Opinion: 7 Reasons Why You Should Never Trade In Your Old Systems

Gaming consoles tend to be pricey when they initially launch. Sure, after a year or so on the market, you might see price drops, but traditionally they’re a hefty investment. It’s not just the system you’re buying. You need extra controllers, games, cables, memory cards, online subscriptions and more. By the time you’ve walked out of GameStop, your wallet is empty and your checking account wants to take revenge. So with that said, here are my top seven reasons why I will never trade in a system, no matter how badly I want the newest machine on day one.

7. Nostalgia

Nintendo makes fan’s happy with “Classic” console line.

Look at the frenzy over the NES and Super NES classic systems. Consumers went ballistic over these things, causing mass shortages and in certain cases, outrage over lack of supply. Gamers love the past, and these two gems represent all that was great in the video gaming world from the ’80s and ’90s. If I didn’t have my working NES from 1985, I would have bought the NES Classic in a heartbeat. To this day, I pop in games such as Castlevania, Super Mario 2, and Double Dragon.

I often spend hours reconnecting with the games that defined my childhood. Nostalgia is huge right now, probably because it allows us to block out all the terrible things going on in today’s world, if only for a little while.

6. Amazing games have great replay value

Metal Gear
Metal Gear Solid never gets old.

I’m willing to bet there isn’t a single person who reads this who can say they’ve never played through a game more than once. Whether it’s discovering a hidden path not followed before, collecting every trophy and bonus, or even noticing things that didn’t stand out in a previous playthrough, great games will always have lasting replay value. Even if I earned a hundred percent on something, I’ll still go back and play it again. Knowing the full story and outcome shouldn’t stop players from enjoying a highly entertaining game from the past.

I can tell you exactly how both Metal Gear Solid and Ocarina of Time end, but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the hell out of them repeatedly. The roll of the credits doesn’t have to mean you should seal the game in a vault, never to be seen again. We should cherish the industry’s finest achievements and give them the multiple playthroughs they deserve.

5. You don’t really get much these days for used systems

Used Games
Used games aren’t always the best deal. Credit: Brant Ward

Let’s face it: The amount of credit or money you get by trading games and systems in can be insulting at best. By the time you want to trade something in, it’s been out for at least a couple years and they’ve released a 2.0 version. It’s simply not worth trading in a beloved console for the pittance stores like GameStop want to give you. It’s infuriating how they turn around and sell it for quite the profit.

4. Previous generation systems still receive great games at the end of their life

Breath of the Wild is a stunning achievement for Nintendo.

With the release of a new system, the older model gets less appealing in the minds of gamers. By ignoring your old faithful console in favor of its successor, you potentially miss truly imaginative titles at the tail end of the life cycle. Let’s take the much maligned and often despised Wii U, a system that didn’t sell very well and made zero impact in the world. With the release of the Switch, gamers rejoiced at the return to form for Nintendo and its beloved hardware. The killer IP for the new system was, of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The latest entry into the series is stunning and deserves the game of the year title it eventually received.

Problem is, at least for me, I couldn’t afford a Switch at the time. Between the system, the game, Pro Controller, micro SD card, case, screen protector and extra Joy-Cons, I was looking at hundreds of dollars I didn’t have. What I did have, however, was a Wii U. I bought the predecessor to the Switch so that I could play the HD versions of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. It was worth every penny to see those games in full HD glory. When Breath of the Wild was first announced, it was going to be a Wii U exclusive. Even though I eventually bought a Switch, I don’t think I’ll ever purchase another copy of Breath of the Wild.  The Wii U version is beautiful and amazing in its own right.

3. I spent too time and effort building up a library of games to simply sell them off

Video game playing can be an expensive hobby.

The Xbox 360 had an 11-year run, selling over 84 million units in its lifetime. Across those 11 years, gamers plunked down an unfathomable amount of money on games and peripherals. As I mentioned above, there is no way you would get a fraction of what it’s all really worth by trading it all in. I can’t speak for our readers, but I know I meticulously curated my systems and games, and after 11 years, I am not going to part with any of it. Don’t forget, the 360 generation pioneered digital downloads, making it so that you can’t even trade in a bulk of your games as it is.

2. They’re tiny works of art on my shelves

Consoles deserve to be shown off with pride.

Video game consoles are more than just plastic and metal boxes; they’re works of art, having taken months to design and craft. Love them or hate them, each machine is unique, right down to the placement of their power buttons. I currently have a select few of my systems set up under my TV, each one meticulously cared for and maintained. All of them are ready for use at a moment’s notice. I don’t simply see the entertainment value in them, but rather, the immense aesthetic value as well. I don’t actively play all of them, but I still get enjoyment in their mere presence. It’s a goal of mine, once I have more space, to hook up and display all of the systems acquired over the span of my life; each will have its own designated space and given the respect that it deserves.

1. Unmitigated regret

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

I started this piece off by saying I would never trade in a system; this was a slight lie. Back in the late ’90s, I decided I wanted a PlayStation but didn’t have the money for it. In a rather unprecedented move, I gathered up my Super Nintendo with all of its games, marched over to Electronics Boutique (a predecessor to GameStop), and traded it all in for a shiny new PSX. At the time, I was ecstatic to have my new gaming machine; everything about the system wowed me. Years later, I can finally admit I regret doing that with every fiber of my being. I loved my Super Nintendo. Along with the original NES, it defined my childhood. To this day, I will never forgive myself for parting with my beloved SNES, and I can only hope that whoever bought it gave it the good home the system deserved. I did manage to buy another one years later, but it’s not the same.

Final thoughts

At this very moment, I still have a working NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, Game Boy Color, 3DS, TurboGrafx 16, PlayStation 1, 2, 3, 4, Xbox, Xbox 360 and a Dreamcast to keep me busy. Video games are more than just a way to pass the time. They’re a way to explore one’s imagination, to take yourself somewhere that’s not humanly possible. Where else can you explore ancient ruins, navigate a post-apocalyptic world, or travel through space and time trying to save the universe?

Just because I beat a game, doesn’t mean it’s now useless. That’s what makes games and gaming so great: You can always go back and re-immerse yourself in these worlds and take on the role of someone else for a while. To all our readers, I simply ask that you think about what you’re doing before you go and trade something in. Video games are like old friends; every now and then, you’ll want to get together and catch up for a while.

Have you ever traded in a console and regretted it later? Let us know in the comments below!

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IT Recruiter
IT Recruiter
3 years ago

This article is now irrelevant when it comes to Xbox. I’m trading in my Xbox One for the Xbox Series X because Microsoft now supports backwards combat.

3 years ago
Reply to  IT Recruiter

Totally Agree, Xbox is setting a good precedent that hopefully Nintendo and Sony follow.