Welcome back to Backlogvania! It’s the series where I dive into my backlog of games, talk about them and show you if they’re worth playing or not! It’s essentially a really big excuse for me to play all the games I have and to be able to tell my wife “I swear, this is for research purposes!”
You know the thing about backlogging is that it kinda doesn’t ever end. While playing or completing a game, be it brand new or fresh from the backlog, more games are still being added to the existing backlog. THE BACKLOG WILL ALWAYS BE GROWING! There will always be games I will want to play despite the ~100 or so incomplete games sitting on my shelves waiting to be paid an ounce of attention to.
There’s also hundreds (and potentially more) games that I would love to play, but for whatever reason it seems hard to justify adding them to my existing backlog. I thought it would be neat to explore some of these games and franchises that are not currently in my backlog but that I may one day like to play to discuss why they interest me as well as some reasons why they haven’t made it into the backlog just yet. These may be games from series or franchises that I haven’t played at all, or entries from series that I’ve long left dormant or neglected to finish. Each entry in this list has two common factors: they all pique my interest and haven’t been played by me! So, I’ve narrowed it down to around ten games and franchises… so here they are in no particular order!
Ten Games I Want To Add To My Backlog
Final Fantasy VII
Why I Want To Play It: My relationship with JRPG’s is extremely hit or miss but the few that have hooked me deep have been from Squaresoft; Xenogears, Super Mario RPG, ChronoTrigger are all some of my fondest gaming memories. While I did dabble in FFVII in the halcyon days of the PS1 era, I was never given the opportunity to complete it fully. But even in my limited experience, I definitely understood the appeal as to why it’s considered a landmark in the genre. It’s safe to say that if I sat down and really gave FFVII a chance, I would probably love it dearly and that’s always exciting as a gamer to know that a game with such potential is there waiting for you to take the plunge.
Why I Haven’t Yet: Where to begin. Well, JRPGs are a huge time suck and, as a parent, I don’t have a ton of time right now to invest financially or extracurricular in such a massive, expansive game. I also have this hangup about playing a remake of a game that I never actually played to completion and that hang-up tells me that I’m a poseur for being interested in FFVII Remake without playing/completing FFVII OG. Hell, maybe one day I’ll play the original and then try the remake a few years later. Or maybe I’ll get over my hangups and just play the remake.
Metal Gear Solid
Console: Sony Playstation
Why I Want To Play It: As a Playstation kid growing up, this was one of the many landmark titles that I never crossed paths with, though many friends from this time all sang its praises to the heavens. Almost any hardcore gamer can tell you the name Hideo Kojima and not only how he helped redefine games, but potentially even redefine the “stealth” gaming genre as a whole. That said, everything about Metal Gear Solid intrigues me, from its characters, to its artwork to its weirdness. It’s every bit as mysterious to me as it is fascinating and I’m eager to someday get a chance to play it.
Why I Haven’t Yet: Something about backlogs and too many games. Even at the time, my backlog of unplayed and unfinished Playstation games was heavy and fat with no room for Snakes solid, liquid or otherwise. Looking back, many Sony Playstation games simply haven’t aged well aesthetically which is why so many of them are getting remade for modern consoles. It’s curious that MGS hasn’t received a remake yet. I wonder if that will change in the next few years.
Donkey Kong Country Returns/Tropical Freeze
Console: Nintendo 3DS/Nintendo Switch
Why I Want To Play It: This one is cheating a bit as it’s two titles instead of one but I felt like they can share space here since there are so many similarities. DKC was a huge game for me growing up. DKC is platforming perfection and seeing this series get a modern revival with a new team that did such a wonderful job of both recapturing and updating the series gameplay and visual style with such painstaking detail is something that makes my monkey-heart melt.
Why I Haven’t Yet: Part of the issue here is price. Nintendo has a knack for… not necessarily lowering the prices of their games and even used copies tend to go for almost full price simply because Ninendo doesn’t mark down their older games until way, way down the line. DKC Returns has gotten the Nintendiscount treatment on 3DS now retailing for a cool $20 which makes me far more likely to pick up, but Tropical Freeze is a WiiU port on Switch and still goes for $60 which is just nuts. Cmon’ Nintendo… lighten the eff up with your prices, fam!
