Video game rental is a service that lets people rent video games for a few days instead of buying them at a total price. It was most popular in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Its popularity waned in the 2000s, and most places no longer rent games, but a few still do. When Blockbuster was at its most popular, it even had a store just for video games.
In modern days these rental systems have upgraded too. Nowadays, many companies rent their games, both physical & online versions, for a week or a month with a subscription fee. These fees vary from game to game.
A History of Video Game Rental
After winning their lawsuits against video manufacturers and getting permission to rent VHS tapes, video rental stores started renting video games. In the late 1980s, that meant almost exclusively Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges since the NES was the most popular video game console.
In the early 1990s, though, that changed with the Genesis and SNES. As new platforms came out, rental companies kept growing, with most of them focusing on Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and then Microsoft.
As streaming services started to replace home video rentals, many rental stores closed, taking their video game with them. The video game market was also moving to digital distribution, so even if home video rentals had stayed strong, it’s likely that game rentals would have gone down a lot. In the 2022s, the few rental stores still have very few items or have been turned online.
Revenue Generation of Video Game Rental
|Revenue Generation ($million)
From this above chart, we can see that the revenue generation has recently decreased significantly. Whereas in 2012, it was a 5280 million dollar market, in 2022, it is below 1000 million dollars which is considerably less. But the good thing is that various video rental companies have gotten a modern touch in Modern Times. Anybody can Rent a video game for a few dollars per month or weekly based on the video game subscription.
The Best 15 Options for Video Game Rental
GameFly is an American online rental service with a focus on games for game consoles and handheld game consoles like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, GameCube, Xbox, Wii U, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, DS, 3DS, PSP, and PlayStation Vita.
GameFly’s way of making money is similar to that of Netflix and Blockbuster online, selling subscriptions to send DVDs by mail. In 2009, GameFly sued the U.S. Postal Service, saying that Netflix and Blockbuster were given a leg up because their DVDs were sorted for free.
For a monthly fee, GameFly sends games to people who sign up. Over 8,000 titles are available. In May 2018, Electronic Arts said they bought GameFly’s cloud gaming technology and staff.
- The streaming service stopped on August 31, 2018.
- For $15.95 per month, GameFly’s base plan lets you rent one game at a time.
- If you pay $22.95 per month, you get a different game.
- GameFly sends you physical copies of video games and movies, just like Netflix did in its early days.
- After GameFly sends me a confirmation email, it usually takes me two to five days to get the game.
GM2P.com is a global online player-to-player market for gaming products, such as Fortnite accounts, GTA5 Money, FIFA Coins, CSGO Skins, WOW Gold, and FFXIV Gil, as well as other in-game services. They offer free registration, and you can buy and sell game products and trade with confidence and safety on their website.
- The average customer rating for Gm2p is 3.5/5 stars.
- Most customers are happy with their purchases & leave positive reviews.
- Gm2p.com is the 80th best site for games.
3. Console Classix
Console Classix is the only 100% legal service for emulating games. It works like any other rental service; they have copies of every game data they let people play. Console Classix has a free collection of Atari, Nintendo, and Coleco games. Since 2002 the company has been at the forefront of the emulation scene. You can play these for as long as you want. You can upgrade and look through their massive collection if you want more games.
- Console Classix supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
- Free games for Atari, Nintendo, and Coleco.
- For $5.99 a month, you can get games for Sega Genesis, SMS, Nintendo 64, GBA, GB Color, Gameboy, Sega Game Gear, and TurboGrafx-16.
- Legal in every way and works just like any other rental service.
4. Amazon Prime Gaming
Amazon changed the name of Twitch Prime to Prime Gaming on August 10, 2020, to make it more like the other Amazon Prime services. Prime Gaming is created to improve the way you play games.
With this service, you’ll automatically get a $4.99/month Twitch subscription, which lets you support your favorite gamers on the popular platform. You’ll also have access to a free game every month that you can download to your PC or laptop and keep for life. Far Cry 4, the Astrologaster, and Across the Groves are some games this year.
- There is no additional charge because Prime Gaming is included with your Amazon Prime subscription
- You can get two-day shipping with an Amazon Prime subscription.
- You can binge hundreds of free movies and TV shows with Prime Gaming and Prime Video.
5. Google Play Pass
Google Play Pass is a service for Android devices that lets you rent apps from Google. This Video Game Rental service came out in the USA on September 23, 2019. The service went live as planned in Germany, Australia, and Canada, among other Western countries, in July 2020. For a minimum monthly or yearly fee, subscribers can use the included apps and games without having to deal with ads or in-app purchases. There are more than 460 hand-picked titles available through the service. These include puzzles and podcasts, among other things. India got Google Play Pass in March 2022. It is available in 93 countries or regions as of September 2022.
