To help you get started, here's our list of the 10 best places to buy video games online, GOG. CheapShark is a price comparison site that shows the best deals from nine digital download markets, including Steam and GOG. When it comes to buying PC games online, you have quite a few options. Formerly, Steam was the only game in town, but not anymore.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. To make things easier, make sure to activate your console before you begin shopping around for the best deals. Before buying a game, check all stores to make sure you're getting the best price. You can do this using an online tool (see later in this post). Let's get the obvious out of the way first.
Maybe you're new to games or you've always bought your games offline, in a physical store, so you don't know anything about Steam. If you've never bought a game on Steam before, check out my post How to play a game on Steam. The Epic Games store is a relatively new player in the area of online game stores. Apparently, it offers developers a better percentage of revenue for each sale of their game.
However, some players don't like it because they only want to buy their games at a specific store. Epic has won a lot of exclusives, which means that you can only buy some games in the Epic store. For example, the latest game in The Walking Dead's narrative game series is only available on Epic. GOG started out as Good Old Games.
It specialized in older PC games that might no longer work on modern PCs, unless you wanted to play with DOSBox, a DOS emulator, or with configuration files. In other words, you can't just buy these old games, install them and run them. The developers of GOG received the rights of the original publishers to some older games to facilitate their execution on modern PCs and then sell them. All kinds of great gold classics are available on GOG.
Over time, GOG has changed and now sells all kinds of games. It still sells older games that you can't find anywhere else, but it also offers modern games. An important feature of GOG is that all games are sold DRM-free. Some players prefer to buy their games on GOG for that reason.
They'll only buy a game somewhere else if it's not available on GOG. DRM-free means you don't have to log in to any platform to play and it's not tied to any particular device. Origin is Electronic Arts' gaming platform, but it's not limited to games published by EA. It has also diversified to sell other games, but it still has a limited selection of games.
For years, some games have been available exclusively on Origin, such as BioWare's Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. But recently, EA announced that its games would return to Steam. However, that won't mean the end of Origin, because it also offers a subscription service called Origin Access, a comprehensive monthly subscription that gives you access to the entire Origin game library. Of course, if you play a game with your subscription, you're not actually the owner.
But if you're not the type to repeat games, you won't mind and you'll always have the option to buy the games you like the most, either on Origin or in another online store. I hope Origin will also continue to sell games, but we'll have to see. Humble Bundle has been around for a while. It has a typical store where you can buy games, but it also offers a lot of great packages (hence the name) that you can buy at decent prices.
The other interesting thing about Humble Bundle is that it donates a portion of every game sold to charities. You can buy games and do good at the same time. When you buy a game in Humble Bundle, you'll get a game key that you'll need to activate on one of the gaming platforms. This is usually a Steam key, but recently the Epic Game keys have also been sold.
Humble Bundle has a subscription service called Humble Choice that offers you a bundle of games every month at a greatly reduced price. Green Man Gaming and Fanatical are two key third-party vendors. There's more, but these two and Humble are popular. I included Humble separately because it donates to charities.
When you buy a game from a third-party key vendor, you'll receive a key that you'll need to activate on a platform like Steam. These sellers usually offer big discounts, so check them out before buying a game from the Steam store. If you're not sure how to activate a key, read my post on How to Play on Steam. It also has a store where you can buy Ubisoft games.
However, their selection is rather limited. But regardless of where you buy a Ubisoft game, you must activate it through the UPlay platform. When you buy games directly from the publisher, you'll usually have the option of receiving a Steam key so you can play through Steam and take advantage of features such as achievements. Some publishers have their own gaming platforms.
In this case, you won't receive a Steam key because you'll activate it and play through the publisher's platform. You can usually buy MMO games directly from the publisher. That's the route I usually take, since it eliminates intermediaries. When you buy MMO, you generally don't receive a Steam key because you don't need to log in to a gaming platform for DRM purposes.
You can go ahead and log in to the game directly. Yes, you can buy games on Amazon. Since most shoppers are familiar with Amazon, I'm not going to say much more, except that what you'll normally receive is a key that you can activate on Steam or another platform, even when you receive a physical product. Inside the box there will be a key.
Big Fish Games is the most popular store for hidden objects, HOPA, time management and other types of “casual” games. It has a great selection and a lot of exclusives. Here are HOPA games you won't find anywhere else. Eventually, most of them arrive on Steam, but often months or years after their original release.
Steam (opens in a new tab) is the city's fat dog. It's highly unlikely that you'll find an avid PC gamer who doesn't have a Steam account, and the Steam store sells more PC games than any other digital medium. It's practical, quite comprehensive and regularly generates massive sales, where many games can have discounts of between 10 and 80 percent, or even more for some older games. Our team scoured the web and finally determined that the best place to buy used video games online is Amazon.
We chose Amazon as our best option, as they offer a wide variety of second-hand video games and consoles at low prices through third-party sellers, free 2-day shipping through Prime, and their customer service is top notch. Amazon is an online retail giant and also has a large marketplace for used items. What they also offer is a large number of refurbished or used items, including old video games, often a quarter of the original retail price. If you're careful to research the second-hand ad and the Amazon seller, you can get some titles as new at a fraction of the price you'd pay elsewhere.
Just remember to do your research and do your best to research private sellers when buying used video games online to avoid scams or dangerous situations. Most also include PDF files of the original manuals and covers and, often, the original soundtrack in a DRM-free file format, which can be even more difficult to find than the games themselves. The Microsoft Store, which comes installed with Windows, is where you have to go to buy games published by Microsoft, unfortunately it is by far the worst designed store of all. Larger, densely populated areas tend to offer a better selection of used consoles, classic games, and other accessories than those living in rural areas.
But what if you don't have time to get there or if you prefer to save some money buying used games online?. GMG would only keep 5 percent in that case, leaving intact the total cut of 70 percent that would normally go to the developer if the game weren't on sale. Even places you wouldn't expect, such as Discord or Twitch, sell video games or include free games as part of a subscription. A significant difference from the GMG model is that when a game goes on sale, it is first discounted from its 30 percent cut.
These stores would love it if you bought games exclusively on their service, but don't forget that you can choose as a consumer. If you want to sell video games locally, you can also use this platform to do so, although buyers are often looking for the best deal, just as you will when you're in the market for old video games or retro gaming equipment. If you create an account, you'll be notified when offers are available for the games you're interested in. But just as Whole Foods and 7-Eleven meet different food needs, not all video game stores offer the same types of games.
They have a ton of games from Sony and beyond, though you'll notice a certain emphasis on Sony exclusives. . .