My Steam backlog just keeps growing and growing

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:

Alpha Protocol

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Binary Domain

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor

Computer Tycoon

Crysis 2 Maximum Edition

The Darkness II

DiRT Showdown

Dreamfall Chapters

Dungeon Defenders II

Elegy for a Dead World

Endless Legend

F1 2015

Fallout

The Flame in the Flood

G-Ball

Galactic Civilizations III

Halo: Spartan Strike

Hell Yeah!

imprint-X

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

Outlast

Overlord

Overlord: Raising Hell

Overlord II

Red Faction: Armageddon

Rise of the Argonauts

Sanctum 2

Shadow Warrior

Sid Meier’s Civilization III: Complete

Spec Ops: The Line

Syberia 2

Tales from the Borderlands

Titan Quest

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

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3 Comments

  • I worked on magnetic: cage closed. Sad you haven’t played it yet, but it seems to be in pretty good company.

  • Josh says:

    Yeah I think this is a pretty universal problem for Steam gamers, but I like to justify my huge collection of unplayed games by saying, “If I lose my job, at least I’ll have my entertainment budget sorted for the next 15 years”

  • Tom says:

    Of the mentioned titles here are the ones I’d recommend. COH and 2, Crysis, DD2 (great for co-op fun), overlord and 2, RFA and titan quest. Depends what genres you like but try to finish at least a few others before buying something.

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