- Google Play Pass gives users access to a curated catalog of various apps and games taken directly from the Google Play Store.
- It can be played without any ads or the need for additional in-app purchases.
- A Play Pass can be shared with up to five other family members.
6. Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass are services that let you rent video games. For a single monthly fee, users of both services can access a rotating list of games from various publishers and other premium services, like Xbox Live Gold and EA Play. Xbox Game Pass offers this service on Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One consoles, as well as on Android, iOS, and iPadOS devices through Xbox Cloud Gaming.
PC Game Pass offers the same service on Windows 10 and 11 computers that support Xbox Cloud Gaming. The service went live on June 1, 2017, but Xbox Live Gold members were able to use it first on May 24.
- Xbox Game Pass is like PlayStation Now; it lets you play video games.
- At launch, there were more than 100 games in the subscription catalog.
- Microsoft sees the Game Pass as a way to offer games that don’t fit the usual pattern but still sell well and would be hard for a publisher to pick up.
- There is no plan to bring Xbox Game Pass to the other platforms like PlayStation or Nintendo Switch.
- Microsoft’s primary goal is to make it available to open systems like PCs and web apps.
7. PlayStation Now
Sony Interactive Entertainment made PlayStation Now, a video game subscription service that worked independently. Cloud gaming is available for PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 4 games.
PlayStation Now could be played on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Microsoft Windows computers. Also, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 4 games can be downloaded and played locally on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
When PlayStation Plus added more tiers in May and June 2022, the PlayStation Now subscription service was shut down, but its features were added to the PlayStation Plus Premium tier. A PC couldn’t get any games downloaded.
Downloaded games can be played without an internet connection, but they must be checked every few days, requiring an internet connection. To use the service on a device that wasn’t a PlayStation, you needed a DualShock 3, DualShock 4, DualSense, or any XInput-compatible controller, such as an Xbox gamepad. If a member wanted to stream their games, Sony suggested that they have an internet connection of at least 5 Mbps for good performance.
- PlayStation Now games for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 4 could be streamed to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.
- Over 800 games were available in 2020, with over 300 open for download to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
8. EA Play Video Game Rental
EA Play does not require a paid Xbox Live membership, although a Gold-level membership is required to use multiplayer features. Subscribers have unlimited access to full versions of games known as “the Vault.” EA can add and remove titles from The Play List at its discretion.
EA Play subscribers can receive downloadable content for fun in the Vault during limited periods. The service now includes EA Originals titles such as A Way Out, Rocket Arena, and Sea of Solitude. On July 7, 2017, the season pass for Star Wars Battlefront became free.
- The beta version of EA Play came out on Xbox One on July 29, 2014, and the full version came out on August 11, 2014.
- Electronic Arts tried to offer the service to both Sony and Microsoft, but Sony said they wouldn’t be putting it on their PlayStation 4 console.
- After Electronic Arts said, shares of video game retailer GameStop, which sells both new and used games, dropped by more than 5%.
- EA Play memberships will be sold at stores like GameStop.
9. Utomik Video Game Rental
Utomik is your place to play games without limits. You can access a library of hundreds of handpicked games that grows weekly. These games include blockbuster classics, retro games that bring back memories, indie gems, and games that are fun for the whole family.
With a Utomik subscription, you can play all the PC games in our library. You can play PC games right away with just one click. To get started, you’ll only need to download a small part. The PC games run on your computer, so you don’t have to worry about lag, compression, or other problems with video streaming.
Utomik has shown off its new cloud gaming technology to the world. You can play a handpicked selection of games from their vast PC library on your TV. Moreover, you don’t need a console for it. Soon, more devices will be able to use it.
- Individual subscriptions to Utomik cost $7 per month, while family subscriptions cost $10 per month.
- You can remove Utomik from your computer using the Windows Control Panel’s “Add/Remove Programs” feature.
- Utomik will be available on Android.
10. Stadia Pro
Stadia is the cloud gaming service that Google built and runs. It can be used with Chromecast Ultra and Android TV, the Google Chrome web browser, and other Chromium-based browsers on personal computers.
With its many data centers, Stadia can stream video games to players at up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second and also support high dynamic range (HDR). Google has announced Stadia, a video-streaming service that will open to the public in November 2019.
