Top 10: How to Get through that Seemingly Endless Pile of Unplayed Games

final fantasy vii cloud

Some things in life are inevitable: you’ll get stung by a bee, you’ll fall in love, we’ll all die and those who play video games on a regular basis will buy a bunch of titles that they will never play. It’s really easy to impulsively buy a bunch of games whenever there’s a seasonal sale on Steam, GOG or GameStop, but most of us have a problem identifying when that’s too much. With that in mind, I decided to create a list that will help you make a dent on that pile of unplayed games that you’ve accrued for years.

Having dozens of games to play whenever you want isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you, but there are definitely some guidelines you can follow to play some of the games in your collection and avoid that this happens again in the future. If the guidelines below aren’t enough, I posted a similar article with some tips for dealing with your pile of shame.

1) Stop buying games


Seriously, this is one of the problems that got you to where you are now, so avoid buying something unless you’re sure you’re going to play it. Games are coming out constantly and it’s easy to be hyped by some of the biggest releases, but this is only getting to make matters worse at this point. Besides, the fact that you don’t get a game now doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to purchase it later.

2) Make a list with everything in your collection

Video Game Collection

If you want to have some sort of idea in your mind of how you’re going to play all those game I’d urge you to make a list of everything you own so that you. You can use computer programs like Excel, iOS applications like Game Vault, a notebook or whatever works for you. The idea here is to see how many games you have, their genres, how long they could take to complete and so on.

3) Make a list with the games you want to play in the next couple of weeks

The Warriors

Now that you’ve made a list of your entire collection, you can make a shorter list with the games that you want to start playing now. For this, you’re going to take into account your personal taste, a specific title that you always wanted to play but you never find the time to do so, short games or whatever you feel like playing. Every time you finish a game, you’re going to check that list (which should take around five games) cross out the game you play and continue doing that until you’re done.

4) Find those games you know you’re never going to play and remove them from your lists

FIFA Street 4 (2012)

This is inevitable. At one point you thought it was a great idea to buy a copy of Madden even though you don’t like football. You should get rid of those games as soon as you can (of course, you’re going to do that for all the physical copies.) Donate them, give them to a friend or simple sell them at a fair price. At least, there’s always that idea that it might go to someone who will enjoy it.

5) Avoid playing several games at the same time

Shelf with Games Collection

This is important. Don’t play more than two games at the same time because you might run into the problem of losing focus and then not finishing anything. If you stick to two games and you have the chance of playing a few hours every day, you’ll make progress in no time. Believe me, this works.

6) Don’t feel any obligation to finish anything

Final Fantasy IV - The Complete Collection 05

Some genres aren’t for everyone, so if you find a game that you can’t finish or you simply don’t enjoy, go ahead and move to something else. You don’t owe anyone anything and even if you play a game that most people like, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to love it too.

7) Make note of what you enjoyed the most and what you enjoyed the least

Magic 2015 - Card Collection

This is important for the future. Did you hate playing all those strategy games? Well, I guess you shouldn’t be buying more of those in the future. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid a specific genre forever, but at least, make sure you don’t buy entire series of games if you suspect you aren’t going to like them.

8) Get rid of all those games that are still at the bottom of your list


It’s easy to look at some games on your list and think that you’re going to play them one day. Hey, I’ve done that too, but there are some games that we’re never going to play for several reasons. Don’t feel attached to those in any way and while you could keep them for the future, I think the best thing to do is simply get rid of them and move on games that you’re more likely to play now.

9) Focus on single-player for now

Devil May Cry HD Collection (PS3, Xbox 360)

Multiplayer will take a lot of your time and it can ruin your enjoyment of a specific title. So for now, I’d say that you should focus on the single-player campaigns and if you like that portion of the game a lot, you can always come back to the multiplayer later.

10) Have fun

Jak & Daxter Collection

The reason why we play games varies from person to person, but one of the most common reasons is because we have fun. If at any point while you play those games you feel bored, frustrated or you simply don’t see the point in playing them. Move on to something else, maybe that game’s not for you.