5 Tips to clear out that Gaming Backlog in 2023

Gaming Backlog

We’re well into 2023 and many gamers set goals for their gaming hobby. While I’m far from against personal improvement, making major lifestyle changes based on a certain date in the year is just a recipe for disaster.

One understated potential goal among gamers is that of finally getting around to going through that large gaming backlog you’ve built up. Everyone who games on PC is guilty of it thanks to the constant sales from storefronts such as Steam.

And given we’re still in the middle of their massive winter sale, it’s likely that you’ve picked up a handful of games because the deal was just too good to pass up. Except like with all the other games we’ve picked up over the years from sales. You might’ve just as well have thrown away that money if you never actually play those games.

So here are some tips to help you tackle that growing backlog of yours. I hope they’re useful, but remember that ultimately it’s up to you to work through your backlog.

1. Start with short games

Not all games are created equal and chances are your backlog of titles vary vastly in terms of the amount of time to finish them. When trying to figure out what to do first, it’s best to find some of the shorter ones on your list and get them out of the way first.

When it comes to reaching goals, it’s best to create small goals to complete to get to the larger one at hand. If you want to make a dent in your backlog, then having the satisfaction of finishing a game at a decent pace will do wonders for your confidence in going through them.

While most games are pretty obvious on how long you can expect to take to beat them, such as RPGs being on the longer side while more story driven titles are shorter. For the ones you can’t tell, it’s a good idea to check their entry on HowLongToBeat.com to get a ballpark estimate based on the data of others.

It’s even more helpful now that the Xbox app has a tracker based on the website to give you quicker information.

2. Stick with one game at a time

It always helps to stick with one game all the way until you beat it. It can be very easy to get sidetracked by some other game coming out or just wanting to try something different for a bit. Then before you know it, it’s been literal months since the last time you played.

A personal story here, but I had a friend who had played through most of Alan Wake before dropping it. He always told me he wasn’t far from beating it, but this would go on for over 4 years before he finally decided to finish it up one time when we were hanging out. It literally only took him less than 20 minutes just to beat a game that should’ve been done ages ago.

If you stay focused on one things at a time, it’s simpler to understand where you are and how far you’ve managed to get on getting through you backlog. Since time is always moving forward and new games are releasing everyday, it’s easy to get distracted. But if your goal is to actually go through your backlog, then it’s best to stick to it than fall into temptation.

3. Don’t be afraid to drop games

This obviously sounds counter intuitive for a list of tips on how to complete your backlog, but there are reasons why this is a good idea. At the end of the day, there are games that are just complete and utter trash.

There’s no guarantee that even with all the reviews you check and research done that every game you purchase is good, especially when it comes to your subjective view. And then there are those nice bundles you likely purchased that came with a dozen games for less than a buck each. Of course you’ll end up with games you’re not going to care for.

So why should you have to beat a game you’re struggling to enjoy? There’s no arbitrary rule that says you have to beat every single thing you own. You wouldn’t keep watching numerous seasons of a television series you hate, so why do the same with games? Always remember that your time is valuable.

4. Schedule time

Sticking with a theme of focus, if you want to make sure you keep at your goals without straying from the path, then you’ll need to make a concerted effort in doing it. Our lives are filled with many things such as work, school, the people around you.

It’s easy to get sidetracked when things get busy. Which is why it’s important to purposefully set aside the free time you know you’ll have and convert it into time spent playing your backlog. Ultimately beating a video game means sitting down and actually putting in the time it takes to beat it.

Having a proper schedule also helps in building habits. The same would go for any resolution that most end up failing because they never built up the proper habits to stick with it for any amount of time. It’s easy to end up missing some days and fall into the trap of “getting back to it tomorrow”.

5. Set a goal

You know what you want to do, but what exactly constitutes “clearing out your backlog”? That’s why it’s important to have an end goal in mind. There’s no need to create the smaller goals that would be recommended when one needs a plan since the small goals are obvious in going about and beating one game.

Instead, think about the time you have in this year. We all have lives and things we need to take care of that are much more important to video games. Still, if you want to make meaningful progress, then it would be best to say that you’ll beat X amount of games from your backlog this year.

I’d recommend making an effort to beat at least 12 games this year, one for each month. That way you aren’t forcing too much time to playing video games, but of course you’re aware of how long it should realistically take to beat your large catalogue of games. So make a decision based on your situation.

So what do you think of these tips? Do you have any other suggestions to help out those looking to finally surmount their gaming backlog? Let us know in the comments below along with any other plans you’ve got set for the rest of 2023.


Got into gaming thanks to a nice old lady who lived across the street. Enjoy most genres of games.

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