10 Classic Games that are also Completely Worthless
A lot of the time the value of a retro game is directly related to its quality; there’s higher demand for good games so naturally they should cost more. However, there are other factors at play too, for example rarity and desirability. There’s even a few great games that didn’t sell too well, and now there are more than enough copies to go around. Today I’ve gathered ten of my favourite titles that are not only brilliant, but for a variety of reasons are completely worthless too.
Note: I personally live in the United Kingdom, and have composed this list based on UK prices. In general I’ve gone with games that can easily be bought for around £1 at second hand shops/carboots/charity shops ect, and struggle to reach minimum bids online. Usually international prices follow similar trends, but there may be variations or anomalies in different regions.
After seven years in development, Galleon divided critical opinion back in 2004. Personally I loved it, and would still consider it one of the best pirate themed games ever made. It has a huge sense of adventure, an enjoyable story, and many of the qualities that also made Toby Gard’s previous game, Tomb Raider, so great.
Poor sales meant the game dropped in price pretty quickly although I still remember paying £39.99 for it in launch week. Galleon currently retails for 50p in CEX (a shop we have in the UK where you can buy and sell used games).
If you go into CEX and buy Galleon using a £1 coin, you could take the 50p change and purchase Haven: Call of the King. Haven was an ambitious game that attempted to merge a variety of genres into one cohesive game. For the most part it succeeded, and remains fun to play today thanks to a lot of creative ideas.
Whilst many more popular PS2 games have either reached or are nearing similar price tags (Splinter Cell, Jak and Daxter, Prince of Persia ect), Haven remains unique thanks to the lack of sequels or re-makes, meaning the PS2 classic is not only the definitive version, but an original game well worth your time.
I have a theory that a lot of poor selling games achieve low sales because of bad box art. Vanquish looked unoriginal, and whilst its cover was fine on a technical level it made the game looked like an uninspired Gears of War clone with no original or exciting ideas. This was the exact opposite of the truth.
It wasn’t until last year that I actually purchased Vanquish (it cost me £2 and even then you could argue that I got a bad deal). I was amazed to find an immense action game with the structure of a bullet hell shooter. Looking back the clues were certainly there; it was developed by Platinum Games and received several well-deserved game of the year awards, but I’m sure that many others, like myself, simply ignored the game flat out. Today I can’t recommend it enough, and would definitely consider it one of the best games of last generation.
Not many of the best Saturn games can be bought on a budget. Fortunately SEGA Rally is the game for anyone who can’t afford Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force III, or even Burning Rangers. The arcade racer plays great on SEGA’s classic console, and costs absolutely nothing to purchase. If you’re willing to break the £5 barrier there’s also an updated sequel for the SEGA Dreamcast that’s still great value for money.
So here’s a photo of my copy of Prey, which I bough the day it came out back in 2006. Today CEX sells this game for £1, meaning I could buy 50 copies of it for the price I once payed. But y’know what, I regret nothing, Prey was an awesome game and I had a lot of fun playing it.
The game had a poor multiplayer mode, and an uninspiring multiplayer demo meant meant it was quickly dismissed as a potential Halo substitute, something the Xbox 360 needed in its first year. But a strong single player campaign, some crazy gravity mechanics, and an unobtrusive yet enjoyable story easily made it the console’s first great FPS (and by that I mean it was better than Perfect Dark Zero). There’s been talk of a sequel for a while now, but even if it’s ever released it looks to have little in common with the original classic.
Headhunter was an awesome stealth/adventure game where you also got to ride about on a motorbike. Originally released in Europe for the Dreamcast, this version of the game still costs a little under £10. However the PS2 port, which features a few small enhancements and bug fixes, can be bought for a fraction of that already low price. As with my other PS2 recommendations, Headhunter is an original game that mixes retro charm with some creative and interesting ideas that still give it a unique appeal today.
There’s plenty of room for disagreement when it comes to deciding the last good game by Rare, but I’d argue that Kameo, Viva Piñata and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts proved that it wasn’t until they started exclusively making Kinect games that they lost their way. For me personally, Kameo stood out as one of the Xbox 360’s best launch titles, and the fun shapeshifting mechanic gave both the puzzles and combat a good sense of variety.
Ironically an unfinished version of the game for the original Xbox surfaced a couple of years ago, showing that Kameo was almost entirely complete on Microsoft’s original console. It certainly has an Xbox/PS2 era charm to it, but a few more modern elements also help define it as a classic.
We’re already at a point where many great games from recent memory have fallen to exceptionally low prices (Mirrors Edge, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman Absolution, Alan Wake, pretty much all Xbox 360/PS3 games now I think about it), however Resistance 2 stands out as my pick for exceptional value for money.
The entire Resistance trilogy can be purchased for way under £10, but of the three games Resistance 2 is both the cheapest and my favourite. Sure you walk a bit slower, and you can’t carry ALL the guns at the same time like in the other ones, but overall the game is unmatched in terms of atmosphere, level design and story. Maybe one day Resistance 2 will be looked back on as one of the best first person shooters on the PS3, but even then the genre seems to evolve so rapidly that it’s likely to remain an absolute bargain from now until the end of time.
The observant reader might have noticed that this is the first Nintendo game on this list, and there’s an obvious reason for this; pretty much all Nintendo games are collectible, even the bad ones. Even Mario Party 8 still costs £10.
There is however one great title no one seems to be bidding on, and that’s Wave Race: Blue Storm for the GameCube. This was originally one of the console’s best launch games, and today the superb water physics and defined courses make it a classic racing game that’s well worth the pennies it costs to purchase.
So what’s everyone’s favourite Grand Theft Auto game? Mine is Vice City. My favourite character is Lance Vance and my favourite radio station is V-Rock. I know there are some things the later games do better, and on a technical level it can’t compete with that new one, but there’s a certain magic to Vice City that has yet to be recaptured. Considering it’s at least twenty times cheaper than GTA V this is a game well worth investing in, and I’m sure anyone who remembers it from back in the day knows that despite its low value this game is an absolute must for the collection.
And that just about concludes our list. Okay, I know there’s a lot of PS2/Xbox stuff here and no good SNES/Mega Drive/whatever games but seriously, there are no good Super Nintendo games easily availably for under £1. I looked and everything. Right now many of the more recent games are also the cheapest, and in general it’s the PS2 and Xbox stuff that no one wants right now. Maybe one day these games will be worth a bit more, although I’d recommend buying them as awesome games to play, not as an investment for the future. If you know of any other great games that are worth very little/no money, let me know in the comments below!