Retro Video Games & The Best Place to Buy Them in 2022?
Looking for a new extension arm for your antique typewriter? Ok, first of all, why? And secondly, um, good luck with that.
Aside from this scenario, you're probably aware that components of vintage technology can be hard to come by. On the other hand, some antiquated tech refuses to die because it's timeless, nostalgic, or just freaking awesome.
Luckily, retro video games fit into the latter category. However, if you're branching out into classic gaming for the very first time, you might not know where to start. Furthermore, there are some scams, pitfalls, and other evils you should know about before skipping off to the retro game store.
Thus, we've written you this complete guide on how/where to buy retro games. Don't spend your rupees until you equip yourself with this knowledge from retro gaming store experts.
1. Download Old Video Games Onto Your Current Console
If you have a modern console like a Nintendo Switch or a PS3-5, you can simply download vintage video games right onto your system. Building your classic game collection this way is both convenient and risk-free. And the selection likely includes the most popular titles from several console generations ago.
However, there are certainly plenty of drawbacks/limitations of this method. First is the selection.
The selection of each modern system varies. And it may not date all the way back to the 80s (when the really good games were made).
And, while you're sure to find popular titles, that's usually all you'll find. What about that obscure cartridge your retro game-collecting frenemy is always gloating about? For that, you'll have to find a hard copy (unless you bootleg it, cheater).
No Peripheral Games
Also, many retro video games use classic peripherals, like Duck Hunt with the NES Zapper (light gun). Ports of such games are unplayable if alternative peripherals aren't available.
Not Future Proof
The worst part is, if you buy Final Fantasy VIII on PS4, don't expect to see it when you sign in to your PS5. Downloaded titles are almost never transferrable between systems.
You'll either have to re-buy it for each new system, or keep all your old systems. Thus, you might as well collect the original classic systems.
1. Check Your Local Retro Video Game Shop
Next, search online for local brick-and-mortar stores that sell retro games. There are quite a few advantages to this method.
You won't have to wait for shipping or worry about careful packaging and handling, as when you buy online. And you can see the items up-close before you purchase them. Also, retro game shops usually:
- Test consoles and games before selling
- Have a decent return policy
- Accept trade-ins
- Price their games appropriately
Make sure, however, that you research these points at your local store before you buy. Some retro game stores are not so trustworthy.
On the negative side, local shops have a very limited/random selection of games. And it's first-come-first-serve, so the best consoles/games sell out fast. More importantly, you may not have a retro game shop in your area.
2. Don't Overlook Garage Sales (And Don't Get Your Hopes Up)
Don't expect a garage sale to have amazing game titles at amazing prices. They usually have no games at all. And if they do, the first-come-first-served dilemma still applies.
That said, if you drive past one, they're worth a look. You might also see a video game garage sale advertised on Craigslist.
Beware, though. You can't typically return what you buy from a garage sale.
Watch out for bootlegs and find/bring a means of testing games before you buy. Or, pay no more than a dollar.
3. The Danger Of Collection-Building Through Craigslist
It's one thing to visit a garage sale you read about on Craigslist. Conversely, an ad that instructs you to "meet behind Jerry's Bar at midnight" is not the same thing. Instead, it's a great way to land yourself in a back-alley boss battle that's not as fun as it looks in Streets of Rage.
Seriously, though, people die this way. Not even a factory-sealed Earthbound cartridge is worth that steep a price. To stay safe:
- Always buy/sell in public places during daylight hours
- Don't meet at your home
- Bring a friend who stays in the car with their phone on
- Pay in cash and bring only the amount you agreed to previously
- Don't get suckered with bootlegs
- Don't buy anything expensive (because it may be defective or fake and then you're stuck with it)
- Don't buy games you can't test on the spot
Furthermore, none of this matters if you live in the boonies and have no locals to buy from.
4. eBay, the Online Craigslist
Fortunately, e-commerce companies like eBay and Amazon prevent the back-alley boss battle scenario. They also help you return falsely advertised/defective products, so you don't get gypped.
Get used to that, by the way, if you do decide to buy retro games on eBay. These platforms are a highly-preferred method for selling bootleg merchandise, sometimes at brand-name prices.
The bottom line: e-commerce marketplaces are a secure yet inconvenient method for buying vintage video games. Often, though, it's the only way to obtain copies of rare games.
5. Buying From an Online Retro Game Store
Buying from an online retro game store is the best way to build your collection. In addition to the advantages of a local game store, online stores typically have a larger selection, including popular and obscure titles. And if there's no retro game store near your location, online retro video game stores are a great option.
But that's only if you find one you can trust. Besides comparing prices, check out:
- Their packing and shipping policies
- Their return policy
- Whether the games are tested and verified
You can make sure that we pass the test by checking out our FAQ page here.
Get Your Retro Video Games Here
When shopping for retro video games, don't get swindled by unreliable merchants and scammers. Instead, remember and follow the advice in this guide.
Better yet, browse our extensive game collection right now. We check the functionality and authenticity of all our games prior to selling, and we package them with great care. Plus, we're happy to give you credit for your trade-ins.