14 Best Options for Video Game Rentals in 2022

14 Best Options for Video Game Rentals in 2022

Who knew the way a game was delivered would revolutionize the gaming industry? Back in the 1900s, you could rent video games, but it required going to a rental store like Blockbuster, hoping the game was there, then giving them your ID, a deposit, and paying the rental fee. Then there was RedBox, but that’s gone too. Today’s game rentals don’t even require you to get out of your chair.

We say video game rentals, but we really mean rentals, subscriptions, and legal free-to-play game providers. Let’s look at the best video game rental and subscription services for 2022.

Service Type: Rental

Platforms: Playstation 2, 3, 4, and 5, PSP, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, Wii, Wii U, DS, GameCube, GameBoy Advance

Delivery Method: Physical shipping

Cost: From $15.95/month to $43.95/month

The last of the physical media video game rental services, GameFly will ship you as many games as you want to your mailbox. Shipping from and to GameFly is free. Yes, it takes longer to get the game than downloading it, but games for some platforms can’t be downloaded. If you love the game, let them know and they’ll sell it to you at a discounted price. Even better than a game store.

Service Type: Rental

Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One

Delivery Method: Library Lending Download Model

Cost: $32.29 one-time deposit, 7 days – $5.99/game, 14 days – $11.59/game, 30 days – $16.99/game

So far GM2P’s game rental service has proven to be legal, although in a grayish area. They’ve been able to keep going because they only rent out as many copies of a game as they have legally purchased. It’s like how libraries can only lend out a book to one person at a time. The selection is a bit limited, but they’ve got some of the best gameplay franchises like Red Dead Redemption, Assassin’s Creed, and more.

Service Type: Emulation Service

Platforms: Atari 2600, Nintendo NES, Colecovision, Nintendo SNES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, SMS, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, Sega Game Gear, SMS, and TurboGrafx-16

Delivery Method: Library Lending Download Model

Cost: Atari 2600, Nintendo NES, and Colecovision games are free, $5.99/month to add the rest

Using the same model as G2MP, Console Classix is focused on the classic game consoles and games your parents, or even grandparents, used to play. You download their emulator application, for Windows only, and then choose from over 3500 games. If you want to see the original Mario Brothers or Pac Man in all their glory, choose Console Classix.

Service Type: Subscriber

Platforms: Windows PC

Delivery Method: Download through app

Cost: Included with Amazon Prime

You probably already have Amazon Prime Gaming and didn’t know it. Included in the cost of Amazon Prime, you get access to new and classic PC games to download and keep forever. You also get free in-game content like the Prime Gaming Capsule for League of Legends or GTA$400,000 for GTA Online. 

Most of the games are redeemed from Amazon, however they have partnerships with GOG and EA Origins. To access those games, you need to be a subscriber to GOG.com or EA Origins, which is free. As of writing this article, some of the games include the Monkey Island series, Football Manager 2021, Frostpunk, and Journey to the Savage Planet.

Service Type: Subscriber

Platforms: Android

Delivery Method: Download 

Cost: $4.99/month or $29.99/year – Share with up to 5 family members

Sure, Google Play has lots of free games but most of them have in-app purchases and ads. The Google Play Pass gets rid of that for hundreds of games and apps, and they’re adding more all the time. It’s not just indie games either. There are games in the Star Wars, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Game of Thrones franchises among others. Remember, Google Play Pass also includes regular apps and even podcasts. 

Service Type: Subscriber

Platforms: Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Windows PC, Xbox.com, Android, iOS

Delivery Method: Download

Cost: Console $9.99/month, PC $9.99/month, Ultimate (All platforms) $14.99/month

Microsoft’s entry into the game rental world is the Xbox Game Pass. With over 100 blockbuster games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda, you’ll never get bored. New releases are added regularly too. The PC and Ultimate Game Passes also include EA Play, which is a whole other world of epic sports games for the NBA, FIFA, NHL, F1, and PGA Tour leagues and other gaming genres. The pass also gets you lots of free in-game perks like skins and equipment.

Service Type: Subscriber

Platforms: PlayStation 2, 3, 4, 5 and Windows PC

Delivery Method: Download or stream

Cost:$12.99/month or $34.99/3 months or $79.99/year

Another game console heavy hitter, PlayStation Now is full of new games and recent classics like Fallout, Final Fantasy, and The Last of Us. Most games have ongoing access, but some are only available until a set date. The ability to start a game on your console and then move to your PC with the free app without losing progress is enticing. For the PC, you will require a compatible controller like the Dualshock 4.

