As a video game collector, I'm always on the lookout for the best bargains. Sometimes I spend as much time searching for a good deal as I do playing the actual games - it's kind of a hobby. Oftentimes I skip some great titles because of misleading reviews and I don't pick them up until they're in the bargain bin. I love finding rare gems, games that are underrated and under-appreciated and take me by complete surprise - especially if they cost under $10. So, I decided to put together a series of articles that'll cover these goodies that might have gone under your radar. Every one of these games costs less than ten dollars (at the time that I'm writing this) and they're worth picking up if you have some spare change in your pocket.
One of my favorite action games in recent memory. Sure, the game received decent scores on Metacritic, but it was quickly overshadowed by a storm of anticipated, next generation releases that left this amazing title in the dust. It has some of the best martial arts action to date (not including the superb Sleeping Dogs) and while it's clearly borrowing from the God of War series, it has enough gameplay diversity to stand on its on - and to me personally, it's superior in every way. The game is a few years old now and the graphics are still mouthwatering. The game boasts spectacular performances by Andy Serkis as the villain and the super awesome Anna Torv (from The Fringe) as the protagonist Nariko. The game can be found for less than 10 bucks on Amazon and is a PS3 exclusive.
Ninja Theory, creators of the Heavenly Sword, continue their narrative brilliance with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Andy Serkis returns with another spectacular performance, but the gameplay this time around focuses on Prince of Persia-style climbing with a mix of martial arts and the occasional puzzle solving. Unfortunately, the audience didn't bite, despite stellar reviews, and Ninja Theory closed the doors on what was supposed to become a new, long-running IP. Enslaved is an exemplary piece of video game art that radiates with gorgeous visuals and some of the best facial animations in gaming. You can find the game for around six dollars on Amazon and it's available on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3.
I'm very confused about the mediocre reviews on this one. The game is a mix between Gears of War and the newer, more action-oriented Resident Evil games - and it's a total blast to play. It's clearly geared towards a third-person-shooter audience and those looking to fill the gap between the next big action AAA title should pick this one up ASAP! It's not very original, but it's constant action at its finest, from beginning to end. The game can be found for LESS THAT ONE DOLLAR on Amazon and is available for the PC, Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3.
The recent Call of Juarez: The Cartel was a complete distaster, but its predecessor Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is an outstanding wild west FPS that you can find for under three dollars on Amazon. Considering that the only next generation cowboy themed game is Red Dead Redemption, the setting alone makes this a unique offering from Techland. The story is forgettable, but the fast paced gameplay and the ability to play as two different characters make this a must buy for such a low price.
The sequel, Darkness II, is already dropping in price, but the original game is a much deeper, darker, and overall better experience, and it's less than $5 on Amazon. In a genre that's overflowing with war-themed shooters, the Darkness offers an excellent comic-book inspired, gangster saga filled with fast paced action and semi-open world levels. From spectacular voice acting to superb graphics, The Darkness is a must for any FPS fan, or anyone craving a dark storyline with great characters. The title is available for both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.
Stranglehold is the official sequel to John Woo's fantastic Hard Boiled. It's an exploitation of the slow motion gameplay-mechanic introduced by the Max Payne franchise - and it's an absolute blast to play. The game is fast, violent, has great graphics, and you get to play as Chow Yun-fat - what more could you ask for?! Oh yea, that's right, it costs less than ONE DOLLAR on Amazon. Stranglehold is available for the PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC.
This title took me by complete surprise. Initially, I had no desire to pick this up. It looked very mediocre and the trailers were not very convincing. However, the game turned out to be one of my favorite war games to date. It's a mix between FPS, strategy and third person shooter action. It combines these elements flawlessly and has excellent replay value. It's more of a single player experience, so don't expect your typical multiplayer matches, but those who enjoy a blend of strategy and action should pick this up immediately - and it's only $2 on Amazon. The game is available for the PC, PS3, and the Xbox 360.
This game is a dream come true for fans of 90's science fiction movies. An inventive, visually striking, first person shooter that deserves a special spot in your gaming collection. The game doesn't necessarily re-invent the genre by any means, but it combines the best elements of successful shooters and mixes them into a game that's best described as a homage to cheesy, early ninety's sci-fi movies with a modern twist. Prey boasts incredible level designs, great gameplay and very exciting puzzles. It's around $2 on Amazon and is available for the PC and Xbox 360.
Far Cry 2 is a work of art. As a first person shooter alone, it's mediocre at best - re-spawning enemies and overall dumb AI can affect the gameplay every now and then, but as a whole experience it's superb. The environment here steals the show and it will suck you in from the moment you boot up the game. It's massive, varied, visually impressive, and incredibly fun to explore. And for less than $7 on Amazon, there's no reason not to pick this up. Far Cry 2 is available for the PS3, Xbox 360, and the PC.
The Saboteur is Pandemic Studio's last release and arguably their best one. An open world title where you hunt down Nazis and race in old, classic automobiles. There's really nothing original about the title, but for less than $7 on Amazon, you're getting a really fun, 20+ hour, sandbox experience. The Saboteur introduces Assassin Creed's style climbing, stealth, and a well designed French countryside that's filled with secret collectibles and Nazi equipment for you to blow up. The game is available on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
Do you guys have any bargin bin favorites you'd like to add to the list? I'll try to compose a series of great, cheap titles each week and I'd love to include your recommendations!
to be continued...
Article by Tin Salamunic