Gaming on a budget this Christmas

It’s that time of year again… when all the shopping, eating and present swapping is done many will turn to their trusty gaming console to recover from the family overload. So which games will you be playing this Christmas time?

Many of you will probably find some gaming related pleasures underneath the tree, but with the latest console games RRP’ing at around £55 they are not really stocking filler material. Sure you can buy games cheaper online, which can easily save you around £15 – £20, but even at around £35 – £40 adding a few games to your collection can quickly add up, especially considering all the economic doom and gloom. And at that point we haven’t even looked at the DLC’s which can easily add another £30 to the overall cost.

To be honest, I’m the last person to ask about the latest and greatest games. I have a few franchises I actively follow (Mass Effect, Assassins Creed & Grand Theft Auto) and besides that it’s only the occasional game that sparks my interest (for example Portal 2). From those titles you can probably guess that my console isn’t on much and while I can happily play my way through the single player campaigns without ever hooking my console up to the internet, I’m not really into the whole multiplayer experience. I have neither the time nor the budget to play all the latest and greatest games.

This attitude to gaming does come with a few perks. Both the XBOX 360 and the PS3 are mature now and the next generation of consoles is waiting just around the corner. This means game developers have been able to push close to the maximum out of these machines for years now. This does mean that there is a whole back catalogue of gems out there, all at bargain basement prices. Not to mention that many of the real gems will have Ultimate or GOTY (Game Of The Year) editions with all the DLC’s included on the disc, saving you even more. If you are that way inclined you can even get many of these games second hand, although I personally do prefer buying them new especially as the price difference on older titles isn’t that big.

Although the games industry is always trying to push you forward, and tries to get you excited about that latest and greatest game which is just past the horizon, it may be worth looking back. Revisit that game you didn’t buy a year ago as your bike needed new tires and be amazed at how much fun you can have with a title that doesn’t cost the same as a week’s shopping. Just make sure you don’t make a fool of yourself with your friends who do keep up the latest and greatest games.

Personally I’ll probably be picking up a copy of Dragon Age Origins & Awakening for around £18 (including shipping), which should keep me occupied for many hours without breaking the bank. Which games will you be revisiting or would you recommend I take a look at this Christmas time?

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