PS3 games are currently the cheapest they’ll ever be. But some will start to increase in value before others, including rare PS3 games and collectors editions. Here are a few to pick up right now.
If you’re a retro game collector, now is the time to buy rare Playstation 3 games. Or any PS3 games, really. If you just like playing games without wasting a bunch of money (ghetto gaming), now is still the time to buy Playstation 3 games. As of this writing, PS3 games are most likely as cheap as they’re ever going to be and it may be your last chance to grow your collection before prices inevitably go through the roof.
We just watched this happen with PS2 games. (See the article The Price of PS2 Games is Exploding.) If you had ambitions of building your Playstation 2 collection before the Pandemic, but weren’t able to get around to it, you’ve probably missed the boat. Although there are still plenty of people willing to pay current prices for PS2 classics, even though their cost has spiked artificially.
And yes, there is a possibility that prices will settle when the Pandemic is finally laid to rest. But we have to seriously consider whether the Pandemic will be over any time soon. And will collectors really let go of all the classic games they overpaid for during 2020? Not likely. They’re going to cherish all that expensive old plastic. Physical games can never be free to play unless you “borrow” them from a friend. If you want free games, maybe try Solitaire Masters instead?
I would theorize the opposite. Gamers are aggressively picking up games now due to boredom, and trying to get their favorites before prices get even higher. I think they are very unlikely to sell their treasures off for a lower price after this is over.
So again: it’s too late to speculate on PS2 games. There may be a few more overlooked games that will still spike in price, but for the moment, PS2 is a radioactive seller’s market and not a hospitable place for buyers looking to grow a collection.
Another reason for the increase in games prices is the charm of growing a retro game collection. Retrogaming is very cool in 2020. And with the price of new games finally increasing to $70, “cheap” old games are looking better and better. But 2020 is also a transitional year, where the new generation of gaming consoles will push the PS4 back into hibernation.
During the next few years, we will see a steep decline in the price of PS4 games, and a steady rise in the price of PS3 games. Once Playstation 6 comes out, we’ll revisit this topic. But for now, conditions are perfectly ripe for retrogamers like us to start aggressively scooping up PS3 games.
Will Playstation 3 games really be worth anything?
Absolutely. Eventually, every console will become retro and the shopping habits of collectors will drive prices higher and higher. Playstation 3 is no different. Every generation of gamers loves the gaming console they grew up with. And every generation of gamers will eventually get older and inevitably become busy and have other more important stuff to worry about.
Looking at PS3 specifically, the console was released in late 2006. So if you were 10 when it came out, you’re currently in your mid-20’s.
The PS3 generation is currently in college, getting jobs, starting families, paying bills, getting promotions… all that stuff. And over the next years they’ll be getting comfortable in their adult life, spending more time at home (with babies), making and spending more money, and starting to resume and rediscover their gaming hobbies. Prices will rise. It’s the circle of life!
How can I tell what games will be worth money?
There is a formula for speculating on future-retro games. I discussed it at length in my last collector article, Buy These Wii U and PS Vita Games Before Prices Skyrocket. And while we won’t get too deep into that again, we may as well have a quick review.
The potential value of a game is a ratio of how popular a game is compared to how many copies were produced. Simply put: It’s supply versus demand. A game that had way too many copies made, but isn’t well received will be forever relegated to the bargain bin. E.T. for the Atari 2600 is the prototypical example of this.
A game that is tons of fun, but didn’t get a large print run, can potentially go crazy in price as collectors with deep pockets will do what they gotta do to get that game in their collection. Little Samson would be the poster child for this phenomenon.
Of course, most games fall somewhere in between, and it’s up to savvy collectors and market analysts and nerdy, nerdy geeks to try to figure out what games—in this case, which PS3 games will be worth money.
If you’ve been searching the Google for articles on this topic, you’ve no doubt come across several that discuss the “rarest and most expensive PS3 games.” That’s not what we’re doing here.
There will always be limited-edition versions of popular games. Many of those come in big boxes with a statue or some weird collectible. They’re produced in very limited quantities. They might go up in value, but they start out expensive so you can’t really speculate on them.
This post aims to find lower-cost PS3 games that are likely to become collectable over the next few years. I haven’t found any other posts that dare to make this sort of speculation. Honestly, I don’t believe other writers want to put in the research, and don’t think the topic will attract readers.
And yet, here we are.
So let’s have a look at some of my favorite picks. But first, I should tell you that the eBay links in this article are affiliate links, and if you buy anything after clicking them, it will help support this site and allow us to bring you even more quality collector content. So thanks!
Another disclaimer before we get started: I’m not a fortune teller. These are educated guesses. If these games never ‘hit’ then please don’t be mad at me. But if you go out and buy these games and the value never increases, you’ll at least have the clammy comfort of knowing that I wasted my money on them, too.
