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HomeTrendingWeekend Hot Topic: What’s the best value video game?

Weekend Hot Topic: What’s the best value video game?

Elden Ring – you certainly get your money’s worth (pic: Bandai Namco)

Readers discuss the best bargains to be found in gaming, from free-to-play titles like Fortnite to giant role-players like Oblivion.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was inspired by reader matc7884, who asked what games have you got the most value out of in terms of the money you spent and/or the amount of time you play them.

There were plenty of stories of people spending hundreds of hours on games, some bought for pennies or entirely free, while most insisted that rather than getting more expensive, games today are better value than they’ve ever been.

Every last drop
Best value for money for me would be the Souls games. For 30-40 quid you get a hundred plus hours of entertainment. Even more if you go into the PvP side of them. Elden Ring on its own provided 140 hours of exploration before I got fed up with looking around.

I’ve played through most of the games multiple times and still struggle with certain sections but the rush of endorphins when you get through it is still there every time.

Before the cash injection that came with employment, I’d say the early Resident Evil games gave me the same type of enjoyment because I would ring every last drop out of the games because they were quite expensive and I had to make them last.

Game Pass removes that limitation but that’s a topic for another day.

Free upgrade
In terms of value Monster Hunter has to be high up there. With so many weapon options to upgrade and master, all providing a nuanced play style, technically a dedicated player could eek out hundreds if not a thousand of hours and still not have achieved everything. Hunting online never seems to get old.

Shamefully Capcom seem to be shifting their free support to more paid DLC offerings but for a good while (Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Generations come to mind) the going was incredibly good.

Free to play
I hate to say it but for me this has to be Fortnite. I’m sure many people look down on it for being only for causal gamers or something but I’ve been playing it for years now and I’ve never paid a penny for it. I’ve been tempted a few times for certain skins but since they don’t make any difference to the gameplay there’s not really any point.

What people seem unwilling to recognise is that it’s actually a really good game. The gunplay is solid, the building element is a neat and unusual idea, and the map is constantly changing with endless new features and one-off quests and extras. Even if I was paying a certain amount for it a month it’d probably still be good value for money, but that just isn’t necessary.

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Rising prices
I often found the role-playing games of the 16-bit era very good value for money.

Back when games where £59.99 on the SNES. I’m not sure what that equates to in today’s money but it’s certainly a lot more eye watering than £70 for Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom, let’s say.

Anyway, I digress, there where games you could buy on a Friday release date and have it finished before you went back to school on the Monday.

The role-playing games would command a bit more commitment from you. Not only would the text and story take you more time to get through but the level grinding in most of the games would too.

Yes, I know level grinding is a sore point with most gamers these days, but we are talking the 16-bit era here and it was something of a magic trick to get the gamer invested in a little sprite on an old TV.

So yeah, I put the old school role-playing games as great value for money, because while my SNES was firing those games up I wasn’t looking for the next quick fix in gaming to fill the void.
freeway 77

GC: According to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator Secret Of Mana in 1994 was the equivalent of £115.89 today. Assuming that one was £60, but there’s no easy way to check that.

Increasing value
There are a lot of complaints on these pages about the cost of games and peripherals.

I have been gaming for 30 years and my first console was a Mega Drive followed by a SNES. The console wasn’t cheap and I seem to recall the games costing £40. Virtua Racer set me back 60 quid, and some outlets were selling SNES games for 80-100 quid (Boots in Keighley).

Admittedly, I was a student, so I had less disposable income, and now I work full time, so the cost is less of an issue.

I honestly believed the cost of gaming in the future would be astronomical. If you told me, I would be paying up to £70 for triple-AAA games and the quality of some titles, not to mention the breadth of choice, the 20 year old me would have said flippin’ heck that’s amazing.

Modern gaming is good value. The whole shebang. There are regular discounts on games. The depth of the titles and the longevity is incredible.

The fact that Microsoft released a cheaper version of their latest console is inspired, and they deserve applause for this.

I have even considered getting one myself.

There are some dubious practices in the gaming industry, but overall, I feel that as a form of entertainment and a hobby, this is incredibly good value and do not feel fleeced by the industry in general.

I am impressed with how gaming has developed and that prices are still very reasonable.
Tiddleydwarf (gamertag/PSN ID)

Free forever
Best value for money, well for me it surely must be to do with the various Epic Games PC games giveaways and the like.

Between Epic, Steam, and Ubisoft I haven’t really paid for any games other than racing sims for years!

The most recent highlight for me has been Assassin’s Creed Origins. Now I’m a sucker for an Assassin’s Creed game and I loved exploring ancient Egypt; I think I played it for about 60 hours exploring as much as I could. The other thing with the Assassin’s Creed games is that they always spark my interest in the era they are portraying.

An event will happen in game and I will end up in a Wikipedia rabbit hole finding out more about the actual historical event and the events surrounding it. I did the same with Unity and, to my mind, still the high watermark (pardon the pun), Black Flag. All freebies. I still have Syndicate to start but I’m tempted now to replay Black Flag.

Other giveaway highlights for me have been the latest Tomb Raider trilogy – loved the first two, just started the third one. The Batman Arkham trilogy; I did actually buy Arkham Asylum when it first came out but played City and Knight once Epic gave them away. I discovered the joys of A Plague Tale through Epic. Oh, Watch Dogs 2 was a fun surprise giveaway from Ubisoft and so much more enjoyable than the first dreary game.

The trouble is I now have hundreds of games, and most of them I will probably never play…

Oh, one miss for me. Death Stranding was a giveaway over Christmas. I’ve given it a go. It looks great (I’m a sucker for Iceland, it’s one of my favourite places in the world) but man is it dull! I gave it about 15 hours, looked up the game’s length and whether it got going, and decided it wasn’t for me. I forgot about Kojima’s love of cut scenes, as I haven’t played any of his games since the first Metal Gear Solid on PS1.

So there you go, can you get much better value for money then free?

Whatever you’re playing, have fun y’all!
The Dude Abides

Ultimate advice
I always thought The Orange Box was a good deal as it was not released as a full price title, a little like the Platinum Collection on Xbox 360, and for a little under 20 quid or cheaper if you’re lucky. I know I paid a little under £20 for this collection of titles, which arguably could be some of the best games ever made.

Half-Life 2 and Episodes 1 and 2, Team Fortress, and, of course, the ground reaking classic Portal. The best single-player game and one of the best multiplayer games and one of the best puzzle games ever created. All on one disc and just an amazing amount of content from each of the games. In fact, the only bad thing was the box cover artwork, which could have been slightly more professionally done! But nothing is perfect!

The PlayStation 3 version of The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. That was under £20 and what an amazing port with clear, seamless and smooth graphics plus the two expansions The Shivering Isles and Knights Of The Nine.

Literally around 200 or more hours were spent finding and completing nearly every relevant quest in the game, which makes me amazed just thinking about it! I mean talk about immersion.

Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition had all nine expansions and again bought for under £20. I did not search bargain bins for 5 or 10 quid games as I wanted new and sealed titles. Just so I can trust the history of the software and the disc cleanliness.

Basically, if you’re in no rush to play new games then just hang back a bit and complete whatever you currently have and then get the special or ultimate editions. The Soulsborne games also, with all their extra content, was a bargain. In fact, the only enemy is time, as your wallet should not have been impacted much at all, especially for something you love doing as a hobby.

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