How-To Geek

Ask The Readers: How Do You Find Your Next Game?

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Once upon a time the only place for new video game information was down at the arcade. These days there’s a news source and niche for everyone and every kind of game; where and how do you find your next video game conquest?

Word of mouth? App recommendations? Critical reviews? This week we’re interested in lining ourselves up for a little summer fun: tell us all about your tips, tricks, and techniques for finding the real gems in the pile of games that comes out every year.

Sound off in the comments and then check back in on Friday for the What You Said roundup.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/20/12

Comments (24)

  1. Irish_IT

    I use the Steam platform rather regularly and they always give deals and info when new games come out for the PC or older games at BIG discounts.

  2. Weslocke

    Oh heck, finding the game isn’t hard. Between podcasts, sites and Steam sales I can’t get away from them.

    Now can you help me just find time to play any of the stack that I’ve bought. _THAT’S_ the question I want answered. :-)

  3. keltari

    Finding a game is the easy part. If you read this site, Im willing to bet you read other IT/game sites and you are deluged with game reviews and advertisements.

    The hard part is deciding which game to get. Everyone has their preference for genre, platform, price, free time available, etc. Sometimes I feel like a FPS on the console, other times a turn based strategy game on the PC.

    Some games are just have-to-haves. For me if Bioware made it, Im buying it.

    As for other games that look interesting, the deciding factor is MetaCritic. I only look at critic reviews. User reviews are worthless to me, as they tend to be filled by kids who are fanboys or haters. The give 0s or 10s and their reviews tend to be garbage.

  4. fengshaun

    Starcraft II all the way. Do I need any other games?

    But seriously, MMOHut (from the youtube fame) also regularly reviews free-to-play MMO{RPG,FPS,etc.} games. I’ve found out about Blacklight retribution, Team Fortress 2, Alliance of Valiant Arms, LoL, and Tribes Ascend from them and am pretty happy! :) The awesome thing about MMOHut is I can download the games they review and starting playing without looking into my pocket for spare change!

  5. Raging God

    I buy Pro Evolution Soccer every year,

    and then just torrent some other games that looks good when you watch the walk through video.

    Basically if I want to play the game online I buy the genuine license

  6. bigredlizard

    World of Tanks is my current GoTo game. Honestly, I haven’t found anything worth playing since it came out. I dislike 3rd person perspective games, and have every FPS made.

    And lets be honest, what’s more fun than driving around in a tank and blowing stuff up?!?!

  7. hellboy1975

    Reading Rock Paper Shotgun

  8. Wolfram

    I’m still in school so I have quite a lot (read: too much of) time to play these things and look them up.

    Finding games that are worthwhile to play is truly an art, YouTube gameplay is usually a good way to go (but not always spoiler-free) if it is done by someone mature enough. I try to stay away from written reviews though as just one person’s exhaustive opinions aren’t the kind of information I want. I personally subscribe to a certain TotalBiscuit who goes out of his way to find new stuff to be cynical about

    Always look in more than one place for information before you spend money though, triple-A titles aren’t cheap and can still be poor quality.

    And yes, Steam sales are magnificent. This especially true for Indie games that you might have missed that are worth getting (super cheap as well)

    My final way to find the “next” game is to follow a series. If great games have been made in the past that you enjoyed, the newest installments will probably be pretty good as well. Some good examples of this are (in my own humble opinion) the Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Batman, Far Cry and the list goes on. Not always perfect, but a great way to find something interesting

    and that is that

  9. Richard Wesley Eby Jr.

    I use a website called

  10. jon_hill987

    Between Rock Paper Shotgun the Steam store and PCGamer magazine I doubt I would miss much that comes out.

  11. C_C

    Oh my… That image with the Pacman ghosts… I think that is my render from a couple of years back. I posted it in a well known image board on a wall paper thread. I’ll have to check when I get home from work. Incredible.

  12. Buzz

    I have quite an elaborate procedure in finding my next game:
    For free games i simply follow the feeds on a few websites like Freegamer, LinuxGames, HappyPenguin and Penguspy. Every now and them i browse Wikipedia articles on free/FOSS games.

    For commercial games the procedure depends on what i enjoyed the most in that game:
    – If i enjoyed the story or the general feel: i usually start with a game i like and look for sequels, prequels, mods or spinoffs. I even go out on a limb and give other platforms (than a PC) a try, even if it usually means emulation. If you really enjoy a game series/saga it’s usually worth the effort.
    – If i enjoy the producer/gaming company then i seek out more of their games.
    – If i enjoy the technical achievements that went into making the game or if i am concerned for the system requirements of my gear i try to play games that are built on the same engine(s) as one of the games i ran smooth and enjoyed.
    – If i feel like playing a particular genre i usually start with a title i enjoyed and look for alternatives or similar games
    – You can always try searching for Game of The Year winners for a particular time period or other similar accomplishments. They usually yield great results.

