Several years ago I began to use the online movie rental service called Netflix and was very impressed with their service. When I found out about an online video game rental service called Gamefly I was even more thrilled but was it as good as Netflix?
When it comes to online rental services there are three things that I look for: a good selection, availability, and quick delivery times.
A good selection is the most important thing for an online rental service. After all it doesn’t really matter if all their video games are available and come fast if they don’t have any good video games. It’s fortunate for Gamefly that this factor is the most important because that is what they excel at. I’ve never looked for a certain video game and not been able to find it on Gamefly. Maybe it’s just because I don’t play rare games, I don’t know but I’m pretty happy with the selection of video games on Gamefly.
It’s great that Gamefly has all the games I’ve always looked for; unfortunately I don’t usually get them when I want them. With Netflix I’ve never had a movie that was on the top of my queue not be the next movie I got. It doesn’t matter if it is a brand new release or if it is a really rare movie, I have always gotten the movie I wanted. On Gamefly I rarely ever get my first choice. A few months ago there were a ton of video games I wanted to play. There was Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Smackdown vs. Raw, Justice League Heroes, Bully, Final Fantasy XII and a few others. I figured it’s ok if Gamefly doesn’t have the first game on my list because there are plenty more backing that one up. I ended up not getting any of the games I wanted. Instead Gamefly sent a game that was far down my list that I was only slightly interested in.
This weekend I finally got an Xbox 360. I completely cleared out my entire queue and filled it up with all the Xbox 360 games Gamefly has. On Monday I got my first notice about what game Gamefly was sending me. Apparently Oblivion wasn’t in; neither was TMNT, or Fight Night, or Gears of War, Crackdown, Saints Row. Go on down the list and the games are in the “Short Wait” category. Gamefly ended up sending me my 18th choice! 18th! I couldn’t get any of the first 17 games on my list!
So as I said Gamefly ended up sending me my 18th choice, which is Sonic the Hedgehog. No problem, I like Sonic the Hedgehog, I’ll take that. Here it is Thursday and no video game yet. Again Netflix is great. I would’ve gotten my movie by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest. Gamefly on the other hand is slow as Christmas. At this point I’ll be surprised if my games come Friday or Saturday too.
Gamefly has this policy called the Fast Return. Basically how most online rental services work is that the service will not send a new movie or video game until they have received the one you sent back. Well Gamefly some how gets a notice from the US Postal Service as soon as they receive it. So Gamefly is sending out your next video game before they even receive the game you are sending back. This sounds like a great way for Gamefly to get video games to people quicker. Problem is this is the “Fast Return”. Waiting a week it the Fast Return. My second game I rented isn’t being sent by Fast Return so it could be a week and a half to two weeks before I get my second game.
I don’t want to sound too harsh because I actually like Gamefly for the most part. It’s been really frustrating for the past week though. The slow delivery time isn’t a big problem. Usually I’m playing one game long enough that the next game comes before I’m done with it. Then I’ll send the game I’m done with back to Gamefly and play the other one and so on. But the lack of games is just ridiculous. I just bought an Xbox 360 and I can’t get a single game that I really wanted to play? My Xbox 360 is a $400 dust collector at the moment. What was Gamefly thinking? Did they not think this new fangled Xbox thing was going to be popular?
Bottom line is Gamefly is alright, but not great. I would consider trying another online video game rental service but I don’t even know of any others.