Video games are an investment. Trust me I know. I’m missing like, 90% of my older collection of video games because I sold them all when I was little to get the newest titles! I distinctly remember being offended for getting less than a dollar for DJ Hero 2, I don’t know why I thought anyone would value that game over $1. Anywho, games in the current generation tend to be $60, and if you’re paying that much, the package better be worth the value.
Single player games have to really prove that their content is worth it, while games-as-a-service titles have to prove that you will still be playing this title for months to come. While the criteria is different for every single game, I think it’s safe to say that the more hours you can spend in a game, the more you can validate your purchase. In this list, we’ll be discussing 12 games that are more than worth the cost, along with 12 that just don’t quite live up to that price tag. Without any further ado, let’s get right into it!
24 Epic: Breath of the Wild
I could talk about this game for hours. An absolutely huge open world map filled with content and secrets, an engaging, albeit sparse, narrative, great combat and gameplay mechanics, and the ability to do anything your heart desires make Breath of the Wild one of the most expansive titles ever released. The game is filled with absolutely endless amounts of content for players to enjoy, and sinking over 100 hours into this game is a breeze. Let’s just say, there’s a reason that Nintendo was comfortable making Breath of the Wild one of the Switch’s only launch titles.
23 Lame: Metal Gear Survive
Metal Gear Survive is a tough sell. The first Metal Gear title since the Kojima and Konami fallout, and it’s a zombie survival game. Yeah, not really the best look Konami.
Sadly, the gameplay doesn’t fare too well either!
The game is littered with microtransactions (why do companies keep thinking this is a smart move??), is full of recycled Metal Gear V assets, and is just plain bland. Yeah, it’s not awful, but this genre has just been done to demise and Metal Gear Survive is doing nothing to change things up. If you’re considering buying this title, just remember, there are better games to get.
22 Epic: Skyrim
Skyrim is one of those titles that has been ported to every single system that has ever existed at any time ever. For good reason though. The open world title was a critical and commercial darling.
The RPG handles the open world “do whatever you want, whenever you want” formula incredibly well, and really lets players forge their own path.
Add to that some amazing dungeon design, good combat, and some great mod support, and, well, there's a reason that a game from 2011 is still being released on modern consoles.
21 Lame: No Man's Sky
You remember No Man’s Sky, that one game that almost got sued for false advertising? No Man’s Sky was advertised as a huge, procedurally generated world for players to explore filled with wonders! It was not that.
It was a mess, delivered on little of what it promised, and shipped in a form that was not was up to par.
However, this game, despite being released originally in 2016, is still being regularly updated by the team behind it, and it is now representative of what was promised originally. While it took two years to get there, No Man’s Sky is the rare example of a game that shipped unfinished, and then slowly transformed into what was promised, ya know, eventually.
20 Epic: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
74 Fighters. 103 Stages. Over 800 music tracks. An adventure mode, multiplayer, spirits, classic, tourney, the list goes on. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is arguably the largest fighting game ever produced. This game is just, LARGE. Whether you’re there for the amazing gameplay or for the Nintendo nostalgia and crossover moments, this game will not disappoint. If you want to "no items battlefield Fox only" it up you can, but there is so much to choose from with this game, it’s incredible. If you want to watch Simon Belmont get batted around like a fly by Pichu, maybe take a look at Ultimate.
19 Lame: Fallout 76
Hi! This game was a mistake! Deciding to take the Fallout franchise's single-player, narratively-driven formula and turn it into an almost exclusively multiplayer experience just sounds like a bad idea, right? Well, that's what happened with Fallout 76.
Apparently, the sentiment of who needs NPCs when instead you can have a bunch of screaming 9-year-olds sounded genius to someone at Bethesda.
The company is facing some consequences for this choice though, as besides fans generally disliking the game's concept as a whole, the title launched with a plethora of bugs that made the experience that much worse, and, well, let's just say reviews for 76 were not pretty.
18 Epic: Grand Theft Auto 5
While Grand Theft Auto 5 is a large enough game on its own, the reason this game is on this list is due to GTA Online. The online portion of this game is still receiving updates to this day, 5 years after being released. It has provided millions with endless hours of enjoyment. You could play this game endlessly for weeks and still be finding more things to do.
Do you want to ride around in the DeLorean? Well, GTA Online is the place for you.
