I have a lot of favorite games. Who the heck doesn’t? But rare is the game that I love so much that I buy it again. Sometimes they’re remakes, sometimes a Japanese version to complement my US copy, sometimes just different or more convenient formats. And even rarer is the game that I buy again…and again.
Having just picked up the PS4 remake of Shadow of the Colossus — my third version — I got to thinking about which games I love so much that I’ve bought three times…or more!
A note: I’m only listing console games that I’ve bought multiple copies of, or actually got re-released or re-made when they were already great games to begin with. I’m not including golden age arcade classics that got continually upgraded home ports, such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Dragon’s Lair, etc., because I would assume that it was pretty common practice for old-timer gamers like me to keep re-buying those games with each console generation as they got closer and closer to their arcade grandaddies.
Shadow of the Colossus
We’ll start here, since it’s the remake du jour. I love giant monsters. I’m a huge kaiju movie buff, and have always fantasized about seeing them up close and interacting with them. I also really enjoyed Fumito Ueda’s ICO, the first game in this loose “series.” So I was on board with Shadow of the Colossus from the moment it started making videogame news leading up to its release on the PlayStation 2. I played the demo that came with Official PlayStation Magazine (which I still have) and fell HARD for the game. Bought it on its release date and played through it several times. Years later, I discovered the fascinating work of die-hard SotC explorer Nomad on his blog and his YouTube channel, and started to love the game, its world, and its secrets even more.
But of course, everyone knows that SotC was pushing the PS2 to its absolute limit; I think there was a joke that you could actually hear your PS2 groaning as it tried to run the mammoth game. So the PS3 HD edition was a welcome release, and I picked it up and played through it a couple more times, enjoying the smoother graphics and framerate, and spending more time exploring the land, hitching rides on flying birds, and collecting white-tailed skinks.
Little did we expect that after Ueda’s brilliant The Last Guardian was finally released — after, what, 9 years in development hell? — that Sony would announce a full, from-the-ground-up remake of Shadow, and that it was coming soon. It dropped a couple days ago. I’m playing it now. It’s the same game, but SO GORGEOUS. And I’ll play through it again several times and keep exploring its vast and lonely world.
Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3
I’m a huge Metal Gear buff! So when PlayStation 2 favorite Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty got an upgraded re-release called Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, I picked it up. And when Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater got a similar re-release with added features called Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, I bought that too. Then, when the PS3 came out and Konami put out an HD collection featuring MGS 2 and 3 (and Peace Walker), I had to add that to my collection. I also bought MGS: Snake Eater 3D for the 3DS somewhere in there. What can I say? I loves me some Metal Gear. A lot.
Lunar: The Silver Star
Lunar is my favorite JRPG series. Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Ys, Mother — all great, but if I had to pick, I’m sticking with Lunar. The original on SegaCD is such a great balance of classic menu-driven JRPG gameplay, charming characters, cool anime cutscenes, and great music. I also love its sequel, Lunar: Eternal Blue, just as much. But the original Lunar has been remade at least three times, and I’ve bought it every time!
I started with the original, on SegaCD. Then, when it was remade for both Sega Saturn and PlayStation in Japan, I was tempted to buy them — until Working Designs announced they were bringing the PS version to the US as Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete in a super-duper-deluxe edition, so naturally I got that when it came out. The third version was Lunar Legend for Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance — Lunar had finally made its way to a Nintendo system! Despite the absence of “Silver Star” in the title, yes, Lunar Legend is a unique re-telling of the first game, with some refreshing format changes, but no less appealing. And finally, the last remake was Lunar: Silver Star Harmony for the PlayStation Portable, released in the US by XSeed in a nice box set with a CD.
But wait, there’s more — somewhere along the line, I even acquired the original Japanese Sega MegaCD version. So I have actually quintuple-dipped on Lunar!!
I love the fact that, even though Lunar as a JRPG series is nowhere near as famous as Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, it’s often seen as deserving of deluxe box set releases. It’s like a gift for those who know what a great JRPG experience is really about. And that’s why I can’t resist it.
Metroid, Metroid II, and Super Metroid
Yes, I’m known for being a Metroid nerd. Can’t help it. So it stands to reason that the greatest game in the universe, the original Metroid, is the reigning champion, holding the record for most copies of any game in my collection. It includes:
- 2 CIB silver NES copies (different Nintendo quality seals)
- 2 Famicom Disk System copies (one CIB, one just the disk in the case)
- 1 loose European NES cart
- The unlockable original in Metroid Prime
- The Game Boy Advance remake, Metroid Zero Mission
- The unlockable original in MZM
So that’s eight versions of Metroid — although if you don’t count the unlockables because those are not separate purchases, then it’s really only six, which still qualifies it as the champ — and I still don’t have the yellow-box reissue, or the GBA “NES Classics” or “FDS Mini” versions.
Metroid II, on the other hand, I have the US and Japanese versions of, and of course the recent remake, Metroid: Samus Returns.
As for Super Metroid — you know, the other greatest game in the universe — I have just one each of CIB copies from Japan, the US, and the big-box version from Europe. And they’re perfect!
…and of course, I’m not counting the fact that I have many of these games on various emulators on my PC and Raspberry Pi. Really, I guess I just want to be able to play my absolute favorites any way I can.
How about you? What games have you bought three times or more? Comment below!