How many games is too many?

I’ve been playing games for many, many years, and have collected quite a few over the years. However, I don’t play games as much as I used to – though I still love 'em – because the need to escape isn’t as strong as it once was. However, I still keep the games themselves…heck, I still buy new ones if they’re cheap enough. Even after selling and trading many over the years, I was wondering the other day if it was possible I had too many. I therefore counted all the games I actually own (i.e. pay for) on disk and through digital distribution. The final count was 237.

Now I’m wondering…do I need all these games? Why do I hold onto them? Is it nostalgia? The thought that one day I might have all the free time needed to play all these games? Is it my form of a security blanket of sorts? And if I have so many, why do I keep buying them?

So let me ask y’all…is that many games just too damned many, in your opinion? Or am I wrong? I look forward to your answers, and thank you for your time. ^_^

It’s no different from keeping a library of books. Chances you’ll go back and read every one of them? Fairly slim, but you have attachment to them, nonetheless, because of the experience they provided. Granted, books never require you to keep antiquated “reading machines” hanging around in order to enoy them again, but the idea is the same.

There is no such thing. Games aren’t like books or movies, where they typically remain available from many sources for decades on end and can easily be reobtained or rented if you’d like another pass at them. If you want to play a game but aren’t necessarily going to get to it right away, you might want to wait for a sale or price drops, but you shouldn’t wait too long or you’ll never have the chance. Even if you’ve already beaten it, unless you can completely guarantee you’ll never want to go back, you might as well hang on to it just in case - it’ll save you grief in the long run. It’s not like they take up much space. Worst comes to worst, you can dump most of the packaging and just store the discs.

*(Disclaimer: I have some 800 games and counting, so I may be a tiny bit biased here.)

As with anything, i’m of the opinion that if you are at the stage where you start asking how many is too many, you probably have too many.

I’m both a hoarder and a purger. Before I switched over to buying digitally distributed games exclusively I would end up with stacks of manuals and cd’s scattered over my desk and overflowing boxes in the closet. So occasionally (once a year or so) I’d grab handfulls of game materials and start throwing them all in the dumpster. I would do this with all my games except for the staples, which at the time were usually something like: Warcraft 3, Simcity 4, Civ 4 and NWN.

Now days my hard drive hits capacity pretty quick and I uninstall like mad (infrequently played games anyway) and only reinstall (download) when I want to play. It is so nice keeping this stuff off my desk, off my computer, and out of my life until I want to play it.

Once in a great while I’d get the urge to play something again that I had thrown away (Titan Quest, NWN2, Fallout 1&2, Oblivion are examples), and in those cases I either bought the digital versions or played a sequel (In Oblivion’s case I just played Fallout 3 since they’re essentially the same to me).

This strategy has worked wonders for me, and I find myself not missing 19 out of 20 games I toss. So far I haven’t missed a single Wii game I’ve thrown away (Worms 2, Lego Star Wars, Zack & Wiki, Monkey Balls, Zelda or Mario Strikers and a couple others), and I doubt I will. And I tossed my n64 and xbox at the same time with about 20 games each.

There’s no love lost between me and clutter, but because I can make so much of it I’ve gotten used to just throwing things out to straighten up, which is something my wife doesn’t appreciate very much.

I own many books I haven’t read, movies I haven’t watched, and games I haven’t played. In Steam alone, my game count is 108. A big swathe of that is from grabbing bundles such as the Id Pack, Unreal Deal, Hitman Collection, etc, when they’re on sale.

Well, for me, it’s the same impulse as keeping books you’ve read on your shelves. Sometimes you might go back to them, but to some extent it’s just nice to have them around and less of a hassle than trying to sell them all. I have plenty of books around I’ve never started or never finished, just like with games (though I’ve usually at least played a little bit of each of my games).

Hello there, my twin!

I like the comparison to a library of books. No one would look at it and say, “Dude, why do you have so many books?” like it was a bad thing. Same thing for games. It’s your hobby, you collect 'em, the collection grows. That’s all.

I reinstalled Emperor: Battle for Dune the other day, on a whim. I get an itch to play older games every so often. I think games have got to the point - say Kohan / Kohan 2 / Warcraft 3 era games - where they will be attractive enough to reinstall pretty much into the indefinite future. It’s not like Doom or Rise of the Triad era-games where you’ve got these clutzy controls and graphics. I wouldn’t bother looking at Warcraft 1 again, and Warcraft 2 is so simple there’s really no point. Starcraft is pretty damn ugly, but still playable.

Heh, thanks guys. I have pilled out a bunch of disks for games I either own digital copies of, or will never play again, so I guess it was a good exercise in purging some of the fat from my collection. I guess even though I don’t play as much as I used to, having games is still a comforting thing.

Dude, I totally got the same urge when I found it in my collection. I’d actually forgotten I owned it. ^_^

I spent the weekend packing for a move, so my collection of games has shown its weight. I started off with the intention of cutting out some of the fat, but failed miserably. And boy, those old PC games take up a lot of space really quick.

Most amusing thing I found? Two unopened copies of Metroid Prime 2. Oops.

