A few days ago, I saw some folks posting online about the latest GameFly used games sale and decided to check it out while eating lunch. Now, I haven’t thought much about GameFly in a long time, so my curiosity about what GameFly is like in this day and age got the better of me and I decided to explore GameFly’s website. I soon stumbled on an old, out-of-the-way section of the site where, in the year of our lord 2022, you can still rent PS2, Xbox, and GameCube titles as if it’s 2004. But even weirder than that, is what titles make up GameFly’s small, hidden library of old games.
Oh, and folks are still renting them, too!
Editor’s note: We obviously don’t have GameFly in Australia, and while not relevant to us in the sense that we could take advantage of this service, this piece does offer some insight into the retail mania of the US games market. Enjoy. Original piece continues below. -David.
I was once a GameFly customer. As a younger teen, GameFly was awesome. I had very little money and lots of time to play games. With the service, which lets you rent games via the mail for a monthly fee, I was able to play dozens of games in a year and not have to spend hundreds of dollars to do so. But as I grew up, started making money, and moved to digital game purchases, Gamefly became unnecessary, so I ended my subscription.
But just because I left GameFly behind to die, doesn’t mean it did. And today, in 2022, nearly 20 years after it began, GameFly is still going. And so, as I perused the site’s offerings, I was curious if it still had some old PS2, Xbox, or GameCube games available. And it did, but the selection was surprising.
For example, here are all…two of the Xbox games you can currently rent on GameFly as of May 17, 2022.
I can’t even begin to imagine who, in 2022, is wanting to play either of these games via an old Xbox, but they are here, waiting patiently for someone, anyone, to rent them. I mean, Marvel Imperfects is a wild game that comes from a different era of superhero shenanigans. Maybe someone wants to relive the edgy and violent days of 2005 on a vintage Xbox. Who am I to judge? However, I will judge anyone renting Full Spectrum Warrior on Xbox when the game is playable on PC and even has some mods for it.
Over on the PS2 section, things are only slightly better, as GameFly is offering a larger and even stranger selection of games for Sony’s once-popular home console.
I was asked by Kotaku’s own Luke Plunkett to point out that Rugby 2004 is very good, apparently. So perhaps someone else at GameFly agrees and keeps a copy around, just in case. As for the other games, it’s a surprising mix of genuine bangers and head-scratchers. For example, Max Payne 2 is (probably) the best game in the trilogy and plays great on the console. Good choice! On the flipside, NHL 2001 and 2002 probably aren’t as iconic. They definitely don’t have as many slow-motion headshots, that’s for sure. And sorry to anyone out there wanting to play the Jak and Daxter trilogy, as GameFly currently only has the third game in the series, Jak 3.
I say currently because, and this was a surprise to discover, it seems like people are in fact renting these old games from GameFly in 2022. Seriously.
I discovered this by accident while looking at what GameFly is offering GameCube owners. Originally, when I first looked at the selection yesterday, it wasn’t a library of games but instead just one game: Looney Tunes Back in Action. I laughed, took a screenshot, and shared with my fellow Kotaku writers a silly idea to write a blog about all this. (They also laughed and agreed it was a good idea. This is how about half of Kotaku’s content is planned.)
But today, as I was writing this blog, I looked over at the GameCube section again to grab a better screenshot and discovered something peculiar. It appears that someone just returned Mario Superstar Baseball for the GameCube after renting it for some undetermined amount of time.
I can’t ask GameFly to share that customer’s info with me. I understand that. But if you are reading this and you are the person who rented that game (or any other old PS2/GameCube titles for that matter) in 2022, please contact me or leave a comment below explaining why. I assume there must be a reason beyond it being funny or weird to do. I’d love to know.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to rent a copy of The Incredibles on PS2.