Top 10 Games in my Steam Backlog (2020) (DONE)
A little over a year ago, I made my first “Top 10 Games in my Steam Backlog” list, and I’m proud to say I’ve made my way through that list quite successfully! My overall Steam backlog is still massive, and stands at 794 games as of this writing, but the important thing is that I’ve managed to prioritize it a bit and play some great games in the process. This list is another effort to prioritize the games I’m most excited to try in my Steam library!
Edit: It took me a little over a year and 1 week to do it, but I’ve now played all the games in this list. Several of them ended up being in my Top 10 Games I Played in 2020 list as well, so it goes without saying that I really enjoyed these games!
Like with the previous Steam backlog list, you’ll see a few ports of older games here. I still love when games get PC ports, because it’s just such a flexible platform thanks to Steam’s streaming features. I can stream games to my phone with the Steam Link app, or utilize the Steam Link TV box to stream games to my TV. It might not allow for playing games on the go like the Switch, but it’s super convenient otherwise!
One last note, listed release dates are for the Steam versions of these games, not their original release. Now, on with the list!
10. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
Edit: Finished! Trails in the Sky provides a promising foundation to the trilogy with some endearing characters, good music, and interesting if unevenly paced story. It has a lot of the same elements that made Trails of Cold Steel fun, and it’s cool to see how they built upon the systems in Trails in the Sky to create the Cold Steel games. It’s an enjoyable game in its own right too. You can read more of my thoughts on it here.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is part of the long-running Falcom RPG series, The Legend of Heroes. It’s the beginning of the “Trails” sub-series, which are games that all take place during roughly the same time period in the in-game universe, give or take a few years. The Trails in the Sky arc is a trilogy of three games, and this is the first game in that trilogy.
The only reason Trails in the Sky is at the bottom of this list is because I think once I play this game, I’ll probably want to marathon through the rest of the trilogy! With that in mind, I’m putting it here, so that if I do start a Trails in the Sky marathon at this point, I’ll still feel accomplished in tackling the backlog since I’ll have checked so many other games off prior to these. I’m looking forward to getting to know a new cast of characters here, and probably getting more insight into events that were referenced in Trails of Cold Steel 1 and 2!
9. Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Edit: Another game checked off the backlog. I really enjoyed most of this game, but some difficulty spikes towards the end, especially with the final boss, left me feeling relieved more than anything when I finally finished it. You can read more on what I liked about it here, spoiler-free.
I never knew about it before discovering this game, but Battle Chasers is a comic book series from the 90s. As of this writing, the most recent issue was published in September 2001. One of the creators of the comic book series go into video game development after that, and 16 years later Battle Chasers: Nightwar released. Not that it was in development all that time, it’s just interesting to read about the 16 year gap in the franchise.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar draws inspiration from classic console RPGs. I imagine the developers mean SNES-era RPGs when they say this, but wherever their inspiration came from, the result is an RPG with turn-based battles and dungeon crawling. The dungeons are randomly generated, and contain treasures, puzzles, and traps. I’m most curious about the battle system. Turn-based battles always sound interesting to me!
8. Yakuza 0
Edit: Yakuza 0 is finished, and what a game it was! Its open world was on a smaller scale than I expected, but it was absolutely packed with content and mini-games. I’ll definitely be playing more Yakuza games in the future! You can read more of my thoughts on it here.
The Yakuza series is known for open world action-adventure/beat ‘em up gameplay. Yakuza 0 is the sixth game developed in the series, and as the number in its title maybe suggest, is a prequel to the first game. I’ve never played a Yakuza title before, but this prequel should be a reasonable entrypoint into the series since it doesn’t build upon any prior events in the narrative. I don’t know much about the plot of the Yakuza series, but the action-oriented gameplay in an open world Tokyo intrigues me. I’m looking forward to giving the series a try!
Edit: I played through Blasphemous and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It’s challenging, dark, and a wonderful Metroidvania definitely worth a playthrough. You can read more of my thoughts on it here, spoiler-free!
