Although the pervasiveness of digital downloads is making it harder and harder for developers and publishers to include tangible exclusives with special edition games, there’s still some pretty sweet swag floating around out there for hundreds of already released titles. So if you’re willing to spend some cash and a little time searching on eBay, chances are you can still find a few awesome collector’s editions of your favorite Xbox and PlayStation games. However, if you’re looking for the very best of the best in terms of premium gaming bundles that everyone wants to get their hands on, then this list should provide you with a handy reference to use in your search.
12. BioShock – Limited Edition
By the time the game was released, BioShock had a huge amount of hype surrounding it and there was no shortage of people who couldn’t wait to get their hands on a the Limited Edition version. Along with a making-of DVD and a three-track vinyl record, the thing that really enticed gamers was that burly, hand-finished Big Daddy figure. But since 2K Games made plenty of the bundles available and NECA Toys eventually made the Big Daddy figure available to purchase separately, this is likely the most common collector’s edition on the list.
11. Fallout 3 – Exclusive Survival Edition
Bethesda has developed a reputation for delivering desirable collector’s editions for their games, so for the release of the highly anticipated Fallout 3, they made sure to push the envelope. The rare Amazon exclusive Survival Edition of Fallout 3 comes bundled with an art book, a making-of DVD, a bobblehead of Fallout’s quintessential mascot, Vault Boy, and a cool retro lunchbox for you to store all your rations. But best of all, it comes with a life-sized replica of a Pip-Boy 3000, the very same arm-mounted computer device that acts as your menu screen, inventory and guide through the game. Although, sadly, in real life, it’s just a super clunky wristwatch.
10. Assassin’s Creed II – Master Assassin Edition
Ubisoft stepped its game up with their collector’s edition for Assassins Creed II. Instead of the puny three-inch Altair figurine that was included in the first game’s limited edition, the Ezio Auditore statuette that comes in the Assassin’s Creed II Master Assassin Edition stands 8.5-inches tall and is posed with his lethal wrist blades at their ready. Accompanying the statuette is an art book, soundtrack, a behind-the-scenes DVD, and two exclusive maps that were later made available through DLC.
Now that it’s become customary that every special edition Assassin’s Creed game come with a statuette of the protagonist, a lot of collectors have been going back and trying to get their hands on the Ezio to complete their Brotherhood.
9. The Last of Us – Post-Pandemic Edition
Undoubtedly, the main attraction of this post-apocalyptic special edition is the lovely statue of Joel and Ellie that comes with it. The statue is the skilled handiwork of the people at Project Triforce, who you also crafted excellent some excellent Gears of War and Arkham City replicas. According to the packaging, the statue alone constitutes a $200 value, which could be why a used copy of The Last of Us Post-Pandemic Edition sells for pretty much the same price as the regular edition if the statue is missing.
For anyone who cares about the non-statue-related things included in the Post-Pandemic Edition, it also comes with a few DLC inserts, the first issue of The Last of Us comic, a steel case and some stickers.
8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Collector’s Edition
As we mentioned earlier, Bethesda has sorcerer-like abilities when it comes to charming nerds with their collector’s editions. One look at the detailed Alduin statue included in this Skyrim bundle was probably all it would have taken to send gamers into a frenzy, but combine that with a glossy art book and a very authentic looking cloth map, and you’ve got a collector’s edition that few Elder Scrolls fans would want to pass up.
7. Halo 3 – Legendary Edition
Making-of documentaries, soundtracks, Machinima, and some exclusive storyboard art are all part of the Halo 3 Legendary Edition. However, the only real reason why people were so excited to get their hands on this bundle was because it came with that sweet life-sized Master Chief Mark VI helmet. Cosplayers everywhere probably went bananas thinking they would finally have some authentic head gear to complete their set of Spartan armor. The only problem is that the helmet was only ever intended as a housing for the game case bonus material, so it doesn’t actually fit on a human-sized head. Oh well, at least it will still fetch a decent price on eBay.
6. Dark Souls III – Prestige Edition
Dark Souls III was just released and already its Prestige Edition continues to skyrocket in value. Though we can probably attribute some of that price increase to those annoying eBay resellers, you should never underestimate the great lengths that passionate fans are willing to go to in order to secure a special memento of their favorite game.
