My son certainly does. (And can I blame him? When I was his age, I did too.)
But the cost!
Every time a new, exciting title comes out, it costs upwards of $60.
I guess that’s why it’s no wonder that the gaming industry was estimated to be worth $91.5 US billion (as of 2015). BTW – This is more than double the revenue of the international film industry in 2013.
But even still … $60 per title is outrageous! Who wants to pay that?
In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite ways to save money on video games. I’ll show you how there are plenty of ways to enjoy some of the best titles for much less than retail price.
1- Buy your video games used.
The second-hand market is one of the best deals you’re ever going to find on physical video games and video game systems.
Used games can go for anywhere from a few bucks less to all the way down to next to nothing. Over the years, we’ve found a TON of popular titles for $5 per game.
And the best part – even though they were used, they worked just fine. (Even if they didn’t, we get to take them back for a refund or exchange them at no extra cost.)
2- Never buy new right away.
I know! It’s the coolest thing in the world when a new a new video game or video game system first comes out, and you get the chance to play it! But that’s also when it’s at its absolute highest price.
Instead, wait a few months before you make your purchase. In as short as three months you can see the price drop significantly. This will also give the opportunity to possibly buy a used (but semi-new) copy of the game for less.
3- Rent before you buy.
If you really have your heart set on wanting a certain video game, I’d highly recommend renting it first. That way you’ll get that “taste” you’re after and also find out if the game is any good or not before committing to the purchase.
I can’t tell you how many times my son thought he’s wanted a new game. But after renting it, he found out it wasn’t as exciting as he previously thought. Better to spend $3 at Redbox than to have bought the game brand new for $60.
4- Join a gaming club.
If you’re a really active gamer who wants to play the newer games, consider joining a membership club like Xbox Live or Game Fly. For a small membership fee, you’ll get to try out all the latest stuff for quite a significant discount.
5- If you’re connected to Steam, use them.
If you’re more into PC-style games, another great way to experience a lot of good video games for cheap is to become a member of Steam. Not only do they sell a lot of cool titles you’ve never heard of, but they will also offer a lot of popular ones for far less than what they sell in the store.
6- Borrow games from friends instead of buying them.
Along the same lines of renting, borrowing a game from your friend first is a great way to try it before you buy it. Again, this way you’ll be able to find out if it’s a dud, just okay, or completely worth buying a copy of your own.
7- When you’re done with a game, sell it immediately.
If you finish a video game and don’t really play it anymore, now would be a good time to sell it. Selling a video game as soon as possible while it’s still relatively new is the best thing financially you can do. If you wait too long, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to sell it for more while the demand is high.
8- Pass on selling your games or system at Best Buy or GameStop.
Big-box stores like Game Stop or Best Buy might seem like an easy, logical choice for trading in your games. But the trade-in value is often a total rip-off. Sometimes they offer you as little as 1 cent! Your better bet is to find a friend to trade with or try a local mom-and-pop shop where you could get a better trade-in value.
9- Try selling the games yourself online.
Or better yet, if you’ve got some really good titles, try selling them yourself on some of the big-name sites like Facebook, Ebay, or Amazon. Even if you get just a few bucks extra, it could be worth the extra hassle (and certainly better than the 1 cent offer from the other guys).
10- Look for video game bundles.
Sometimes the manufacturer of a really popular game series might re-issue a bundle-version of the first 3 or 4 games all into one package. When they do this, it can be a great way for you to buy 3 or 4 great games all at once (and probably for a very low price after the initial demand has worn off).
Again, buy it used and you’re really going to get one heck of deal!
11- Trade games with your friends.
If you’ve got a friend that takes good care of their games and you have similar interests, then consider doing a trade. This way you both skip the headache of getting terrible trade-in values and score a 1:1 value.
12- When you get a game, play the whole thing.
One way to avoid the “need” to buy new games entirely is to more fully enjoy the ones you already have. To do this, try to beat every level and complete every mission in full. This way you’ll experience everything the game has to offer and be less tempted to go out buying more.
13- Don’t pass up on the classics.
Don’t pass up on games that were popular just a few years ago. Games that were fun 5 or even 10 years ago are just as fun today as they were back then. But the BIG difference: You can often find them for $10 or less per title.
This is especially true when it comes to really classic games like those for Nintendo or Play Station. We once bought a whole Nintendo Game Cube plus 6 games for $50 for our son, and he loved it! I can only imagine what they must have cost back when it was brand new.
14- But don’t go too crazy for nostalgia.
Speaking of Nintendo games (and others from the 80’s and 90’s): Those games were fun. But for some reason the price of some titles has gotten outrageous! I’ve seen some stores asking as much as $500 for titles that everyone remembers (such as Mega Man or Contra). As cool as it would be to have the actual game, you’re probably better off to buy these kinds of games through Steam or Xbox Live and skip the ridiculous price tag.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr