Ask any game collector what their favorite game pickup was, and they’ll tell you a tale more than just driving to Target and grabbing a new release. Every collector has a story about this awesome price they found on a super rare game, or a random garage sale that had a killer selection. It’s actually what makes game collecting fun, to be perfectly honest!
But if you ask that simple question, be ready to hear another tale. A tale of loss. A tale of what could have been. A tale of how “If I only knew then what I know now”.
A tale of the games they didn’t buy.
Though usually far less than the ones a collector did buy, oftentimes a game will not be purchased for various reasons: the price wasn’t right, I wasn’t interested at the time, I wasn’t collecting for that system, etc. Every now and then, though, some of those un-bought games end up creating a crater in our collection. A glimpse at what could have been, what should have been! And a mark on an otherwise excellent collection.
I wanted to share some of my game collecting mishaps. These are all real stories of times I (foolishly) passed on games. And I’m not talking games you can find every day at GameStop or Amazon. These are hard to find ones, that I did find, but didn’t buy. So, let’s get the embarrassment started with our first game:
Suikoden II (PlayStation)
By far the biggest story of game collecting regret for me is in the form of the often sought after Suikoden II on the original PlayStation.
I was a young kid at the time, maybe around 12’ish years old. I remember going out of town to shop with my parents, and running across a copy of this game at KB Toys. It was literally the only game on the shelf, as they were discontinuing PS1 games. The game was still sealed and it was only ten freaking dollars.
I still passed it up
That game regularly sells for over $100 now, and I don’t even want to think of how much it’d be sealed.
My reasoning for passing was something along the lines of “I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it” and “It’s $10”. Yeah… $10 was the threshold for expensive for young me, whose only source of income was a paper route.
It will always go down as the biggest “What if” in my collection. Or at least I hope it’ll be the biggest “What if”, barring any other craziness.
Vagrant Story (PlayStation)
Another original PlayStation game I passed on but not nearly as detrimental. Vagrant Story was released by Square and is a bit different than their other RPG titles on the system.
I’d love to tell you more about it, but seeing as I never bought it and have still never played it, I can’t.
The story here isn’t as sad: I ended up finding this game a a local record/music which also sold video games. I think this game was around $10 as well. The good thing about this story, though is that I did end up buying a couple other quality games during this time frame at this store, including Parasite Eve, Legend of Dragoon, and Grandia. So it wasn’t all a bust.
Sadly though, I remember going back to the store and looking for Vagrant Story to purchase some months after I initially saw it. Unfortunately the game was never there again, and honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in the wild since. It’s not incredibly expensive either. But alas the hunt continues.
Solatorobo: Red The Hunter (Nintendo DS)
Uggggggh, this game!
Somehow I passed on this amazing sounding and now-extremely difficult to find DS game when I was in college. So that means I don’t have the excuse of “I was young and didn’t know better” to get me out of it.
The GameStop in my hometown happened to have this game brand spanking new for $40 for like, the longest time. I think it was one of those games that also came with the soundtrack CD as well as some other swag… something like that.
Anyway, I passed and passed and passed on this one over and over. It wasn’t until years later that I realized it was apparently awesome and apparently really hard to find. Looking it up online you can see the game sells for a boatload, going all the way up to $200!
At least with this one I don’t feel like I really missed out. It’s just an example of a time I didn’t know what to look out for, and a reason why I like researching games nowadays.
Toon Link & Toon Zelda amiibo
Okay, so not a video game, but a video game accessory. Still, the example kind of fits what we’re going with here.
I used to work at a store that sold electronics and video games. When each wave of amiibo would release, we’d usually have people waiting outside our door to purchase, and within minutes they would be completely sold out.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t the case with Nintendo’s wave of The Legend of Zelda themed amiibo. For weeks and weeks we had the Toon Link and Toon Zelda two-pack on our shelves, along with the occasional Twilight Princess and 8-bit Links as well.
Well woudln’t you know it, when I wanted to buy one after weeks of deliberating and procrastinating, the little figures were no where to be found. I even had some coworkers look up the amiibo to see if other stores had it, if they were sold online, and really any other options, but with no luck.
Ultimately I did end up getting the individual Toon Link amiibo when Toys R Us re-released in 2018, but as far as I know we haven’t seen a Toon Zelda re-release. Or if we did that flew past me too, which means it’d probably be on this list somewhere too!
An Entire Atari Jaguar Collection
I literally let out the biggest sigh just typing this headline, and I even knew I was going to be ending on this!
Way back in like, 2004, I went to a garage sale near my grandma’s house. Her entire neighborhood would do one garage sale a year, and they would all do it this do. It was pretty cool to see a whole bunch of people out, and all shopping through other peoples’ junk.
I stumbled upon one house who was literally selling an entire Atari Jaguar collection. We’re talking the console, two controllers, all the cables, and a couple games (one of which I know was that Bruce Lee game). The best part too:
He was selling the entire collection for $50!
And I passed.
I was neck deep in game collecting at the time, and I knew what the Atari Jaguar was: a shitty system with crap games that wasn’t fun to play. I even rationalized to myself that a Jaguar wasn’t worth $50, even with all that stuff (which, let’s be real, it isn’t worth $50 because of the quality or lack-thereof for its games).
But I am still kicking myself for not spending that cash and having a freaking Jaguar in my collection! I’d literally never hook it up, I’d probably never even have played it, but I could at least have said, “Oh, you’ve got an original NES with a box? Well I’ve got an original Atari Jaguar!”
The things we do, and in this case don’t do, for video games.