Hi everyone,

Even though I wasn’t running this blog last year and didn’t have a great year backlog-wise, I wanted to take a little bit of time to look back at what happened last year – the goals I met, the goals I didn’t, and a few other things.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to look as deeply at last year as I’d like, simply because I didn’t keep a particularly diligent record of things. In future year recaps I’d like to get really into the nitty gritty, but this time I’ll have to keep it relatively short. That said, if there’s anything you’d like to see me cover in my recap of 2021 next year, let me know, and I’ll be happy to oblige.

The Games: (Click to expand)

Games I beat in 2020
  • Snowman Slide
  • Age of Empires III: Complete Collection
  • Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
  • Darksiders: Genesis
  • Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All
  • Nintendo Land
  • FTL: Faster Than Light
  • Splatoon 2
  • Pool Nation
  • Resident Evil 2 (2019)
  • Beat Hazard
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels
  • Doom Eternal
  • Hellpoint: The Thespian Feast
  • The Surge
  • The Battle of Polytopia
  • No Straight Roads
  • Ghostrunner
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization V

Games I retired in 2020 (Some things I’ve excluded that I may bring back later – just trust me)
  • Beyond: Two Souls
  • Dungeon Siege III
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (replaced by Re-Reckoning this year)
  • Age of Empires II: HD Edition
  • Age of Empires II: HD Edition – The African Kingdoms DLC
  • Dark Souls II (Replaced by Scholar of the First Sin version)
  • Pokemon Black
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Battleblock Theater
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Crayon Physics Deluxe
  • Dear Esther
  • Fortresscraft Evolved (Housekeeping)
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Awesomenauts (Housekeeping)
  • TERA (Housekeeping)
  • Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  • Limbo
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – Technical Test Server (Housekeeping)
  • Hover – Workshop Tool (Housekeeping)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – VR Edition
  • For Honor – Public Test (Housekeeping)
  • Dota Underlords
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer Soundtrack (Housekeeping)
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer Extended Soundtrack (Housekeeping)
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Call of Duty: WWII – Multiplayer
  • Bloodsports.TV
  • Rage 2
  • American Truck Simulator
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King
  • Hyper Scape
  • Borderlands 3
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • Darksiders
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • Drawful 2
  • Duke Nukem 3D
  • Far Cry 2
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • L.A. Noire
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Spelunky
  • Resident Evil: Resistance
  • Remnant: From the Ashes
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2
  • Crucible
  • Among Us

Let’s start with the good:

  • I cleared a total of 85 games off of my backlog in 2020, of which:
    • I beat 23 (~27.05%), though 2 or 3 of these were demos, and some of these were things I had beaten in the past that I finally marked off
    • I retired 62 (~72.94%), though some of that was “housekeeping”, like getting rid of Crypt of the Necrodancer’s soundtrack from my backlog

And now, for the not so good:

  • At the start of the year, my backlog was around 938 games in total. My backlog now sits at around ~1062 games. Overall, my backlog grew by 111 games in 2020 (excluding a few things I added at the start of this year).
    • Some of this is because I added things I forgot, like extra things from past Humble Choice bundles.
    • However, some of this is because I kept purchasing games faster than I was clearing them off, which is bad.
  • At the end of 2019 I “famously” said I was aiming to clear 100 games off of my backlog in 2020, which obviously didn’t happen – I did come kinda close to that number, which is great, but the spirit of that comment was a hope that I would reduce my backlog to almost 800 games, when in fact I did basically the opposite.

On the financial side of the games I actually beat in 2020: (in future years I’d like to include the retired games as well) – This gets pretty messy, but bear with me.

GameDate PurchasedDate CompletedPurchase PriceLater Lowest Possible PriceMoney Wasted
Snowman SlideN/AJan 1, 2020FreeFree$0.00
Darksiders: GenesisOct 20, 2019Jan 6, 2020$28.89$33.99-$5.10
Phoenix Wright: Ace AttorneyUnknownJan 6, 2020Unknown$14.99*~
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of JusticeMay 19, 2019Jan 6, 2020$18.07$18.07*$0.00
Nintendo LandN/A (free pack-in game)Jan 7, 2020$0.00$0.00
Splatoon 2July 2017~Jan 7, 2020$79.99$79.99$0.00
Resident Evil 2 RemakeDec 23, 2018*Jan 20, 2020$61.17*$44.26$16.91
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)UnknownJan 27, 2020
Super Mario BrosN/A (Club Nintendo Reward?)Feb 9, 2020$0.00
Super Mario Bros: The Lost LevelsN/AMarch 13, 2020$0.00
Doom EternalFeb 2020*~Apr 3, 2020$65.99$70.39-$4.39
Hellpoint: The Thespian FeastApr 6, 2020Apr 6, 2020N/AN/A$0.00
The SurgeApr 25, 2018Apr 12, 2020$19.99~$7.79$12.21
The Battle of PolytopiaAugust 2020~Aug 12, 2020$11.71$11.71$0.00
No Straight RoadsN/A – review codeSep 21, 2020
GhostrunnerOctober 2020~Nov 12, 2020$26.23$25.59$0.64
      
  AVG GAP TIME:208 daysTOTAL WASTE:$20.27
  MEDIAN GAP TIME:78 days  

Explanations:

  • Date purchased and date completed are self-explanatory
  • If it has an asterisk, it is an estimation.
  • The purchase price is the amount I paid for the game when I bought it.
  • Later Lowest Possible Price – The price I would’ve paid had I purchased the game and started playing it immediately.
    • This is a bit of an estimation, but basically I go back through price histories as much as I can from a month-1 week before I completed the game and see what price I could’ve theoretically paid, rather than the price I paid and let it sit in my library.
    • The point of this is to try and demonstrate that impulse sale buying is bad if you’re not actually immediately playing the things you’re purchasing, because you probably could’ve saved more money by just waiting until you actually had time to play it.
    • I only consider sites I actually purchase from – for consoles this is their digital store, for PC this includes Steam, Green Man Gaming, Fanatical, Humble Bundle, Epic Games Store, Bethesda Store, uPlay, Origin, GOG, and Battle.net.  
  • Money wasted – the difference between the price I paid and the price I think I could’ve paid had I followed the advice I give – “Only buy things if you are going to play them either right away or very soon, there will always be another sale”.
  • I intentionally excluded games I marked as completed in 2020 but actually beat at an earlier date, to try and avoid skewing the data
  • AVG GAP TIME/MEDIAN GAP TIME excludes time before release (preorder lead time) and Call of Duty 2019, as I don’t have access to that data right now and don’t have a good estimation
    • It also excludes Splatoon 2 as I played this for literally hundreds of hours in multiplayer, which was the reason I purchased it in the first place. If you include Splatoon 2, the average is 294 days and the median is 155 days.
  • My favourite game I played in 2020 was Ghostrunner, with Doom Eternal coming up as a close second.
  • My least favourite game I beat in 2020 was Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, and my least favourite game overall (incl. retired) was Minecraft Dungeons

The Verdict:

2020 was a pretty rough year, both in terms of real-life events and for my backlog. I played a few really cool games, but made negative progress on the backlog overall.

That said, my relatively poor backlog clearing performance in 2020 isn’t going to stop me from shooting for the stars this year. I’d like to clear at least a hundred games off of my backlog this year, bringing the total back down below 1000.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my progress, on how things went for your backlog clearing efforts last year, or even if there’s anything you’d like to see me take a look at in next year’s recap post. So let me know!

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