Blasphemous is a 2D Metroidvania, and that’s all I really needed to hear to be sold on this game. With the hack ‘n’ slash combat, it probably has more in common with Castlevania than Metroid. From the title, to boss design, and even the equipable Rosary Bead power-ups, there’s definitely a lot of inspiration pulled from real world religion, particularly Christian iconography. The bosses and gorey combat from the screenshots on the Steam page look pretty intense, and I’m not entirely sure I’ll be a fan of that part of the game, but I’m definitely looking forward to the non-linear exploration!
6. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
Edit: Finished both games in this collection! They were both really good, but the star here is the first game: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (999). While Virtue’s Last Reward is quite good, 999 is exceptional. You can read more about my thoughts on 999 here, and more about my thoughts on Virtue’s Last Reward here. Both are spoiler-free!
This is a collection of two visual novels developed by Spike Chunsoft: “Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (999),” originally for the DS, and its sequel, “Virtue’s Last Reward,” originally for 3DS and PS Vita. Both are part of the Zero Escape series.
The premise of these games is simple: in each game, you are forced to take part in something called a “Nonary Game” wherein you must solve puzzles to escape from a locked rooms. If you are unable to escape, you will die. I’m sure the puzzles will be wonderfully complex, and the writing no doubt involves some brilliant twists and turns!
5. A Hat in Time
Edit: Another game finished! This one was awesome, it really scratched that 3D platformer collect-the-things itch, and hit me in my Super Mario Sunshine nostalgia in the best possible way. You can read more of my thoughts on it here, spoiler-free!
A Hat in Time is a 3D platformer in the same vein as Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. There’s lots of collectibles to find, power ups to unlock, and worlds to explore, all wrapped up in a playful, charming package where the main character is called “Hat Kid.” It should be fun adventure!
4. Forgotton Anne
Edit: Finished! Forgotton Anne was visually breathtaking, and I enjoyed the puzzles and story as well. The platforming elements aren’t the most interesting, but the experience as a whole was great! You can read more of my thoughts in What I’m Playing No. 84.
Forgotton Anne takes place in the Forgotten Lands, the place where all lost things end up. The Forgotlings spring to life from these lost items as a result of their desire to be found again. You play as Anne, tasked with keeping order in the Forgotten Lands, and longing to someday return to the human world herself.
Like Tokyo Dark, this game is part of the “Square Enix Collective,” a program through which indie developers can get publishing services, and is published by Square Enix. Forgotton Anne is described as a cinematic adventure with puzzles and platforming. What drew me to this game more than anything is the graphics. They’re wonderfully animated, and look like something out of an animated film.
3. Resident Evil 4
Edit: I’ve finally experienced this survival horror/action classic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It made me dread having to navigate through certain areas. At the same time, parts of it were full of delicious B movie cheesiness. You can read more about my thoughts on it here!
I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t interested in the Resident Evil series for a long time. I was probably too young for them when they first released. My first Resident Evil game was Resident Evil 5, and I enjoyed its unique charm. It wasn’t until later that I started hearing how Resident Evil 4 was a lot like 5, but better. Many consider it one of the greatest video games ever. In light of such acclaim, I’d say it’s finally time I played it. Eventually I’ll go back and play the HD remasters of Resident Evil 1 and Resident Evil 0, since I already have both of them on Steam and I’m curious to experience classic Resident Evil gameplay, but Resident Evil 4 comes first!
2. Beyond Good & Evil
Edit: Finished! Beyond Good & Evil was great. It had some flaws, but I think it still held up well and the story was quite enjoyable! You can read more of my thoughts on it here
So this game isn’t actually on my Steam backlog at all, because I own it on Uplay, not Steam. It is available on Steam though, so I’m including it here! I’m pretty sure it was given away for free on Uplay a while back, which is how I came to own it.
Anyway, Beyond Good & Evil is a critically acclaimed action-adventure game with a cult following to this day. It follows an investigative reporter, Jade, as she investigates a conspiracy on the planet Hillys. The setting has this cool sci-fi aesthectic with fantasy elements as well, like the anthropomorphic animals that live alongside humans in this intergalactic world. The combat received some criticism upon release, but the rest of the game was well received, and I’m curious to see how it holds up today.
1. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
I enjoyed the first Danganronpa game so much, I’m really looking forward to playing this next game in the series! The writing of the first game was just so good. That’s really all I have to say about this one. I want to go in with as little information about the game as possible, so no brief description of this one, other than that it’s a visual novel and I can’t wait to see what it has in store!