    Good websites on games are IGN and GameSpot. My game-finding algorithm usually involves starting with the Wikipedia page of a Game Engine, Game Company, Game Genre or Game i Liked. Afterwards i move on to checking reviews on GameTrailers and finally look up gameplay videos on Youtube.

  13. Dorothy

    The popular-enough classic games can be had for free. Retro-fitting them to XP and beyond can be a challenge, though.

  14. bobro

    doesnt matter… forget all other games and devote yourselves to Dark Souls for the Xbox!

  15. Red

    I mostly hear about New Games online (Steam, News- and Gaming-Sites) and sometimes per accident.

    My interests in new games is the Genre, the Game-play and the General Design (and when its already out I’m trying to get some Reviews). After that I look at Music and Graphics and the specs the game needs to run (I’m not buying a game my PC can’t handle XD)

    As For Console games… I’m with Nintendo, I’m not an FPS fan and I’m curious to see what they will do with the Pad, but I’m not looking that forward to the next Mario or Zelda like Hardcore fans.

  16. Motoki

    Also do the Steam sales here. I think prior to being on Steam I only bought a few games a year but now I have way more than I care to admit. If you time it right some of the deals are amazing. It’s also quite a nice platform that organizes your digital game collection and automatically keeps it updated.

  17. Dennis

    New Games; Steam and Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
    Old Games: Good Old Games

  18. Ben

    Is the game 70?
    Are other review ratings good?

    When Steam has the huge sales I usually buy 10 to 15 games. It keeps me busy until the next smokin good deal. I hate spending $40 to $50 on a game that got good reviews but I end up not liking it. Much better to feel like I only wasted $5 to $20 instead of $50.

    Now I’m with Motoki, thanks to Steam I now have far to many games than I’d like to admit.

  19. Citrus Rain

    I don’t really get into that many anymore. – Haven’t even finished Skyward Sword or the newest Assassin’s Creed.

    I tend to grab the ones that I can pick up and put down whenever. Minecraft is a plus, and the Humble Indie Bundle is great! (Haha! Donation battle!)

    I tend to avoid seeing steam sales, because they lure me in with TF2 items and rack up my paypal.

  20. Noah

    Steam, I have so many games I have yet to play because of the great deals on steam. I don’t even need to think about my next game. The time between big budget game releases is filled perfectly with indie games and minecraft.

  21. Chris

    I too am a steam user because of the great sales they offer. I also use Game Informer because I seem to agree with their writers on most game reviews. It also doesn’t hurt that you get a free G.I. subscription with renewing your Game Stop rewards card every year. If the game is already out I will watch youtube videos and see if I like the way the game looks, sounds, and plays. Oh and the old stand by read the back of the box. LOL

  22. Tony

    Pirate Bay, Demonoid, Torrentz, etc. Hey, just being honest. I keep up with game reviews from the major sites, ScrewAttack, GameTrailers, IGN, EGM etc. When I see something I like, torrent it. You might say I’m killing the industry, but I really don’t care. I pirate for the sake of pirating, and because I’m a digital hoarder. And I’ve been doing it for a long, long time. Maybe 10% of the games I get actually get played past a title screen.

  23. TVDJeda

    I get my recommendations from a YouTube channel called Classicgameroom. These guys review both modern and retro games for literally every system. These guys always have something for everyone.

  24. Z

    I go thru about a dozen game news and review sites and stuff like that to both keep up with the latest bullshit and things coming out etc etc. Sometimes I go to YouTube but very rarely. I also use Steam but mostly I use it to make finding shortcuts to games easier.

    ATM I’m switching between World of Tanks, Starcraft 2, Diablo 1, and a bit of WoW (Love-Hate Relationship). But the time I spend playing games has decreased significantly I’m wondering if I should even care anymore. I spend more time watching old shows like Star Trek then I do playing games even tho I have more then enough time.

    I torrent most everything anymore… because IMHO most games aren’t worth it. I haven’t seen a game that even looked fun since like ever. Probably because everyone is going for the casual gamers. I don’t spend any money on World of Tanks or any other Free to Play games since most eventually adopt Pay to Win mechanics,. Last 2 games that I felt was good enough to purchase was Starcraft 2 and Skyrim.

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