Well, so far looks look I’m the only one here who’s not a pack-rat. I keep my game collection around 25. I also purge books and dvd’s from time to time, and just about everything else. Personally I dislike collecting things, so I just keep on hand what I am actually using.

Though to be fair the game collection does tend to expand as the console generation wears on, since some games I like to hang on to. However, whenever the next console comes out and I pick it up, all the old games get purged from the collection and I start fresh.

I could never throw out a game…I dunno, I guess I am a collector.I like having many games and knowing I can fire up any one of them at any time.Current count is 315, and I still want to buy few more that I finished when I was a student/pirate and then of course I guess I will keep buying one or two games a month (in retail, digitally I buy more than that with all the freaking sales all the time).

I’m a collector/pack rat, would never trade or toss a game. Even if it sucked I keep it as a reminder not to buy into the hype or impulse buy something…I’m looking at you Enter the Matrix. Even when I was a kid I held on to the SNES/N64 boxes and instructions. I used to even hold onto boxes like the box the GameBoy camera came in or a N64 controller came in. Is that weird? I’m still kind of annoyed my sister wrote in my A Link to the Past manual.

Nostalgia factors in as well. I remember my grandmother bought me Chester Cheetah: Too Cool To Fool on SNES one Christmas. Horrendous game obviously, but I couldn’t toss it =D.

Awhile back I hit up eBay for just about every PS2 game I’d ever be remotely interested in playing, all because I was pissed I never bought Suikoden 2 and it shot up in value, and I didn’t want to miss out down the line since most of the PS2 library is dirt cheap at the moment. I get a little happier when I look at my collection and I get a little irked when I see that one of them is a greatest hits…damn you Tekken, you are ruining my Tekken PS1 trilogy with your ugly ass green spine.

I have a growing amount of games I haven’t even played due to me pouncing on online deals like GoGamer’s 48 hour madness. Even though I haven’t played them, I know that if I get the urge to I can play it.

I go through the same thoughts myself. My wife isn’t a pack rat but (fortunately or not, I’m not sure…) has a tolerance for my clutter. As we’ve both gotten older (she’s 45, I’m 37) we’ve both gotten to the point where we want less clutter. I think it has to do with looking at the clutter your parents have and realizing that some day (far in the future, hopefully) you’ll be the one that has to go through that crap.

The trick is to get rid of stuff before it becomes nostalgic. I have old game boxes / manuals / etc. that I can’t throw away because they are from the early 80s – despite my not having played some of them much at all. Of course when I think about tossing a game I go “what if you had tossed that Telengard cassette box 25 years ago – you cherish it now – maybe this game needs time to age…” The reality is, however, that you can guess which ones you’ll cherisk pretty easily – they are the ones you enjoy playing NOW.

Achievements make things a little harder, as there is always the “I could come back to it later and get 1000/1000” factor. Though with digital distributions like with XBLA I’m warming up to the idea of games as throw-away purchases – buy, play the hell out of it, but don’t count on it being available forever. As I get more comfortable with that I’m starting to approach my physical media the same way.

It is almost time for me to cull my PS2 / XBox / GC collection (always wait until the next generation is established so that you have some detachment from the previous generation’s games). The ones I save will have to have at least one of the following traits: I’ve finished it (really, if I couldn’t be assed to finish it – or even start it! – why am I saving it?), I have a particularly pleasant memory associated with it (like Bandersnatch’s Chester Cheetah game it could be who gave it to you, or it could be memories while playing it with friends), or it is a bonafide classic as recognized by the community-at-large that I just haven’t gotten around to playing (Shadow of the Colossus, for instance).

Of course, I say that now but when it comes time to ditch Shadow Hearts or somesuch I’ll waver.

Are you serious with this?
This ranks up there with other oxymorons.
For example:
“I have too many guns” ( this is humanly impossible)
“I have too many books”
Or, in case of being female.
“I have too many shoes”


I’ve never done a serious head count of my game collection, but between games and music CDs, I’m sitting on somewhere around 4 Xerox boxes full.

(A basic CD is 3/8ths of an inch thick, Xerox box is 16" long by 12" wide and 8" deep. This allows for 4 rows of 43ish CDs double stacked per box.
rough estimate is 672 CD type cases, half or more of which is games. This doesn’t include the bigger DVD type cases that say Age of Empires III or the Orange Box came in, or the old school DOS games that I still have)

Bottom line?
All told games that I have discs for total probably in the 400-500 range.

So, unless your games are threatening to topple over and kill you, or are crowding your living space, you have nothing to worry about.
In fact, you should go buy more games right now.

Support your local game developer!

Not the only one! Brian, John, Malkav: you have too many games. I’m with merryprankster. What is the point of having so many? By the time you have 800 games, you will never have time for them. At that point, it is a collection, not your library. Which is fine, I am just against owning so much stuff. I only own one DVD (Kaiju Big Battel!) so maybe I am the outlier.

I’ve got one big bookshelf o’ fun and another dvd rack o’ fun. Now they’ve been full for a while I’ve got a rule that for anything new that goes up something else has to go. That also helps me, usually, keep from buying too many games or books on a whim. Things on the way out go into a bin so that if I have second thoughts I’ve got time to backtrack and I can toss or trade-in a decent amount of stuff at a go.

Boredom insurance: you can never buy enough.