As a kid, I loved video games. However, I wasn’t the most adventurous with my game choices. I played the Zelda games and a handful of other games until I knew just about every secret. By the time I got a PS3, I became too busy in school and work to play games as often. As a result of all this, I missed many great games and classics such as Metal Gear Solid, Fallout 3, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Deus Ex, and even Half Life. After College, I took an internship and moved, leaving me no time to play games anymore. During this time period I met a girl and got engaged. Around the time of the wedding, I was about to sell my PS3, since I didn’t have time for it anymore. I felt like those days were behind me, but I decided to hold on to it and use it as a Blu-ray player.
In a last ditch effort to hold on to my youth, I grabbed Assassin’s Creed II on sale for about $5 at GameStop. I knew I didn’t have much time, but for $5, I decided to give it a shot. I loved it and didn’t want to put it down. However, I was still very busy–It took me months to finish, but afterwards I was hooked back on gaming. At this point I started visiting message boards, video game websites, and researching all the games I had missed. I also discovered Steam just in time for my first Holiday sale. I quickly began collecting all the classics I had missed.
My first plan was to play them in order of release. I started by playing the older games I had missed like Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. They were fun, but some games didn’t age very well and I wasn’t always in the mood for them. To exacerbate the situation, I was inspired to go ahead and build my first PC. My graphics card came with Steam codes for Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite. I never played those series, but I wasn’t going to pass them up for free. After playing those at max settings, it was hard to go back to the classics.
My next plan was to try and play all the games I had missed before the next game in the franchise released. This resulted in me rushing through as many games as I could to catch up. This was fine at first, but quickly began to wear on me. I discovered that frantically rushing through games was not a fun way to play them. I should have enjoyed Uncharted 2 and others like it more than I did, but all I wanted to do was finish. Even though it felt like a waste, I realized that I couldn’t play everything I missed. This was a tough pill to swallow.
At the beginning of the year, I decided to give Borderlands a try and I loved it. Not long after it, I picked up Borderlands 2 on sale and loved that too. This is one of the benefits of a slow year for new releases. I get to work on that backlog. If a new game comes out, I play it, like I did with South Park: The Stick of Truth at the beginning of March. If a new game comes out, but I want to play the previous game(s) in the franchise, then I play the older ones first. I recently did that when inFAMOUS Second Son released. I had already played inFAMOUS but not inFAMOUS 2. I played 2 since I was in the mood for it, and it became my first platinum game on Playstation. I got the itch for Metal Gear when Ground Zeroes released, so I started playing Metal Gear Solid (for the PS1) and loved that too.
Some people have been upset with the small amount of releases this year, but I have looked at it as a great opportunity. My backlog plan has been awesome so far, but if it wasn’t, I would just play something else. There isn’t enough gaming time to play something that isn’t fun, so play what you want.
Backlog Spotlight is a segment I will periodically write discussing games that I missed over the years and finally got around to playing. This is the first of the series and will be followed up with game recaps as I beat them. If you want a sample of what they will look like, I recently discussed my experience with Metal Gear Solid.
Ryan Latuso is a new editor for MONG and the owner of many unplayed video games. Follow him on IGN.