Gaming on a Budget

Let’s face it, it’s just too expensive to play every video game we want. Or is it?
Here’s a few ways to play more and pay less.

1. GameFly

GameFly is my go-to way of acquiring most of my video games.
For as low as $15.95 a month, you can rent out any one console video game at a time. With over 8,000 titles to choose from, GameFly is one of the best investments for those who play on console. With an ever updating catalog, GameFly is a terrific way to play through new releases and not break the bank. One of my favorite features about this service is that you’re given the option to buy the game you’re renting at a reduced price. If you choose to buy a game you’re renting, they mail you the game case in perfect condition as well as immediately ship you the next game in your rental queue. It’s also a good platform for film lovers as well, with a large selection of DVD and Blu-Ray movies to rent. If you decide to pay for the more expensive $22.95 plan, you can have two titles out at once. Also, there’s no late fees, with GameFly allowing you to rent out a game for as long as you want.

2.) PlayStation Plus/Xbox Games with Gold

These services are must haves.

PlayStation Plus is required to play online multiplayer, but it also gives you additional features like cloud storage, store discounts, and (most importantly) “free” games! Every month of PS Plus adds two PS3 titles, two PS4 titles, and two PSP/Vita titles to download and enjoy. As long as you claim the downloads every month, you can play any of the games as long as your subscription is active. The majority of games given out are smaller indie games (which is a point of contention among some subscribers), with the occasional triple-A release every couple months. I’ve found a lot of really cool games with this service by having the opportunity to try out smaller games I probably wouldn’t have ever heard of otherwise.

Games With Gold comes bundled in with an Xbox Live subscription.
GWG grants Xbox players access to four games every month, two on Xbox 360 and two on Xbox One. Similar to PS Plus, your Xbox Live subscription needs to stay active to play the Xbox One games given through the service, but the Xbox 360 titles are yours to keep regardless of whether or not your subscription is active.

These service work as a great way to build up your digital library, and with one year costing less than the price of one new release, it’s a incredibly valuable service to look into.

3. Steam Sales

I had to include something for the PC crowd, but chances are you’re probably already familiar with these Sales. Steam is well regarded as the best digital download service for purchasing PC games, and their sales make it all the better. With seasonal sales often seeing games go anywhere between 10-90% off, these sales are an extremely cost efficient way to pick up a bunch of games. I’m not a big PC player myself, but I usually always pick up a game or two during these sales.

4. Used Stores/Yard Sales

If you tend to stick to older consoles, used stores and yard sales can be like a dream come true.¬†You can typically find older console games for anywhere between $0.99-$20.00, giving a wide range of options, both in games and pricing. While playing new games with high-res graphics and faster frame-rates is definitely amazing, it’s always fun to go pick up a bunch of older games for dirt cheap, take them home and pull out your old consoles. If you’re lucky, you might even stumble across some hidden gems.


Video games can be an extremely expensive hobby, but don’t feel like you have to spend large amounts of money to keep playing. These are just a couple of the ways to game on a budget, but I’m sure there’s even more out there. Sites like e-bay, or Craigslist can be decent ways to pick up games too, and there’s always the ability to trade games with your friends. If you have some other favorite ways to game on the cheap, leave a comment below and let me know!

– Zack Burrows


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