Technology continues to change, but consumers remain the same: They want to try before they buy. Although many of the media rental companies are out of business, including Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, gamers can still rent games online and have the discs shipped to their homes. One day, consoles will remove the optical drive and all games will need to be downloaded or streamed, but for now, the primary media format for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is discs. Online video game rental services let you order games online so you can try them before you buy.
Online game rental is a great way to get the most out of your gaming hobby without spending hundreds of dollars each month. Every week, new video games hit the shelves, and unless you're in the highest tax bracket, you can't afford to buy them all, even if you plan on trading them in when you're finished. Fortunately, online video game rental services allow you to play as many games as you want for as long as you want for a low monthly fee. The best services offer thousands of games to choose from across all platforms, and with multiple membership plans, you can have one or more game at a time.
Although many of the companies we once reviewed have gone out of business, GameFly, Gamerang and Redbox continue to innovate and offer the best options for you to rent games. You can read our in-depth reviews of the services or check out our articles about online video game rental.
Your online game rental service needs to fit your life. Although GameFly and Gamerang mail games to your home, Redbox uses automated kiosks. All three services have their advantages, so when you're picking a game rental service, you may want to focus on price and convenience. In addition to those points, here are the criteria we used for rating online video game rental services:
Perhaps the most important aspect of a service is how quickly you can get the games you want. Most game rental services ship video games to your home, which means you'll have to wait a few days. You can subscribe to plans that offer more than one game at a time so you're always playing something. You should look for a service that includes free two-way shipping. If you love a game that you're playing, you might want to buy it, so look for a service that offers a discounted purchase plan.
Video Game Selection
Before you choose a video game rental service, be sure it has an expansive selection for your console. If you own one of the new consoles – PS4, Xbox One or Wii U – check to see that new games are added every week. Many services will offer games from past consoles, and some services are exploring PC rentals. The best services are the ones with lots of variety.
An online video game rental service could have all the games in the world, but it won't do you any good if you can't find what you're looking for. When you want to rent games, you should be able to search by console, title and genre. Many services organize games by popularity and release date, and some services allow you to see and reserve upcoming games.
Help & Support
When you use online game rental services, if you run into issues with renting or shipping, it's important that customer support agents are available to help you. The best game rental services offer phone support, live chat, email and FAQs.
With online video game rental services, you can play more and spend less. Although the selection of services is limited, you should make sure that you pick the best game rental service for you.
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