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How Much Value Have I Gotten Out of My Video Game Collection?

A lot of people here have lists of all the games they own, so I wanted to do something at least a little different. See, with this year's winter Steam sale almost done, now would be the perfect time to grade the intelligence of all my purchasing decisions! I'll tell you how much I spent on a game (or a guess if I don't remember the exact figure), as well as the estimated amount of fun I've derived from a game (based not only on hour count, but how enjoyable that time spent was).

In this list Consumer Surplus (CS) refers to the economically defined difference between value derived from a game and the amount paid for it. I've decided to include games I've yet to invest large amounts of time in; these are sunk costs into assets that have yet to (It should be noted that I am while writing this the Fortune Street TNT archive).

This is a dynamic list! As time goes on I'll occasionally update to reflect new games bought or update values to reflect additional playtime. We'll start at what I consider the best and worst values I've gotten and expand from there.

Current total spent:

Estimated value derived:

Cumulative surplus:

List items

  • Cost: $ 30 / Valued at: $ 80 / Surplus: $ 50

    I played a demo of this at a Toys R Us; it's hard to imagine how different my life would have been had I not. The Crimson Skies series is what really transformed gaming from a hobby to a lifestyle for me; everything from the backstory to the fun gameplay just made me see how awesome games could be.

  • Cost: $ 0 / Valued at: $ 50 / Surplus: $ 50

    When I got this present for Christmas I was disappointed: at that point in life I judged games by their name and box art, and as you can see, not great. But the Kudos system makes this one of the most original and fun driving games ever.

  • Cost: $ 25 / Valued at: $200 / Surplus: $175

    I have sunk A LOT of hours into this game. Very cost effective decision. But at the same time a grave mistake - like I said, A LOT of hours.

  • Cost: $ 20 / Valued at: $ 50 / Surplus: $ 30

    Probably my personal favorite Ace Combat game. The whole branching mission system plays out amazingly and surprisingly well.

  • Cost: $ 0 / Valued at: $ 60 / Surplus: $ 60

    Gotten when they were just giving it away, the value to dollar ratio is quite literally infinite. Thus by modus ponens, Game of Forever; Q.E.D.

  • Cost: $ 20 / Valued at: $ 50 / Surplus: $ 30

    Almost 100% completion now (that means all collectibles and gold medals, not just the storyline), hope to go back and finish. Fun.

  • Cost: $ 20 / Valued at: $ 0 / Surplus: ($ 20)

    From what I heard great game, but still in my backlog so maybe someday. (Just an example of how this works, nothing against Zelda)

  • Cost: $ 13 / Valued at: ($5) / Surplus: ($ 18)

    I bought a copy on sale, thinking I would at least give it a try. Now just want the hours that I put into it back.

  • Cost: $ 40 / Valued at: $ 0 / Surplus: ($ 40)

    Why did I buy this game? I mean Pokemon Gold was my favorite game of all time, but why did I buy a new, more expensive port based off a game (Platinum) that I did not like at all? Dammit...

  • Cost: $ 12 / Valued at: $ 5 / Surplus: ($ 7)

    I'll admit the primary reason I bought this game was because I had heard that it contains built-in support for a PSP motion controller (yup) that was never released, and I thought I'd pick it up as a collector's piece. The game however doesn't look or play nearly as great as I'd thought it would.

  • Cost: $ 3 / Valued at: $ 5 / Surplus: $ 2

    Firstly, steam sales are awesome. Secondly, if you like programming, BUY THIS GAME. I can't explain the relation in this text box but trust me.

  • Cost: $ 10 / Valued at: $ 0 / Surplus: ($ 10)

    Apparently great from what I heard in the GB GOTY podcast, but for now my Steam copy crashes to desktop each time I try to boot it up, so...

  • Cost: $ 3 / Valued at: $ 5 / Surplus: $ 2

    This game has a lot more depth than that quick look showed. The game has an impressive number of modes, with which I am just getting acquainted.

  • Cost: $ 10 / Valued at: $ 25 / Surplus: $ 15

    I wrote the majority of this game's wiki article, and it's pretty good. But there are a surprising number of reviewers that liked this game more than Crimson Skies for the Xbox, to which I say, HOW DO THEY LET YOU KEEP WORKING A GODDAMN EDITORIAL POSITION GODDAMN IT

  • Cost: $ 30 / Valued at: $ 0 / Surplus: ($ 30)


  • Cost: $ 40 / Valued at: $100 / Surplus: $ 60

    To those who watched the Endurance Run in whole or in part, you get it. I'll just say, the game is a lot more fun playing on Hard than Normal; the whole resource and time management thing becomes much more challenging and rewarding.

  • Cost: $ 30 / Valued at: $ 80 / Surplus: $ 50

    This game is a whole lot better than it has any right to be. It's almost as full an RPG as the Pokemon games, and surprisingly just as fun.

  • Cost: $ 30 / Valued at: $ 90 / Surplus: +$ 60

    I think I have what, over a hundred hours in this game? Not that most of it wasn't a grind, but I'll just say that if you haven't played all three hundred-plus missions and didn't like the game's main storyline's ending, the game actually gets better if you tough it out after the credits roll.

  • Cost: $ 20 / Valued at: $ 0 / Surplus: ($ 50)

    Kinda regret buying it. I liked the whole concept of "retro remake but more crazier-er," but by the time I got to it other games had done it better.

  • Cost: $ 13 / Valued at: $ 40 / Surplus: +$ 27

    Basically perfection in video gaming so far, the only thing keeping it's value derived down is the fact that I haven't finished it yet. Probably the best platformer ever made.