Picking a game

Don’t use a rarity guide. Rarity guides can be a great resource for older games and systems, and can let you know if a game is rare or not, but a higher rarity rating does neccessarily mean that the game’s good. Sometimes a game’s rare for a reason. Sometimes a game sucks and nobody bought it, and you shouldn’t either.

Avoid companies that you’ve never heard of. This really applies to PC games more than anything. If you are thinking about buying a new game for less than $20 and it’s by some company you’ve never heard of, you have about even odds that that the game will be good or not. The only problem with shopping the no name companies is that the games start out at mediocre and then go down from there.

Check for a return policy. If you’re going to go the used games route, try to go somewhere that will let you return the game. There’s a game store around here that lets you bring back a game within a week for whatever reason, even if you don’t like it. Very nice, and it lets you play some games you may not have otherwise. The downside? A lot of times the game stores will try to soak you for way more than the game’s actually worth, so you have to be careful.

Keep the price point in mind. If you’re at the store or a yard sale and you spot a game for $3 or less, go ahead and pick it up. Yeah, it’s probably garbage, but it’s not guaranteed to be so. I’ve picked up several games that were on the verge of getting thrown away, and a couple of them are actually worth having.

Maybe this will help you be a little braver in your quest for used and budget games. Who knows? Maybe that $1 game in the back corner of a garage sale will turn out to be the best game you’ve ever played.

It probably won’t, but you’ll have a good idea if it’s any good or not before you get it home.