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Top 50 Best Games to Buy and Never Play

It’s time for gamers to free ourselves of the shame we feel when we think of our backlogs. Every unplayed title is like a little reminder of one moment of weakness, and it can be tough to see all of those reminders listed alphabetically in your Steam library when you’re about to start your fiftieth Skyrim playthrough. But hey, it’s a collection! People fill their bookshelves with novels they’ve never read. We should be able to do the same with games! Here’s a list of the perfect titles to get you started.

1. Subnautica

I would probably really like this game, but every time my cursor hovers over the shortcut, my heart starts to race. Sweat beads on my brow. What would happen if I clicked? Surely, the game is safe to play. I’m not stupid; I know it’s fake. Just give me a few minutes to center myself.

2. Wildermyth

I heard an advertisement for this one on a podcast I listen to, so I nabbed it right away. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what the ad said, and I don’t have the patience to sit through a tutorial right now. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll have time eventually.

3. The Last of Us Part I

Sure, the show made me want to play the game. But then it felt kind of silly to play the game at the same time I was watching the show, so I waited until the end of the season. Then I forgot about it. Hey, I’m human.

4. Firewatch

Literally every person on the internet told me to get this game, so I did. Honestly, though? It seems kinda boring.

5. Scribblenauts Unlimited

I loved the Scribblenauts game on DS when I was a kid, so when I saw that this game was on sale, I had to have it. That was seven years ago, and it was the last time I thought about Scribblenauts at all until I wrote this list.

6. Assassin’s Creed IV

I read about how fun it was to be a pirate in this game for years, but I think I held off too long. Once I finally decided to pull the trigger, I just really didn’t feel like playing it. I just know there’s a ton of DLC included that clutters the game right when you start it. Ugh.

7. AI War: Fleet Commander

It’s okay, we all get a little big for our britches after reading The Art of War. It’s totally normal to realize you’ve gone too far after buying this game. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway.

8. Brink

Hey, man. We all get caught up in hype. I’m not embarrassed about this at all.

9. Dave the Diver

Oh, shit! I forgot I bought this game! But I was still working through Tears of the Kingdom, so I put it off until I finished that game. Then Baldur’s Gate 3 came out. Then Starfield. Unless Super Mario Wonder is shockingly terrible, I am never getting to play Dave the Diver.

10. Final Fantasy 4

I downloaded this on my phone so I could play it during breaks at work, then spent most of my breaks scrolling social media. This is a “me” problem.

11. L.A. Noire

Hoo, boy. I mean, I had to buy it, right? It was a big game when it came out, and it goes on sale all the time. It just seems like a whole thing, though.

12. Jurassic World Evolution 2

I liked the original okay, even if it was far from perfect. I’m not sure if the reason I haven’t played this is that I’m so burnt out on the original or if I’m worried this version won’t be enough of an improvement. I’m probably correct on both counts.

13. Call of Duty: Black Ops II

I just wanted to revisit the good ol’ days, man. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework and only learned after my purchase that playing Black Ops II in 2023 is the internet equivalent of wearing a t-shirt that says, “Please Mug Me and Steal My Debit Card.” Why is Steam still selling this game, again?

14. Fallout 4

I wanted to wait until the modders fixed it. Now I’m anxious about managing all the mods I would need to download. The duality of man, eh?

15. Celeste

I hate playing platformers unless I’m really, really good at them, which means I need to set a lot of time aside to practice them. There’s just not enough time in the day for me to get good at Celeste.

16. Sonic Adventure 2

I think part of me thought that just by downloading this game, I could just make it 2001 again. It didn’t work. Seeing this game in my library fills me with angst.

17. Cave Story+

Cave Story+ got a really cool physical release for the Switch with a little keychain of one of the characters. I don’t know the character’s name, because I haven’t played the game. I’ve heard good things about it, which is basically the same as playing it.

18. Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword

I have a really bad habit of buying sequels to games just as I’m getting bored with the original. You think I would have learnt my lesson by now, but I guess I just love spending money.

19. Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

I’m just waiting for a single one of my friends to get this game so we can play multiplayer. I don’t want to start too early or else there will be a skill gap and the matches won’t be any fun.

20. Mirror’s Edge

Bought it, then remembered I had watched my roommate play through the entire game in 2009. I’m sure it’s a lot more fun to play it yourself, but I can live with that for now.

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