Most people buy their video games digitally nowadays. It’s convenient, cheap, and quick. But there’s still something to be said for physically collecting a video game, especially if it’s one you’re looking forward to or enjoyed playing.
If you want to make that purchase special, you might want to consider buying the collector’s edition. These are often limited print editions in special packaging that not only include the game, but also physical goodies like a figurine, poster, soundtrack, and other memorabilia.
If you’re on the hunt for a collector’s edition of a video game, we’ve rounded up the best websites where you can buy them.
Limited Run Games began in 2015, created by Josh Fairhurst and Douglas Bogart as a way to bring digital-only games to a physical medium. So far, they’ve achieved that for over 300 games and counting.
The company publishes games for platforms like the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC, and for retro consoles like the NES and Game Boy.
While you can often buy the physical games on their own, the real excitement comes through Limited Run Games’ collector’s editions.
Some of the games that have received this special treatment include Doom, Jak and Daxter, Monkey Island, Castlevania, and Streets of Rage.
The great thing about Limited Run Games’ collector’s editions is that they usually work with the original creators to design something fans will cherish, sometimes including signed certificates of authenticity.
The collector’s editions typically come in specially designed, large box packaging, with trinkets that recreate objects from the game, or include other items like art prints, pins, and statues.
Fangamer is not only an excellent website to buy video game merch, but also for collector’s editions. You can expect the same magnificent quality here.
If a game you love gets a collector’s edition that releases on Fangamer, you should buy it. The attention to detail is top-notch, clearly designed for hardcore fans.
Take the Stardew Valley set. Not only does it come in a big box with unique artwork, but you also get a wooden standee, lapel pin, comic, farm deed, and cleaning cloth. These trinkets all fit with the aesthetic of the game and bring it to life.
Or the Spelunky set, which features a big box in the shape of the game’s recognizable idol, a decoder medallion, soundtrack CD, explorer’s journal, and pug plush keychain.
These releases are limited edition though, so you should act reasonably promptly if you want them. Pleasantly, many of the sets are reasonably priced, and you can often choose which platform you want the game on.
iam8bit dons itself as a “creative production company” that works with brands like Capcom and Nintendo to create a variety of experiences like mailers, commercials, and in-person exhibits. The company also produces video game collector’s sets.
Many of iam8bit’s collector’s editions are reprints of classic games. For example, you can buy a playable Genesis-compatible cartridge of Aladdin, Earthworm Jim, or Street Fighter II—the latter has a trifold box, with foil, gloss, and embossments, and 1,000 of the cartridges glow in the dark.
But the true collector’s editions are even better. iam8bit stand out because it puts a huge amount of effort into the game’s packaging. The box for the Ori collector’s set glows in the dark (there’s a theme here!), while Spiritfarer’s is a constellation lantern display box. Essentially, the packaging is a work of art alone.
These come bundled with the usual collectible feelies; things like a postcard and stamp set, art book, pin, and a stained-glass piece.
Strictly Limited Games, as the name suggests, produces collector’s editions in fixed editions. Many of these are individually numbered to make them feel even more exclusive.
A great feature about the Strictly Limited Games store is that it tells you how much stock it has left. If you need time to pull together enough money to plunge into its deluxe sets, this should help give you a rough guideline.
While the other websites we’ve recommended cover indie games, this one truly nails the definition. You may have never heard of some of the games on sale here, but that’s what makes it so amazing; even games with a niche fan base can enjoy collecting a physical copy with extra goodies.
The company also plays host to a Partner Store. These are sets which aren’t directly made by Strictly Limited Games, but from other smaller developers and creators who require an outlet to sell their wares. Nevertheless, these are still well worth checking out and top quality.
5. Direct From the Publisher
If you can’t find the collector’s edition you’re looking for, you should also try shopping directly with the developer or publisher. Many of them sell directly through their own online stores, where you can also pick up other items while you’re there.
For example, you should browse the offerings from Sony, Bandai Namco, Maixmum Games, and Bungie. This is just a small selection; head to your favorite developer’s website to see if it has its own store.
If you find something you like, but think it’s overpriced, try looking for it on a retailer like GameStop or Amazon. Though some developers won’t sell collector’s editions through third-party retailers, some of them do. It’s worth shopping around first before handing over your money to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Help Support Game Developers Through Physical Purchases
Physical games are a dying breed, so there’s something special about holding a game in your hands and enjoying the extra trinkets that come with a collector’s edition. Don’t let them sit on a shelf—unwrap them and enjoy them.
Buying a collector’s edition not only means you can express your appreciation for a game, but it also helps the developer; often, more money from these sets ends up in their pockets, helping them fund future projects.
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