GTA 5 is ambitious, you can do just about anything you want in the huge open world, and is 100% worth the $60 price tag it once carried.
17 Lame: Dynasty Warriors 9
Dynasty Warriors 9 isn’t fun. Oops. I was excited to finally try out a Dynasty Warriors game after how much fun I had with Hyrule Warriors, and that was a mistake! The game is empty, the open world just makes things… far. I remember specifically a point where I was failing a lot (because I’m bad at video games), and trying to get back to where I needed to be from the last checkpoint was just so boring. I was actually just doing homework while occasionally looking up to make sure my horse and I didn’t perish on the way there (we did once). The story is a mess, voice acting is awful, it’s kind of ugly as a whole, and the gameplay is pretty alright actually. While there is some good in Dynasty Warriors 9, it certainly doesn’t outweigh the bad.
16 Epic: Super Mario Odyssey
It’s freedom like you never knew. Jump Up, Super Star! Is so right. Super Mario Odyssey is the first 3D Mario game in the vein of 64 since Sunshine, all the way back on the GameCube. The title is broken up into of a series of explorable kingdoms, all of which are relatively large and are bursting at the seams with content and power moons to collect. Mario’s new ability to possess different creatures is implemented excellently into the game and allows for gameplay to feel varied, and never repetitive, at all times. If you’re looking for one of the best Mario experiences of all time, check out Odyssey.
15 Lame: Nintendo Labo
Is cardboard worth $60 to you? No? NINTENDO DISAGREES. Look, I know that there's a software component to Labo, but that still doesn't justify its ridiculous price point. At the very least, you should be able to buy Labo cardboard kits separately from the game, and have the new kits’ software as DLC (paid or free) for the base game. The fact that I’m paying this much for cardboard when I could legitimately go to the nearest dumpster and find the same supplies is just a bit ridiculous.
14 Epic: Overwatch
Overwatch manages to be well worth its $60 price tag due to how much effort the developers put into making sure the title never feels old. While there are some loot boxes (cosmetic only) in Overwatch, all new game modes, playable heroes, and maps are completely free. You’ll never have to pay for anything in this game that isn’t cosmetic, and seasonal events keep the title fresh and exciting. If you’re looking for a title that will keep you busy with endless amounts of content and be well worth your money, check out Overwatch!
13 Lame: Battlefront II
Battlefront II lied to us.
They said they were going to have a good story mode and that it wasn’t going to be one of the worst launches in video game history.
Ok, well maybe they didn’t promise that last part but it certainly happened. The game’s outrageous loot box and microtransaction system were meant to siphon as much money out of players as possible, and the reception was so terrible that loot boxes were stripped from the game entirely and microtransactions were turned off for months. An EA rep’s response to the controversy became the most downvoted comment in the site’s history. Add all this up with a shallow campaign, and this is not a game you want to spend your money on.
12 Epic: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
While Monster Hunter: World is responsible for bringing the Monster Hunter series to an entirely new audience, the sheer amount of content in Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is what places it on this list. With 93 total, this game easily takes the cake for the most monsters to hunt in series history. While the lack of quality of life improvements that World gave to the series is noticeable, it is certainly adaptable after diving into the game for a few hours, which just scratches the surface of the hundreds of hours worth of content it provides.
11 Lame: Knack
I hate this game. When little Colby went out to buy his launch model PS4 that he still owns because he can't afford a Pro, the only game he had with it was Knack because surprise, this was like… it. I think there was also like a Killzone game in the launch lineup?
Regardless, this title looks pretty, and that's the appeal. It's shockingly boring and repetitive.
I was bored the first day I turned on a next-gen console. It's nothing new, and it's not even good being nothing special, it's all around a bad title that I returned a few days later for less than $20.
10 Epic: Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is a big ol' game! A huge open world, incredible stealth and combat gameplay, a rewarding skill tree, and absolutely stunning graphics, what's not to love about this game? Aloy is a fantastic character and is a huge reason as to why it is so easy to just sink into this world for hours at a time. While the PS4 has a massive library of fantastic, huge games to play at this point, Horizon Zero Dawn is by far one of the best choices of the bunch. If you're looking for a game to dig into for hours upon hours, this is one to take a look at.
