5 Ways to Catch Up on the Best Video Games of the Last Decade for Cheap

Got a backlog bigger than your actual game collection? You can still get those games.
Image credit: Hardik Sharma/Unsplash

As we head into a new decade and a new generation of game consoles, people are talking about what we’re leaving behind. While the previous generation started before 2010, plenty of great games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 came out after that point. We’ve also had plenty of time with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

PC gaming is whole different story with less of a clear generational divide, but since many PC games also get console releases there are still some clear markers. All that is beside the point: If you’ve missed out on some of the best games of the last decade, how to you go about playing them?

1. Xbox Game Pass

If you have an Xbox One, no matter the model, Game Pass is a must-have. It’s even pretty good for PC gamers. Sure, you get plenty of current-generation games, but you also get access to a sizable backlog of Xbox 360 and even original Xbox games.

Xbox Game Pass won’t have every great game of the last decade–Mass Effect 2 is a notable absence, for example–but it has enough to make it much easier to track down and play some gems.

2. PlayStation Now

Xbox Game Pass is great, but what if you prefer the PS4? Fortunately, Sony offers its own service, PlayStation Now, and while it doesn’t go toe to toe feature by feature with Xbox Game Pass, it has its own advantages that might make it worth owning.

The sheer number of PlayStation 3 games available on the service made its way into our list of reasons why PlayStation Now is worth paying for. The fact that it had a recent price drop to make it more comparable to Game Pass doesn’t hurt either.

3. Steam Deals

The above services cover plenty of games available for previous and current-gen consoles (that aren’t from Nintendo, anyway), but what if you’re a PC gamer? If you’ve played games on a PC, you’re probably aware of Steam and its frequent seasonal, weekend, and mid-week sales. These are a great way to pick up older gems on the cheap.

Some franchises rarely drop too far in price, Call of Duty for example, but they’re the exception. If you’re a patient gamer, it’s simply a matter of time until that game you’re eyeing drops significantly in price.

4. Remasters

Some games refuse to die, so they’re simply remastered. This is especially true in our current console generation. If a game from the last generation sold well enough, or even if it didn’t but received significant critical acclaim, chances are good it will see a remaster with updated graphical resolution and sometimes added quality of life features.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, and Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered Edition are just a few examples. If you’re looking to revisit a game you’ve heard great things about but never played, a well-made remaster is probably the best way to do so.

5. Buy Them Used

Of course, some games are harder to find digitally than others. The aforementioned Call of Duty series is an example again. Digitally, the series rarely drops in price. Physical copies, on the other hand, are often significantly cheaper. Not to mention, if you’re a collector, you probably want a disc in a case you can put on a shelf, not just a license to some bits.

If you’ve got a local used game shop, great. These are where you’ll find some of the best deals on overlooked gems. If not, don’t worry, we’ve got a list of some great places to buy used games online. These focus on retro games, so you may not find more modern titles, but that depends heavily on where you shop.

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4 comments
  1. Steam & the sales are great, it’s my joint #1 as a PC gamer. The other #1 is GOG, I will buy a game there in preference to Steam because of the effort they put in to make sure older games play well on newer Windows. That said, Steam has a much bigger catalog and better functions for members—the ‘Ignore’ button alone is a big help.

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    EpicGames deserves a mention too, I have over 50 free games from them courtesy of their weekly & XMas freebies [some really good ones], plus picked up a number of big titles for $5 each due to their $10 coupons during XMas sales—if their website ever improves to not-awful, they could do well. They are more focused on newer games though, I don’t think they have anything from the 00s or earlier.

  2. Love myself some Steam sales :), Always look for bundles: Humble Bundle for one and keep an eye on epicbundle for great bargains and free games as well.

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