Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Video game bargain of the year

Bargain of the year? (pic: Microsoft)

GameCentral readers discuss the most impressive video game deals of the year, from new console to cheap amiibo.

With Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) just gone the subject for this week’s Hot Topic was what video game-related bargain you’re most pleased with this year. What game, console, or other items have you bought for cheap and why do you feel it was such a good deal?

Although most people were disappointed with Black Friday everyone seems to have got a bargain at some point, with many admitting they’ve changed their buying habits to account for regular sales.


Next gen bargain
I don’t want to sound like a shill but I would honestly say Xbox Game Pass is easily the best bargain of the year, and that’s not even counting the £1 free trial. £7.99 a month for all those games – including every Microsoft exclusive – is a great deal but the Ultimate pass, which throws in Xbox Live Gold membership for £32.99 is fantastic. You could easily spend that and never need to buy another video game again.

Admittedly it’d be better if Microsoft had more and better exclusives, but as long as they keep the same deal next gen, after they’ve got their act back together, I think they’re going to be unstoppable.

If Sony doesn’t have an equivalent for Xbox Game Pass that works in almost exactly the same way I think they’re going to be in serious trouble next gen, it’s just that good. But I think a combination of their arrogance, and not want to give away what is, probably, a much better array of games is going to make them hesitate until it’s maybe too late.


Shelf warmers
My best bargain is probably a bit weird: I found my local GAME selling off amiibo for just £5! I’m pretty sure they weren’t supposed to as I never saw the same deal anywhere else but I was able to pick up the recent Mario, Link, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Luigi, Peach, Samus, and a Solid Snake one.

I’ve never had an amiibo before because I thought they were too expensive (they’re usually around £15) but I picked these up for less and they’re great! They look really great on my shelf in the spare room (where I keep my games stuff) and I haven’t even bothered trying to see what they do in a game before.

I’m sure they’d sell a lot more if they were always that price, but then you could say that about most things, games included.


Virtual sale
I’d say the PlayStation VR. Since they were cheap last year I was keeping an eye out for them this Black Friday and got the Mega Pack from Amazon for £230. For that I got the headset, plus Skyrim, Astro Bot, Doom, PlayStation VR Worlds, and WipEout Omega Collection. And… they’ve all been fantastic!

Astro Bot is exactly as great as everyone said it was and WipEout VR is if anything even better. Skyrim and Doom are a bit scrappy but they’re good and Resident Evil 7, which I already had, is amazing.

The only problem has been the controllers. I’m sure Sony are going to release something new next gen but the PlayStation Move wands just are not very good and yet they’re very expensive.


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Bad year
I was severely disappointed by the Black Friday sales this year as I was hoping to get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice cheap and it never was. A sign that it did well I suppose, which is good, but also a sign that Black Friday has changed the way it worked. The deals on Borderlands 3 and The Outer Worlds, which I was also anticipated, were okay but not great and there was essentially nothing on Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare and Death Stranding, which you definitely would’ve have expected based on previous years.

I’m not sure how much publishers have to do with this, if anything, but it was interesting that the only sales on PSN were generally better than Amazon or GAME. So I’m guess that maybe traditional shops have decided that Black Friday is no longer necessary and is eating into their profits?

It probably is unhealthy, I can’t pretend it probably does upset developer, but getting virtually any game released in the year for major discounts just before Christmas was a major bonus for me. We’ll see what happens next year but I guess with the new generation things won’t be clear cut then either.


Instant game collection
I got myself an Xbox One S All-Digital this Black Friday at Lidl. I’d been hoping to pick up a cheap Xbox as I’d never had one this gen and that deal seemed pretty good. Problem was I wasn’t really interested in the games (Minecraft, Sea Of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3), but that wasn’t a problem because £1 on Xbox Game Pass sorted that out in a second and I had instant access to all the Xbox exclusives so far – such as they are.

I know everyone has been singing its praises for months but Game Pass really is a great thing and I would certainly subscribe to it if it was on my primary console. Given I’ll probably just get a few months out of the Xbox One before starting to think about the next gen I don’t know if I’ll pay full price for it now but it’s definitely convinced me it’s a good thing in general.

Beyond that I also picked up Devil May Cry 5 for £15. I could’ve got Resident Evil 2 for the same price if I’d waited too, but that was so good I don’t resent it at all. But bad Black Friday or not it does show that if you wait a few months, especially over six, then games drop in price to almost nothing.


There’s always another sale
Lots of people upset about Black Friday being no good but I got and I can’t blame them. But I picked up Ace Combat 7 for £23 and Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night for £22, so I’m reasonably happy. Although I say that as someone that already has The Outer Worlds and wasn’t really interested in any of the other games that have come out in the second half of the year.

Still, there’s always the January sales, eh? Or the autumn sales, or the winter sales, or the Christmas sales, or the Boxing Day sales, or the New Year sales, or…. you know any other day of the year.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


The price never bothered me anyway
I had a pretty good deal from Amazon on Black Friday, on a title of which I was getting at some point anyway and now seemed the right time. The Spartan edition of Metro Exodus on the PlayStation 4, with a guide to the Russian wasteland and advice on how to best survive it with things to look out for and creatures you’ll meet, etc.

At £14.99 you can’t really complain when it has not even been out for a year yet. Also, I had got through some more of my backlog by now, which freed up more time to play another game, especially of this quality which was awesome.

Usually I would buy a significant game like Metro, and of course a game given by the Metro GC editors themselves a nine out of 10, is a no brainer for me, especially given the open world nature and explorative aspect of the game, which reminds me of Fallout.

Historically the price never bothered me anyway, as paying the developers for a well-designed game is to me an honour. But recently, getting game of the year editions, or taking advantage of a Black Friday deal, are for more personal reasons like backlogs and dealing with titles I already have. Game of the year titles, which are usually cheaper, also have the advantage of nearly all or the entirety of the DLC content releases for the main game. It makes good sense to get everything in one package on the one disc or the code redeeming feature.

For Metro Exodus, the price was something which was not to be refused. A couple of days later I was in my games room and playing it, trying to get to the point I got too when playing my colleague’s version. Over the next couple of days I was going beyond that point of the game and into the wasteland proper and thinking to myself, ‘what a bargain and also what a game’.

Such a graphically powerful and beautifully designed game, with great missions to follow and an interesting storyline, I felt that pre-Christmas I already knew what will be dominating this festival season: seeing my family and also playing this gem of a game. So there will be no complaints from me this end of year and the year in general for gaming enjoyment.


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