The base service lets users stream games at 1080p and 5.1 surround sound, with 4K and high-dynamic range (HDR) support. A monthly subscription gives users access to 4K, Dolby Atmos, and a growing collection of free games. Moreover, it will compete against services like Amazon’s Luna and Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming.
- The company believes Stadia is better suited to cloud gaming than previous efforts such as OnLive, PlayStation Now, and Gaikai because most players will be geographically close to a data center.
- The controller will also feature Google Assistant, which will search YouTube for relevant, helpful videos related to the game they are playing.
- Stadia Pro offers two tiers of service: a free and subscription-based Stadia Pro level.
- The Pro tier allows higher streaming rates up to 4K resolution and discounts on other games.
11. GeForce Now
Geforce Now gives users access to a virtual computer where they can install games from digital distribution platforms and play them remotely. The beta version of GeForce Now clients for Windows and Macintosh computers was released in January 2017.
GeForce Now can be used on Windows 10 and 11, macOS, Android, iOS, Shield TV, and Chromebook devices. GeForce will be able to work with LG TVs that run WebOS.
- GeForce Now comprises a network of servers based in data centers in North America and Europe.
- These servers host and serve the GeForce Now game library to members in those regions.
- The servers use Nvidia Tesla graphics cards and can stream games at up to 4K resolution at 60-90 frames per second or 1440p at 120 fps.
- Over time, the hardware on the server will be updated to improve the quality of the streams.
12. Netflix Games
Netflix games are available for download and play on mobile devices such as Android phones and tablets, iPhones, iPads, and iPods. You play Netflix games with your Netflix account and profile.
Games on Netflix are not available for Kid’s profiles. Games are saved to the shape you want to play via cloud saves or locally on your device. All Netflix games have a maturity rating, which allows you to make informed gameplay decisions for yourself and your family.
Games, like downloaded TV shows and movies, can be used on multiple devices under the same account. Netflix games will notify you if you reach your device limit. Sign out of devices not in use to free up a slot.
- This Video Game Rental service has advertisements but no additional fees.
- There are no in-app purchases.
- You can play exclusive mobile games as much as you want.
- This is part of your Netflix membership.
13. Internet Archive
Everyone is now looking for ways to pass the time in these strange times. And the Internet is a great place to find many things to do. If you have run out of things to stream, watch, play, or do, head to the Internet Archive, where you can play hundreds of free video games. The incredible archive of free books, movies, music, and websites is run by a non-profit organization. We recently found a treasure trove of old MS-Dos video games that you can access and play for free through the site’s in-browser emulator. If you grew up playing PC games, you’d probably have a lot of fun with the massive selection of ancient games, like Dick Tracy, Dragon’s Lair, Tetris Gold, Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun, and even The Godfather: The Game.
- This modern era is the perfect time to go back to your childhood or discover what high-end gaming was like before Triple-A games.
- From licensed oddities to challenging brain teasers, the Internet Archives has a lot of software that can keep you busy for hours.
- Another great reason to check out this great resource is that it’s a safe way to visit a museum, even if it’s just a digital one.
14. Epic Game Store
Epic Games runs the Epic Games Store, which sells and rents digital games for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. It came out in December 2018 as both a website and a standalone launcher. To download and play games, you have to use the standalone launcher.
The storefront has an essential catalog, a way to manage your friends’ list, a way to find a date, and other features. Epic Games wants to add more features to the storefront, but not as many as other digital distribution platforms, like discussion boards or user reviews. Instead, it will use social media to support these features.
- The Epic Games Store is a place to buy games that can be played online. It is part of Epic Games’ launcher app.
- Users can report bugs and technical problems with games to developers through a ticket-based support system on the storefront.
- To prevent review bombing, the system is based on a random poll of users, and storefront pages show random subsets of these reviews.
15. Classic Arcade Game Rentals
Arcade Party Rental provides arcades and other games for parties, conventions, and other special events all year. Arcade Party Rental will give you a lot of different arcade games to choose from. The mix of arcade games is excellent for private parties. You can Throw a party that people will remember surrounded by these arcade games.
- You can rent these games from $50 to $1000.
- These can be delivered within two to ten days, depending on where you live.
These are the 15 handpicked video game rentals for you. Even though all these options are not precisely rentals, they are still a significantly more cost-effective choice than outright purchasing games and consoles. If you get a few of these and stack them together, you’ll be able to play every video game made at a significantly reduced price, and it is also very convenient. That is all for today. Please let us know in the comment section if you have any recommendations.