As someone who has used Gamefly’s services various times in the past (along with similar knock-offs like the Blockbuster mailing rental system – may it rest in peace in the big outlet mall in the sky), I thought I could try and help some other people struggling with the question “Is Gamefly worth my money?” Because who are you gonna trust: someone with a Gamefly history, or Blake Griffin with a rocket pack?
The answer, like most things, unfortunately, is that it depends. No, while that may sound like a really wishy washy response, my hope is that it will still provide enough detail for you to make an educated decision that is perfect for yourself.
If you ignore the free month starting memberships, Gamefly is about 16 dollars a month for one game rented out at a time, 23 dollars a month for two, and…more than that for 3. I don’t know what the price is for three because you’d have to be crazy to select that option, so I never did, and I don’t feel like looking it up right now.
Now, when you boil it down, 22 dollars a month for two games out seems like a STEAL! How could you NOT be paying that for two games every months?! It could completely replace your gaming library! Gamefly, here we come!
Well, it’s not that simple. For starters, if you’re wanting to play a brand new game like all the cool kids are doing, be prepared to…not do that. At least not through Gamefly. I don’t know who stocks these stores, or what the problem is, but be prepared to wait at least two months to play brand new games of any sort of popularity.
And that’s not just with new games. I recently put in a request for Grand Theft Auto 5, which released September of last year. The wait is STILL high, which means I’ll be twiddling my thumbs for at least three weeks waiting for that game to come in, not to mention the time it will take to actually play it.
Now, I don’t know for sure, but I’m assuming Grand Theft Auto, with the three different characters, gigantic open world, and tons of missions, is going to take me more than a couple days to beat. Let’s be absurdly generous and pretend I don’t have a full time job or other responsibilities, and say it takes me two weeks to beat. That’s over a month right there, already sapped up, not to mention the time it takes to ship back.
If I was on the “one game a month,” program, I’m already 32 dollars in (because it’s rolled over into the second month), but they haven’t even shipped my second one to me yet. See how the time starts to stack up?
So, if you’re looking to Gamefly as a substitute way to play new games, I’d say you’re better off just buying the games, playing them in your own leisure, and then selling them back to Gamestop. You’re going to save way more money in the long run.
However, this piece isn’t just a complete indictment of Gamefly – if, on the other hand, you are looking to catch up on a backlog of older games, Gamefly is perfect for you. Older games are much more available for rent, and in many cases, will be shipped out almost immediately upon entering your queue. If you get the two games a month plan, that 23 dollars will easily cover the 3 to 5 games you’d be able to play a month. Get a membership, take advantage of some free months, get through your backlog, and then cancel. This is where Gamefly really shines, and becomes totally worth the investment.
Tip: In my experience, when I’ve gone to cancel my membership, the company offered me one more month, free. Which of course I took and then canceled the next month. I don’t know if this is the case in all instances, but it could net you some extra Gamefly time, so keep an eye out for it if you’re considering cancelling.
As always, let me know if I helped you reach some sort of “game rental” piece, if you have any questions, or if you love Gamefly and have just sworn me as your eternal nemesis.