With so many gaming systems available to the masses it’s become quite difficult to know where to buy your games from these days. If, like me, you have a multitude of gaming systems then remembering which site you visited last to download a game can become a bit of a chore.
For example, I have a PC, PS4, XBOX ONE and Nintendo Switch. Trying to remember the best places to buy games from for each console is a nightmare. Some are cheaper than others but some offer additional benefits. For example you’ll often find that for Nintendo games the official Nintendo Store may not be the cheapest but you do earn points on qualifying purchases that then go towards a discount on your next game.
So to help identify the best places to buy your games I’ve come up with a list of the Top 7 Gaming stores. Let’s get into the list.
Top 7 Gaming Stores
It took me a fair old while to get to grips with the best 7 gaming stores. I reduced it from a shortlist of 10 online shops. But, I figured 10 is far too many so I cut it down to the list you’ll see below. There’s a couple of completely obvious choices on this list but there’s also one on the list that may prove controversial, but me personally, I haven’t had any trouble with this particular marketplace at all.
So what are the Top 7 Gaming stores then? Well you’ll find them below.
Epic Games Store
Official Nintendo Store
Amazon - Best All Round
Amazon, it’s one of the world's most popular online stores and it’s a place where you'll be able to find hundreds of thousands of games for sale at any one time. I’ll often visit Amazon when I’m looking for a game if I’m unable to find it for a decent price on any of the official stores.
Games are often quite heavily discounted on Amazon and the deepest discounts are most often found via Amazon Warehouse.
One of the best benefits of purchasing your games via Amazon is the A-Z guarantee they provide for all purchases. They’ll refund you pretty much with no questions asked if there are any issues with your game.
If you’re buying a physical copy of the game you’ll also get free delivery with your Prime membership. Aswell as free delivery you’ll get some bonus content via the Amazon owned Twitch streaming service.
Epic Games Store
Epic Games is a great store for buying and downloading PC games. It’s the home games such as Fortnite, Shadow Complex, Spyjinx and Unreal Tournament. There’s also over 60 games you can download and play for free.
There are discounts to be had via the Epic Games store as well. You can keep an eye on what offers and promos are currently running by checking their sale showcase page.
Another really positive point to note about this particular store is their fairly relaxed refund policy. It’s pretty cool that they’ll refund you as long as you have less than two hours of play time and it’s within 14 days of the game's purchase. You won’t be refunded if the game has any add-ons or additional character skins etc.
Don’t abuse this refund policy though, some people have been banned for buying and claiming refunds on games just so they can ‘try the game’.
Official Nintendo Store
The original store was launched in 2011 to coincide with the Nintendo 3DS console launch. It’s since been rebranded as the eShop and it’s home to thousands of Nintendo Games. It’s pretty much become the main distributor for all Nintendo Switch game releases.
If you’ve got a Switch and play it online you’ll probably already have an eShop account. I really like how easy it is to navigate and I can always find what I’m looking for with relative ease.
The clues in the name but you’ll only find Nintendo games on the eShop. The prices aren’t as competitive as somewhere like Amazon or CEX but you will earn Gold Points on qualifying purchases which can then be used towards future game purchases.
Here’s what you’ll earn:
5% for digital software (Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U)
1% for physical purchases (Nintendo Switch)
Gold points you earn can be redeemed for £0.01 per Gold Point towards any digital Nintendo Switch game.
if you spend £59.99 on a digital game, you will receive 300 Gold Points (which is 5%). This equates to £3.00 in Gold Point value that you can apply to a future purchase of a Nintendo Switch game on the official store.
You may or may not have heard of CD Keys. If you are familiar with the name you may have heard of controversies surrounding this ‘grey market’ vendor. But, I’ve bought nearly 15 titles from them and all have been delivered and worked as expected. They’re a legitimate company and offer deep discounts on game keys.
Game devs and publishers may not approve of their methods but they’ve been around for ages now. They’d have been shut down years ago if something about them was fishy. The controversy surrounds the method of obtaining their keys.
A grey market exists around Steam keys, where less reputable buyers purchase a large number of Steam keys for a game when it is offered for a low cost, and then resell these keys to users or other third-party sites at a higher price, generating profit for themselves.
I personally don’t see an issue with other companies trying to make a living for themselves and their employees, as long as it is legitimate and individuals aren’t scammed or anything like that.
They offer a wide variety of games for multiple different platforms. You can even find gift cards and top-ups available for sale. You’ll find games and top ups available for PC, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, FIFA FUT Points, ITUNES, Facebook, Google Play and many more.
The Microsoft store has physical and digital downloads. It’s got thousands of games available to buy. It’s certainly not the cheapest place to buy your games but it’s backed by one of the biggest companies in the world so you can be sure they’re not going to rip you off.
What’s different about the Microsoft Store compared to something like the Epic Games store is that you can actually still buy physical disks from the Microsoft store front. Which, if you still like to collect physical copies, is a big bonus. You’ll find the following formats for sale - Xbox Discs, Xbox digital copies, Windows digital copies, Windows phone games. And, believe it or not, you can even buy movies and TV shows.
I really like that you can see if a game is available on Game Pass too, so it’ll save you paying full price for the game. You can simply register for game pass and get it downloaded right away. Just remember though, some games are removed from the subscription service periodically.
One of the most popular stores in the list. The Playstation store has PS4, PS5 and free to play games all listed on their shop. You can also buy a PS Plus subscription service membership too.
They often have some pretty good deals of games. I’ve gotten up to 70% discount before over full price, which makes the Playstation store an obvious choice to buy your games. If you want to check what deals are available you can check it out here.
At the time of writing they have over 4900 games in the library to choose from. These include PS exclusives and some of the most popular games in recent times.
Registration is simple. If you already have a PSN account you can use a single sign on to sign in. All you’ll need to do is add your payment information and you’re ready to go.
The Playstation store also gives you direct access to game merchandise. For example, if you wanted to get a hold of a The Last Of Us branded hoodie you can do so. I’ve noticed that merch prices are quite high, most merch is fairly expensive but I guess it could potentially become a collectors item in the future.
Arguably the most popular marketplace for PC gaming titles. Steam has been around in one form or another since September 2003. It’s initial purpose was for a way for it’s parent company Valve to provide automated game updates. It then expanded to include games from other third party publishers.
It’s a massive store and has thousands upon thousands of PC games. The thing I really like about Steam is that anyone can publish a game on the platform. From Indie games up to massive multi-million turn over game dev companies, it’s all available on Steam.
At the end of 2019 the service has over 95 million monthly active users and over 34,000 individual game titles.
You’ll often find super low prices on Steam so make sure you take advantage of those low prices to nab your favourite gaming titles. You can head on over to Steam here.