Video game rentals are not as popular as they once were, thanks to the development of streaming and the loss of rental outlets. However, there are a few options to rent games that might help you save money while still enjoying the newest releases.
Let’s look at your possibilities for renting video games, as well as related firms that modernize the rental procedure.
GameFly is a long-running video game rental business that is one of the few surviving. It’s a disc-rental service similar to Netflix’s DVD plan in that you choose the games you want from GameFly’s collection, get them mailed to you, and then return them when you’re through.
GameFly provides games from earlier platforms in addition to the current releases on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The program allows you to rent Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP, GameCube, and even Game Boy Advance titles. Of course, the choices for older systems is rather restricted, but it’s a fun opportunity to revisit an old favorite.
GameFly’s Pricing Plans
GameFly offers many price options to meet your requirements. There are two levels if you just buy one disc:
- Budget is the most affordable option for purchasing one disc at a time. The major disadvantage is that you cannot rent new games until up to 120 days after they are released. It costs $8.95/month after a three-month introductory period of $5/month.
- Standard provides various benefits to your account. These include immediate access to new releases, the GameLock feature, which allows you to reserve forthcoming games ahead of time, and periodic reward vouchers. This plan costs $15.95 per month after a three-month introductory price of $9.50.
Choose from the following options with 2 Discs if you wish to have two discs out at once:
- The only difference between Standard and the 1 Disc Standard plan is that you may have the second disc out. Because you must have a free slot to rent a game when it first becomes available via GameLock, the additional slot may come in useful if you often rent new titles. This plan costs $22.95 per month after a three-month trial period of $13.50 per month.
- Elite is the most expensive plan. The greatest distinction between this plan and others is that you may GameLock a forthcoming title one week before it is released. Other plans need you to reserve your spot six weeks before the game’s release. Otherwise, Elite gives you first dibs on GameFly deals. It costs $29.95 per month after the first three months are discounted to $18.
If you choose the top-tier plans, GameFly might get pricey. However, if you choose a less priced alternative, it might offer as an economical method to catch up on titles you missed without purchasing them altogether.
Keep in mind that while neither the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition nor the Xbox Series S have a disc drive, GameFly isn’t an option if you own an all-digital console.
2. Borrow From Friends
Setting up a rental scheme with friends, although not an official business, may be a terrific way to save money on the newest games. If you and a buddy love playing games in related genres, you may lend each other games after you’ve completed them.
Whether you purchase brand-new games and exchange them when you complete them, or just let your buddy choose from your library, it saves money over purchasing each game separately. Just make sure you do it with a reliable buddy who will not harm your games.
Gamesharing is an option if you have a significant digital collection that you wish to share with a buddy. For more information, see our Xbox One gamesharing guide or our PlayStation 4 gamesharing guide.
3. Subscribe to a Game Subscription Service
While not real rentals, video game subscription services serve as a kind of replacement for game rentals.
For a monthly charge, services like Xbox Game Pass provide access to hundreds of games. You may download and play everything in the collection as long as you keep your subscription active.
More information: What Is Xbox Game Pass? Everything You Should Know
This is more cost-effective than GameFly if you have a fast internet connection and adequate storage space for your games. It’s also more efficient since you don’t have to wait for delivery. Xbox-published titles are available on Game Pass the day they are released, and you may play them for as long as you subscribe (rather than having to return them after you’re done with GameFly).
The comparable PlayStation service is PlayStation Now, which focuses on streaming PS4, PS3, and PS2 games rather than offering access to the most recent releases. While it’s a good service, Xbox Game Pass outperforms it in almost every way.
More here: Which Is Better, PlayStation Now or Xbox Game Pass?
Are There Other Video Game Rental Options?
Unfortunately, your options for renting video games aren’t as diverse as they previously were. This makes trying a game for a few bucks without paying to a complete subscription difficult.
Previously, Redbox, a business that provides movie rentals outside grocery stores, pharmacies, and similar locations, was an option. While Redbox used to rent video games, the firm shifted to exclusively TV and movie rentals towards the end of 2019.
Gamerang was another another defunct video game rental business.
iFlipd is a service that rents video games for as little as $2 a week, however its collection is limited to just 3-4 titles for Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. Because there doesn’t seem to be much information on this service accessible, your mileage may vary.
Finally, Family Video’s website has a page dedicated to “new video game rentals.” Clicking any of them, however, takes you to a purchasing page. Whether you live near a Family Video shop, it could be worth checking to see if they rent out games.
Video Game Rentals: Slim, but Available
It’s no surprise that most businesses have ceased renting out video games. With the decrease of tangible media and the convenience of digital games, rentals seem outmoded in certain respects. However, if you still want to play a variety of games without purchasing them entirely, you have choices.
If none of these options appeal to you, there are alternative methods to save money on gaming that do not require renting.
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