10 Games To Remove From Your Backlog Before The Next Big Hit

You'll want to clear these out, pronto.
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New Year is a time of resolution and renewal, and the first thing that really needs cleaning up is your burgeoning backlog. Surely there are a bunch of games that you’ve let collect dust – I myself have a healthy number that needs to be cleaned up some time.

The games on offer for this year are some of the craziest and most hyped titles in recent memory and it would be such a shame to jump into them without experiencing first-hand why they became so important in the first place.

Not that we’ve got your attention, here are 10 games that you should clear out before the next big one drops.

*I’ll be using How Long to Beat to determine the approximate completion time.

10 Games To Remove From Your Backlog

Dying Light (2015)

Time to Complete for Main Story: 20 hours
Time to Complete for Main Story + Extras: 47 hours
In Anticipation for: Dying Light 2 (February 4, 2022)

If you’re interested in trying out one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2015 that inspired the eventual sequel releasing next month, better get cracking because it’s a doozy. While the main quest can take you a good weekend, get ready to put in some more work if you plan on scouring its many extras.

Find out how this first-person parkour fest won over its many fans to get you prepared for an even larger upcoming sequel.

Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)

horizon zero dawn complete edition play at home

Time to Complete for Main Story: 30 hours
Time to Complete for Main Story + Frozen Wilds: 55 hours
In Anticipation for: Horizon Forbidden West (February 18, 2022)

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the better-loved open-world games out there. If you’re one of the few who have put this game on the back burner, you better fire it up on your PS5 in anticipation of its surely bigger and better sequel that will see the return of Aloy with many familiar faces.

Demon’s Souls (2020)

Time to Complete for Main Story: 24 hours
Time to Complete for Main Story + Extras: 33 hours
In Anticipation for: Elden Ring (February 25, 2022)

While the approximate time to complete seems quite short, it doesn’t take into account how many frustrated restarts it has for its sheer difficulty. If you really want a preview of what to expect before the much anticipated Elden Ring drops in February, here’s a good barometer. If it’s been in your backlog since last year, now is a good time to check out and hopefully get in some practice before the big one comes next month.

Octopath Traveler (2018)

Time to Complete for Main Story: 61 hours
Time to Complete for Main Story + Extras: 80 hours
In Anticipation for: Triangle Strategy (March 4, 2022)

This mammoth of a JRPG was released back in 2018 for the Nintendo Switch and just based on the premise alone, which lets you experience 8 separate characters’ stories, each with their own difficulty levels and individual stories, it was a huge undertaking.

With the same team developing Triangle Strategy for March, you owe it to yourself to experience this modern classic.

God of War (2018)

Time to Complete for Main Story: 22 hours
Time to Complete for Extras: 33 hours
In Anticipation for: God of War: Ragnarok (TBC 2022)

One of the shorter games in this list, there is no question that this game deserves a chunk of your time before Ragnarok. Even without a sequel, God Of War is a must-play for any self-respecting gamer out there, and is also considered by many to be one of the best games ever made.

And, well, you wouldn’t want to go into Ragnarok without knowing how things came to be, right?

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

Time to Complete for Main Story: 50 hours
Time to Complete for Extras: 100 hours
In Anticipation for: Breath of the Wild Sequel (TBD)

There’s a part of me that doesn’t believe that the sequel to Breath of the Wild will come out in 2022, but if you haven’t completed the first Breath of the Wild (looking at myself), you have your work cut out for you. In this groundbreaking open-world, prepare to invest at least 50 hours to complete the main quest and maybe even more as you explore the many shenanigans that you can do across Hyrule.

Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020)


Time to Complete for Main Story: 33 hours
Time to Complete for Main Story + Extras: 42 hours
In Anticipation for: Final Fantasy XVI (TBD)

While we don’t know when the actual sequel to this remake will arrive, we’re hoping that the mainline Final Fantasy XVI will come out sometime this year. While wishful thinking, it’s a great opportunity to check out this promise fulfilled, a re-envisioned Final Fantasy VII, all glammed up for its Intergrade version on the PS5 and PC.

The Outer Worlds (2019)

Time to Complete for Main Story: 13 hours
Time to Complete for Extras: 25 hours
In Anticipation for: The Outer Worlds 2 (TBD)

Not to be confused with the equally excellent The Outer Wilds, this is definitely a must-try if you’re a fan of the famed developer Obsidian. This is probably as close as you can get to a new Fallout game and since it’s on Game Pass, there’s no excuse not to try it out!

A Plague Tale: Innocence (2019)

a plague tale innocence

Time to Complete for Main Story: 11 hours
Time to Complete for Extras: 13 hours
In Anticipation for: A Plague Tale: Requiem (TBC 2022)

Here’s a short and sweet AA game that’s surprised many since it launched back in 2019. Certainly a favorite among many, this underrated gem is one game you’ll want to clear out before its eventual sequel makes its way later this year.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2012)

skyrim anniversary edition

Time to Complete for Main Story: 25 hours
Time to Complete for Extras: The rest of 2022
In Anticipation for: Starfield (November 11, 2022)

If Skyrim has been on your backlog for the last 10 years, I can understand. It’s certainly an acquired taste, being a first-person RPG that Bethesda are quite known for. With its recent Anniversary edition being released, it would be the best time to try it out again before we go to space later this year.

What other games in your backlog are you trying to clear out this new year? Let us know in the comments below!


Vincent Ternida loves reviewing story-driven indie titles, and unique but accessible game design. He spends his days working on manuscripts, checking out new titles, and wondering why isn't the main character of a Haruki Murakami novel anymore.

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