There are certain niche websites that resonate with an audience to an extent that competitors and alternatives aren’t even a concern. When you’re on the web and you’re looking to browse videos, you go to YouTube. When you’re looking to search the Internet, you go to Google.
Since 1995, GameFAQs is the place that gamers have gone for knowledge regarding video games. For a gaming information website that has been around for nearly 20 years, it has experienced very few changes and continues to remain true to its roots. Every gamer knows about GameFAQs, but not every gamer knows how relevant and useful the website remains still today.
GameFAQs hasn’t gone anywhere, and it continues to serve gamers of all types as a shrine of information.
GameFAQs receives updates as frequently as daily, constantly adding new content to an archive that must have gigabytes behind it already.
What kind of content? The community at GameFAQs is filled with contributors. This includes general FAQs and walkthroughs and then more in-depth documents, such as details on how to complete games at 100%, completion challenges, guides that outline the finer details of the games, bestiaries and equipment indexes for RPGs, maps of levels in PNG format, saved states, game scripts, cheat codes and more.
The amount of information that GameFAQs offers the user is sometimes even overwhelming. Popular and older games, such as Chrono Trigger, have been picked apart and detailed for you to see and benefit from.
While offering advice and tips to gamers is the core functionality of this gaming information website, in recent years GameFAQs has done an excellent job of incorporating more community elements and interactive features that breathe some fresh air into such a classic website.
Every single game indexed on GameFAQs (and I challenge you to find a game that isn’t) has a community feel wrapped around it. This includes reviews and ratings from users, a complete description, release data, and credits, a full-featured message board dedicated solely to the game, screenshots, and even more.
Really worth focusing in on is the fact that GameFAQs offers a forum community for individual games. This is the sort of engagement that can actually allow enjoy playing a game that was released 15 years ago. With individual message boards, you’re able to interact with a community of people who are interested in that specific title. While some message boards are obviously more active than others, it’s an opportunity that no other website manages to do quite like GameFAQs.
There are also message boards for more broad topics, like consoles in general, classic gaming, shooters, suggestions for the site, browser games, and more. If you choose to register an account, you’re even able to tag certain game boards as your favorites, which can then be easily monitored and accessed under the Boards header in the top menu.
As mentioned before, the GameFAQs community is all about contributing and growing the website as a home of gaming information. The Features section highlights some of the incentive you get in being a good community member.
Shown above, you can see that GameFAQs actually sets bounties and contests out on their users so that sought after information is always within community reach. Users can write FAQs for gift certificates, compete in annual and weekly contests that revolve around gaming, view the top 100 most popular pages of the website, and revisit noteworthy events that have happened on this very day in the past.
Another very appreciated feature is the My Games section, where you can keep an online catalog of all of the games that you own. From here you can rate them, write reviews, access message boards, and otherwise enjoy your collection.
Don’t count out GameFAQs as a powerhouse of gaming information. While others have come along with new and fresher designs, GameFAQ has what we all want: the information. If you can’t beat a game, GameFAQs will help you. If you want to talk about a game, GameFAQs has a community for it. It doesn’t matter if it’s PC or console, 1980 or 2012, this is the website for it.
Do you still use GameFAQs? Do you think there’s a better alternative out there? How has it aged? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.