When you’re looking for a cheap video game the first place you usually head is your local neighborhood EB Games or Game Stop. Or maybe you check out Ebay or one of the online sites selling used games. But did you know there are places where you can get new, unopened, shrink wrapped games at anywhere from 10 to 50 percent off list price?
Okay, if you’re looking for the newest games on the market, these stores probably aren’t for you. But if you never managed to get around to buying NBA Live 2005 or All Star Baseball 2005 or if you didn’t get into Xenosaga: Episode II until it was no longer readily available, then you might just be interested. Or perhaps you’ve got a kid who is just now discovering Digimon on the Family Channel and you’re having trouble tracking down a copy of Digimon Racing. Instead of paying over half price for a used copy that will probably freeze up on a regular basis, wouldn’t you rather shell out a few extra samolians and get a new copy? Well, there are places where this can actually take place, but you have to realize first it’s a hit or miss proposition.
If you have a Kohl’s near you, you may actually have been inside the store several times without even realizing they carry Gamecube, PS2, Gameboy and even Xbox games. Most stores have a station near one of the checkout lanes, usually one in proximity to the men’s clothing section. The games here tend to be heavy on the sports and racing and roleplaying variety. For instance, you are quite likely to find the ESPN and EA brand sports games, most likely those from a year ago. I already own All Star Baseball 2005 on PS2, but I almost bought it for Gamecube because it was only $12.95. I wouldn’t even normally think about owning the same game on two different consoles, but with two kids fighting over PS2 and Gamecube, I figured it might not be such a bad investment to have the game on both. I exercise by riding a recumbent bike for an hour every day and playing a baseball game really makes that time pass.
The $12.95 price is in the middle range for games at Kohl’s. The games Kohl’s sells at discounts tend to list in the $15 to $19.99 range and are sold at prices from $16 to $10. In addition to sports games, another favorite to find here are kids games such as Piglet’s Big Game or Spy Kids 3-D.
Then there’s such good old standbys as Tetris Worlds and the Activision and Intellivision collections. Obviously, if you’re hoping to find your more obscure titles or controversial content then you needn’t look at Kohl’s. Kohl’s is a family-oriented discount store and the likelihood of something like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas turning up here is slight at best.
K-B Toys offers a better opportunity for finding more recent games, including those featuring more blood and sex. The main problem is that K-B isn’t as easy to track down as Kohl’s. But if you’ve got one near you, it’s worth a visit. They tend to have a better selection of game types than Kohl’s, but unless you’re looking for a relatively unpopular game like Bass Fishing, K-B can’t beat Kohl’s prices. While Kohl’s ends up $19.99, most games you’re going to want start out at that price at K-B. For instance, Tetris Worlds on PS2 and Xbox were $19.99 at K-B, but only $16.99 at Kohl’s.
Fortunately, if you don’t have access to a K-B Toys store you can always go to KB toys.com and order from their wide variety of games, including new releases and pre-orders at list price, but also bargain price games and even sub-bargain price games as last $6.99 in their clearance section.
If you don’t have a K-B Toys store near you, chances are you’ve got a convenience store such as Tom Thumb or BP. Did you know you can find video games as recently released as last year on sale for twenty bucks? These convenience stores are also a hotbed for sports games-especially extreme sports-and kids games featuring series characters such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Sly Cooper.
Games found here tend to focus on PS2 and Gamecube, though a few Gameboy and Xbox games crop up. Once again, you can’t expect to find the latest releases, but big hits from recent years can almost always be expected. If you’re copy of your favorite game from a few years ago is turning buggy and giving you problems, you just might want to slap down a twenty and walk out with a backup copy. It’s better than putting your trust in a used version from EB Games.
Ross for Less, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx are also worth checking out. These discount stores tend to carry PC games more than console games, but their inventories are dependent upon supply and you never know when you’ll catch them with a stash of overstocked items. The PC games can vary widely, from Myst to sports games to Star Trek, while your chances of coming across a console game is most likely going to be relegated to something sports-oriented in the men’s section. In these particular stores the sports tend to be more individual than team-oriented so you if you’re big on golf or tennis games, by all means take a few minutes to try tracking them down.
Many other discount stores such as Beall’s, Burke’s, Hudson’s Treasure Hunt and Big Lots have a revolving inventory where you never know what you’ll find and so on any given day you have just as good a shot at coming up with a cheaply priced video game as not. Don’t limit yourself to EB Games, Game Stop or the internet when shopping around.