As the year winds down, many who play video games are sharing a similar sentiment right now: the year’s end means a time to reflect on the inevitable back-log. Back-logs manifest themselves through a variety of ways, but no matter the player, they probably have a backlog. 2017 in particular was an onslaught of games that didn’t fail to impress. With such an amount of quality games bursting the seems of every month, it was not only hard to keep up, but time management became of the utmost importance. What’s someone to do then as the end of the year wraps up and 2018 is just on the horizon? Well, take these last few weeks to wind down, and play whatever the heart desires.
It’s easy to focus on trying to get caught up in playing all the great stuff that came out, but it’s also impossible. Like anyone, living a life is necessary so there really is only so much time to play. This gives further cause to following the heart and playing whatever brings the most joy in the moment. Maybe this is a game that’s been on the back-burner for some time or maybe it’s a game that got a glance but was ultimately passed on, no worries, now might be the right time. Speaking of time, there really is only so much time left in the year, but fret not, this just gives agency to trusting the gut to pick the right game. Plus, if it’s not the right game, there’s probably something else.
Many games this year found themselves either releasing the same day, days or weeks apart. This makes it easier in a sense to not feel to bad if a certain game isn’t clicking, there was just so much content matched by genres to choose from. What’s even more astounding is many of these games releasing so close to another were all big titles. For instance, the famous day of October 27 which saw Super Mario Odyssey, Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus all release on the same day. All hit vastly different beats, which means choice. Two of those titles are loaded so heavily with content they will take hours leading into days to complete, which means bang for buck.
Time is just one more layer. Quality games backed by big names matched with content boils down to time. Multiple times this year, playing different titles like Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5 or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild all lead to hours of content that burned long. These games can lead into hundred plus hour playthroughs if trying to see everything these titles have to offer. Cozying up with a title that has caught ones’ attention is something anyone can do, because it will last through the end of the year. It might even spill over a little, and that’s OK.
AAA titles weren’t the only thing to come out this year: a plethora of indie titles also swept through. These games match both quality and time, but in slightly different ways. Being indie titles means games that will only last a few hours minimum and no longer than a long afternoon. This is reason enough to burn through indie titles like Hollow Knight, Night in the Woods, Pyre or What Remains of Edith Finch. All of them have impact and hit beats that are vastly different. Even just browsing through services like Humble Bundle or itch.io to see what might be out there, who knows what will catch the eye?
To keep this from getting too long winded, let it be said: cozy up with a blanket, maybe something warm to drink and play some games. It’s been a great year for games and they’re just waiting to be played. There is no doubt that something is sitting in the back of the mind that’s been itching for a go and now is the time to do it. Who knows maybe that special game will be gifted making it all the sweeter, because even those that care know it’s all about the games.