On the season finale of Complete In Box, we’re taking a look at a piece of gaming history that’s so totally ‘90s: The rental store exclusive video game.

In the heyday of Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, video game publishers wanted to use rental stores as a unique marketing tool. They could put the games exclusively in rental stores, which would give the stores something to draw in customers and let the publisher release a game without having to worry that it wouldn’t sell.

If you wanted to play games like Final Fight Guy or John Madden Football Championship Edition, you had no choice but to go to your local rental establishment. And if you wanted to buy them, you had to wait until they hit the Pre-Played Games discount bins in the front of the store and hope that some kid didn’t lose the manual.

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After going coast to coast for this season of Complete In Box, I’m back at home in the studio for this season’s last episode, with four rental-exclusive games that are some of the highlights of my collection. Games like Sonic Adventure: Limited Edition and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine are hard to find today, so I’m excited to share some of the history about them with you.

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About the author

Chris Kohler

Features Editor, Kotaku. Japanese curry aficionado. Author of the books Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life and Final Fantasy V from Boss Fight Books.

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