Final Fantasy X: The Price is Right

By Shamus
on May 3, 2006
Filed under:
Game Reviews


This is my sixth time playing through Final Fantasy X. Each time I play through the game it takes between 60 hours (my first time) and over 160 (last time, when I did every stinking sidequest). Let’s take a wild guess and say the average is around 90 hours. When I’m done with my current play-through, I will have enjoyed this game for ~540 hours, or 221/2 uninterrupted days. My brother picked up this game in 2002, used, for $10.

So, the game has cost us $0.018 an hour. Nearly two cents an hour. However, that copy got scratched and I had to get another copy, this time for $12. This greatly devalued the game for us, since now the game has cost us an astonishing four cents an hour!

Compare to Doom3, for which I paid $50 and which offered perhaps (I’m being really generous here) 40 hours of gameplay on all of my play-throughs combined. This comes to $1.25 an hour, or about thirty times the cost of FFX.

Starcraft would be a bargian similar to FFX, but I’ve purchased about six copies over the years as I’ve loaned out copies that were never returned. They also got used a lot at LAN parties, which seems to be the most common way to end up with a scratched disc. Even now I only have one copy, and that one is a backup. (I still have a couple of original cases, though.)

Unreal Tournament is another astounding bargain. Once you apply the patch, you no longer need the CD. So, if you have several computers everyone can play from the same copy. (Note also that since the game doesn’t nag for the CD, my original copy is still in good condition even after 7 years.) I probably paid $40 for the game, and if you add up all the time my friends and I have spent playing the game over the LAN, PLUS all the time I spent online and in single-player, AND all the time I spent making levels like this one, then we’re talking about about hundreds and hundreds of hours of play. The game doesn’t clock hours the way FFX does, so I can only speculate at how many. Let’s say 600, just so we’re not here agonizing over numbers all day long. That puts UT at an affordable $0.06 an hour.

My brother and I played Diablo II for a long, long time, but the game was expensive ($50) and so was the expansion ($30) so the game isn’t that cheap, per-hour. Since we each needed our own copy, I’ll just calculate my side of it. I probably played for (total guess) 300 hours, and a paid $80. So Diablo II cost $0.26 an hour.

Half-Life 2 was by far the most expensive. Take the 45 hours I’ve spent playing the game, then SUBTRACT the three hours of my time the game wasted because of Steam. I pre-ordered the game for the very painful price of $60, which brings us to $1.42 an hour. This is being generous. I value my time quite a bit, and if I were to add the value of those three hours onto the purchse price instead of just subtracting those hours from the playing time, this game would cost more per hour than going to the theater.

I doubt I’ll ever see a game that is as much of a bargain as FFX, even though we bought it twice.

And no, I don’t have a point to all this, why do you ask?

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17Just 17 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Your Wife! says:

    Diablo 2-ONLY 300 hours.

    Hmmm.

    May I sugest tht having joined the game on more than a few occasions and having the eldest play for some time and how mny times we have re-installed the game…We could possibly double that time. not to mention when Nick joined in. I mean, we have had, at the very least, 6 to 8 characters going because they were all full of quest items, gems, etc. I think we got our money’s worth.

  2. Dan says:

    600 hours on UT. YA! thats how many hours you played just with me.
    you figure back in the day we were playing at least 3 times a week and logging in about 8 hours every time. i used to sleep at your house so we could play into the godawful hours of the morning

  3. Dan says:

    super smash brothers melee for the game cube, FFVII, and i myself got tons of playtime out of metal gear solid 2

  4. Dan says:

    and any tetris like puzzle game such as Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo or Lumines

  5. Shamus says:

    Nethack isn’t fair, because it’s free. With an unbeatable cost per hour of zero, you can’t find a better deal.

    But yeah, that game is a major time-sink. I think most fans play without backing up, but honestly I can’t imagine. Even with rampant backing up I’ve only ascended 2 characters out of all of my hundreds of attempts. That game is HARD.

  6. Eric says:

    Were all forgetting one game……….the original DOOM!!!!. How many times in our younger days have we spent on that one game alone. Another game is any of the super mario series, and madden.

  7. Bogan says:

    How about no time on Doom? I do think that I’ve played Starcraft so much that Blizzard should start paying me now for still playing it.

  8. HC says:

    King of Dragon Pass. Never played anything quite like it, and it’s a great timesink.

  9. Eric says:

    Yes bogan starcraft, a great game. All though the series is garbage now, I mean look at ghost. Nuff said.

  10. Patrick says:

    OK, first off, we played DiabloII waaaAAAaaayy longer than 300 hours. Seriously think about it.

    Second, Starcraft sucks.

    Third you forgot out other gem from the baragin bin that ate … oooh I’d say a good 8 months from my life ( anyone know what happened in 2003 please send me some mewspaper clippings BTW ). I paid 10 bucks for MorrowindIII : Legend of the elder scrolls and pretty much disappeared from society for awhile. My friend Ethan makes reference to sudden disappearances of the male members of the Young clan in future posts. This is the biggest reason. RPG’s. But that’s not the point. I estimate my playing time of MW3 at about 300-400 hours. If you add in the cost of the expansion pack (which rocked BTW) add another 30 bucks and 100 hours. So, figure 450 hours for 40 bucks. Or, a righteously economical price of .08 cents per gaming hour.

    The only better bang for your buck out there is the free download of Eric’s gastrointestinal bukkake surgery. Now thats funny, AND FREE!

  11. Hippocrass says:

    I can honestly say that I have spent more time playing either Civ 3 or Panzer General than all other games I haver ever played combined.
    That’s not even Civ 3 AND Panzer General combined. Either/or.

  12. Megan says:

    And i honesly can say i’ve spent more time leveling up. Then achtuly playing the game itself.

  13. Destiny Islands says:

    Oh come on, who doesn’t love Final Fantasy X! I wish I could delete all of my memories of this game and play it start to finish over and over and over again

  14. LotRO Fan says:

    Let’s see. I preordered Lord of the Rings back during beta and bought a lifetime membership. I’ve bought the expansions since then.

    Preorder 50?
    Lifetime 200?
    Moria… 25?
    Mirkwood 20
    $295 probably — let’s just say an even $300. I’ve logged almost 2,500 hours over the past three years. That’s basically two 8-hour days on Saturday and Sunday ever week. That’s like $.12/hour — I think you may have gotten the better deal.

  15. Lame Brain says:

    The Elderscrolls II: Daggerfall.
    I logged an excess of 1000 hours on this game, easy, and that was while playing an unpatched version where a bug prevents you from progressing the main quest. I paid $20 for a used copy from my computer lab teacher in 10th grade.

  16. Booknerd says:

    Want to try expensive? Move to Australia! New Game? $70-$100 Old game? $20-$60.

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