I've made a huge mistake
It seemed like such a good idea at the time. You saw a trailer for the latest gotta-have-it game, or saw some bad-ass box art at the local game store, and you said to yourself I'm going to own this thing, no matter what. So you sell off all your worldly possessions, take your latest acquisition home, fire it up and - wait a minute. This game is garbage. And thanks to most stores' absurdly inflexible return policies, well, you're now out $60 / 45.
It sucks when you drop hard-earned cash on a game that ultimately ends up being a complete waste. Even worse is when you shell out hundreds of dollars for the latest hotness only for the price to get sliced to ribbons literally a day after you buy the damn thing. Don't worry, because we've been there too. Each editor has detailed the most regrettable gaming purchase they've ever made. They say money can't buy happiness, but it sure as heck can pick up a family-sized portion of disappointment.
Andy Hartup regrets buying Nintendo consoles. All of them.
I have a sketchy history with Nintendo consoles. They're the single, dark source of my gaming buyer's remorse. Despite buying and loving the Gamecube because it played Resident Evil 4 and Wind Waker, my console largely collected dust for a couple of years, before I traded it in against a (much more widely used) Xbox.
I tried to get back into the Ninty spirit with a DS, but despite sinking a few hours into Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Phoenix Wright, I ended up ditching it after a year. And my recent 3DS purchase? Even worse. Bought it seven months ago, haven't played it for six. No, I can't explain it. Yes, I realise that I'm probably the only person alive who doesn't find infinite joy in Mario and his pals. I may have a problem
Justin Towell regrets getting rid of good racing games for the inferior NASCAR 98
Back in 1998, Sega Saturn was dying. I had played all of the good games available in the UK, but didn't have my Saturn chipped so I couldn't play import games. So I started looking at 'lower tier' games. And then I did the most stupid thing ever. I traded my copy of Daytona CCE and another game (I think it was Manx TT Superbike) for this.
As soon as I loaded it up, I realised I'd made a huge mistake. The game was choppy, glitchy, and full of pop-in. Amid the countless ovals, it had one (just one) decent track, Ranch Tower, which my dad and I played in split-screen and did get a lot of fun out of. But if your car flipped in two-player mode, it had no undertray. It was a hollow shell. Dreadful quality, especially compared to the beautiful games I had traded (that the shop refused to give back). To make matters worse, my mum pointed out in rightful indignation that Daytona had been a Christmas present. I was ashamed.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex broke Jann Jones' heart
My most regrettable gaming purchase had to be Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. Up to that point, I was the biggest Crash fan. It was one of the few games on the PlayStation that I could actually play and not become violently ill. I played all of them. I did speed runs. I collected every damn piece of fruit. And I even cheered as Crash did his little pelvic thrust dance. Hell, I even owned the toys made by Resaurus. One of the main reasons I bought the PS2 was to play the latest game in the series
And then I actually played it. Or I at least tried to. All of the magic that the fine folks at Naughty Dog had made was gone and I was heartbroken. No longer did I delight in hanging out with my favorite Bandicoot. No more riding on tigers, sliding on ice, bad guys with huge foreheads, or weirdly sexualized dances to make me giggle. On top of it, the new game mechanics made me sick. I felt so betrayed and still feel the sadness.
David Roberts learned a valuable lesson about money after renting Glover
Now, I'm sure we've all rented bad games and suffered through them when we were younger. You only have enough cash to rent one new game over the weekend, so youd better get your money's worth. Plus, there's something uniquely entertaining about the rage a truly awful game induces. But the one time I rented Glover when I was 13 was so disappointing that it taught me an important lesson about the value of a dollar.
The latest issue of Nintendo Power made it seem so interesting, and being an N64 owner with literally nothing else to play, I went down to Blockbuster and spent my weekly allowance on a rental. And wow, it was such a mediocre experience that I literally have no recollection of it other than the fact that it inspired me to be more responsible with my money. Real exciting stuff, I know. I played it for a couple of hours, looked sullenly at the TV screen, and switched off my N64 with a sigh. It felt like my eyes had finally opened up; like I'd just stepped out of the Matrix and into the real world for the first time, knowing that there's no going back.
Maxwell McGee traded Chrono Trigger for Captain America and the Avengers
I remember this dark day of my childhood well. The game: a complete copy of Chrono Trigger. The trade: Captain America and The Avengers (on SNES, just the cartridge) and $40. Rarely a day goes by that I don't kick myself for this MIND-BREAKING, RAGE-INDUCING MISTAKE of a trade. How did it come to this? Well, I'd finished Chrono Trigger several times and knew the game like the back of my hand. At the same time, there was an arcade cabinet for Captain America at my local video store, and I was getting sick of pouring quarters into it.
