With the advent of the hugely successful Netflix and Blockbuster Online, it was pretty inevitable that someone would decide to start renting video games through the Internet, and Gamefly stepped up to the plate. I tried the service for a few weeks to see if it was worth the money, and though I had some minor qualms, it’s a pretty fun experience.
Gamefly’s selection is simply amazing. Pretty much anything you’re looking for should be available, from newer releases on next generation systems like the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 to games on portable systems and older systems. There are weird imports, rare games, and even movies for your PSP–all accessible from the easily navigable front page of the Gamefly website.
Like Netflix or Blockbuster Online, Gamefly ships games very quickly, and though they don’t have quite as many locations, you should still get your games in 2-3 days, which should satisfy all but the most impatient gamers. However, your wait time can be delayed if you request a popular game, sometimes by weeks, which can be a real pain–after all, most gamers are looking to play new stuff, not old games that are more likely to be in stock.
Gamefly offers several options which vary in price and the number of games that you’re allowed to rent at one time. Most gamers can settle for just one game, which is very reasonably priced at $14.95 a month, but you can go up to 2 games out for $21.95 if you’ve got a bad case of ADD.
One of the nice things about Gamefly is that the website also functions as a video game sales store, so if you really dig the game you’re playing, most of the time you can just pay another $30 and keep it and the good people at Gamefly will send you out the box and game manual (for people that really need to have the manual for some reason). This makes the gaming debacle of “should I rent or buy?” infinitely easier, and of course if you want to buy a game without renting it first, you’re free to do so.
Gamefly is an interesting service that’s executed very well, and if they’d increase their inventory and therefore decrease their wait times, they’d be pretty much perfect. Here’s hoping they’re able to do so in the next year or so; until then, it’s still well worth the $15 a month if you’re an avid gamer on a budget, and if you’re still on the fence, it’s definitely worth checking out the free trial they offer.