Is It Worth It to Buy a Video Game More Than Once?

Updated on December 3, 2019
Anti-Valentine profile image

Anti-Valentine reviews PC games and writes about the video game industry.

Should you get more than one copy of your favorite game? Read on to find out!
Should you get more than one copy of your favorite game? Read on to find out! | Source

“Do You Ever Buy a Game More Than Once?”

In the gaming community, the topic of buying video games more than once comes up both online and offline. The question that people ask me is always more or less the same: “Do you ever buy a game more than once?”

I answer that question by saying: “Yes, I have—on at least one occasion.”

If I own a retail copy of a game, I’m still tempted to get a digital copy because they often come with bundled extras—including DLC for the base game.

Why I Own Multiple Copies of the Same Game

Lately, I've been running into situations where I end up buying a game more than once. Collectors or hoarders are definitely the types to do this in every form. Personally, I've bought retail, boxed, or digital editions of games (although less often nowadays, seeing as it often costs more, is inferior in some way, or I don’t particularly like going to shopping malls to get them as I used to).

Collectors or hoarders are definitely the types to buy games more than once, in every form—retail and digital.

Collecting, Hoarding, and DLC

I’m the type of gamer who would rather hoard stuff than drop it or sell it. For example, in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., I have plenty of guns, and I end up stocking up instead of selling them. The only time I would even sell one is when I already have one in my own personal collection. Then it costs money to restore them enough to sell them, and at that point, I’d rather own the mint condition one that the broken one, so then I need to repair both, so I can keep one and sell the other.

It’s an achievement hunting thing. For example, in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., I have a mint condition assault rifle . . . but I’ll never use it, because my submachine gun does more damage and is superior in virtually every way imaginable.

If I own a retail copy of a game, I’m still tempted to get a digital copy, because they often come with bundled extras—including DLC for the base game. They’ll also last longer than a physical copy (even if the file you download gets deleted or something, you can still re-download it from the website). Other pros include possible digital-exclusive features (especially through Steam), the likeliness that they are compatible with your PC (especially if it’s an older game), and that there is no DRM (unlike in the boxed copy).

What Is DRM?

"DRM" or "Digital Restrictions Management" is the technological restriction of video games to limit what players can do in-game.

DRM and Steam/GOG

If I own the game on Steam, I’ll still buy it on GOG if I like it and the price is right. Because there’s no DRM on GOG, any additional content that doesn’t come with the Steam version will be available. Also, the GOG copy is a legitimate copy and not just a license for the game (like on Steam), which can be revoked at any time for any reason.

If I own the game on GOG, I’m less likely to get a Steam edition of the game—unless it sports other features that the GOG copy lacks. This is the case with Ghost Recon, which has the expansions on Steam, but not on I own a copy on both platforms.

11 Reasons to Buy a Game More Than Once

There are different camps when it comes to this. Some argue that it’s not worth having a game that already own, when you could just buy another game that you don’t already have instead. That in the end, it's a waste of money.

But there are situations where it might be necessary or at least convenient. Let’s look at some of the reasons why people buy games more than once:

A Part of My Collection
A Part of My Collection

1. The Disc Broke

I’ve had physical copies of games end up broken because the disc got scratched to hell and gone, or was broken. So in that case I would obviously want another one.

2. It’s Good to Have a Backup Copy

Especially if the disc version you have breaks, right? In general, it's more convenient to download a game and install it without having to search for it in your closet or cupboard—where it sits for eleven months out of a year—gathering dust. And no discs means no disc changing with bigger games.

3. Nothing Is Better Than a Box

If I were to come across a boxed copy of something like, say, System Shock 2, I would buy it, depending on the price, even though I already have it on both GOG and Steam. You can display box copies on shelves or in display cabinets. You can’t do that with digital copies, unless you were to, say, make a box and a CD with the print out graphic. Even then it wouldn’t quite be the same, no matter how good it looks.

