In September of 2014 I started playing Destiny on the Xbox One. I put well over 1000 hours into that game by the time I ceased regular play in late 2015. In early 2016 I started playing The Elder Scrolls Online and my hours are still ticking steadily upward in that game.

In the time since I gave up Destiny, I haven't played much else:

That's an extremely short list for me given my normal gaming habits. I consumed something like 15-20 titles per year every year from 2002 through 2014. MMOs fixate me on single titles for way too long. Except for Rogue Legacy, I haven't finished any of them. Don't Starve can't be meaningfully finished, but I survived two winters on a single playthrough, that felt reasonably rewarding.

I can sense my time in ESO coming to an end. My real-life friends have already either stopped or significantly scaled back their play, and I have no urge to return to active PVP play any time soon. I want to go through a list of old and new titles and think about what I want to play next.

First, the incompletes, in order of languishing-longest to newest, excluding games like the remade GTA V that I decided I don't care to finish:

  1. Assassin's Creed: Unity. I've 100%-completed every Assassin's Creed single player game since the first one, I'd like to continue that trend so I will come back to this eventually.
  2. Fallout 4. I never finished the single-player game and I haven't even touched the DLC. I almost never finish my first playthrough; my plan right now is to wait until Bethesda announces the end of major development in the game, drops a final patch, and runs a promotion on a bundle of all the DLC, then pick up sometime later. I'm a little anxious about going back, though; the game's soundtrack is so full of heartbreak that it was repeatedly poking me in my depression as I played last time.
  3. Far Cry 4. I'm about halfway through this and enjoyed the play greatly. I'll definitely finish it at some point, the only question is whether I'll start over on a harder difficulty when I resume or continue from where I am.
  4. No Man's Sky. I want to play a lot more of this. I'm sort of waiting for more patches to come, because the developer has hinted that they won't just fix bugs, but also introduce some new functionality.

Next, the Stack of Shame, the games I bought and haven't played yet. Again, this doesn't include ones like the Halo Master Chief Collection that I decided I will probably never start:

  1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. This was an extremely well-received action RPG. I have friends who played it and liked it. I want to attempt it eventually, just not straight out of ESO.
  2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I used to adore the Metal Gear franchise, both from the 8-bit era ad from the PS1 era. I lost interest halfway through MGS3, never attempted 4, and now the last one with Kojima's participation is sitting on my shelf. It was extremely well-received, so I want to take it on.

Now for the more daunting task: Starting from the date of Destiny's release, working forward through the calendar to build up a backlog of games I should probably buy and play if I can find the time.

  1. Dragon Age: Inquisition's DLC expansions, possibly accompanied by a replay of the original game using a harder difficulty.
  2. Dying Light. An extremely well-received zombie survival game, apparently combining elements of Dead Island with elements of Mirror's edge.
  3. Life Is Strange. I read good things, reportedly this is a game which focuses intently on story over game-play, and tells a kind of story not often told in video games. I never had a chance to play Heavy Rain because I never owned a PS3. This interests me.
  4. Shovel Knight. This got a lot of praise, apparently it's a very cute and creative Metroidvania-style platformer.
  5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I never played the first title because it was PC only, and I rage-quit The Witcher 2 after the combat tutorial suggested I put the game in easy mode, and never picked it up again because that was a boom time for good video games. This one got hugely good reviews, and also really hooked some of my real-life gaming friends.
  6. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. I heard people like the story in this one better than they liked Unity, and I liked the gameplay in Unity quite a bit.
  7. Halo 5: Guardians. I was underwhelmed by Halo 4, and Bungie really sucked me in with Destiny. The idea of anothe Halo game just didn't appeal to me at the time. Lately I've been wanting to know more about that story.
  8. Batman: Arkham Knight. I've loved every one of Rocksteady's Arkham titles. This one makes the list for sure.
  9. Rise of the Tomb Raider. I enjoyed the Tomb Raider reboot quite a bit. I'm curious to play the sequel and see whether it keeps the elements I like or just gets back to the "business as usual" bits that I didn't care about from the previous iteration of the franchise.
  10. Dark Souls III. Maybe. I'm not sure. I played the first one for a long time and it never really started feeling fun, but I also remember it really vividly. The forced multiplayer elements irritate me a lot.
  11. Mirror's Edge: Catalyst. I liked the first game, I thought it had good advances in the way we display characters in first-person shooters. I'm not sure I'll bother to stick with the franchise if it doesn't continue to innovate, but they at least get a second purchase from me. You know, when I find the time.
  12. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Cyberpunk is one of my favorite genres, and the gameplay in Human Revolution was enjoyable for me. I heard good things about this one.
  13. The Witness. This is the next game from the guy who made Braid, which I really liked. This got great reviews.
  14. ReCore. I was really excited about this from the trailers, and if/when patches fix the load screen issues, I'll be up for checking it out.

Now, the future!

  1. XCOM 2. I played the reboot of XCOM on Xbox 360 and had a lot of fun with it. I was disappointed when the sequel was announced as PC only. Even if I don't play this very long, I still want to buy it in order to encourage the developers to keep making more on consoles.
  2. Gears of War 4. I won't go anywhere near the multiplayer, except maybe for some Horde Mode.
  3. Civilization VI. I don't play PC games very often, and I might have to upgrade my PC to play this one, but it might be worth it.
  4. Watch Dogs 2. I liked the first Watch Dogs game although I found it to be more than a little broken. If Ubisoft's iteration on this series the way makes the kind of progress we saw after the first Assassin's Creed, the result might be legitimately exciting to me.
  5. Final Fantasy XV. I have no interest in the MMOs, the handheld games, or the re-releases, or the "second chapter" sequels--but I do like to play the mainline games.
  6. Dead Island 2. I liked the first one, couldn't get into Riptide. One more chance.

I have no real interest in Destiny's final DLC chapter, although some good friends might be able to persuade me to jump back in. I want nothing to do with The Division, or Overwatch, or Star Citizen. I haven't even thought about iOS games; I really should, my iPad Pro is a legit gaming-capable system in its own right.

I do need to decide whether/when to upgrade my television to 4K with HDR, and whether/when to upgrade my consoles to the 4K-capable versions. Feels like a good thing to take on next spring, but I should probably start trying to decide what my budget would need to be in order to do it right. It also creates the question of what to do with my old television, a 46-inch Samsung Aquos from 2007. 1080p is still good enough for most things; I could mount it in my room, but it either wouldn't get very much use or it would interfere with my ability to sleep. A refresh of my home theater would also probably involve a hard look at Apple TV and its competitors.

There's also the question of whether/when to get into VR gaming. The PS4 product offering seems promising, but I have a living room which isn't really set up for standing play. I live in a condo, not a house. VR seems like one of those things that requires a basement rec room. I don't want all that space, not even to upgrade my gaming hobby.

It's definitely a good time to be interested in this stuff. In 30+ years as an enthusiast, it's never not been.

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