If you're anything like me, the holidays have effectively cleaned out your wallet. The lack of cash in your pocket, though, has likely done little to sate your thirst for novel and exciting entertainment, and so you find yourself hitting the bargain bin, that haven of titles forgotten and unloved. There are some, however, that can provide players with a wealth of enjoyment, especially since some of them are highly acclaimed titles that, somehow, individuals may have missed when they were new.
Note: In making this list, I set a few boundaries. All titles had to be available and playable on a still-prominent platform. Each had to be available for ten dollars or less. Further, this price must be for either a new or digital download version of the title. With those caveats, I present to you my list of Top 10 Bargain Bin Titles.
Gadgets for Now:
BioShock 2's greatest fault was not being BioShock 1. It was an iterative affair that introduced some new gameplay concepts, but was largely a retread of what players had already experienced in its seminal and surprising predecessor. This does not mean that the game is one to skip—innovation is not the sole metric of success and enjoyment. BioShock 2's story is unique and engaging and, most incredibly, its Minerva's Den downloadable expansion is a shining example of what DLC can be, expanding on aspects of the overarching story that the game had touched upon.
Perhaps this one comes across as a somewhat more adult, irreverent version of the Ace Attorney series. That's appropriate, seeing as Harvey Birdman's adventure/courtroom drama outing is a Capcom production. With five cases, animated cutscenes, and the series' biting sense of satirical humor, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is well worth the absurdly low price of admission.
Despite making some controversial design choices—the most prominent of which was providing classically silent heroine Samus Aran with a dull and lifeless voice actress—Other M is an enjoyable addition to the Metroid library. Eschewing the first-person view and deliberate combat of the Prime sub-series, Other M drew upon the series' roots by returning to an external perspective, often emulating the two-dimensional structure of its forebears, and combined this with Team Ninja's flair for the hectic. Combat is fast-paced and enjoyable, rewarding those who take the extra time to learn its ins and outs. Too bad about that story, though.
Assuming you already have a plastic guitar for your console of choice (and, at this point, who doesn't?), Guitar Hero: Smash Hits brings the series' heyday back into the limelight. Released after Guitar Hero: World Tour, this compilation of fan-favorite tracks from the series' first four entries not only featured master tracks of songs that had originally been covers, but expanded them to allow for drum and vocal play in addition to guitar and bass. The music genre may have dried up over the last year or so, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy its glory days.
One of a few older games on this list, Painkiller makes the cut because it's still some of the best fun you'll ever have in a shooter. The plot is ludicrous, the graphics are "okay," and the levels are distinctly unfair, but Painkiller makes it all work with gothic themes and creative, satisfying weapons. Sit any shooter fan down with the stake gun for five minutes and let them pin a few shambling corpses to the walls, and you'll have a convert on your hands. It's apparent why the people behind this game would go on to create a violent spectacle like Bulletstorm.