Mass Effect 3
Console: XBOX 360
Why I Want To Play It: I was late to the Mass Effect party but what a damn party it was. Part of being late to the ME party was my date at the time, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare fought for every second of my free time to get that prestige level up. But as good as Modern Warfare was, when Mass Effect finally hooked me it was a gaming revelation. Once I got into a rhythm with Mass Effect and got to understanding how much there was to explore, I couldn’t help but want to go out and do every side quest and finish every mission. Mass Effect is a truly magnificent piece of gaming from the 7th generation.
Why I Haven’t Yet: So, as much as I enjoyed Mass Effect, that was where I stopped with Bioware and I haven’t gone back yet. I do own Mass Effect 2 and look forward to one day playing it, but for now, ME 3 remains off the backlog until I can justify adding it by playing and completing ME 2. Does anyone have 300 free hours of gaming they want to loan me?
Console: Nintendo Switch
Why I Want To Play It: Action and adventure? Check. Incredibly high metacritic rating? Check. You play as a gun-wielding witch whose hair becomes her clothes? Suuuuper check. What more do you need? In all seriousness, the Bayonetta games seem like the kind of crazy, looney toons premise wrapped around incredibly tight, frantic gameplay that is just the level of banana sandwich that has to make for an incredible experience, right?. I mean, how can it not be? Plus, as hype for a threequel gets closer and closer, it’s making the first two games seem more and more appealing with each strand of hair I see covering Bayonetta’s body.
Why I Haven’t Yet: All the reasons I list above. For a game that’s as highly regarded and highly ludicrous in concept as Bayonetta is, it either will work well or it won’t. I sincerely doubt there will be much, if any in between. I’m leaning towards there being a high likelihood that I would enjoy those games, but I just haven’t gotten around to taking the plunge yet. I suspect this will be sooner rather than later.
Console: Nintendo Switch
Why I Want To Play It: I love me some 8-bit 2D platformer as much as the next gamer. While indie developers have tried to beat every single golden egg out of the 8-bit 2D platformer goose, Shovel Knight has continued to be looked upon and revered as the shining example of what the genre is and should be. It’s a game that simultaneously takes itself seriously while not taking itself seriously at all and I think that’s a crucially missed-out-on component of games in the modern era. You either have the super hardcore, serious business triple-A titles or the super cutesy indie games, and Shovel Knight looks like it sits right in the middle and I like that. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.
Why I Haven’t Yet: This one is mostly laziness and fear. Laziness in that I’m waiting for a good price and potentially a physical release since I do like purchasing some games physically on the Switch. The fear is that it’ll be too hard. 8-bit 2D platformers tend to be “Nintendo hard” which, as a person with finite gaming time, is not always something I’m wanting from my games. I either need to find it physically in the wild, or get a super cheap discount for digital.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Console: XBOX ONE/ Nintendo Switch
Why I Want To Play It: The Witcher has seeped into pop-culture in so many forms that it’s hard to ignore at this point. You got beefcake Henry “Always My Superman” Cavill playing Geralt of Rivia on Netflix, you got the game ported to Nintendo Switch because of high demand – HOLY SHIT they fit that game on a Switch cartridge? You maniacs! You did it! Anyways, yet another game where the praises have been sung by many that I simply have yet to experience for myself. Either the hype will need to die down or I’ll need to cave and play it. Let’s play chicken!
Why I Haven’t Yet: This is another game that seems like a massive time sink that I’m quite frankly not sure I’m ready for nor will I have time for. However, I’ll admit there is some appeal to getting the Switch version to simply be able to play on the go between diaper changes and cooking/doing the dishes, but I just don’t know where I’d fit such a massive game into my gaming schedule. Also, I struggle with the whole swords/sorcery/LOTR aesthetic that seems to be jiving with The Witcher… not my thing.