So I figured, "What the hell, I'll just trade away one of the greatest Japanese role-playing games of all time complete in box with manual and little bonus map inserts for some mediocre beat-'em-up that I played maybe twice before getting bored." Yep. Yuuuup. That's a thing that happened; good job younger Max. Today, a complete copy of Chrono Trigger fetches a pretty penny on eBay, but what really bums me out is that I don't have access to my old save data. It would be fascinating to go back and see what I named all my characters, how long I played, where I stopped, and so on. Such a waste.
Ashley Reed got taken by Thief 2014's dystopian visuals
It's painful how recently this one happened, but it seems the conditions were just right. As the release of the new Thief game approached in 2014, I started pondering whether or not I should pre-order it. I hadn't played the previous Thief games, but I had seen them in action, and knew that Dishonored (which is among my personal top ten games ever) was heavily inspired by the Thief franchise.
After checking out gameplay footage and mulling it over for a while, I decided I would take the gamble and pre-ordered it the day before release. I really wanted the pre-order bonus mission and also I am an idiot. I was quickly disillusioned with the weird story and lackluster gameplay (which, funny enough, felt like a poor man's Dishonored) and traded it in as soon as I could. I got $20 of my original pre-order back. Ugh. Garrett really is the world's greatest thief.
Lucas Sullivan had an awfully brief tour of duty in Halo 4
After a few weeks of hearing how great Halo 4 is, I was convinced that this would be the installment that got me back into the Halo multiplayer fold (having completely ignored online play since Combat Evolved on PC). So I pick up a copy after work one day and excitedly hurry home to play it with some ex-GR staff. Coop, Ryan, and Brian invite me to their Xbox Live party, and within minutes, we're in the thick of combat.
And by God, am I bored. I had forgotten how much I hate vehicular combat in my FPS; while racking up a few kills is always fun, having your spree ended by a shell from a distant Scorpion tank most certainly is not. I don't remember who said it, but someone sheepishly suggested "Do you guys just want to go back to playing Black Ops 2?" We all agreed in unison. Ten minutes later, we were back to picking off UAVs and calling in Killstreaks. That was the first and last time I ever played my copy of Halo 4, and I seriously doubt I'll go back. How about that: 60 bones for one hour of disinterest.
Connor Sheridan bought a Game Boy Advance when the SP was right around the corner
I feel so, so conflicted saying that I regret my Game Boy Advance. Firstly, my mom was the one who actually spent money on it (hey, I was ten at the time). Secondly, I loved so many of the games: WarioWare, Mega Man Battle Network, Metroid Fusion, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (which is how I finally finished one of my favorite games of all time). But wait a minute I didn't actually finish A Link to the Past on Game Boy Advance. I finished it on Game Boy Advance SP. Just like almost all of my other GBA games.
Much as it pains me to say it, my life would have been better if I'd just waited for GBA SP's gloriously backlit screen to illuminate it. My vision is still OK a decade or so later, but just imagine how much better it would be if I hadn't strained over the original's inscrutable grey mirror for hours. I could probably see for miles!
Henry Gilbert never wanted a Kinect with his Xbox One, but got one anyway
I hate to kick someone when theyre down, but paying $500 for an Xbox One bundled with Kinect has to be my most regrettable purchase. In 2013, buying it made so much sense. First off, I felt I needed both an Xbox One and a PS4 on launch day as part of my profession. And even though the last thing I ever needed in my life was a Kinect, it was being touted as integral to the console, so I took it in my stride, figuring itd work great in the coming months. Less than a year later, and Kinect was stripped out of the box and most of its functionality was pushed aside.
You can imagine my frustration. It was a bit like an architect showing me a completed house that looked great, except it was a little more than my budget, and had one room I wasnt too fond of. Instead of fixing that room, the architect burned it all to the ground and started over after publicly firing half the construction team. He then sold the new house to someone else for a fifth off the asking price. Thats basically the pain of being an early Xbox One owner.
Earth Defense Force 2025 bugged the hell out of Anthony Snyder
I made the mistake of buying a game called Earth Defense Force 2025. At the time, all I heard were good things about it and it's cooperative gameplay. I was in desperate need of a good co-op game, so I bought it. Never have I been so disappointed by a game in my life. The frame rate chugged so bad I could hardly play it. Everything was delayed and slow. It was like playing a highly demanding PC game on a low-end computer. I found myself helplessly crying out "Noooooooooooo" as if I were running in slow-motion as a giant ant devoured my avatar each time I failed.
Did I mention that there was a co-op mode? Good grief yes! A co-op mode! As if the game wasn't struggling to process all the events happening in single player. Can you imagine it trying to display both players at the same time? It ran even slower and after about two minutes of torture, I turned the game off. Purchase value: $59.99, Trade in Value: $16.00, The look on my face: Priceless.
Live and learn
Think of these stories as one part cautionary tale, one part therapy session. Have you made any purchases that gave you an almost instant feeling of buyer's remorse? Or have you had the rug pulled out from under you with a sudden price drop? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more? Perhaps you could swing over here and let us know which game you loved that everyone else hated (opens in new tab), or find out why we're going to miss reading those instruction manuals that used to come with the games we bought. (opens in new tab)