9 Lame: Sea of Thieves
Rare doesn’t really get to make games often. And, well, let’s just say Sea of Thieves wasn’t what everyone was hoping for out of this storied development studio. While the pirate simulator’s gameplay was solid, it just didn’t have much to do, at all. After checking out the gorgeous visuals and playing a few missions, you just start to get bored. While Sea of Thieves isn’t a great package, its saving grace is that it is available on Game Pass, and has been since day one.
8 Epic: Red Dead Redemption 2
17 million copies in 2 weeks. Red Dead Redemption 2 sold 17 million copies in two weeks. That doesn’t just happen. Whether you chalk those sales up to the absolutely stunning visuals, the beautifully crafted narrative, the great open world, or the intricate attention to every detail of the game, you’d be right. I mean, you can get haircuts, but only cut it from how much hair the main character, Arthur, already has, as it naturally grows over time! That alone is mind-boggling for a video game! Add all of this up with the addition of the online mode, Red Dead Online, and let’s just say you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
7 Lame: Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, as a poet would say, absolutely slaps. It’s a great title that just, isn’t worth it. This is because, similarly to Rise of the Tomb Raider, it’s just improvements over the same base game as its predecessor. While the game is fun, it really doesn’t offer anything new for the player. This is certainly the best of this worst list, as it’s still a great game, but it offers nothing new to the reboot trilogy.
6 Epic: Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Microsoft’s collection of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo: Nightfall sounds too good to be true. All of that content in one package? Along with every one of those games receiving graphical and audio upgrades? Well, that’s exactly what you get with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Besides a few multiplayer matchmaking issues that have since been ironed out, this game is an absolute treasure. It is filled to the brim with incredible content from Halo’s storied history and features all sorts of elements, including new story content, exclusive to the collection. This is a great package for Halo fans, along with gamers looking to get into the series.
5 Lame: Street Fighter V
The digital age has led to a weird little quirk in the gaming industry. Games can be shipped in whatever form developers want them to be and just be patched later. While Street Fighter V was essentially a buggy mess at release, the title also has awful single-player content, ludicrously expensive DLC, and Capcom actually had the audacity to patch in loot boxes in mid-2018. Really? Who would ever think that players would like that? While the game has continued to receive post-release support, Street Fighter V was unfinished at release, and will never be the game developers had hoped it would be.
4 Epic: NES Classic Edition
The $60 price tag that the NES Classic carries is well worth it. The mini console features 30 titles that defined Nintendo’s first ever home system, and they all come equipped with save states, and feature superb emulation. While the NES Classic’s library (and look) vary depending on the region, they all have an excellent library that will deliver a nice punch in the face of nostalgia to older players, and new experiences to younger Nintendo enthusiasts. The NES Classic is a great item for collectors and gamers alike. It looks pretty on a shelf, and it holds some amazing titles. What more could you need?
3 Lame: Sims 4 + Expansion Packs
The Sims has certainly had a messy life over the years, and possibly one of the biggest missteps in the history of the franchise is The Sims 4.
The game received a notable backlash, mainly for lacking things previous entries had, such as swimming pools and TODDLERS. HOW DO YOU FORGET TODDLERS?
It also lacked The Sims 3’s open world and create-a-style, some of the best aspects of that title. Besides that, I’d like someone to explain to me why this game’s expansion packs are $40? Why do I need to pay $40 to get a cat? It’s not even a physical cat, it’s digital? Does this all sound like an awful idea? Well, it will all make sense in just a second when I let you know that EA publishes this game.
2 Epic: Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human, is a dense, single-player package. The title is centered around player-choice, and every single decision you make will affect the outcome of your story.
With over 1000 different endings being possible at the end of your story, no one’s tale will be the same as someone else’s.
The well-told story of androids wanting to become more than humans manages to deliver emotional highs and lows throughout its runtime, while never overstaying its welcome. For fans of single-player experiences, you’ll have a lot to dig into with Detroit: Become Human.
1 Lame: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
How much should an already released seven-year-old game cost? $60, according to Nintendo. I truly have no idea why all these Wii U ports to the Switch are all priced like fully new titles (probably because I keep buying them). While each of them adds some new content:
The inclusion of a mushroom that turns into a princess imposter and a rabbit thief do not justify the cost of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
If you can get this game for $20 on the Wii U, it's value is not $60 on the Switch.