While I make a solid effort to play as many games that come out in a given year as I can, some will just fall to the wayside. Playing games for work takes priority over playing games for fun, which is a shame, but a truth. That doesn't mean the two are mutually exclusive. There are plenty of games I've played for review that I enjoyed. However, there have been just as many experiences I'd rather never repeat again. Still, my collection of games grows every year, and I've been missing out on a lot of promising and interesting titles due to my obligations. That changes this year.

My wife and I are both in the game industry, and in previous years, we somehow always manage to get into heated discussions about who beat more games. Were they started by me? Hey, who can really say. All I know is I've been terrible at finishing games that weren't part of my job. I've been particularly bad at finishing games that came out more than a generation ago. But what happens when I turn finishing some of those games into work? That's where the Great Backlog Battle comes in.

There are some really great and fun games collecting dust on my shelf. I would love to play Persona 4 Arena, but I just never have the time to sit down and do so when I've got upcoming releases staring me straight in the face. That's not to say I haven't tried to squeeze time in with older games I missed the first time around. I've made it at least part way through dozens of titles. My heroes and heroines are just waiting at some checkpoint for me to help them resume their quests. 2014 is the year that happens. The Great Backlog Battle pits me against my (you guessed it) backlog of games from years past. On the line? A dinner bought and paid for by my wife. Of course, she's also got a list of games she's hoping to play through this year, and if she finishes more of hers than I do mine, I'll be the one ponying up at Red Lobster. Maybe. Who knows where she'll want to eat. I'm not really concerned with it because I'll be the one getting a free dinner.


I've got twelve games to tackle between now and Dec. 31, and you better believe when there's food (and a little pride, but mostly food) on the line, I'm putting my best efforts forward. I'm going to be tracking my progress here on Arcade Sushi for the remainder of the year, with recaps of what I've played and what I think of the games I'm playing. These won't be full reviews, as they won't be as strictly critical. The idea is to have a little fun and (hopefully) enjoy some titles I missed out on playing over the past few years. Without further ado, here are the twelve games on my Backlog Battle list.

  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Battlefield 4
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD
  • Remember Me
  • Saints Row 4
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
  • Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • Persona 4 Arena
  • Resident Evil 6

You might be looking at that list wondering why so many games are so recent. The only qualifier for the Great Backlog Battle is that the game had to have come out prior to 2014. In addition to playing games others have always claimed as important or awesome, I wanted to include some I just always wanted to play myself. Sure, Resident Evil 6 might have been righteously ripped by critics and fans alike, but I could hardly call myself a fan of the series if I didn't finish it. The same could be said of MGS: Peace Walker, which I once started on PSP, but for reasons I can hardly recall, never finished completely. I've already gotten started on Black Flag, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's way more engaging and fun that Assassin's Creed III was, and I actually liked Connor's adventure.

Anyway, be sure to check back every Monday for more updates on how the Great Backlog Battle is going. The first proper installment will be next week, where I'll probably wax philosophical about why a pirate's life is for me, and how I feel bad harpooning orcas after watching 'Blackfish.' If you want to come up with your own list of games to compete alongside me, I welcome the challenge. I won't take you out to dinner if you win, but you'll have an excuse to play even more games and maybe have a little fun while you're at it.