With the recent news that there is only one surviving Blockbuster Video still in operation, we thought we would take a look at some of the greatest video game rentals of all time. Most of us have fond memories of hitting our local rental store on Friday night and loading up on games and snacks to keep us entertained over the weekend. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, most kids had a limited budget and needed to make informed decisions on which games warranted a purchase and which were better served as a rental. There are several criteria for what makes a great video game rental, with arcade games, multiplayer experiences, and games that can be completed over a weekend typically where your rental budget was best spent. Here are some classic games that meet that criteria and qualify as the 15 best video game rentals of all time.
15. Super Mario Bros. 3
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario Bros. 3 was a cultural phenomenon even before it was released in February of 1990. The 1989 film The Wizard revealed the game to moviegoers in its final act, offering an early glimpse of what would end up being one of the greatest video games of all time. The film highlighted one of the game’s most interesting additions to the classic platforming franchise – the warp whistle. The warp whistle allowed the player to skip large sections of the game and made it possible to complete in 5-6 hours.
The thing that I remember distinctly about the launch of Super Mario Bros. 3 is that it cost $89.99 (in Canadian dollars, mind you) to purchase, almost 2 months worth of my paper route earnings. I had no choice but to rent the game or watch it being played at a friend’s house, I say “watch” because it was unlikely that anyone was willing to pass the controller over. The combination of the game’s hefty price tag, short completion time, and the fact that it’s simply one of the greatest games ever released made Super Mario Bros. 3 one of the greatest rentals of all time.