Pixel Count: Prioritizing Your Backlog?

Welcome to Pixel Count Tuesday, everyone. Let’s get to polling.

Sorting through your video game backlog is like fighting a hydra. Every time you knock out a Witcher 2, a Dead Island pops up to take its place, right next to the Ni No Kuni head you were already aiming at next. And that’s not to mention the Final Fantasy VI head that’s been staring at you for nigh on 2 years.

At some point, you’ve got to step back, take a deep breath and get yourself more organized. For me, backlogs require a plan of attack. I can’t just fight through these games with a devil-may-care attitude, willy-nilly. I have to schedule, prioritize and move through them in the right order.

So my question to you guys is this: how do you prioritize your own gaming backlog?

How do you prioritize your backlog?

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I tend to mix a variety of these methods. First and foremost, I work on what a game cost me and how much its trade-in value stands to be. For console games, if I think I can turn them around in a reasonable amount of time (thus getting the max trade-in value), I play that first. After that, I tend to go with a mix of what’s newest (since I like to have relevant discussions here about newer games) or what I’ve had the longest if what’s newest doesn’t strike my fancy in the moment. Somewhere mixed in all of that is game length, as I know I can knock a shorter game of the backlog in no time at all. And of course, if something just looks balls to the wall fun, it takes immediate precedent. I’m not sure if any of that answers the question very succinctly, but there you have it.

Tell us what you picked, and what games are waiting for you in the comments!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

7 thoughts on “Pixel Count: Prioritizing Your Backlog?”

  1. It’s like you wrote an article just for me! My backlog is insane and weirdly enough does include Final Fantasy VI.

    The only real priority I have for my backlog is to play boxed releases first, I keep them in the shrinkwrap to make me feel guilty every time I see them. Works pretty well as I only have about 4 sealed games to play right now. On top of that though there’s some gamecube and DS games I keep buying randomly on eBay because I win them for cheap, some of which I’ve had for 3 years.

    Digital though…man it’s just insane. I can’t even bear to count my unplayed Steam games and my PS3 is just as bad thanks to playstation plus throwing in another 2-3 games every month. I also have a few unplayed games downloaded to my PSP. If I had to estimate I would say I easily have 50 digital games including around 10 digital downloads of retail games.

    I try to play to “AAA” games first because they tend to be short but after that it’s just whatever I fancy so I voted for whatever looks the most fun. Really does feel like a losing battle sometimes but I’m always having fun so it’s hard to complain.

  2. I don’t know, when one of the options is a rewording of “play the game that looks better than the rest,” then why would I go with anything else? They’re something that burns through so much time and effort without giving anything back except for entertainment, why not go for what seems the most entertaining? If I were to use any of the other methods listed above then games become a chore. Games aren’t a chore, chores are things that are productive. Games are entertainment.

  3. That’s a good point. But what’s funny is, even though i don’t always prioritize games by what looks the most fun at the moment, I don’t really consider it a chore. Believe me, I wanted to play Ni No Kuni waaaaay more than I wanted to play Sleeping Dogs – but I’d be a pretty bad husband if I spent a bunch of money on games I never played. if I always played what looked the most entertaining in that moment, I’d never get to a few of the other games I grabbed on sale because I’d heard good thing.

  4. I usually do the trade-in value thing, unless something is really pulling me. For instance, for Xmas, I got XCOM, Far Cry 3 and Dishonored. I loved XCOM from the get-go, so I set that aside, beat the other two, traded them in and went back to XCOM, knowing I wouldn’t trade that one in because I want to replay it.

  5. I’m currently playing through Dishonored, but the great thing about games like Skyrim and Fallout 3 is the fact that I don’t count them in my backlog. I’ve never felt the burning need to “finish” either of them because of their open world nature. I just go and explore caves and buildings. I can always come back to them foe something fresh if I encounter something grinding in my current game. Makes me sound a bit casual, doesn’t it?

  6. I usually try to start with the games that caught my attention and had me itching to play them first, and I work my way down from there. Despite the crummy reviews, I’m actually kind of looking forward to picking up a copy of Aliens: Colonial Marines

  7. My backlog is a complete wreck right now, and trying to navigate it is starting to suck the fun out of gaming in general. I’ve got the eternal non-finishers (Skyrim, etc.) hanging out in there, which I’ve made my peace with, but the rest – I’m not managing to crack that flaky top layer of most recent purchases to get to the tasty morsels underneath. I think I need to work out a plan of my own, as the independent/classic/more cerebral games I’m really more interested in tend to get left on the shelf.

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