Saving Money on Video Games

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by Elle Martinez · 9 comments

Last night after having a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite Thai restaurants, my husband and I decided to stop by Game Stop. We decided to pick up Arkham City.

How We Buy Our Video Games

We both enjoy playing video games and it was a title we were looking forward to for this year. It’s a been about awhile since we grabbed a game on the opening week. It has to be a title that we’re absolutely excited about.

Typically we wait until it’s been out for a bit to take advantage of the lower, used game prices. We’ve even waited until they become Platinum hits ($15 or less).

When we were in Virginia, one of our favorite stores for picking them up from a local store called Cool Stuff. They had a wide selection of games, movies, and TV shows that we could get in great condition. As college students and then as new graduates it was a great option for us.

We also exchange games with friends and family. We have shared games we’ve finished and swap out with my brother in law a few times. It’s a win0win – We get to play different games without going broke.

Our Collection

We’ve created a little collection of games for our family. We rely on friends’ personal reviews to get an idea if we should check out a game or not. I tend to gravitate towards RPGs and my husband has a wider net of games he enjoys.

X Box 360

  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • BioShock
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Burnout: Paradise
  • Arkham Asylum
  • Arkham City
  • Skate
  • Fable 2

Nintendo Wii

We haven’t gotten any new titles for this system in a long time.

  • Warioware
  • Mario Brother Galaxy
  • Guitar Hero III
  • MarioKart Wii
  • MetroPrime III: Corruption
  • Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Wii Fit
  • Rayman: Raving Rabbids

PlayStation 3

  • inFamous
  • inFamous 2
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Head Coach 09
  • Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
  • Marvel vs CapCom
  • Rock Band 3

Thoughts on Video Games

How many of you are gamers? Which titles are your favorites? Which have been major disappointments (*cough* The Force Unleashed 2) for you? How do you keep your spending in check?

Photo Credit:  dan taylor

 

About Elle Martinez
Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

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  • Peter S

    I’ll usually wait for a game I’d like to play to go on sale – rarely buy new. I’ve done that for a couple of games I wanted to play – Zak & Wiki for the Wii was a great day one purchase (though still semi-impulse buy). I waited until Zelda, Mario Galaxy, and Super Paper Mario went on sale because I found it really hard to justify spending $50 for those games even years after release. I really find that most of the time I can hold off buying a game until the price drops or some collection comes out at a reasonable price (like the Metroid Prime Trilogy). I also tend to be a JRPG fan but titles tend to be a bit sparse for the Wii.

    I’ve thought about getting an XBox, but realize that most of the games on that platform don’t appeal to me and my family as much. Add in the limited time I really want to devote to gaming and it’s just not a great purchase for us at this point.

    So far I haven’t been too burned by bad gaming purchases – mostly because I wait for the discounts and the real user reviews. If too many people dislike a game, I’ll tend to give it a pass. I think the only major problem I had was a glitch in Okami that’s stopping me from advancing past one of the bosses – the game seems to hang when I win the battle. Pretty sure that’s a disc issue and not a game issue, though.

  • Elle

    Thanks Peter for sharing your gaming habits. For us, this is where we splurge, but even that it within reason. We saved up for each of the game systems and most of our games we got used.

    I think the only other game we’re planning on getting during the first week is Mass Effect 3. I’m a huge fan of the series and play it repeatedly, trying to have several story-lines ready for the last of the trilogy. It’s not until March, so plenty of time to save :)

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  • Tom

    I play a LOT of video games, mostly because I enjoy the hobby, but also as research, as I work as a video game developer. I probably have something like 80 PS3 and 50 Xbox 360 titles – not to mention hundreds of PC and PS2 titles. I mostly purchase PS3 games these days, as the quality is about even with 360 and I prefer the free PSN service over paying for a Xbox Live Gold membership to unlock the multiplayer content on the games I’ve already paid for.

    Whenever I’m interested in a title, I throw it on my Amazon shopping cart “to buy later”. Whenever I visit my cart, I get the notices about the price drops, and put the titles back in the cart when they have reached a level with which I’m comfortable (with the bonus that I can bunch them up to get free shipping). By waiting and buying new, I not only save money, but also make sure the developers get some profit from my purchase (rather than it all going to GameStop). I don’t feel a big urge to buy on day one because I have so many other titles in my collection that still have play time – a situation that will never go away when I’m buying 3-4 times as many titles as I would buying new.

    I also get a lot of titles from work for free, and swap employee discounts with some of my friends who work for other publishers (which allows day one purchases at platinum prices).

  • Tom

    Waiting to buy also means you gain the benefit of all the patches that have been made for the title, you get a better read on the reviews, and you often get DLC “for free” as part of many re-releases of older titles.

  • http://www.frugalbeautiful.com Shannyn @FrugalBeautiful.com

    Ahhh! High fives! I’m a gamer too but have seriously fallen out of the habit due to money and time constraints as a grad student. I find that the last 9 months or so since starting the blog I haven’t had much time to play since I felt I needed to focus on reading personal finance books, posting and learning about blogging but in order to avoid total burn out, I just bought two new games for Wii and DS….so I’m a Nintendo girl at heart! I just got Epic Mickey and I’m so excited to play it!

    My favorite games typically include the Zelda and Mario series, Mario Kartand WarioWare. I’ve also been moderately addicted to the Sims 3 for a time (until I realized playing so often meant I had more of a “sims life” than a real life!)

    Video games aren’t super frugal if you go overboard, but most have a decent sell back rate unless you go to a game store! If I think of how often I’ve played a game it isn’t so bad and saves me money!

    I think it’s awesome you like games too! High fives!

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