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Welcome to Polygon’s Backlog Week

Where everything old and unplayed is new again

pile of video game cases, xbox and playstation
Chelsea Stark (she/her), executive editor, has been covering video games for more than a decade.

In the dog days of summer we retreat to our air conditioned living rooms and unpack our video game backlog. And each summer, the backlog seems bigger and more intimidating than it did the year before. There are too many video games, and not enough free hours to play them.

Even if you limit yourself to one platform or a couple of genres, the amount of older games compounded with the unrelenting stream of new releases can feel overwhelming.

If you’re a gaming omnivore, it’s even worse. Between downloadable content and free patches, it’s a challenge to make the most of one big game, let alone all of them..

Thus, the backlog.

Backlogs shouldn’t be stressful, they should be fun and fulfilling. It’s all about perspective. A backlog then isn’t meant to be completed, but to be celebrated. This week at Polygon, we’re doing just that. Backlog Week is a time to revisit games we may have missed and revisit favorites with fresh eyes. We’ll debate what a backlog means in 2018, with remasters, reboots, retro collectors and “living games” changing how we play the games after their peak of popularity. And we’ll share ways to make backlogs less stressful to approach.

“The pile of shame ” — back when we only bought games physically — has morphed into the digital library brimming with titles we all have the best intentions to play. Whether it’s Steams irresistible sales, or the monthly games from PlayStation Plus or Xbox Games with Gold, it’s easy to expand our gaming options without spending an entire paycheck. There’s bound to be great stuff on your backlogs. We look forward to hearing your own stories this week in our comments and on social media. We can’t wait to share ours.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.