Talking tech since 2003

If you’re someone who plays a lot of video games, the words “game backlog” might send shivers down your spine. For those not in the know, a gaming backlog is the pile of games someone’s purchased but still not played. The games are often accumulated during sales, but are often buried by real life, new game releases, and… the next round of sales.

If you find yourself struggling to get through your backlog, you don’t need all the time in the world. What you need is some motivation — the “kick in the butt” needed to stop counting all the games you have to play and, instead, play them.

Here are some tips for digging in and making headway with your backlog of games.

Use HowLongToBeat

The website HowLongToBeat is dedicated to helping gamers keep track of their backlogs. It’s a highly useful tool to not only show you which games you have left to play, but also the games you’ve been able to knock out. Seeing the progression you’re making can serve to keep you motivated and on track. And thanks to HLTB’s “Time to Beat” sort feature, you can actually view the games you have to play in order of how long they’ll take. If you start beating the shorter games first, you can get the ball rolling and follow that momentum through to your longer titles.

Use Guides

We’re here to beat these games and clear them out, which means there’s no shame in using a guide to get you through any sections you’re stuck on. IGN has some of the best walkthrough wikis on the Web, but you can also find game guides on sites like and GameFaqs. If you’re a stickler for keeping story beats a surprise, search for a “spoiler-free” walkthrough that still tells you what you need to do but doesn’t give too much away.

Find Efficiencies

A whole lot of games use Achievements or Trophies that are tied to in-game progression. And since there’s a whole community of folks who only care about achievements, there are games where players have identified the easiest way to finish an area and unlock the achievement for the sake of speed. Search sites like XboxAchievements, TrueAchievements, or PlayStationTrophies and look for these shortcuts.

Stream for Accountability

If you’re playing a game in a quiet room all by yourself, and you’re playing simply to finish the title and get it off your plate, you may find yourself getting a bit bored. Streaming your play through Twitch or Mixer can help you find the drive to keep going — especially if viewers stop by to watch you play through. And who knows — you may even luck out and land some viewers who can provide tips to help you finish the game a lot faster.

Have some additional tips you’d like to share for clearing out backlogs? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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