I have over 50 games in my Steam library that I have yet to even touch. Most of you probably have far more than that. And you know the worst part? The backlog keeps growing year after year.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were paying $70 for new Nintendo 64 games. The cartridges were not cheap to manufacture, and so N64 games carried a premium price. I still remember it well, even though it was usually my parents paying for them at the cash register.
Although I ended up with a fairly sizable library before the GameCube replaced the N64 as my console of choice — and I still own those systems, by the way — the steep price of new games crimped what might have been an even larger collection.
I can’t accurately guess how many hours I put into Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Wave Race, Super Smash Bros., and Goldeneye. This is partially because buying new games was a relative rarity. We had to play what our parents could afford — and then play it again, and again, and again.
Even though my N64 collection eventually expanded to 20+ games, my family averaged roughly four or five new games a year, including forgettable titles like BattleTanx that did not get as much play time as the aforementioned titles. In other words, a game had to last. It needed replay value to be worth the N64’s premium prices.
Fast forward to 2019 and we have a different problem. Games are now so cheap that we can buy them without even a second thought. Whether it is Humble Bundle or Steam sales, games that were once $70 can now be had for a few bucks. Heck, online stores literally give away games for free just to generate site traffic.
It is this abundance of cheap games that have led to backlogs of unplayed, unloved games. To drive the point home, my Steam backlog is now considerably larger than my entire video game collection during the 1990s. It’s bonkers.
So, just out of curiosity, I decided to compile a list of Steam backlog games last summer. These are games that I have not even installed. I excluded games that I have owned and played at least once on a console but have yet to play the Steam version (games like Condemned and Homefront). Here is just a partial list as of last July:
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Company of Heroes 2
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor
Crysis 2 Maximum Edition
The Darkness II
Dungeon Defenders II
Elegy for a Dead World
The Flame in the Flood
Galactic Civilizations III
Halo: Spartan Strike
Joe Danger 2: The Movie
Killer is Dead
Layers of Fear
Magnetic: Cage Closed
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
Operation Flashpoint: Red River
Overlord: Raising Hell
Red Faction: Armageddon
Rise of the Argonauts
Sid Meier’s Civilization III: Complete
Spec Ops: The Line
Tales from the Borderlands
Tropico 3 – Steam Special Edition
Viking: Battle for Asgard
Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier
The Walking Dead: Season 2
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
Yet Another Zombie Defense