This year I’m finally going to tackle my gaming backlog—please take me seriously, I have a plan and everything

It’s 2024, the beginning of a new year, and you know what? I’m gonna finally get my gaming life in order: Tackle my backlog, tame my cluttered library, and be free from my hoard of unfinished games.

Wait, stop laughing at me. 

I know you’ve heard it all before—from yourself, your loved ones, or your friend who buys way too many bundles and $1 Steam sale steals. We all say we’re gonna tackle our backlog, and do we? Hell no. It’s an unruly mess, a beacon of guilt, a huge-ass timesink. I’m guilty of it too; I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve installed games, proclaimed that today is the day I’m finally going to play it… and then I uninstall it two months later, still as untouched as it was the day it took up 60GB on my hard drive.

Each Starfield sandwich is a game I have yet to finish. (Image credit: Bethesda)

But I’m determined. This year, I’m gonna be different. It’s the year of new and improved Mollie, a person who finishes their damn videogames, no longer shackled by a virtual logjam that grows every year, mocking my lack of commitment for anything. At least, I’m gonna actually try for once.

For someone who claims to love games, I sure am bad at finishing ’em.

I’ve gotten to that point where whenever I look at my library, all I feel is shame. So many cool games that have been left by the wayside, victims of my perpetual exhaustion and aversion to sitting at my desk beyond work hours. Games I’ve desperately wanted to play like Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, Hi-Fi Rush, Cyberpunk 2077, Chants of Sennaar, Jusant, all remain unfinished. Even games I’ve adored this year like Baldur’s Gate 3 have been left in limbo, waiting for me to reach the final act. 

It sucks! For someone who claims to love games, I sure am bad at finishing ’em. I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve this year though, ones that I hope can help organise my brain, my games and give me that kick up the ass I really need to actually see the credits roll.

Give me structure

I’m stealing a trick from our online editor Fraser Brown: spreadsheets, baby. Fraser keeps a spreadsheet of everything he plays in a year—something you can hear him talking more about on our PC Gamer Chat Log podcast. It helps to visualise what’s been completed, what’s in the middle of being played, and what’s been left untouched.

(Image credit: rundisc)

I suffer from a severe case of caveman brain, so maybe a little structure is what I need. Or maybe it’ll just be another method of shaming me about all the money I’ve spent for games I’ve not touched for six months, who knows? It’s certainly more on the chore-y side than I’d like and I have to trust my scatterbrain to actually keep things updated. 

I also want to take advantage of collections, a Steam feature I’ve long ignored. This whole time I’ve just been relying on organising my library by most recently played. It’s great and all, but it means that the games I forget about become really forgotten about as I cycle through my small rotation of regular go-tos. I kinda want to make things a priority system: Whack stuff I want to play the most in its own folder, followed by the ones I’m determined to get around to eventually. Then of course, the virtual junk drawer collection for all of the random Humble Bundle games I’ll never play in my life. Why not throw in a wee celebratory “completed” folder to make me feel good about myself, too?

(Image credit: Don’t Nod)

It’s lower-commitment than a whole-ass spreadsheet, and once I go through the pain of the initial organisation it should just be a matter of dragging and dropping each game as I get it. I feel like if I combine it with the spreadsheet I could be unstoppable. Maybe. I still gotta actually play the freakin’ things first.

Maybe I’ll come back to y’all at the end of the year and let you know if I actually manage to do it. Prove my haters wrong (it’s me, I’m my hater), do the undoable, achieve the unachievable. I don’t expect to tackle a backlog that easily spans a decade at this point, but I sure would like to clean up the last few years of waylaid games that I’ve ignored since becoming a Real Adult with a Real Job. And if I fail, I give you all permission to point and laugh at me. At that point, I’ll deserve it.

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