Service Type: Subscriber

Platforms: Xbox, Playstation, Steam, Origin, and Windows PC

Delivery Method: Download

Cost: Per platform $4.99/month or $29.99/year

Limited to EA games, EA Play might not be the most well-rounded game provider. Their subscription model is complicated too. So complicated that they have account advisors to help make sure you’ve got the right subscription. Your EA Play membership will only apply to one platform. So if you want it for Xbox and Playstation, that’s 2 different subscriptions. There’s also a PlayPro subscription for $129.99/year that gets you access to new releases, best editions, premium player content, and in-game rewards. This option is best for the die-hard EA fans.

Service Type: Subscriber

Platforms: Windows PC 

Delivery Method: Download through Utomik app 

Cost: Personal Plan $6.99/month, Family Plan $9.99/month up to 4 users

Over 1300 games with new games added regularly, Utomik is great for the whole family. Gameplay ranges from the graphic violence of FPS’ like Borderlands to ESRB E-rated puzzle games like Among the Heavens suitable for everyone, even the youngest children. The Family Plan comes with parental controls so you can keep your young ones out of the deep end.

Service Type: Subscriber 

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Smart TV

Delivery Method: Streaming 

Cost: $9.99/month

Google’s second entry for video game rentals is the Stadia Pro service. Instead of app games like you have on your phone, Stadia Pro gives you access to several console-quality games such as Saints Row or Paw Patrol. The number of free games is low, but Google adds more every month. You can keep the games as long as you subscribe to Stadia Pro. Membership gets you discounts on premium games too, where the gameplay follows you from one device to another.

Service Type: Subscriber

Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Android, Android TV, Chrome, Safari

Delivery Method: Streaming 

Cost: Basic – Free, Priority  – $49.99/6 months. RTX 3080 – $99.99/6 months

As a streaming game provider, Nvidia’s GeForce Now leverages the latest game industry technology. That is, cloud game servers. As long as you have good internet speeds, you don’t need an expensive gaming rig. If you go top shelf with the RTX 3080 plan, it’s like you’re renting a gaming battlestation with the coveted Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card in it. It beats the old days of going to the game store to rent a console and lug it home. There are several free games available even with the basic plan, however, the best and newest games must be purchased.

Service Type: Subscriber 

Platforms: Android, iOS 

Delivery Method: Download 

Cost: Included in Regular Netflix Subscription

What? Netflix has games? The service has been available since November 2021. To find the games, go into the Netflix app on your Android or iOS device and scroll down until you see the Netflix Games row. This doesn’t show on Kids profiles. Select the game you want and install it. There are no in-app purchases either. Right now there are only 10 games available, and 2 of them are based on Stranger Things. Expect to see more games based on Netflix shows.

Service Type: Free 

Platforms: Browser-based 

Delivery Method: Download 

Cost: Free

For fans of classic arcade games and vintage consoles and computers, the Internet Archive is the heaven to which games go when they die. With browser-based emulators for Flash, Commodore 64, classic arcade game machines, Apple II, MS-DOS, consoles like Playstation PSX, Sega Genesis, Sega Master, Atari 2600, and exotics like the Emerson Arcadia, Bally Astrocade, Amstrad GX-4000, and Magnavox Odyssey2 there are over 60,000 video games to play. Free. That just seems unbelievable. Who needs to rent games?

14. Classic Arcade Game Rentals

Service Type: Rental

Platforms: Arcade Machines

Delivery Method: Delivery or Pick-up

Cost: Varies

You can search for other companies that rent classic arcade machines, however, Events Unlimited services Portland Oregon, Seattle Washington, Phoenix Arizona, and Las Vegas, while VideoAmusement services California and Nevada from their San Francisco location. Pac Man to Pong, NBA Jam to Tron, arcade game rental companies have you covered. 

Seems a bit much for you? Imagine these more as party rentals or booth bait at a trade show or corporate event. Who doesn’t stop when they see a full-size Centipede or Qbert game? Think about that for your event planning for your next event.

Game On for Everyone

If our 14 best options for video game rentals don’t make 2022 a better year for you, there’s nothing else we can do. Sure, they’re not strictly rentals, but the options are far less expensive than buying games and consoles outright. Stack a few of these together and you can play the entire history of video games. 

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