A Story About My Quest to Collect All 864 US Retail Released Xbox Games.
Many of you already know that I am a pretty big video game collector and have amassed a collection with roughly 4000+ games and 80+ consoles. Although my love for gaming started in the early 1980’s with an Atari 2600, it was the original Xbox in 2001 that really started the whole collection. At the time the Xbox came out I had a fairly decent sized PS1 collection, around 50-60 games with the majority of the Squaresoft/Enix games. I was working 2 jobs at the time and felt like it was time to reward myself. Although I was really wanting a PS2 at the time, Xbox had this racing game I just had to have, Project Gotham Racing. So I went to our local Walmart, picked up the Xbox with a copy of PGR and Halo, and went home excited to go racing on my new console.
Honestly, I don’t think I touched that Halo game for a few weeks. I wasn’t much into shooting games and figured I’d get it because it was supposed to be good and I needed at least 2 games, nothing else looked good at that time. Then my buddy came over one night and we decided to try it out. We ended up spending 15 minutes in awe of the grass textures, then started to beat each other down with our pistols, never even playing the game beyond that first ‘tutorial’ level. We really enjoyed our time playing with the Xbox, but the real catalyst was lurking around the corner.
At the time I was probably one of the biggest thorns in Microsofts side. Any online communication tool they had built I had found ways to circumvent their security. I had my own personal irc chat client for their secure chat servers, I had my own personal MSN Messenger app and messed around with Outlook a little. So I was thoroughly surprised in late 2002 to find out I had been accepted into Microsoft’s beta test for Xbox Live. I wasn’t even on the service for more than 5 minutes before I found a flaw in the system. It didn’t take Microsoft long to patch it out though. I think it took at most 3 days between the report and an update that fixed this bug. At any rate, I was able to play Re-Volt, MotoGP and a few other games on Live during the test, but I was hooked from the very first race in Re-Volt.
By the time Live launched that November I was already hooked. For the next 6-12 months I bought nearly every game that had an Xbox Live banner at the top of the box, even games that didn’t have any multiplayer at all. By 2006 I found myself waiting in line to get an Xbox 360 on day 1 with 5 games and began having weekly game parties with my friends. At the time I had amassed 250+ games for the original Xbox, found my old games in the closet(2600, NES, SNES, Genesis, N64), and bought a GameCube and PlayStation 2 to add to the collection.
Fast forward almost 10 years to 2014. After years of working on this very site by myself, I finally managed to turn my hobby into a career as a developer. With that came a half decent paycheck for once. At this point I had grown the collection to around 2500 games through garage sale finds and thrift store finds. But with the new found funds it was time to get a bit more serious towards the collection. I had 70 consoles at the time with a fairly large chunk of games for the nes, ps1, ps2, xbox and 360. I wanted something that defined my game room and set it apart from other collectors out there. NES games were and are still way too expensive to collect regularly. PS1, PS2 and 360 had way too many games to collect them all, plus they were still rather pricey. The original Xbox though, overlooked by many, most games $2-5 each. Yeah, that looks good.
Once the decision had been made, I started tracking my collection and creating a list of what I had and what I needed. I started off this quest 2 years ago with over 350 games already. Soon after I found a local resale shop that had a ton of Xbox games and were selling them 10 at a time for only $20. By the end of 2014 I had easily found enough games to bring the total over 500. Through 2015 & 2016 I bought on average 10-15 of the missing games per month, arriving at the 800 mark around Christmas. With less than 100 games to go, I set my goal to finish the collection by my birthday in May. Although I missed the mark by a couple of weeks, I only had 2 games left to check off the list. One of these games was Real World Golf. This game came with a couple of attachments that tracked arm movement similar to how a Wii controller would, though it used wires rather than an accelerometer. Because this game came in a cardboard sleeve around two separate boxes I had decided to buy the item new in box rather than used. All of the used games I had found for this item were either missing pieces or complete beat to shit. Since I was missing one other game I kept Real World Golf in my watch list on eBay until I could locate the final game. That game was IHRA Drag Racing Sportsmen Edition. Considering the game did not show up on eBay for about 6 weeks I feel lucky to have found a copy for under $30.
The truth is it was always going to be the original Xbox. I love gaming and enjoy games from every genre on all platforms. But when it comes to my most fond memories in gaming, they’re all built around the Xbox. Not specifically the games, but the experiences that led me to forge friendships that have lasted until today. I still have friends from the Xbox Live beta on my friends list, and I’m still friends with old co-workers who used to come to my game parties when the 360 came out. These types of experiences are not exclusive to Xbox, but in my life they were. All of my Nintendo consoles were experienced alone. I’d talk about them with my friends, but outside of borrowing a game once in a while, that was the extent of it. It was the same on PlayStation 1. When the PlayStation 2 went online, I immediately jumped on SOCOM… with my Xbox Live friends. If you can imagine, 4-6 of us sitting on SOCOM wearing the PS2 headset and an Xbox Live headset at the same time. We were using MotoGP as a party chat to communicate enemy movements in SOCOM.
That was how this all started. The Xbox was the first game console I bought brand new with my own hard earned cash. The Xbox introduced me to online gaming, and many great friends along the way. The Xbox 360 only continued this trend. I wasn’t just hooked on playing video games, I was hooked on the thrill of making new friends. Now, more than 15 years later, I have completed my quest to collect all 864 games released at retail in the United States for the original Xbox console. If you ever wondered what that look like, take a look at the following image.
So now comes the hard part. Figuring out what to do next. In many ways collecting games is an addiction, a disease, not unlike a caffeine or drug addiction. But so long as I have the money to afford this addiction, why stop at just one complete collection? I most likely won’t end up with anything like the 25 complete collections The Immortal John Hancock has, but I do have my sights set on a few smaller consoles I can complete fairly easy, and one great but challenging console. You’ll even notice that I have started one of these. On the right side you can find my Atari 7800 collection, all boxed with manuals. The Atari 7800 only had 58 retail games and I’m already 25% done so why not? The other easy system to collect for is the Magnavox Odyssey 2. The Odyssey 2 had 52 games released at retail. I currently own 30 of these, 26 of which are CIB.
As for the challenging systems, I’m looking at completing my PlayStation Portable collection and Sega Dreamcast collections next. PSP is slightly easier since so many games are still cheap, but there are over 700 total, so it’ll be a while. Like the original Xbox most of the games are $2-5 right now. On the other hand, the Dreamcast has a much smaller library of under 200 games, but at least 10-15 of those will cost a minimum of $80-100.
So there it is. My Xbox collection is complete and I have some short and long term goals for my collection going forward. Let me know what you think of my collection and if you like what I’ve built here, either the collection or the site itself, give us a like and a share.
Thanks for checking out the post. Now who wants to play a game?
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