Put it down and walk away.

The funniest thing happened to me the other day. I realised I could live without the need to buy more and more video games. Perhaps I’ve grown up, or maybe I’ve just learnt an important life lesson.

Hoarding video games and the need to collect every new release, hidden gem, rare item, series or collector’s edition is a disease for gamers around the globe. People need help!

Do you need all those games? Do you? Here’s a guide on how to stop hoarding video games.

video game collection

A common complaint amongst the modern gamer is the huge backlogs of video games they will try to get through. The truth is they never will. I should know, I’ve done it. As an entire gaming generation has gotten older, we’ve run out of the large amounts of free time we had as kids during the Mega Drive and early Nintendo years. Your free time as an adult is precious. You deserve only the very best gaming has to offer.

I laugh in the face of game collectors with walls and walls of retro and modern games stacked to the ceiling. I appreciate to some people it’s a hobby, but let’s look at the facts.

  • They take up a copious amount of space
  • Some games don’t hold their value well
  • It’s not a competition to see who can collect the most games
  • A girl doesn’t care if you have a mint boxed version of Earthbound
  • You’ll probably play less than ten percent of your collection

How to cure this affliction? Follow the advice in this short guide; trust me it works!

*Disclaimer: This is about reducing your backlog and giving up on hoarding.

Ebay the Mighty

video game collection

Get yourself on eBay and start selling. It takes time but it’s worth the effort. Wait for opportune times in the year to sell such as Christmas, New Year, Summer Holidays, it will ensure you get the best price for your games. If a game will sit on your shelf for the rest of time then get rid!

Don’t sell your pride and joys, keep the games of your childhood that matter to you. The chances are you’ll buy them again only at more cost. Divide your collection into categories.

  1. Games still in shrink wrap (you ain’t ever playing these, buddy).

  2. Games you haven’t played in the last 6 months

  3. Games you haven’t played in the last 3 months

  4. Games you haven’t played in the last 3 months but still excite you

  5. Games you will always cherish or evoke powerful memories.

Anything in numbers one to three should move into your ‘get em’ sold’ pile. The others can stay. Rinse and repeat every twelve months, Dr. Mario’s orders.

Charitable Soul

Some games aren’t going to shift on eBay or at a car boot sale. You’ll have to take drastic measures and give them away to charity. Feel good, you’re giving something back and perhaps someone less fortunate than yourself can enjoy playing some video games.

Don’t be silly and give Oxfam your mint copy of Einhander, though, that’s crazy. Sell the rare ones on eBay or take them to sell at a retro games fair.

Console Emulation

console emulation

The PSN store and Virtual Console are your friends.

The PSN store and Virtual Console are your friends. Hundreds of retro games for the PS1, PS2, SNES, NES, Mega Drive and NeoGeo are available to download digitally. The true video gaming classics are well covered.

If you have a Vita you can even play your PS1 titles on the move. The 3DS is equipped with a tidy Virtual Console selection on the eShop shop for mobile retro gaming.

“It’s not the same as playing on the original hardware with a CRT television”

Get over yourself buddy. Who actually cares? You will enjoy the game regardless.

The Wii and Wii U emulation for virtual console games is very good, but I can hear the moans of the retro purists now.

“I’m not buying it!”

OK. Well, be prepared to spend more money getting all the original hardware and cables / TVs to go with it.

A number of benefits why console emulation is good:

  • No boxed games. Digital saves space

  • Often cheaper prices than buying the original boxed or loose carts

  • You can play anytime without switching TVs or setups

  • No need to buy extra controllers or expensive accessories

This apply to modern games as well. Space saving is appreciated thanks to digital download services such as Steam.

If you want something a bit closer to the original consoles without having to buy each one separately I recommend you check out Hyperkin’s RetroN 5. Please don’t start collecting every single NES and SNES game. Remember, get only the games you’ll actually play.

A Word for the Completionists

Owning a copy of Ninjabread Man on the Wii to get the complete set isn’t cool man. Or buying any copy of a game because you decided to collect the entire catalogue or use them for trade. Stop it. It’s a waste of time.

You aren’t fooling anyone with your method of madness even if Alvin and the Chipmunks only cost you two dollars. What’s the point?

Save your money and you might buy something that you’ll treasure forever instead.

Lists are Bad, M’Kay

Don’t make a list, it’s possibly the worst thing you can do. You’ll end up referring to it every other day looking for your next purchase. It will eventually become a game you’ll play with yourself as you delight in ticking off each game you’ve outlined.

No lists. Don’t do it. Delete it or throw it away.

Retro Games are Expensive


I might state the bloody obvious but retro games aren’t cheap, often their prices are inflated by demand or by resellers looking to make a quick buck or two.

Look at the game closely. Are getting value for money? Chances are you aren’t.

A SNES copy of Earthbound boxed is not worth over £300 when you can buy and play the same game off the Wii U virtual console for £6.99.

Think about it. It makes logical sense.

Digital Power Ups

For the PlayStation 3 owners, get yourself signed up to PlayStation Plus. Why? You’ll save a ton of money.

For the PlayStation 3 owners, get yourself signed up to PlayStation Plus. Why? You’ll save a ton of money. Each month you’ll have access to download a number of games for free or for a reduced price. You might have to wait for the latest titles but you’ll buy less games and save a ton of room space.

PC lovers, your mission if you choose to accept it, wait for Steam Sales. You’ll get more bang for your buck and you’ll be able to download a number of games cheaply.

But be warned don’t become a digital hoarder, follow the advice above and only buy what you actually need.

Good luck everyone. And remember owning a load of games doesn’t make you happy, playing those once in a lifetime games that you’ll always remember does. Give up collecting and start playing. The less backlog, the more you’ll actually get round to playing.

I’d love to hear your tips and advice about clearing off your gaming backlog.

Image Credits:

Post Images from – Tomer Gabel & Michel Ngilen

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