, so many games were released last year that even the most dedicated of gaming fiends couldn’t have made it through them all. Among the new releases were the humongousFallout 4, the unexpectedly titanic Metal Gear Solid V and the monolithic Bloodborne(which was also super difficult).

But as any gamer knows, buying games is half the fun. And so we all flocked to the store and bought every single new release…only to find that we don’t have time to play them all. We have a Defcon 1 backlog situation, folks!

Luckily, there are a few ways to conquer your backlog and lift all of that game-related angst…

Don’t be a completionist

Back in the day, a game was over when the end credits rolled. Sure, you could play it again if you wanted, but you could easily walk away feeling satisfied after one playthrough.

These days, games have so many side quests and other stuff to do that it’s practically like having a second life.

The truth is, a lot of this ‘extra’ content is padding designed to keep you playing. Honestly, once you’ve saved one settlement in Fallout 4, you’ve pretty much saved them all (although it’s still super fun). Don’t be afraid of stepping away and playing something else, even if you haven’t hit 100% completion.

Don’t force yourself to play anything

Games cost a lot of money, so it’s always disappointing when you pick something up and don’t immediately love it. It’s even more disappointing when you actively hate it but force yourself to play anyway because you don’t want to feel like you’ve wasted money.

It’s also a total waste of time. Why bother playing a game you’re not enjoying? It’s supposed to be fun! Give everything a chance but if it sucks, cast it aside and move on.

Sell whatever you’re done with

Whether you’ve completed a game or you’ve just decided you’re done with it, sell it. That way, you won’t feel the mounting guilt about not completing every side quest or finding every rare weapon. You can use the money to buy new games once you’ve completed your backlog too (but not too many!).

If you’re worried about wanting to play it again in the future, just remember how quickly games drop in price. You’ll probably be able to pick it up again for a couple of bucks in the near future.

Only play one game at a time

When you’ve got a lot of games in your backlog, you can end up playing a lot of stuff at once; this divides your attention and means you don’t really fully ‘enjoy’ any of the games you’re playing.

Instead, play one game at a time and fully take it in. If you’re into sports or FPS games, you can play one of these for ‘casual’ sessions too.

Stop buying games!

This is the hardest step for any gamer, because buying games is fun! To make matters even worse, games are on sale on Steam and Amazon so often that it’s almost impossible to avoid the temptation of picking a sweet deal on that game you’ve been thinking about playing.

Unfortunately, this just adds to the mounting pile of games you won’t be playing. Instead, only buy games you intend to play within the next month or so. Don’t worry about missing out of deals: there will probably be another sale soon anyway!

Play on easy

Playing on easy is akin to heresy for some gamers, but it’ll help you get through games much, much quicker. And hey, it’s pretty fun being super powerful from the start too!

Use HowLongToBeat to plan your time

HowLongToBeat is a super useful website that tells you how long it takes to beat a game. It lists average completion times for just the main quest, the main quest and extras and ‘completionist’ times.

Take the times from HowLongToBeat and plan out your gaming schedule around this. If you’re going to have a lot of free time, pick a deep RPG. If you’re going to be short on time, go for something a little easier!

Share your tips for beating your gaming backlog with us in the comments!

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