Every Zelda game I haven’t played
Console: Various Nintendo Consoles
Why I Want To Play It: I’m probably a perplexing soul to some Nintendo fans. While I sincerely love almost every Zelda game I’ve ever played with a passion, some would even be considered some of my favorite games I’ve ever played, I’ve yet to play more than half of them. Which means there’s a ton of great Zelda content I’ve yet to engage with and I’m always interested in more Zelda content. I would eventually like to play Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, and Wind Waker as these are the big console releases I have yet experienced. Outside of the major releases, there are even more portable titles I have yet to get to including Minish Cap, and the Oracle titles. I’m sure I’ll enjoy them all when I play them, if even just moderately. So, I’m including any of the games I haven’t played here.
Why I Haven’t Yet: I think this one is just hard to know where to start and having to hunt down and obtain inexpensive copies of all of LoZ games. As Nintendo almost never makes these games less expensive and not every Zelda game lives on modern consoles, finding the games as well as the console (in some instances) makes it a challenge worthy of The Hero of Time himself. One day, I’ll start seeking out and completing these games – but maybe I should finish Majora’s Mask first.
Super Mario Sunshine
Console: Nintendo Gamecube.
Why I Want To Play It: I don’t think I’ve ever played a Mario game that I didn’t enjoy. Most of them bring me so much joy that it’s hard to wonder how any gamer could not simply adore Super Mario. Super Mario Sunshine is considered by some to the black sheep of the 3D Mario family, but many gamers, including hardcore Nintendo fans, sing its praises as one of the best if not most underrated Mario games ever made. For me, especially after pumping over 100 hours into Super Mario Odyssey, I may eventually need my 3D Mario fix and I can see Sunshine being a great place to start with it’s stunning visuals (especially being from the GC era) and unique and interesting premise not found in any other 3D Mario title.
Why I Haven’t Yet: Once again, Nintendo rarely drops their prices making their games harder to come by even in the second-hand gaming market. Sunshine has also established a bit of a cult following making finding it used at a reasonable price also somewhat difficult. I think it’s going to come down to stumbling across this one at a garage sale or a used shop and biting the bullet for it, regardless of price but, for now, price and availability have been the biggest factors for why the sunshine has eluded me. However, if Nintendo maybe wanted to do a Mario Remastered collection or simply a remaster of Sunshine like they’ve hinted (cough, cough, Nintendo, do it, cough, cough) then I think this one would easily shoot to the top of my list.
Console: XBOX ONE
Why I Want To Play It: Gears of War has long been one of my favorite series on the XBOX 360. Aside from Judgement, I played through and enjoyed my time in every GOW game. Growing to love the characters of Marcus, Dom, Baird and Cole was a highlight of the 7th generation of consoles for me and getting to swap in and out between playing with friends during the campaign was also a rare treat. Even the remaster of the original game was done incredibly well. Gears of War 4 while still good, lost a little bit of steam for me but never to the point where I didn’t finish it or even consider not finishing it. Ultimately GOW4’s biggest flaw was feeling too familiar and it sounds like GOW5 has remedied that for an interesting, new take on the franchise that I’m a little sad I haven’t played yet.
Why I Haven’t Yet: Gears of War 4 was maybe a little too familiar in terms of story leaving me almost as if The Coalition had focused too much on recreating the gameplay and visuals without knowing exactly where to take the story in terms of a new, interesting, creative direction. This has been the biggest reason why I didn’t immediately snatch up Gears 5 despite the positive reviews it’s received. I think I kinda always expected GOW5 to end up on the list at some point, but it simply hasn’t been a high priority. So, it belongs on this list, for now…
And those are 10 (ish) games that aren’t currently on my backlog. Did I miss anything crucial that should ABSOLUTELY be there? Are there any on this list I should stop what I’m doing and play RIGHT NOW? Would you like to see any of these in future installments of Backlogvania? Add a comment below and share this article with a friend who has a massive backlog of video games that they can’t seem to get ahead of!
I’m still working on Xenogears, so that should be ready to debut next month, so keep checking back for more details!