Much like The Last of Us Post-Pandemic Edition, the real value of the Dark Souls III Prestige Edition doesn’t come from things like the case, art book or soundtrack (all things which are included), but rather from the highly-detailed statue of Lord Of Cinder you get with it.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – Prestige Edition
When Modern Warfare 2 came out the Call of Duty franchise was pretty much at the height of its popularity, so it wasn’t like the marketing team needed to do anything to boost pre-orders. But given that its predecessor was the best selling game of 2007, Activision probably figured they should do something special for the hardcore fans.
Included in the Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition is a pair of genuine fully-functional night vision goggles that you can use to carry out all sorts of covert operations under the cover of darkness. It also came with a creepy plastic head for you to mount the goggles on, a steel game case, an art book, and a download code for the first Call of Duty. But let’s face it, all anyone cares about are the goggles.
4. The Beatles: Rock Band – Limited Edition Premium Bundle
Other than a few added DLC tracks and in-game items, there really isn’t anything else extra included in The Beatles: Rock Band Limited Edition Premium Bundle that you wouldn’t get in the standard bundle. But if you happen to be a huge Beatles fan, this Limited Edition Premium Bundle makes all the difference. Instead of the plain old plastic guitar, you get a Hefner bass that looks just like the one famously used by Paul McCartney during live performances. Additionally, the drums look way better because they include a fake kick drum emblazoned with The Beatles’ logo.
Given that Beatles fans are some of the most obsessed and passionate memorabilia hunters on the planet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that unopened boxes of this Limited Edition Premium Bundle only continue to rise in value.
3. Dead Space – Ultra Limited Edition
Dead Space might not have made as big a splash in the gaming community as some of the other titles on this list, but its collector’s edition would certainly suggests a lofty status. Packed in with the sci-fi survival horror game is an art book, a 160-page graphic novel, a full-length animated feature (which is actually pretty good), two signed lithographs, and a USG Ishimura patch that you can stitch onto your book bag to feel like a futuristic space engineer. But the main reason why the Dead Space Ultra Limited Edition has become so desirable is due to its rarity. There were only 1,000 of them made available, so if you’re hoping to get your hands on one you best be prepared to pay an arm and a leg—good thing the plasma cutter is the finest limb-severing weapon ever conceived.
2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Fortune Hunter Edition
If you thought getting your hands on one of the 1,000 copies of the Dead Space Ultra Limited Edition would be hard, you probably don’t even want to think about trying to obtain Uncharted 2‘s Fortune Hunter Edition. Only 200 of them were ever made and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, you couldn’t get one by simply adding it to your cart online or waiting queuing up outside a GameStop on release day. In fact, the only way you would have even had a chance of getting one is if you played the Uncharted 3 demo during select weekends in October 2009 leading up to the game’s release. If you did so, you just might have been one of the lucky people entered to win the ultra rare Fortune Hunter Edition which came with a copy of the game, an art book, the official guide, and an ornate replica of an ancient Phurba dagger that you could swear was movie prop stolen from the set of Indiana Jones. Combine that with the fact that the Uncharted series has grown to become one of the most acclaimed franchises in gaming, and it’s easy to see why this one of the most treasured collector’s editions of all time.
1. Saints Row IV – Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition
A Virgin Galactic space flight, a replica gun that’s also a turntable, some plastic surgery, a personal shopper, first class flights to Washington D.C. and Dubai, a hostage rescue experience, a day of spy training, a new wardrobe, a Toyota Prius, and a Lamborghini Gallardo, these were all the exclusive perks that supposedly went to a single gamer who purchased the Saints Row IV Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition. Though many people believed it to be nothing more than a clever viral marketing ad that poked fun at the ever-increasing lavishness of video game collector’s editions, the one-of-a-kind package was actually listed on U.K. retailer GAME’s website as an exclusive, with the developers stating openly that the offering was genuine.
Of course, when you consider the likelihood of there actually being anyone willing to pay $1 million for that laundry list of luxury items and experiences, it’s likely that publisher Deep Silver cooked up the whole campaign just to generate buzz for the game, but we like to think that somewhere out there there’s a really rich dude that just loves Saints Row.