There are a lot of places on the web where you can get hold of modern video games. Whether you’re hunting down the latest entry of Street Fighter, a new controller, or a pair of gaming headphones, there’s more than a handful of options to choose from.
Trying to find a retro video game is a different story. Searching for an original copy of Resident Evil 3 or one of the early Mega Man games is not as easy.
The fact being that it’s a specialist product that not many retailers are going to stock, usually because they physically can’t get hold of the item.
If you are in the market for an old-school video game, are looking to add to your collection, or just want to play a retro game on an actual console rather than in a browser, we’ve curated some websites for you to have a look at.
1. Music Magpie
If you’re not looking to delve too far back into the past, Music Magpie can be a good place to start your search.
Music Magpie provides a lot of different items, well beyond the stretch of video games. It also doubles as a site where you can sell your unwanted goods to make some extra cash as well as buy older products.
MM’s library goes as far back as the Playstation 3 for traditional consoles, and has an extensive library of products for the Nintendo DS and Wii U ranges. You can shop both new and used conditions for most items, and they offer discounts when you purchase multiple products.
If you’re also in the market for refurbished consoles, tech, film/TV, music, or books, MM also has a wide selection in these categories too. There’s even an option to rent certain items should that be something you wish to explore.
You can go to Amazon for pretty much anything, and the same can be said when it comes to older video games.
To be more specific, Amazon is a decent choice when it comes to “semi-retro” video games. If you’re looking for games one to two console generations ago, something on the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 perhaps, Amazon isn’t a bad place to start. Anything further than that though, and you may struggle to get a good deal.
Options may appear for titles on consoles like the Nintendo Gamecube or the Sega Dreamcast, but often this will come from third-party sellers using Amazon as their storefront. What with Amazon’s huge audience, this makes perfect sense for these sellers to use the site in this way.
However, this generally means the options you’ll see will be quite limited, and prices often being in the very high ranges.
So while Amazon is far from the best place to check for retro video games, it’s worth a quick look to see if they have what you’re looking for. You may be pleasantly surprised.
If you’re looking to get really vintage, ConsoleMAD is a great choice.
ConsoleMAD has a library of games from all the way back to the Atari 2600. It even includes more obscure and rare consoles like the SNK Neo Geo, Commodore 64, Phillips CD-I, ZX Spectrum, and Mattel Intellivision.
The biggest draw on ConsoleMAD is the amazing price you’ll find on almost everything. If you’re looking to hunt down games to play or to build up a general collection without being concerned about the condition, CM should be the first place you check out.
If however, you’re looking to build a collection of retro games that you can proudly show off in your spare room with the untarnished boxes of Nintendo 64 games stretching from wall to wall, ConsoleMAD may not be a good choice.
One great feature though is the category and filter system on the site where it breaks down consoles, hardware, and games. It then divides its games up into regions, with US, UK, and Japan all being in their own sections.
Etsy probably isn’t the first place you think of when looking for retro video games. However, along with a vast array of custom and bespoke goods, you can get hold of a great deal of retro video games on the site.
Prices on the site are generally very reasonable, however there are usually fairly higher than usual fees for shipping.
The only issue you can come across is that you have to pay close attention to the product descriptions. Sellers offer merch, replicas, replacement boxes and/or artwork related to video games. Without checking, these can be confused with the physical products you’re looking for.
Just be cautious that you’re actually buying the video game you want and not a model replica, a print, or something along those lines.
5. CEX (WeBuy.com)
One for UK residents, CEX is the go-to place to get your hands on both retro and modern gaming and electronics.
Complete Entertainment Exchange or CEX (with their online domain being webuy.com) provides a king’s bounty of different products ranging from Super Nintendo controllers to Playstation 4 games, and everything in between.
As well as their website, their app is extremely streamlined and displays all the information you could need. You can make a shopping or wish list of things you want to buy or sell, and it states the cost of each item, plus the cash and trade-in value if you’re looking to sell those items.
It also has a store locator feature to check your nearest location, and utilize their Click and Collect if you want to avoid shipping fees. It’s always worth checking in your local store, as there could be a few hidden gems unique to that location that won’t appear in online search results.
Prices are pretty good for the most part, although you can come across a random item that will have a high price tag for reasons that are either obscure or related to outside events.
6. Facebook Marketplace
Much in the same vein as Etsy but with more of a focus on “regular” items, Facebook Marketplace can be a great resource when hunting down retro video games.
Facebook is populated with almost three billion users; this abundance of people means that there’s a huge number of people selling their older or used items. Providing you’re comfortable giving your general location (your town or city), Facebook Marketplace will filter the results of your search down to your local area. You can also amend these filters based on price, keyword relevance, delivery method, etc.
As always, with any peer-to-peer selling site, you should always check the reviews of the seller and read the product descriptions to ensure what you’re purchasing is both accurate and legitimate.
Should you need to meet the seller to exchange money and goods, it’s always best to meet in a neutral, public location to be on the safe side for both parties. If it can be avoided, always avoid giving out your home address.
7. Lukie Games
Should you be looking to garner yourself a collection of some of the rarest versions of retro video games, Lukie Games should be on your list of websites to check out.
Whereas the aforementioned ConsoleMAD is a fantastic place to get hold of retro video games at some of the best prices around, it’s limited by the fact that it’s UK based and is a store run by a smaller business. Therefore, international shipping isn’t something they offer, unfortunately.
Lukie Games is based in Miami, Florida, so is an international alternative to CM, with a slightly more luxury tier range of products to choose from.
Like ConsoleMAD, if you’re after a few old PS1 games to recapture some childhood nostalgia, they’ve got you covered. Most standard games will run anywhere between $10-$50 depending on the rarity of the title.
LG also stocks some of the more high-ticket collector items as well though. These include things like the blue cartridge version of Menace Beach, the Super Weekend cartridge of Starfox, and the Pokémon Centre-themed Game Boy Advance.
No matter where you are in the world or what you’re looking for, eBay probably has it.
Similar to Facebook Marketplace and Amazon, eBay has an incredibly high amount of users, each of them specializing in their own areas. Unlike FB Marketplace, it’s not a social media site first with the added functionality of peer-to-peer selling.
And, unlike Amazon, it’s not looking to serve its own interests other than taking the transaction/platform fees.
eBay is an auction site through and through, and it’s a robust enough system that people can sell on eBay for a living.
Again, always check seller reviews, the description of the item, the condition the item is said to be in, and what it includes. When it comes to retro video games, whether an item is boxed, with a manual, has previously been opened, or the platform it’s on all factor into its total value.
If you’re a savvy consumer, you can make people custom offers if there’s been no movement on a product to get yourself a good deal.
Conversely, if you desperately want a copy of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes on the Nintendo Gamecube and can’t find one anywhere, you may be willing to pay over the asking prices to get your hands on one.
eBay also has a money-back guarantee to make sure whatever happens, your hard earned money is safe.