What non sports games do you see litter shelves where there are cheap games?


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
In what is unlikely to be a unique trait around here I visit a lot of places where you can find cheap games -- charity shops, thrift stores, car boot sales, garage sales, church rummage sales... I tend not to do much online stuff (never so much as looked at a facebook selling group for instance) but feel free to include that as well as plenty of people do well from those, even more so if they buy bundles from bored mothers and spurned lovers.
Most of the time if you see a game coloured case then it is an old sports game (being in the UK football (soccer to the USians), occasionally cricket, sometimes rugby and on rare occasion basketball or American football), or if you hunt for 360 games then Shrek or Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles film DVD (at this point I can tell the subtle colour differences that labels usually result in and thus rarely get tricked). Bonus for 360 hunting is kinect games come in purple cases and as they are all bad you can skip those.
However this sort of shelf fodder is known to all that seek games like this.

There are however others I have noticed routinely crop up

If I am after 360 games then surprisingly the Gears of War and Halo, two of the defining franchises of that console, appear and don't get shifted. Forza also features fairly often but I see them shift if I go back week on week. You might occasionally see the Skate games as well but they tend not to hang around for very long.

If I am after Wii games then it is a bit harder to filter out DVDs that get mixed in as white cases are reasonably common. However it seems a lot of people wherever I go in the UK (pretty much all over, rural and town, though I am thankfully spared having to go into London these days) have carnival games, wii fit, and a thousand other minigame collections, to say nothing of people often wanting to flog the entire console and game stack more than anything else I have ever seen.

For DS games then actually surprisingly few sports games but you tend to instead get the puzzle games, brain training, brain training ripoffs, professor layton (probably should stockpile those but eh) and what were at the time referred to as bored housewife games* (match 3, word search, hidden object...). A lot of those sorts of games are actually quite good ( https://gbatemp.net/threads/card-games-on-the-ds-a-discussion-of-things.332152/ is mostly about the cards but there is a reason I made the effort to knock it out), but even more are bad examples even of those sorts of games.

*when contemplating the radical alteration in games between the DS and 3ds, not coincidentally with user code selection mobile phones and tablets rising up during the later stages of the DS lifetime, then the fate of such "genres" will probably be a fairly pure example of things here -- much like drug dealing tends to provide some of the best examples of "pure" business in action then bored housewives are generally completely arbitrary and mercenary in their behaviours here when it comes to games. I would then wonder if when looking at what various devs/pubs did if the bored housewife market in some ways funded the fun games that we tend to discuss more around here ( https://gbatemp.net/threads/links-to-various-gbatemp-features-over-the-years.352851/ ).

PS2 and older disc based stuff is something of a rarity these days, and then it is usually sports games, wrestling games or bad action games. Anything that came on a cartridge from the N64 on back might as well not exist. Back before the Wii's lack of games made gamecube games hot stuff that was a surprisingly odd selection. I do see the occasional GBA game too but this was still the era in which film and kids tv show tie in games were all the rage, something which appears frequently for home console efforts but not as much as it did back when. Still worth a scan though as you do occasionally get a nice RPG and such game collection, though with the current trend for various flavours of notably enhanced rerelease/remake/redo/revisit/remulation then that is not as nice as it used to be.

3ds stuff is only just starting to spin up so I don't have too many observed trends here beyond the occasional kids game.

PS3 is all over the shop, though again some of the exclusives (Haze, Resistance, Motorstorm, Killzone, Uncharted, Little Big Planet) tend to crop up a lot.

For any previous gen console (so PS3 and 360) then on a good day I could probably do a last generation collection of Call of Duty or Battlefield for less than a halfway nice lunch. On a really good day then current gen as well. The fancy toy statues games also feature fairly heavily, in this case skylanders and disney infinity but most people helpfully bundle the reader and some statues along with the game in a bag and let me skip them.

Don't think I have really seen enough Wii U games to make any kind of inference here.

PS4 and xbone tend to be sports games so far, however you do get the occasional effort in something that might pass for good here.

A quick scan of those titles I named sees many of them being surprisingly high sellers (the exclusives being an interesting one here). Curiously a lot of those during the system lifetime stuck around for a while (COD was fairly prominent during banwave discussions on the 360 and even older versions second hand prices remained quite high -- I used to check them from time to time when people wanted a flashed console to play COD or Battlefield), but it would seem I underestimated the draw of multiplayer. I don't expect to get this to a level where I could convincingly do some crazy maths ( https://towardsdatascience.com/predicting-hit-video-games-with-ml-1341bd9b86b0 ) on the results but informal discussions and observations are fun.

I will end by saying that despite all this, and the game changing radically with the introduction of networked national chain level resellers and ebay (much less ebay on mobile phones which every common person is apparently supposed to have) you can still get nice deals out there. Watch for those people selling their ex's stuff or bored mothers flogging "old" games their kids (or grandkids) "don't play any more" (read have not looked at in a few months because it is summer and gaming is a timesink rather than an out and out hobby). Depending upon where you are though then a single determined individual can rinse a place dry of good stuff... *cough* so you might have to figure out how to avoid what a favourite youtube channel ( http://www.youtube.com/user/BitHead1000 ) dubs sharks, and if there is a competitive reselling scene around you then you have to get even better still (or find something else to collect alongside games).


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
United States
I don't go to stores much anymore, but I've seen some things.

Back 15 years ago or so, I used to troll ebay for NES game auctions. They sold many carts for cheap back then, and so often you'd see 20-30 games in a lot with some random good game to advertise. The titles were all the same: "NES Nintendo 30 GAME LOT MARIO MEGA MAN CONTRA" and typically they included at least one of the games named in the list, then a bunch of games they couldn't sell individually (or back then before the retro bubble really inflated for that system, they were just selling their kid's old stuff now that the kids were in school/moved out).

I always noticed what seemed to be a few games which popped up in seemingly every lot. I don't kno why, but they were everywhere. Obviously Mario/Duck Hunt was there, but that's not surprising as there is about 1 copy for every US NES sold. Games which seemed to eternally show up included:

-Operation Wolf
-Captain Skyhawk
-TMNT 1 (much remembered for frustrating levels)
-10-Yard Fight
-Bayou Billy

I don't know why, they aren't all terrible or anything (though I'd stay away from the last two), they just seemed to show up all the time.

I think used shops near me stopped taking in sports games. Madden, NBA, MLB, and FIFA along with NHL are the big ones here. I think they are becoming coasters now more often than they are selling in stores. I find it amusing, sports games took effort and were prized, but a year later they are "old news" and no one wants them. It's an amazing waste of resources when you think of it, not just plastic for the disk and packaging but also the amount of human effort that goes into making the game programming, the models, the animations, etc. Every game developed has an epic quantity of man-hours poured into it, yet old sports games are basically looked on as trash. There is at least exceptions made for the old fan favorites, which often still get fan-made roster updates.

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