Don’t just go wading blindly into the sea of bargain-hunting humanity this Black Friday. Take time to prepare and know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to videogames. There are a number of good deals coming our way from the big box stores, but here are the eight best to target when the flag drops on holiday shopping.
8. A Year of PlayStation Plus for $27.99—Fry’s
PlayStation Plus subscribers get free games every month. That’s a nice perk, but membership doesn’t feel mandatory unless you’ve upgraded to a PlayStation 4. You have to be a Plus subscriber to play the PlayStation 4 online, and an annual subscription normally costs $49.99. You can save $22 by shopping at Fry’s.
7. Wii U Black Friday Mario Bundle for $319.57—Best Buy
Best Buy’s “Black Friday Mario Bundle” doesn’t come with the brand new Super Mario 3D World (which is probably the best reason yet to buy a Wii U.) It is the best Black Friday deal on the Wii U, though. It’s the standard New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U bundle that retails for $299.99, supplemented by the former pack-in game Nintendo Land and a Mario (or Luigi) skinned Wii Remote Plus. Nintendo Land is still the best introduction to the system and its GamePad tablet, so it’s smart for first time Wii U owners to pick a bundle that includes it. You’ll save $50 on this bundle at Best Buy.
6. Nintendo 2DS for $99—Walmart
The 2DS is a cheaper version of the 3DS that strips away the 3D functionality. It’s the most economical way to play the latest Pokemon, Zelda and Animal Crossing games, and it’s $30 cheaper than usual at Walmart on Black Friday.
5. Disney Infinity and Skylanders Swap Force starter sets for $38.96—Walmart
These videogame / toy crossovers are prime money pits, with the starter sets retailing for $75 and collectible figures regularly costing from $10 to $15. There are a variety of deals flying around this holiday, both on figures and the starter set, which comes with the game itself and three figures. The best is at Walmart, where you can get the starter sets on any platform for almost half off.
4. Steep game discounts at a variety of stores
Some of the biggest games of the last few weeks can be found for cheap at a number of stores. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is on sale at pretty much every major chain this week, with Walmart offering the best price at $34. Walmart actually has a lot of recent games at that same price point, including NBA 2K14 and Grand Theft Auto V. And Fry’s is discounting a number of games to $29.99, including Arkham Origins, Saints Row IV, The Last of Us and more.
3. Rayman Legends for $24.99—GameStop
Rayman Legends is one of the best games of the year. It’s still regularly priced at $60. GameStop will be selling it for $24.99 on Black Friday. That’s over half-off. This is the best deal on any specific game that any store is running this week.
2. Nintendo 3DS with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for $139—Fry’s
Pound for pound the 3DS might be the best system of 2013, with the new Animal Crossing, Zelda, Fire Emblem and Pokemon games among the year’s best. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon kicked off the “Year of Luigi” in high style, and the brand new bundle featuring that game can be found at Fry’s for $30 off the regular price.
1. PlayStation 3 250GB system with The Last of Us and Arkham Origins for $199—everywhere
Almost every major chain is advertising this PlayStation 3 bundle with a 250GB hard drive and two games that still run for $60 apiece. Sure, the PlayStation 4 is already here, but the PlayStation 3 has a ton of great exclusives, and this is the best deal yet. And although it’s listed at $199 at most stores, Fry’s will be selling it for $187, making that deal the best of the best.