There’s nothing quite like loving a particular game. Whether it involves pumping enemies full of lead, intense puzzles, a vast open world or any other element that somehow elevates this particular title to your go-to game, there’s something about it that makes it so flawless that no matter how many times people argue about its apparent flaws till they’re blue in the face, you ignore every word they say. It’s a game so perfect, you’ll re-buy it no matter how many times it’s repackaged and sold again. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine when a re-release is worthwhile and when it’s simply an overpriced cash grab, but here’s an attempt to draw a line in the sand.
Two titles that come to mind are the recent Patapon Remastered, and the upcoming PS4 release of Resident Evil: Revelations. I embrace the release of the latter wholeheartedly as I think it’s the finest example of a compromise between the old and new school of Resident Evil, and PS3 copies won’t work on the PS4. I ultimately won’t be investing in either re-release as I already own both games and the systems that play them, but Revelations is a highly recommended title and one I’m glad PS4 owners will be able to add to their collection.
Patapon Remastered on the other hand is just a repackaging of the original title for slightly more than the cost of the PSP game, with no new features aside from trophy support, which is a given. A Patapon Collection probably would have made for a decent deal, and would have included the second and third games for $30 or $40 tops.
Of course, there is one case where purchasing a re-release is absolutely justified, and that is if you haven’t already played the game in question as it’s all new to you. You won’t be re-buying the game as you would not have bought it in the first place. Moreover, it’s easier to gauge the reception of a game being re-released as many will have shared their thoughts on the original, and while it’s not a guarantee of quality, titles are often ported because they were popular on other systems or at least had a cult following.
But, there are also plenty of people who have played the original games and for those of us who are in that boat, it can sometimes be hard to judge whether we should repurchase a game we already own or have owned. There’s no easy answer, and even if there were it would be subjective. Some might think slightly updated visuals and trophy support for games that didn’t have it are reason enough, whereas others like myself find that inadequate to justify a re-buy. A low price or a reasonably priced collection might also work, but I still often turn a blind eye if I own all games in a collection anyways. That said, here are seven reasons why I think it might be worth reinvesting in a title or titles, as the case may be.
7. To Have the Game on Your System of Choice
This one brings up the rear on my list, especially since I’ve already stated I won’t be rebuying Revelations. That said, it registered on my radar and there are actually instances where I have re-bought titles on the PS4, especially when the price was right. Flash Sales come to mind.
Once upon a time, my PS3 was my system of choice, but I have long since migrated over to the PS4 as my primary console. It doesn’t help that a few years ago Sony decided to update the PS3 to remove the trophy link from the Game section and make trophy syncing painfully slow, whereas it’s quite fast on the PS4 and even the Vita. I’ve also gotten more or less used to the PS4 controller now even though the PS3 sports the Dualshock design I’ve used since childhood.
There are other nitpicky reasons why I now prefer gaming on my PS4, in spite of the PS3 having obvious advantages like compatibility with my huge backlog and not having to install physical games to the HDD. Long story short, if I can get a game on my PS4 and don’t have to pay too much to repurchase it, I might just pull the trigger.
6. To Show it to Your Friends
I can’t be alone in having played that one game last gen or even before that, and being the only one in my group of friends to have experienced it. Of course, none of them own the system I played the game on anymore, if they did to begin with. I seem to be the only one who has a habit of keeping systems around now. A re-release is a great way to allow new fans to play a game, and it’s also a great way for existing fans to introduce them to it.
What comes to mind for me is one Christmas last gen when I bought a digital voucher for Persona 3 along with the Mass Effect Trilogy for my cousin as I loved them both and wanted him to experience them too. Interestingly enough, it’s Persona 3 that he ended up getting lost in, and has since become a large Persona fan too, even opting to pre-order Persona 5. I like to think I still earn points for being a bigger fan as I pre-ordered the physical steelbook, Take Your Heart Edition, but the point is that I now share my fondness for an excellent JRPG series with my cousin and that’s great.
