15 Great Console Games for Under $15 Bucks


?For such a common hobby, gaming is shockingly expensive. You usually need a costly console, a nice TV, an internet connection, a 24-pack of some highly caffeinated beverage and a four-person household staff to take care of your every whim while you blow away Nazis (at least, that’s how I do it). Then there are the games, which usually cost $60 new these days — more if you spring for the special editions. Fortunately, games typically don’t hold value long, and you can find some great games for far less money if you’re willing to buy used copies of slightly older games.

In this list we’ve got 15 games (in no particular order) that all fall into the “very good to great” category that are all available online for less that $15 bucks. All of the games on this list are for the Xbox 360 console for a couple reasons: It’s the most popular console for core gamers (insert your own “Wii is for babies” joke here) and has sold by far the most software of any current system. Some of the games listed here may be slightly more expensive for PS3, as there are fewer used copies out there. Feel free to fight amongst yourselves; we’re going ahead with the list.

15) Grand Theft Auto IV
The dirty secret of the Grand Theft Auto series is that it has absolutely no resale value— the series sells so many copies that used game stores always get hundreds upon hundreds of copies after gamers finish it up. Every GTA game can eventually be found for dirt cheap, and the Rockstar’s latest entry is no exception. One of the best-reviewed games of all time, there’s no reason not to check out GTAIV. (Buy here for $12.99)

14) Left 4 Dead
The game is only a year old, but the original Left 4 Dead can be found for a song thanks to the recently released sequel. It’s often hard to go back to the original after playing the sequel, but Left 4 Dead holds up really well thanks to zombie-killing and zombie-running-from gameplay that wasn’t significantly altered for the second game. (Buy
here for $12.99)

13) X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Yes, it’s a game based on a movie, but don’t let that scare you away. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a fun, gory brawler — Logan gets to eviscerate, decapitate and generally tear apart his foes — that’s infinitely better than the movie on which it’s based. It’s also easily the best game Wolverine has ever starred in, although that’s not saying much. (Buy
here for $12.99)

12) Devil May Cry 4
The Devil May Cry series has had some ups and downs, but the fourth entry in the series was a welcome return to form, even though it stars new guy Nero and not the franchise’s star Dante. But it’s still about killing monsters with guns, swords and as much style as possible. (Buy
here for $12.99)

11) Fight Night Round 3
I actually prefer Fight Night Round 3 to Round 4; the addition of more realistic fighter management made the arcade-style gameplay a little less fun in my mind. If you’ve never played a Fight Night game, pick up Round 3 and you see why it’s the best boxing series of all time and a great fighting game in its own right. (Buy
here for $12.99)

10) Project Gotham Racing 4
Project Gotham Racing is one of Microsoft’s premiere exclusive franchises, and this latest game will be the last developed by series originator Bizarre Creations. The studio is now owned by Activision, but their swansong PGR game is a must have for racing fans. (Buy
here for $9.99)

9) Tomb Raider Legend
Lara Croft’s videogame career was as dead as the 1990s boy band explosions before Legend revitalized the franchise. A welcome return to form, Legend was the most warmly received Tomb Raider game in years, since it was actually about Lara exploring jungles and ruins and raiding tombs, although once again Lara’s career has cooled off. But don’t let that deter you from checking out this solid game. (Buy
here for $9.99)

8) Red Faction: Guerrilla
One of my personal favorite games of last year, Red Faction: Guerrilla lets you blow up anything and everything you see. With amazing physics and destruction technology, few games can match the chaos of Red Faction. The fact that you can buy it so cheaply is nearly criminal. If you buy one game on this list, buy Red Faction: Guerrilla. (Buy here for $12.99)

7) Rock Band
This one’s a bit tricky. Yes, you can get Rock Band for ten bucks, but you’ll need the instrument controllers to play it. But if you already have Guitar Hero or Rock Band 2 controllers, pick this one up for its great collection of diverse tracks, which includes Black Sabbath, Weezer, The Who, Hole and much, much more.(Buy
here for $9.99)

6) Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2
With the first GRAW (which is also available for under $15 bucks), Ubisoft transformed the Ghost Recon series from dry tactical shooter into a thrilling military roller-coaster ride. The sequel upped the ante with bigger thrills, better graphics and better online modes. Multiplayer will be a ghost town now, but you can still enjoy the excellent single-player game. (Buy
here for $14.99)

5) Gears of War
Who can resist the allure of gorilla-bodied fratboys with chainsaw guns? Not the millions of gamers who made Gears of War a smash. If you haven’t played it yet, you probably should. It still looks great and the cover-based shooting action plays as well today as when the game the game came out. (Buy
here for $9.99)

4) The Darkness
A story-driven shooter from the developers of The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, The Darkness doesn’t quite hit the same heights as Vin Diesel’s finest hour, but is still a no-brainer purchase for eight bucks. You get to tear up mafia goons with first-person tentacles – what more do you need? (Buy
here for $7.99)

3) Saints Row
It may be a GTA clone, but there are those out there who love the Saints Row series more than the franchise it copied. While the GTA games grow progressively more straight-faced, the Saints Row games are apologetically silly, goofy and crass. If you like causing mayhem in the GTA games, then you’ll love Saints Row. (Buy
here for $12.99)

2) Condemned: Criminal Origins
Still one of the scariest games ever, the original Condemned send you into dark alleys and decrepit buildings armed only with the melee weapons you can find around you. Moody, creepy and full of dread, Condemned was one of the best Xbox 360 launch titles and still fun today, if slightly dated. The sequel Condemned 2: Bloodshot gets a little nuts, but can also be found used for under $15 bucks. (Buy
here for $7.99)

1) Crackdown
One of my personal favorite games ever, Crackdown is Grand Theft Auto, except you’re the cop…. and you have super-powers. You can run faster than cars. You can leap several city blocks at once. You can kick people so hard they fly 40 feet into the air (although you should only do this to criminals). You can legally commandeer any vehicle you see, and either drive them or throw them like a softball at a crowd of gangsters. Your mission: kill every criminal in a large, sprawling city, with any weapon at your disposal. It’s largely plotless and definitely chaotic, but incredibly, undeniably fun. (Buy
here for $12.99)

J. Matthew Zoss is the editor of Topless Robot‘s sister site Joystick Division. For more video game coverage, visit