Should You Buy Physical or Digital Games?

Let’s face it. We live in a digital world, which means words like “stream” or “download” are continually being thrown out in conversations. Whether we like it or not, this is the world we live in now, and this is especially true when the conversation gets to how people buy video games.

But is digital really better than physical when it comes to video games? Which option is more beneficial when it comes to gamers? Is one option truly better than the other?

Well, we wanted to find out the answer to the age-old question. Should you buy physical video games or digital video games? Take a look at what we’ve come up with below.


Reasons to Buy Digital Games


One of the most significant selling points of buying digital games is the unforgettable convenience factor. Not only does purchasing digital games save you from ever having to leave your couch to stand in line at the store, but many digital games can also be “pre-loaded” meaning the game will immediately start downloading on release date following your pre-order purchase. 

Additionally, you can even buy and install new games right from your smartphone, making the purchasing process a whole lot easier and much more straightforward than it ever has been before.

Easy Storage

If you’re someone who has an extensive gaming collection, keeping track of your gaming library tends to be rather tricky. Especially if you have children or pets, a game or two or twelve can go missing on a regular basis. While having a full library of video games can be aesthetically pleasing, buying digital games and storing them on your hard drive takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders.

Game Sharing

In this new era of gaming, many platforms allow players to “game share.” With game sharing, digital games can now be purchased and then digitally downloaded on multiple devices and played at the same time. So, rather than paying for a game twice, you and your loved one can enjoy the same game for the same price.

Online Sale

Although digital games are slightly more expensive than physical games, every once in a while, there are a few sales you simply can’t pass up. Not only do these sales drop the prices significantly lower than their original digital price, but they also tend to be much less expensive than what you would find in a typical game shop or major retailer. 

While it might mean you have to wait a few extra weeks for the game, the price is well worth the wait.

Available Anywhere

Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that digital games are available anywhere and anyplace. There’s no feeling worse than walking in the video game store and hearing that your favorite game just sold out. Now, with digital gaming, you no longer have to worry about that heartbreaking feeling when all you need to do is log in on your device and hit download.

Reasons to Buy Physical Games

Trade-In Value

One great thing about physical gaming purchases is the ability you have to trade them in or sell them once you’re done playing them. 

Contrary to digital downloads, with physical games, you no longer have an indefinite attachment to the game you just spent your hard-earned money on. With physical games, once you’ve beaten the game or decided that you’ve had enough, you can simply take it back to the store and trade it in for credit toward a new game purchase.

You Can Lend/Borrow Them

Another great thing about physical games is being able to borrow them from family members or friends. Let’s say you have the new Call of Duty, but your friend has the Assassin’s Creed you never got around to playing. Well, all it takes is a simple phone call or text, and you’re all set.

More Frequent Discounts

While games tend to go on sale rather frequently, both digital and physical, physical games tend to have more frequent sales or discounts to take advantage of. 

If you’re part of a loyalty club with your local video game shop, regular discounts land in your email on a daily basis. Not only that, but pre-owned games also tend to be a lot less expensive than new copies, which is a great perk if you’re okay with used purchases.

Never Have to Worry About Internet Connection

One of the biggest complaints that gamers have about purchasing digital games is their reliance on the user having a secure internet connection. Not only is it incredibly annoying not being able to play your favorite game due to a circumstance that’s entirely out of your hands, but even with a good internet connection, some games require too much bandwidth to enjoy at all.

With physical games, you can enjoy your entire gaming library without ever having to worry about connection speeds.

Put Your Collection On Display

Every gamer wants to be able to show off their commitment and dedication to gaming. A gamer’s library is equivalent to an athlete’s trophy collection. While it may seem nonessential to some, being able to put your gaming library on full display holds an intrinsic value that only real gamers will understand and appreciate.

Which Option is Best for You?

Every player is different, and what works for some might not work for others. The truth is, there is no wrong or right way to enjoy video games.

But at the end of the day, while it all comes down to what type of gamer you are and which of the reasons above matter most to you and which ones don’t - call us old-fashioned, but our money’s on physical games. The value per dollar proposition runs strong and actually getting something you can see, collect, touch, in extreme cases snuggle with - and in the most extreme case with Nintendo Switch physical games: taste - holds a bigger appeal for us.

Our suggestion holds two major caveats, though: Physical games all the way unless it’s physically unavailable - then we’ll talk digital. Don’t get us wrong - there will probably come a day when physical games will all be phased out, but until that day comes: we’ll hold on to getting jewel cases, thank you very much.

What do you think? Do you buy physical or digital video games? Let us know in the comments section below which option you prefer.

The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.
You have successfully subscribed!