For lots of gamers, simply purchasing the video games released in their own country will keep them happy. However, for some, the games released over in Japan that never make their way to other regions are just too attractive to pass up. Whether it’s the different types of games we see drop over there, or the fact that it’s just the forbidden fruit, gamers all over want to import Japanese games.
Thanks to the Internet, the process of importing these games is easier than ever. The websites that follow will make it easy for you to get almost any game from Japan. If you’ve always dreamed about playing these games that never made it out of Japan, I have just what you need.
Note: As you can probably guess, many of the games you will be buying from these websites will not be in English. Either make sure you are familiar with enough Japanese to get you through, of choose games where voice and text is not an integral part of the gameplay experience.
If you ask someone who is into importing games what website they use to buy them, this is surely one of the first that they will recommend. This is the case for a number of reasons, but one of the most important is their prices. While the games are not what you might call cheap, the prices are completely fair and reasonable for what you get. Additionally, the selection of games available on Play-Asia is positively staggering.
You can find games from all different consoles, even the newly released ones. In addition to Japanese-only games, Play-Asia even sells run-of-the-mill US games, so if you are already ordering some imported games, you can bundle up and get some English ones as well. If you really want to see some interesting stuff, check out their Japanese game guides section, where you can find guides on games you’ve never even heard of, and perhaps some you just might want to play in the future. The last thing to realize is that Play-Asia doesn’t just sell games, but also books, electronics, music, toys and more. Pretty much anything you could want is available on this site.
The cost of shipping a 3DS game, as an example, to Connecticut in the US starts at only US$3.90, which is quite reasonable.
NCSX, which is an acronym for National Console Support, Inc. has a great selection of imported games. In fact, they call themselves “Your Import Specialist,” so you know they have a lot of great stuff. They sell everything from retro consoles to new stuff, and the prices are not terrible. However, I have found that Play-Asia tends to be a little cheaper, so I would generally recommend turning to that website first, and if they don’t have what you are looking for, you can come here and get it.
A big reason I put this site on the list is because of the selection of rare games it offers. Yes, the prices are little on the high side, but they have some games you just won’t find elsewhere. For collectors, NCSX is a fantastic place to turn when they want to fill a hole in their gaming repertoire and they just don’t have anywhere else to go. If you don’t mind spending a little bit of money to get the games you really want, this is the place for you.
Shipping to , Connecticut starts at US$5.78 for a 3DS game, which is a little higher than Play-Asia, but still not too bad.
Over on eBay, you can find almost any Japanese game you can think of. Now, the problem with buying through eBay is that you need to know what you are looking for, as it doesn’t have the simple browsing ability of a website built specifically to sell imported games. But that’s a simple enough problem to solve, as you can just do your research outside of eBay and see what kinds of games interest you, then run a quick search, and if you’re patient, you just might get an insane deal on a game you previously only dreamed of playing.
Another great thing about eBay is that the ability to find imported Japanese games from all eras of gaming history. This means if you want to go all the way back to Famicom and Super Famicom games, you will probably find someone selling it on eBay. Of course, prices for these retro games vary widely, and you might find some of the more popular ones with jacked up prices, but the deals are out there if you’re patient enough to look.
Shipping prices on eBay change from seller to seller, so your mileage may vary depending on exactly where the game is from.
Now, you never have to worry about where you are going to get your Japanese gaming fix. These three websites will have almost every game you could ever image, so if you can’t find it on one of these three, chances are it’s just a game you made up.
Where do you buy your Japanese imported games? Hit the comments section below and let us know!