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Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: How many video games do you own?

GameCentral readers discuss exactly how many games they own in total, with some readers boasting of collections in the thousands…

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Xane and includes both physical and digital copies, but not games you have access to via a subscription service like Game Pass.

Unsurprisingly, those with the biggest collections also tended to prefer buying physical copies, with a lot of talk about admiring them on shelves. Few were outright hostile to digital though and all seem to agree it is the inevitable future of game collecting.

More than you’d think
This is quite an interesting one as I worked through cataloguing my games during lockdown and hadn’t realised just how many I had.

At last count (and I’ve bought a few since, so the current number will be a little higher) I had 956 physical games and 104 paid-for downloaded ones. The physical games cover multiple generations, with the oldest being ZX Spectrum and the newest being the Switch.

I’ve even got games for some slightly more obscure systems like the Amiga CD32 and the Amstrad GX4000. I’d be lying if I said that I’d played them all, in fact I don’t even have the appropriate hardware yet to play some, but I think I’ve played about 75% of them over the years.
Adam H

One at a time
I currently have about 40 games, a quarter of these are digital.

The digital ones I have are a few indies and some PlayStation 2 classics on my PlayStation 3 and 4 (some I never got around to playing that gen and some I just wanted to play again).

I prefer having a physical copies of games, there’s something about seeing my little collection waiting on my shelves, ready for me to play them anytime I want! Plus, any games I don’t want to keep playing I can trade in for something else.

I’ve streamlined a lot over the last few years, I must have had well over 100 a while ago. I’m a bit more disciplined now, generally working through one game at a time, before moving onto the next, whereas previously I’d have multiple games on the go with far less of them finished!
LastYearsModel

Retro feel
I own close to 2,000 games, with 95% all in original boxes with manuals and paperwork. For me I will choose the physical as it holds more importance to me and is mine for ever. Especially with retro, I have every released Dreamcast and Master System game released in UK and nearly every Game Gear game.

I love being able to look at them all in my wall and pick which to play, just selecting off a digital screen is not the same for me by any stretch.
Jonathon McN

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Budget constraints
Too many would be the glib response. Many might say if they saw them but I love my collection. I have 600 physical games in a collection which spans many systems from the original NES all the way up to PlayStation 4 (and soon to be PlayStation 5). I own about 200 digital, most of them purchased 2007 to 2014, but I haven’t bought many digital releases in the last few years as I focused on retro games and the odd AAA physical release.

I’ve never had a game subscription other than PS Plus – purely purchased for multiplayer- and even then I often didn’t play the monthly ‘free’ games as I don’t seem to value or enjoy things I don’t own as much.

I definitely prefer owning physical games. I guess the main reasons are: beautiful game boxes look great on shelves; there’s a nostalgia tied up in holding a game, opening it up and putting it into a console; physical games can be sold on afterwards – on occasion for more than they were bought for.

The downsides for me are cost (retro game collecting can be ruinously expensive) and space (I’m lucky I have a house and a tolerant wife but there are fair limits to this). To mitigate these in the last 18 months I’ve focussed on curating what I wanted to keep, selling on more than 200 games to fund a few expensive older games as well as the PlayStation 5.

I now set myself a strict game budget every three months and if I go over it make myself sell games to get back to target. It’s made me clear about what I really value.
Vallaurian
PS: Keep up the great work GameCentral.

Too many to count
I honestly couldn’t count (or more to the point I can’t be bothered) but I think it must be getting on for a thousand games that I have. That spans older systems that I rarely bother playing but occasionally get the urge.

On my Switch I have around 15 physical games and maybe 30 downloads, but some are compilations so that ups the number.

If I buy a game I tend to keep it rather than rinse it for a couple of weeks and sell it on, just in case I feel like playing it again, but there are games I have that I haven’t played for at least a decade.

I’m still gutted that I swapped my SNES and all the games for a copy of Super Mario 64. The Classic Mini SNES is excellent though, my collection of games on that is much bigger than my original SNES collection and I have some excellent Super Famicom oddities.
John

Rough estimate
This is a good question… which I cannot answer. I actually made the effort to start trying to count, but then I realised all the post Xbox 360 era stuff was at my parents’ and that I’d have to boot up all the individual consoles to check and see how many downloadable games are on them.

But we’ve got to be talking over 1,000 games. I do prefer owning games physically – there’s nothing like the sight of a well sorted shelf – but I’m trying not to be a luddite about it and have a lot of digital titles now and if I owned an Xbox I’d subscribe to Game Pass. But I don’t, so I don’t.
Forester

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Out of the cupboard
After a lengthy count and a bit of rechecking, I appear to currently own just over 170 different video games across eight different formats. Admittedly seven of those are mobile phone games I hardly ever touch, but the rest are bonafide console titles. Technically the total number is higher, but I haven’t counted my handful of duplicates twice (for instance I’ve only counted Vanquish once, but I have it on PlayStation 3 and again on PlayStation 4 as part of the Bayonetta/Vanquish 10th anniversary twin pack and similarly the first Dishonored on PlayStation 3, as the PlayStation 4 version came as a free download with Dishonored 2).

The oldest games I still have are from the Game Boy Color days, but the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Wii, Switch and the last two Sony home machines are all healthily represented. I can honestly say, I’ve never owned more games than I do now, but if I had back all the titles and formats I no longer own it would probably be pushing 220-230, easy.

112 of my games are on Sony formats. Only around 20 or so of my total are digital downloads and I’m pretty sure that none of those ever got a physical release, so that’s what swayed me there. I don’t know whether it’s my age or just part of my character, but I like owning physical editions of things I like. True, there aren’t lovely manuals to read for games anymore, but I not only like having the physical disc/cartridge but I also like seeing them all together on a shelf.

Alright, they’re in a cupboard, but it always makes me happy to open it up and see them all in there, waiting for me to make my selection. I’m the same with music and films. Only recently I had to reconstitute my iTunes library and I discovered I own over 10,000 songs, almost all of them as CDs on a shelf. I’ve not counted the movies, but there are more DVDs and Blu-rays in the film cupboard than games in the game cupboard, so it’s a fair few.

I’ve never subscribed to any paid-for streaming service for anything. I get that I’m a dinosaur and that the future is all streaming, all the time, but I still like the idea of individual ownership and unobstructed access to what you want, when you want it, without the constant need for an internet connection, or the sudden realization that six months worth of subscription money has drained away and I’ve not touched the service in all that time.

I like to get things when I can and know they’ll be there when I get the chance to use or play them at my own pace, in my own time, without having to worry about what my password is for that account or having to deal with my occasionally very flaky broadband/4G. It’s also nice to know that, if I want to, I can trade stuff in/sell it on. It’s not something I’ve done for years as almost everything I’ve got, I like, and am reluctant to part with, but it’s always reassuring to have the option.

I’m sure the never-ending march of progress with change my habits eventually, but for now, my eyes are on the full-fat PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X hardware, as they’re the ones with disc drives. It’s going to be while before I take that plunge though: over 30 of my games are waiting for me to actually play them and there are still around a dozen titles out or coming soon this generation I’ve got my beady little collector’s eye on. If I do go next gen, I’m going to need a bigger cupboard…
yourhomeisatrisk

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