“There are too many games and not enough time to play them.” It’s a common refrain that I’m sure you’ve heard, and perhaps even said yourself. It’s certainly true for me, and has been for years. Gone are the high school and college days where no matter how much I had going on, there always seemed to be plenty of time for gaming. Now I have a wife, bills, and work, and my gaming time seems to lessen with every passing year. I should clarify that I don’t regret the wife or the job (maybe the bills), but it does suck to see so many amazing games and know there’s no way I’ll be able to play them all.
So here it is, my gaming shame. 10 widely considered amazing games from the last generation of consoles that I’ve never played, along with the percent chance that I’ll get around to them someday. There are dozens of other games that could have made the list, but I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with 50 games that I feel like I need to play. Let me know in the comments below the games you’re most ashamed of never playing, and maybe we can inspire each other! Or maybe I’ll get fired and end up with more free time. Enjoy the list!
X-COM: Enemy Unknown
Chance of Playing: 40%
X-COM mostly makes it onto the list because it won Game of the Year from GiantBomb in 2012, and I respect those guys’ opinions on video games probably more than anyone else in the industry. I also got it for free from PS Plus, so it would be easy to jump into. The biggest thing holding me back from playing is that I’m just not into this type of game — I don’t typically enjoy action strategy games (see also: Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics), and the legendary brutal difficulty of the X-COM series certainly doesn’t do much to make me feel welcome. The sci-fi setting and subject material are right up my alley, though.
Chance of Playing: 20%
I definitely missed the boat on Fez, which is why the “chance of playing” percentage is so low. It was a zeitgeist of a game — part of the fun was being in the community trying to unlock its many secrets. I have the game on PS3 and PS4, so it wouldn’t be tough to give it a try, but there doesn’t seem to be much point now that everything worth knowing about the game is somewhere on the internet. Sure, there’s plenty of self-discovery to still be had, and maybe the platforming aspects are fun in their own right, but I’d rather be a part of that initial impact. If Phil Fish ever gets around to making another game (which doesn’t seem likely), I’ll be a day one buyer.
Chance of Playing: 25%
Okami was a beautiful game when it came out, and I spent some time watching a friend of mine play when it originally released on Wii. Now that the HD remaster is available on PS3, I could very easily pick it up, but I feel like I’ve seen a huge chunk of the game already. And without access to those original painterly Wii controls, I’d be missing an integral part of what made the game so special in the first place. Sadly, I think this one is destined to stay in my “If I could go back in time” pile.
Chance of Playing: 60%
I definitely want to check out Alan Wake, and I already picked it up on a previous Steam sale. The biggest thing holding me back right now is the size of my existing backlog and diminishing time to play games. I might be able to check in, just to see what the whole thing is about, but from what I’ve heard, Alan Wake is all about its crazy story. I doubt the full impact would be felt after only a few hours of play. The gameplay seems fairly original, and I love the story setup, but I’m also not a huge fan of horror games in general. I know, I’m a wuss.
Ni No Kuni
Chance of Playing: 50%
I should have played this game — there’s really no excuse for it. I love Level 5, I love Studio Ghibli, I love JRPGs, I love the “catch ’em all” mechanics in Pokemon, and I even played and enjoyed the demo prior to release. I think that I was just busy at the time and didn’t want to devote so many hours to a game. I borrowed my brother’s copy a year or so ago with the full intention of trying the game, but I just never made time to check it out. I never gave the copy back (don’t tell my brother), so I suppose there’s always an opportunity. And with the announcement of a sequel, the time is right to give it a go. I just need to find 50 or so hours of free time…
Far Cry 3
Chance of Playing: 25%
I’m very slowly working my way through Far Cry 4 on PS4 right now, which doesn’t bode incredibly well for my chances of playing Far Cry 3. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the game, and plenty of people have said they prefer 3 over 4, but they’re similar games in a lot of ways and I may just be Far Cry’d out once I’m done with 4 (if I ever finish it). It’s nice that I don’t feel like I’m missing anything having not played the earlier games, but that also kills a lot of the reason for going back. Plus, I only have Far Cry 3 on PC, and I’ve never been a fan of playing FPS games on PC. Growing up with a controller in my hands didn’t do much for my ability to aim with a mouse. Far Cry: Blood Dragon is probably worth checking out, though.
Metal Gear Solid 4
Chance of Playing: 5%
In a larger sense, the entire Metal Gear franchise is a gaming shame of mine. I’ve never beaten one of the games (though I have played chunks of the first three). Most people don’t consider 4 to be the best in the series, but as a flash-forward story and the only one on PS3, it’s certainly the most accessible. However, while I can absolutely respect Hideo Kojima and what he’s done with the franchise, I just have very little interest in Metal Gear. The story is complete nonsense, and while the games offer an immense amount of freedom and choice, I tend to think that comes at the cost of tight gameplay. MGS 4 might just be a game that I admire from far away, because looking too closely leaves me less impressed.
Chance of Playing: 30%
The identity of the Origami Killer was spoiled for me years ago, which is the biggest reason why I’ve yet to play Heavy Rain, and also the biggest reason why I probably never will. It’s a mystery game wherein I already know the resolution to the mystery. Sure, the gameplay elements were certainly unique for their time, but I’m not convinced that the game was actually fun to play. I’ve always been an advocate that “it’s about the journey and not the destination,” but when so much of your game hinges on that destination — and when the journey doesn’t seem all that fun — it becomes hard to justify sinking the hours into the game. Still, it’s widely regarded as one of the best PS3 games, so I’d like to at least give it a chance.
Demon’s Souls / Dark Souls / Dark Souls 2
Chance of Playing: 75%
I know hardcore fans will argue the minute differences, but for the purpose of this list, I’m treating these three games as one. I know beating Dark Souls has become a badge of honor in the gaming community, and that a lot of people don’t consider you a “true gamer” unless you’ve defeated the final boss, but with as little gaming time as I have, the thought of playing a game where you’re going to die over and over and over and over without the benefit of a quick respawn doesn’t exactly sound all that fun. However, with the release of Dark Souls 3 and the apparent end of the series (at least for the time being), now might be the perfect time to try these out. I do own Demon’s Souls on PS3 and Dark Souls on PC, too. Who knows, maybe I can make a fun “fail” montage out of my experiences!
Red Dead Redemption
Chance of Playing: 95%
Here it is, my crowning gaming shame. What many consider to be the best game of last generation is a game I’ve never even played. I should be ashamed of myself. Honestly, my reasoning stems from a stubborn, ingrained dislike for Rockstar. Ever since GTA III, I’ve always found them to be a talented but overrated development studio, and I usually turned my nose up at anything they put out. But, now that I’m older and more open-minded, I can recognize Red Dead as a great game, and I can do what I can to rectify having never played it. In fact, since I own the game thanks to a Playstation sale, I should probably stop typing and go play it right now.
So there you have it, 10 great games from last generation that I never got around to playing. You can also check out 20 under-appreciated games from last generation that I did play. Leave your gaming shames in the comments below, and try to cross one of them off your list this month!