The makings of a physical game collection (on “paper,” at least)

Image by Flickr user Rob DiCaterino (CC)
Image by Flickr user Rob DiCaterino (CC)

As much as I love spending time with video games of the here and now, part of me will forever be stuck in gaming’s past. I can’t deny the desire to pick up on great titles that I missed. Now, I don’t always want to look to the past with gaming, but when I do, it’s nice to know that virtual libraries holding millions of games are just a few clicks away. But as great as Steam and GOG and emulators are for that sort of thing, I’ve rekindled a wish to have some particular games physically on disks, either again or for the first time. In part, my thanks goes to the Elgato for this – without it I doubt our GameCube and PlayStation 2 would ever have seen as much action as they have recently.

In reviewing my own gaming past, I carry a few pangs of regret for not getting more involved in especially the GameCube’s or the PS2’s catalogs (as well as the Xbox’s, to a certain degree). These systems popped up during times of my life that simply didn’t allow for much gaming. And when I did have time for games, it was usually Mario, Zelda, or Mega Man on the GameCube and fighting games on the PS2. Now that our systems seem to be fully functional for the forseeable future, I’ve started up a new gaming list – physical games for these older systems that I’d like have, ones that passed under the radar, or ones that hit the mark but just didn’t stick at the time. Here’s a sampling from the top of what’s on the list so far:

Ratchet and Clank (2002)

Years ago I played a little of the original Ratchet and Clank, and I really enjoyed it. The gameplay was quick, fun, and replete with some really fantastic platforming action. And the game looked beautiful on the PS2. So why not continue with it then? I can’t say. Maybe it was because I was more into Kingdom Hearts? Or grad school? Probably grad school. I’ve discussed the series with my UWG companions, and it seems like either Going Commando or Up Your Arsenal might be the best places to start over the original game. I think I’d still like to have the first game on disk, because it just seems like the right thing to do.


Maximo: Ghosts to Glory (2002)

This was another case of hitting up a game at the wrong time. I can’t remember if I rented or borrowed a copy of this game, but I do remember having a complete blast in this action game that’s a little bit hack n ‘slash and a little bit platformer. As I recall, the game is not an easy one, so I didn’t get very far into it before likely getting distracted by something a little more easy-going, like Banjo-Tooie. Tackling hard games has never really been my thing, but something about the cool art style of Maximo and the little skeleton beasties has stuck with me all these years. I definitely like to give it a go someday again.


Beyond Good & Evil (2003)

Somehow, this game stands out a bit from the rest, possibly because it was so highly recommended to me when it first came out. But, again, grad school got in the way. At the time, I couldn’t afford the luxury of getting lost in a big, action RPG-ish game. So off to the sidelines it went. I remember watching review of this game and nearly drooling at the prospect of its story and gameplay, but alas, I never tried it. I think I really should.


Killer7 (2005)

Though I’m slowly coming back around to the idea of playing first-person perspective games, I really wasn’t into them when Killer7 was released.  But there was no denying the allure its stunning graphics and gameplay. Like with so many other titles at the time, I just wasn’t sure if Killer7 was “right for me,” so I passed over it favor of the tried and true. Plus, it was one of those controversial games that brought to light the crazy idea of making adult games for actual adults. (Go figure, that.) In any case, if I had been more comfortable with stepping outside my comfort zone ten years ago, maybe Killer7 wouldn’t be on this list. I wasn’t ready then, but I am now.


Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee (1997)

Quite possibly one of my biggest gaming qualms. No, that’s not a sentence, because Oddworld, for me, remains regrettably incomplete. There are no excuses. I had the game — a gracious gift it was – and I played it, but I never finished it, and at some point it was given away. No, it’s not an easy game, but it’s a brilliant one; one replete with humor and messages and some excellent gameplay, besides. It’s the top “must” on my list.


Shadow of Colossus (2005)

There’s not one older game that people have recommended to me more than Shadow of Colossus. Frankly, I think I know more about its spiritual predecessor, Ico, which I never played either. But somehow, I remember Ico getting lots of airplay, and then seeing very little about Shadow of Colossus. In the recent past, I read up on this game, and it sounds awesome, some so perfectly up my alley in scale and tone (though the story seems overly complex). It makes the list if only for the word of mouth that comes with it.


I have no idea if I’ll ever build a physical collection of games, let alone just the ones on my list here, but it’s fun to imagine that it could happen. It’s interesting to see how physical games come and go online through Amazon, EBay, and such – snagging physical copies is part of the game, itself.

Have any recommendations of games I should add? If you don’t already have a collection of older games on disks, which ones would you like to have?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Great list. I love the physical stuff, and my preference, weird as it may be, is for buying games in person from a brick-and-mortar shop where possible. In fact funnily enough, with the exception of Ratchet and Clank, which I don’t own, I have all of these games sitting on my shelves right now. All of them are worth playing, definitely, but in terms of priority I would probably put Shadow of the Colossus at the top. Having said that, Abe’s Oddysee is a great first choice too, I enjoyed it as a kid (got nowhere near beating it, of course!) and enjoyed re-playing it last year. I spoke about it on our podcast at some point… episode 3, if you’re interested. (

    I have a small tip for Abe. This was something I learned when trying to get hold of the follow-up to Abe’s Oddysee, Abe’s Exoddus. The unconventional spellings in these titles are confusing as hell, which makes it easy to exploit ebay. So for instance I was able to snag an auction for “Abe’s Exodus” which went for far less than the game typically sells for. It’s definitely worthwhile searching for Abe’s Odyssey or other variants, because you never know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Haha, now that’s something I never would have thought of when searching for theses games — that misspellings could lead to great finds! My EBay skills are remarkably rusty, as I discovered upon looking for my own copy of Xenoblade Chronicles some time ago. I forgot how much work went into just navigating that site to find the best deals.

      It’s been a good long time since I went searching for games in person. Like *really* searching, not just picking up a pre-oder or something. Unfortunately, there aren’t any independent game shop or used media shops in the area anymore. I used to have the best time at those places scouring bins for something special. Definitely not anywhere near as fun to do online.

      I think Shadow of Colussus is a top priority. I recently saw a couple copies going for a fair price on Amazon.


  2. duckofindeed says:

    I love having physical copies of games. I considered downloading Portal once on the computer, but then I wanted a physical disc, so I bought it for the PS3. Even though it cost extra that way. If you haven’t already, you might want to try Jak and Daxter on the PS2, particularly the first. It’s a really fun and goofy platformer, and it’s one of my favorite games ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Jax and Daxter was another game, like Rachet & Clank, that I tried and enjoyed, but just didn’t play further. I’d like to give that game (or one of those games) a go someday.

      Physical copies of games are especially nice to have for newer systems — those hard drives can fill up fast if you’re downloading lots of stuff digitally! And for older systems, it’s the only way to go. Of course, it’s unfortunate to find that some games are just more difficult to find than others (prices for used copies of Super Mario Sunshine are pretty outrageous, for example), but the search is part of the fun…sometimes. 🙂


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