Quick question: How many games do you own multiple copies of?It’s a question I thought about this past week as I started playing Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. I already own Final Fantasy XII on PS2, though I have never finished it and I do not own a working console to play it on at the moment, so I purchased it with the intent of finally completing it. So now I own two copies of Final Fantasy XII.

The same reasoning applies for Dragon Quest VII, which I own for PS1 (as Dragon Warrior VII) and for 3DS. Ditto for Metal Gear Solid on PS1 and PS3, Bayonetta on Wii and PC, and a host of other games that I don’t care to list. For these games, I can’t play my original copies at the moment, so I have acquired additional copies, usually on the cheap, in order to play them.

Looking over the list of games in my backlog, there’s a small yet sizable contingent of duplicates, in some cases triplicates, that I now own as a result of years of purchasing, moving around and things breaking down. But beyond the games I’ve purchased because I can’t play them for the time being, I’ve also bought games that I’ve already completed years before for no other reason than because I’ve simply liked them. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is a prime example, as I completed it 10 years ago originally yet now own the HD remaster on PS4.

A lot of the duplicates I own aren’t ports, but remasters. They are often derided by players because all they often contain is a fresh coat of HD textures and nothing else, with the more cynical suggesting that they are merely money making tools by publishers and developers. And while I understand that reasoning, as developers and publishers are supposed to make money and shipping out a quick remaster is frankly easier than developing something from the ground up, remasters do serve a useful purpose.

For new players, who may not have owned the original console, were too young or otherwise didn’t play the original game when it was first released, remasters can introduce that game to those audiences. More people should play the Devil May Cryseries, and its HD collection should have hopefully garnered the franchise some new fans. As well, remasters can also be used to gauge the interest in a dormant franchise, to see if a sequel should be made. It’s why we will never get another Darkstalkers game anytime soon, as the remastered title Darkstalkers Resurrection sold rather poorly when it was released a few years ago.

But for returning players, remasters are a double edged sword. On the one hand, you are continuing to support a franchise you are a fan of. But on the other hand, you are adding yet another game to your backlog that you may not get around to finishing, particularly since you may have already completed the original. Why spend your money on Star Ocean again when you could put that money away or spend it on a completely new title?

In my view, if you already own a game and have either completed it or otherwise are able to play it easily, avoid remasters with a passion. Depending on the title, that HD remaster could be a load of hot garbage (Silent Hill HD Collection) at worst or just another copy of the game with a mildly better coat of paint on it at best (Star Ocean: Till the End of Time). In the long run, your wallet will thank you.

The Backlog So Far

Games completed since starting The Backlog: 11

Most recent game completed: Titanfall 2

Games of the moment: Fate: Grand OrderFinal Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age