5. You’re a Huge Fan of the Game
You know you’re a big fan of something when you’ll repurchase it no matter how many times it’s repackaged and sold back to you, even if it’s at the price point of a new release. I would also be lying if I said I think that’s a bad reason to invest in a game for the second time, third time, or beyond.
I admit, I love the Persona series so much I’ll buy every new release of an existing Persona game, even though I already own Personas 3, 4 and 5. I don’t care if only a few features are added, or I can play a nerfed version of the game but it’s now portable. Count me in. Besides, Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden are superior to their original counterparts in every way.
4. You No Longer Own the Game, But Wish You Did or Can’t Play it Anymore
For me, this particular problem occurs more with older games as there was once a time when my parents convinced me that if I wanted something new, getting rid of something old was the right thing to do. Of course, I still have my PS2 as once I hit my teen years I learned that such a line of thinking doesn’t apply to my hobby, especially if I want to have a videogame collection worth boasting about. Alas, her laser went recently and apparently Sony has decided to create a monopoly in my country around getting consoles repaired where I’ll have to send my old friend across the country to get her fixed. I haven’t done that yet.
Well, with not owning a PS1 anymore, my PS2 being in need of repair, and my BC PS3 being a dead paperweight in my closet that Sony has decided they won’t repair, I no longer have a PS1 collection and my PS2 games just look nice on my shelf for the time being. Oh wait, Sony has my back…somewhat. Not every game has been re-released and my PS4 isn’t compatible with PS1 Classics available to PS3, PSP and Vita owners, but I’ve been able to reclaim some of my childhood in digital form and I think that’s great.
3. New Features or All Content Included
Some re-releases add new features, particularly of games that are more recent but aren’t compatible with whatever system this new release is coming to. It’s usually minor stuff like maybe a new mini-game is added, or there’s a little bit more to the game’s map, or a side mission or two is added, or maybe it’s just new costumes. Regardless, new content is new content and should be treated as such. Of course, whether paying full price again for a repurchase is worthwhile will be correlated with exactly how much content is added and how substantial it is.
One other thing that re-releases often do is add in all previous DLC, which can range from a few dollars worth to an arm and a leg if we’re talking about a WRPG or sandbox title of sorts. In this day and age it’s sometimes actually cheaper to buy the repackaged game than invest in all the DLC for existing copies of the game, or would only cost slightly more, which would be more than justified by minor visual upgrades and other side effects of bringing a game forward.
2. You Also Acquire Games You Haven’t Played
One reason why I love collections is that they offer more than one game for a single price. Some collections on the PSP and Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection on the PS3 offer so many games, many of which I’ve never played, and often haven’t heard of. Alas, the PS4 has yet to receive such a retro compilation, and ports of even PS1 or PS2 titles don’t often come in collections of more than three, but it’s still possible to come across one title out of three that’s new to the player.
Case in point, I never really played Crash 1, so I got my chance to when I bought the N. Sane Trilogy. I greatly prefer Crash 2 and 3, but at least I got to satisfy my curiosity for a game that eluded my childhood. Collections are an excellent way to repackage and re-release games as with more than one title offered, there’s a higher chance that at least one is a new experience to those who check it out.
1. A True Remake
This point probably goes without saying, but a true remake is an entirely new game, and a great excuse to re-experience an old favourite in a new light. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is halfway between a remake and an enhanced port, but it adds enough new features such as being able to play as Coco, so there’s that. Also, the visuals are built from the ground up rather than simply being enhanced.
There are others like the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake that are indeed entirely new games that are sure to please. A Resident Evil REmake 2 is supposedly on the way. We don’t actually see many true remakes in an age when digital storefronts allow for easy ports of older titles, but they still happen on occasion and there’s excitement in the air when they do. Investing in a true remake is easily the best excuse to re-experience one’s childhood.
What justifies re-buying a game for you? Do you agree with this list? As always, feel free to leave your comments below.
Trevor Ross has been an avid gamer since the age of four. Now he owns more games than he will ever have time to play, numbering in the hundreds. He has made his peace with this fact however, and simply cannot resist adding to his collection, especially when he can get games for a good price.