Testing The Waters: Figuring Out The Next Video Game To Play

Ever since the start of the new year I have been finishing up a few games I’ve been playing since last year, like the DLC for Control and Neo: The World Ends With You. I recently completed the two DLCs for Control but I’m still working through getting to the end of Neo. One of the things I have been thinking about, as I get closer to finishing the story of Neo, is what video game should I play next?

There are plenty of games to choose from the massive backlog I have. Many of the them are oldies but goodies and a few are recentish like Square Enix’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s always a tough decision to figure out what to play next because any of the games I have would be a worthy one to invest the next few months on. The problem is which one will keep me hooked for the long haul?

Every time I got a new game, whether I bought it myself or someone got it for me as a gift, I used to play a little of it just to see the intro or get a feel for the game. What started out as an innocent “test the waters” type of scenario quickly got out of hand. I would have more games I partially started than I actually committed to playing all the way through. It became so problematic that I used to do a video games challenge for the blog as a way of refocusing on just one game for the next month or few months, depending on the length.

Amassing as many games as I have, it’s tempting to want to take a peak at each game you have yet to touch. The excitement is overwhelming, the temptation hard to resist when you want to know how the game looks and feels.

These days I have better willpower than before to avoid starting a game I don’t plan on sticking with, especially when I don’t want to have a long list of partially started games I won’t even remember what happened in the beginning when I eventually get around to it, but the problem of what to play still remains.

How do I make these decisions now without playing a tiny bit of every game I have? Depending on my mood and what type of game I want to play, I try to pick from the ones I either partially started but never finished or I go for the more current games that came out in the last year or two. If it won’t take too long to beat a game that almost always factors into my decision. Games that aren’t a massive time sink means I’ll be knocking back more titles from my backlog more quickly to move onto the next one.

My motto when I play games now is if I start a game, I have to finish it. So far it has worked pretty well with the games I managed to complete last year and my gamer ADHD has been in better control than it has been in the past.

It might be tempting to play a little of every unopened game you have stacked in your room or sitting in your console as a digital download, but it’s probably better for your own sanity to just pick a game and spend all the time it takes to play it until it’s done. Unless it’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which can be your breather game in between and not exactly the usual video game that falls into the category of “finished” when it can go on forever.

Are you the type of gamer to start a little of every game until you find one you’re interested in sticking with, or would you much rather pick a game and stick to that one until you’re done playing it?

2 thoughts on “Testing The Waters: Figuring Out The Next Video Game To Play

  1. Always a tough choice, good luck in picking your next one!

    I used to be the type to buy game and play *only* that game until it was finished. In recent years though, I’ve found myself running 2 or 3 games at any given time. I’m not buying them all the same time (who’s got the money for that?), but it’s more like I’ll poke my way through a new one while going back to one or two older ones that I enjoyed before. It takes longer to finish a given game now, but I kind of like having a couple of different ones to choose from depending on what kind of game I want to play on a given day.

    I will say that having Xbox Game Pass makes sticking even to this a bit difficult. With so many games at one’s fingertips, it can be super tempting to just try whatever strikes your fancy.

    1. I think for me I try my best to commit to one game now until I finish it, or at most I’ll be playing two different games to switch between. I definitely feel like having too many games going on at once has made it harder for me to finish anything because I could never really focus on any of the ones I’m playing. But it always depends on the person and how they utilize their time.

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