Watch Your Backlog: This Console Generation's Infamous Release Weeks

by Mike Mahardy on Oct 12, 2012 at 01:00 PM

A special kind of anxiety accompanies being a gamer. Every once in a while a week like this one comes along when there is an excess of good games to play such as Dishonored and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It’s not a bad problem to have, but it can make our back logs more intimidating. No matter their cup of tea, it seems everyone has at least one game this week that they’re playing or want to try. Hop in the Dolorian as we gun it to 88 and revisit some of this console generation’s most notorious release weeks. 

2011: November 8- November 15
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3)
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
Assassin’s Creed Revelations (360, PS3)
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (360)

A prime example of a stacked week was kicked off by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 last year. If the addictive progression of this game’s multiplayer didn’t grab you, then the colossal beast that is Skyrim was on deck to ensure that your social life disappeared in a ball of dragon fire. 3DS owners got their hands on the spectacular Super Mario 3D Land, and Ezio’s story was wrapped up in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations; but that’s not all. Halo fans could return to the glory of Combat Evolved with HD graphics. If we made it through that week, then this year will be easy, right?

2010: November 9- November 16
Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3)
The Sly Collection (PS3)
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3)
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (360, PS3)

Another Call of Duty title started this hectic week back in 2010, along with a HD collection for those eager to return to the PlayStation 2 era with Sly Cooper. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit gave arcade racer fans a shot of adrenaline, while Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood took the open world of Assassin’s Creed II and allowed you to recruit and upgrade fellow assassins as well. Thanks Ubisoft.

2009: November 10- November 17

Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3)
New Super Mario Bros Wii (Wii)
Assassin’s Creed II (360, PS3)
Left 4 Dead 2 (360)

There seems to be a pattern with Call of Duty releases, and this week in 2009 was no exception. Every console saw a major release and cooperative fans were especially busy. If you weren’t wading through hordes of zombies in Left 4 Dead 2, Nintendo had you covered with the hijinks of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. After trying to screw your friends over in either of those, you could hop on over to Renaissance Italy to meet Ezio Auditore da Firenze for the first time.

2008: October 21- October 28

Fable II (360)
Far Cry 2 (360, PS3)
Guitar Hero World Tour (360, PS3, Wii)
LittleBig Planet (PS3)
Fallout 3 (360, PS3)

The massive worlds of Fable II, Far Cry 2, and Fallout 3 were enough to occupy most gamers’ schedule for the rest of 2008. However, with new instruments introduced to the Guitar Hero arsenal in World Tour and the endless potential of LittleBigPlanet’s user creation tools, it was hard to avoid being distracted.

2007: November 12- November 16

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Crysis (Windows)
Assassin’s Creed (360, PS3)
Lego Star Wars Complete Saga (360, PS3, Wii)

Nintendo fans witnessed the next great 3D Mario game. PC gamers were treated to the breathtaking beauty of Crysis. Assassin’s Creed gave birth to one of today’s best-selling franchises. Finally, every Lego Star Wars game up until 2007 was gathered together in one collection; Just imagining this week is exhausting. 

2006: November 17- November 20
Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3)
Wii Sports (Wii)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, GameCube)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Vegas (360)

With the Xbox 360 gaining momentum and the release of Sony and Nintendo’s new consoles, this generation was in full swing the week of November 17. Launch titles like Resistance; Fall of Man, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Wii Sports supported their brand new consoles while Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas gave 360 fans an excuse to play. 

For more tough decisions, check out our one-on-one battles between huge titles sharing the same release day.