Revealed: The Best Value Video Games

Overall // Core Story Modes // Franchises // Consoles // Genres

Spend £50 on a shooter like Call of Duty and you might be done with the story mode in a weekend, whereas that same £50 could get you hundreds of hours of playtime on an RPG like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Over the past few months, we've seen a huge surge in customers using our parcel forwarding service to ship video games and, with that in mind, we've conducted research into the most popular video games of all time to reveal which offers the best value for money using average completion times taken from howlongtobeat.com and the cost of each game at release.

Overall: The Best & Worst Value Video Games

If you, like many others, spent significant portions of your childhood trying to “catch ‘em all”, then it’ll be no surprise to see that six of the top ten best value games come from the Pokémon franchise.

It’s estimated that catching each and every Pokémon can take over 200 hours on some of the titles, and their relatively cheap price points (due to being based on handheld devices) means that you could be paying as little as 9p per hour if you do decide to try and complete your Pokédex.

At the other end of the scale, it’s some of gaming’s most iconic characters which seemingly provide the ‘worst’ value.

1990’s Super Mario Land and 1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog both took just two hours for gamers to fully complete, yet both would set you back £19.99 upon release, meaning you’d be paying a crazy £10 per hour of gameplay!

Core Story Modes: The Best & Worst Value Games

So far, we’ve just looked at how long it would take to complete a game 100%, including any side missions, collectibles or downloadable content (DLC). But what if you’re a more casual gamer and just want to play through the main story?

While the results largely stay the same, a couple of things stand out.

Despite costing £19.99 upon release, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes essentially turned out to be a glorified demo, with the main story taking under two hours to complete, and leaving many feeling short-changed.

At the other end of the scale, it’s notable that both Dark Souls 1 and 2 make it into the top ten for value when you just want to play the main story.

Franchises: The Best & Worst Value

While we know that Pokémon and Dark Souls offer great value, other franchises that will keep you going for a while include the Bethesda franchises The Elder Scrolls (21p per hour) and Fallout (36p per hour), while those which offer less value for money include childhood favourites like Sonic, Mario and Spyro as well as some of the biggest franchises of today, like Call of Duty and Halo.

Consoles: The Best & Worst Value Games

Fanboys have long argued that their consoles are the best, but which one performed best in our research?

Interestingly, it’s Nintendo which performed both the best, and the worst! While their older consoles like the NES and Game Boy offered the worst value, the four best value consoles proved to recent Nintendo releases like the 3DS and Switch.

Genres: The Best & Worst Value

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the RPG genre that offers the most bang for your buck, often with hundreds of hours of things to do and collect, and no rush to complete the main story mode.

Aside from this, it was Action/Adventure titles such as Dark Souls and the Zelda and Grand Theft Auto series which will keep you playing the longest, with old-school platformers the most likely to be left at the back of a drawer after just a few plays.

Full sources can be seen here.