The topic of video game rentals used to be an easy one - you'd simply visit your local Blockbuster video store and borrow a title for your grandchildren's favorite Nintendo or Sega system. However, many more options exist today, including services which offer the ability to download titles on-demand to your PC, receive new debuts in the mailbox, or grab the latest virtual outings from a kiosk situated somewhere right in the neighborhood. Below are several of the best websites and services that allow you to grab games for your computer, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 or other preferred gaming system on-demand.
GameFly - The equivalent of Netflix for video games, GameFly lets you rent over 8000 titles for popular set-top systems, including recent releases such as The Amazing Spider-Man or Mario Kart 7, on-demand. Game rentals, which are mailed to your doorstep, are available on a multitude of platforms (including handheld systems such as the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS), and can be kept as long as your monthly subscription service lasts. The company now also offers Unlimited Play options on select older titles for PCs as well.
OnLive - Cloud gaming service OnLive beams games down on-demand over the Internet to your computer, TV or custom set-top console. Because games aren't installed on your system (they're processed and crunched on remote online servers, which stream video output back in real-time), you don't have to worry about owning expensive dedicated hardware either. Three-day, five-day and unlimited (over 200 selections for a fixed $9.99/month fee) game rental options are available.
WildTangent - WildTangent specializes in casual, user-friendly games for computers that all ages and interests can enjoy. Using its WildCoins virtual currency system, you can essentially buy high-tech tokens that let you rent digital diversions on-demand. While the service's selection is primarily geared to mainstream users, enthusiasts may find some surprisingly addictive gems (FATE: The Cursed King, Torchlight, etc.) hiding in its catalogue as well.
GameMine - Given game rental prices that start at $6.95 a month, players may want to give this less well-known, but reasonably-stocked service a whirl. Like GameFly, titles for current and older systems (e.g. the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS) are shipped free right to your door. Catering primarily to console gamers with picks such as Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Gears of War 3, it also offers used games for purchase and gaming trade-in programs.
Redbox - Redbox is best known for placing vending machines at high-traffic neighborhood retail outlets (i.e. convenience and grocery stores) from which you can grab and return movies. However, it also stocks Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games at select locations, with a primary focus on new or high-profile debuts such as Madagascar 3 or Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. If you're looking for a popular or commonly-encountered title, it may make a convenient solution.
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