Unless your name is Patrick and you’ve been living under a rock for the past two decades, you’ve most likely seen a commercial for the video game company GameFly. GameFly is a video game rental service that was founded in 2002 and has recently been flooding my YouTube experience with commercials that say “rent games from GameFly for 54 cents a day.”
They also offered the too good to be true “30-day free trial,” as do most savvy businesses. (I am a sucker for a free trial, which is why I paid $16 a month for Audible books I have yet to listen to for a year.)
My thought process was straightforward: rent newer games that I didn’t want to pay full price for or games that piqued my interest but that I might not complete. I was particularly interested in playing newer Nintendo games because Nintendo games rarely go on sale.
I was also looking forward to playing the new Resident Evil 3 remake, which has received some criticism for being a full-priced game that takes less than ten hours to complete. So, with a willing heart but no money in my pocket, I took the plunge and signed up for their free 30-day trial, which included two video game rentals of my choice.
How GameFly Works?
When you first sign up for GameFly, you’ll be asked to create a “Queue.” In your “Q,” you’ll be asked to keep track of at least 10 games from GameFly’s library that you’re interested in playing.
Games for the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, and PlayStation Vita can be found in this library. It makes no difference what kind of games you have in your Q; all GameFly cares about is that you keep 10 games in your Q at all times.
You are asked to prioritize the games in the order in which you want them in your Q. So, for me, the top of my list was Resident Evil 3, followed by Luigi’s Mansion 3, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4), and then slightly older games like Days Gone, Catherine: Full Body, and Dragon Quest XI (Switch). However, just because you put a game at the top of your Q doesn’t mean you’ll get it because each game has a limited number of copies available, which are listed as high, medium, low, and very low availability.
GameFly will send you some games after establishing your Q, which I can only assume is some guy playing eenie, meenie, miny, moe with the games you’ve chosen.
What GameFly Does Well?
The aspect of GameFly that most impressed me was their lightning-fast and professional mailing system. I received my games two days after GameFly informed me that they had shipped. Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order were both given to me (Numbers 2 and 3 in my Q, respectively).
Is GameFly Worth it?
So, why have I decided to cancel my subscription after receiving such excellent service? Unfortunately, after a month of waiting and returning four games to my Q, I still haven’t received the game I’ve been looking forward to playing: Resident Evil 3.
This isn’t to say GameFly is a bad service; it’s just not one I believe will benefit me in a month when the price jumps to around $23, which I could use to buy one of the games in my Q (seriously, if I want to play Death Stranding or Days Gone, I can get them for around $20 right now). Despite this, I would recommend GameFly to a few different types of people.
If you have a lot of free time and like to beat games quickly, GameFly is a good option for you. I only play about 20-30 hours per month on average, rarely finishing one AAA game in that time, but I could easily see someone who beats 4-5 games per month benefiting from this service, especially if they get new releases quickly.
I’d also suggest it to someone who enjoys Nintendo games but is tired of paying $60 for games that were released three years ago (looking at you, Breath of the Wild). Finally, I would recommend this to any gamer who wants to try out some new games without having to pay for them.
GameFly is a fantastic service that offers a large selection of games, but it is not for everyone. I would recommend looking elsewhere if you wanted to keep up with current games.
However, if you’re looking to save a little money on older games or those silly Nintendo games that never go on sale, GameFly could be a great help. They’ve been around for 18 years for a reason, and I don’t see that streak ending anytime soon.