4. You Want to Protect Your Boxed Copy

Handling a box and a disc increases the chance of wear and breaking, so having a digital copy—the only thing that can go wrong is the usual data file corruption and bullshit that happens on your hard drive.

Steam Logo
Steam Logo

5. One Version Might Be Superior

I already owned Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition on, but then Devolver announced that they would release Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition on Steam. This comes with not only a DosBox based copy of Duke 3D, but also a high-resolution version complete with the source port—and you get the three officials expansion packs, too. GOG doesn’t have these extras, and it doesn’t look like they ever will, so I grabbed it when it was on sale.

6. Playing with Friends Is Better, Right?

Another thing that makes a Steam copy superior to a GOG copy, even for now with Galaxy, is multiplayer. There’s just much better support for it. Once GOG can fix their client and ensure cross platform compatibility with Steam, than okay, go ahead and buy it on GOG. Otherwise, you’d better like singleplayer.

You’d have to play it through Steam, because a lot of the servers hosted elsewhere would be long gone, especially if it’s an old game.

7. Compatibility

Original disc based versions more than likely will not be very compatible with newer operating systems and hardware, and if you’ve recently bought an old game, you can probably rest assured in knowing that you will never need to take it back to the store if it doesn’t work – because they won’t take it back in any case. Digital versions sold on Steam and especially on GOG are much more likely to work, and GOG offers a 30 day guarantee because they’re that confident it will.

8. DRM Free

Many games nowadays have DRM, and not everybody out there approves of it. So let’s say you have a physical copy of Red Alert 3, which has SecuROM DRM, and this bothers you. But guess what? The Steam version of Red Alert 3 doesn’t have SecuROM DRM. That's right, my friend. You can buy it on Steam to avoid the pain in the neck that is installing SecuROM—as it can mess up your optical drives and goodness knows what else.

9. Bundles

Sometimes you buy games that you already own inadvertently. They might be bundled with something else that you really want, and buying the bundle is either the only real way to get a hold of it, or it works out to be the cheapest or at least the most cost-effective option. The good news is you can always trade your game (whether it be physical or digital) with somebody else for something you don’t have.

10 . Nothing Else Is Worthwhile

Sometimes there’s just nothing else worthwhile. Even if I have a game, I’m tempted to go ahead and buy another copy just for the sake of it. I like adding to my collection, and buying a Steam or GOG copy of a game is probably just as ridiculous as buying every single edition of a retail game—which is what publishers want you to do.

11. Buying to Gift or Trade

Even if I own the game on GOG already, I might be tempted to buy it again so I can gift or trade it with someone I know. It depends. If the price is low enough, I’ll consider it.

Do you buy games more than once?

See results

So, Should You Buy Another Copy of a Game?

I have a mental checklist of sorts that I go through when it comes to buying games, especially if I’m to buy them more than once.

Do I have a retail copy of the game?

  • If yes and it does work: Is it as good as a digital version of the game? If yes, then I’ll probably just buy it anyway because I like to have a digital backup copy of a game. CDs and DVDs only last so long—and the same could be argued about licenses on Steam, but GOG copies that are DRM free are forever.
  • If yes and it doesn't work: Buy it, because there’s a chance the digital copy might work. If it doesn’t, get your money back as long as it’s still under guarantee. This is less likely to work with retail, because most stores won't take back games if the packaging has been opened, while Steam has a 14-day guarantee (or 2 hours playtime), has a 30-day guarantee and Origin has a week guarantee.
  • If no: Do I like the look of it or how it plays (from playing a demo or watching a YouTube gameplay video of it)? what is the price? If it’s cheap, I'll buy it and trade with someone who does want it.

Do I have the game on Steam?

  • If yes and it does work: Is the GOG version any better? If yes, buy it.
  • If yes but it doesn't work: With a GOG copy, there is a better chance of compatibility and higher performance results.
  • If no: Buy it.
  • If no but it's available on GOG: Buy it.

© 2017 Anti-Valentine


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)