It’s no secret that new video games can be quite costly, and therefore out of the price range for those who are on a budget. If this applies to you, the good news is that you have cheaper alternatives in the form of used video games. 

It’s perfectly understandable if you’re wary of purchasing a used game, since for all you know you may be buying a game that’s in horrible shape. But in reality, a used game can serve you just as well as a new one so long as you know what to look for.

Here’s a used video game buying guide to help you find a used video game in good condition:

Is The Packaging In Good Condition?

The condition of the packaging and case the video game comes in should be a good indicator of the overall condition of the game itself, because it tells you whether the game has been well taken care of by its previous owner(s) or if it has been abused.

Is The Disc In Good Condition?

While the case and packaging of the game should be in good condition, that still doesn’t necessarily mean that the disc itself is too, so you’ll want to give it a thorough inspection as well. It’s to be expected that there will be at least a few small scuffs or marks, but any significant scratches are a major red flag as it means the disc may not read properly when inserted into the console. Yes, it’s possible to fix certain scratches on your own, but it’s not always guaranteed that your efforts will work.

Check The Region Codes Of The Game

Once you’ve confirmed that the case and the disc itself are both in suitable condition, the next thing you will want to check is the region codes of the game. Checking the region codes is important because if the game has the wrong code for your region it will more than likely not be compatible with your console.

The current codes and their respective regions are: NTSC-C (China), NTSC-J (Asia), PAL or PAL/E (Europe and Oceania), and NTSC U/C (North America).


Video games are rated by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) so people will quickly be able to see which age groups the game is suitable for. While this may not be an issue for you, if you’re buying the game as a gift for someone else, then the rating is something you will need to take into account.

The current video game ratings are: EC (Early Childhood), E (Everyone), E10+ (Everyone 10 and Up), T (Teen 13+),  M (Mature 17+), and AO (Adult Only).

Making A Used Game Work For You

As long as you keep the tips we have covered in this article in mind when on the market for a used video game, it should work just as well for you as a new game does. Since used games are always significantly cheaper than newer ones, you’ll be able to rapidly increase the size of your collection as well.