I had planned to do this entry almost two months ago, but I never got around to doing it. Today I ran across this post by Matt Haughey and decided that now was as good a time as any. So, here goes.

Video games are expensive, and we all know it. Some games can take as little as 5 hours to finish, so paying $50 for it seems absurd. This is why a lot of people rent most of their games and buy the ones that have a lot of replay value. Even if I take two weeks to finish a game, it still only cost me $12 to rent it. Now, imagine if there was a Netflix-like service that did the same thing for games. Sounds perfect, right? It must be only a matter of time before Netflix starts doing this, but until they do I have compiled a few sites that are a step ahead.

1000 Titles PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance
1 game per month: $13.95, 2 games: $19.95, 3 games: $29.95, 4 games: $34.95
Despite the horrible name, I would say this is one of the best, behind only Red Octane.

360 Titles PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $13.95, 2 games p/m: $21.95
This one seems pretty good. I especially like the "keep it" option, which lets you buy the game at a used price if you like it. The site is also well designed.

Titles - PS1, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
2 games p/m: $19.95, 3 games: $24.95, 4 games: $29.95, 5 games: $34.95, 6 games: $39.95
I'm inclined not to trust this site, mostly because it is an eyesore. It's not too tough to navigate, but it is worth checking out for yerself.

Red Octaone
1500 Titles - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
2 games p/m: $18.95, 3 games: $23.95, 5 games: $39.95
This is the best designed and seems to be the most reputable site.

Numb Thumb
Xbox, PS2, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $13.95, 2 games, $21.95
This one seems to be pretty stinky. A really good deal, but I just can't trust them based on the amount of information they provide.

Angel Gamer
PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $14.95, 2 games: $19.95
The design of the site is just alright, but it seems to be an interesting and affordable option.

Boomerang Games (No longer exists)
PS1, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
2 games paid yearly: $19.99 p/m, paid biannually: $22.99 p/m, paid monthly: $24.99 p/m
I don't like this one. Anyone who has "I only wanted to try BoomerangGames's free trial, so why did I get charged?" in their FAQ, is probably not a good company. [link via Shifted Librarian and LazyWeb]

Added 3/4/03:

Spunel (No longer exists)
625 Titles - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $9.99; 2 games: $17.99; 3 games: $24.99
This seems to be the perfect middle road. Some good prices, especially the 1 game option, usable design and a solid selection. I don't know if this is the absolute best, but I think these guys will do well. I recommend it. UPDATE: Nevermind. The website is no longer up right now--a domain holder page is there instead--and someone left a comment explaining that they were ripped off. I do not recommend them.

Trigger Fingers
PS1, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, GBA, GB Color
3 games p/m: $19.95; 4 games: $24.95; 5 games: $29.95; game console rental for additional $19.95 w/ $100 refundable deposit
Well, they have a great deal, that's for sure. Unfortunately, the money you save in rentals was probably taken out of site design. If they can get a more usable site, this just might be my favorite. Good selection and cheap prices.

Added 3/13/03:

700 Titles - PS2, Gamecube, Xbox
2 games p/m: $20
These guys have an amazing, original idea. You can send them old games, which they'll rent out, and you get $2 every time it's rented. I'm not sure how well this will scale, but it could be very cool. Otherwise, the site is well designed and relatively easy to navigate (I like that they have forums). Very cool.

Game Lender
5,000 (!) Titles - PS2, PS1, Gamecube, N64, Xbox, Dreamcast, GBA, GBC, and more.
2 games p/m: $15.99/$17.99; 3 games: $19.99/$21.99; 5 games: $25.00/$29.99 (1 year contract/no contract)
That is an amazing amount of titles. This service is obviously for the hardcore gamer who refuses to give up his/her old systems. The design is fairly poor, but the number of titles make up for it. Definitely worth checking out.

Added 3/15/03

DVD Avenue
250 Titles - PS1, PS2
2 p/m: $14.99; 3 p/m: $19.99; 4 p/m: $24.99; 6 p/m: $34.99; 8 p/m: $44.95
I hadn't planned on doing the DVD/Game places, but now I am. In fact, it is probably a better overall deal to do something like this because you can split up your monthly rentals between games and movies. DVD Avenue seems to be a good service. It's no Netflix, but it's well designed and relatively easy to navigate. I'm perplexed that they don't mention games in their FAQ, but I assume you rent them like any DVD. If so, this gets my approval.

DVD Barn
130 Titles - PS2, Xbox
1 p/m: $8.95; 2 p/m: $14.95; 4 p/m: $23.95; 7 p/m $37.95; 10 p/m $49.95
First, the site broke in Safari, so I would not use the service. If you can't have a site that works in every browser, then you shouldn't have the service. Aside from that, it's just ok. They have a very small selection and clearly video games aren't their priority. The only positive thing here is the price. It costs $6 per week at Blockbuster to rent a game. For $3 more you can have it for a month. Can't beat that.

Note: This is a list of companies that only offer videogames. There are others that offer both DVDs and games.