Alright, enough dilly-dallying. Let’s get to the games.
Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir
This is sort of a tough call. When a game is exclusive to a console, it often results in a big ‘ol price spike. When a game is ported to multiple other systems, it can drive the price down. Odin Sphere was ported to PS Vita and PS4, but it has a few other things going for it.
For one: Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir was very well received, but never very popular. For another: The game is made by Atlus, a publisher with a long track record of making rare sleeper-hit games that spike years after release, and this one has held its value quite well, never dropping below $30 for a complete copy (also a sign of a future collectible).
Finally the most compelling personal reason for putting Odin Sphere on the list is simply how much trouble I had tracking down a North-American region copy for a reasonable price. If you’re interested in collecting PS3 games before prices get crazy, I would not sleep on this one. The price is already starting to rise!
Get it on eBay
Silent Hill Games
My general rule of collecting is this: If I see a Silent Hill game, I get it!
Somehow, despite their popularity, Silent Hill games seem to always be in demand. It’s a credit to the quality of the series, I suppose. Even though many fans think the PS3 SIlent Hills games are inferior to their PS2 predecessors, the numbers don’t lie. These games are already increasing in value, especially Downpour.
In fact, it’s worth mentioning the fan response to these games. Most Silent Hill fans agree that the first three SH games were the best. Lucky for PS3 collectors, you can purchase the Silent Hill HD Collection on PS3, which includes Silent Hill 2 and 3. Even though reviews for that collection are even mixed. (Find it here on eBay while it’s cheap.)
If you’re not cynical though, I suggest you try the other two SH games on PS3, Homecoming and Downpour. I haven’t played Downpour yet, but I think Homecoming is great and not at all worthy of the hate it receives.
I would further theorize that all this fan-hate has affected game sales and will ultimately drive prices sky-high. Especially after Silent Hill fans get over themselves and realize these games are not so bad after all.
As of this writing, all three Silent Hill PS3 games are still quite affordable. Get ‘em here on eBay.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 1 & 2
Perhaps the most divisive entries in the Castlevania series, Lords of Shadow took the franchise completely off the rails. More akin to God of War than Castlevania, LoS caught fans off guard. But they say there is no bad publicity, and the original Lords of Shadow has become one of the best-selling Castlevania games of the entire franchise.
…which means the price may not go up very much. However, if you can get your hands on the Limited Edition of Lords of Shadow, there’s a much better chance it will spike.
Just as with Silent Hill, Castlevania fans will eventually come down off their high horse and realize LoS is actually a really decent game and start hunting for copies. Particularly the Limited Edition, which includes a 30-page art book and a CD of the soundtrack in a very stylish foil case.
The foil case nests inside a plastic sleeve, with the game’s logo and other info printed onto it. The result is a deep, 3D effect. The thing is, those plastic sleeves are very brittle and fragile and finding a minty copy of this Collector’s Edition is already proving very difficult. This will be a good one to have.
Lords of Shadow 2 is widely disregarded. After the “differentness” of the first LoS, sales suffered for the sequel. I would look for this to become a collectors item.
3D Dot Game Heroes
Another Atlus game, 3D Dot Game Heroes was an oddball for its time. Today it seems that “retro-style” indie games with pixel art actually outnumber modern-styled titles. But 10 years ago, when 3D Dot Game Heroes was released, pixel games were not nearly as common.
What that means is that this unusual PS3 exclusive was ahead of its time. And being published by Atlus, it is a strong contender for a future price spike. In fact, it’s already happening!
Get it on eBay. Prices are rising fast.
Splatterhouse 2010 is a reimagining of the cult-classic horror beat ‘em up. When Namco created this monster, nostalgia was baked in. The original game was too violent for most weenie Americans, and the franchise had a hard time finding a home on American consoles. Perhaps the most successful American port was Splatterhouse 3 on the Sega Genesis, and even in the Mortal Kombat age, many moms were still hesitant to let this gore-fest into their homes.
So when it was re-released in 2010, these grown-up kids were eager to grab it. But mixed reviews and cheap brutality once again made it more of a cult hit than a mainstream one.
But once a game becomes retro, nostalgia is the key to high prices. And Splatterhouse is built entirely out of a nostalgic duty to fans of the original.
As such, this game is already starting to get expensive. I suggest you lock down your copy ASAP.
Get Splatterhouse on eBay
That’s all for now
My desire was to bring you an exhaustive list of PS3 games to get before prices go up, but research does take time, and I do have a “real” job, you know. For now, I hope this list will get you started padding your PS3 collection and I’ll be back soon with more.
If you can think of anything I missed, leave it in the comments here or find me on Twitter.
Expanding your collection? Here are a few more articles.
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