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how does it work?

These stores operate a lot like Netflix, but instead of renting movies, you're renting video games. First you choose a membership plan that suits your viewing habits -- do you want a plan that lets you have 1, 2 or 3 games out at a time? No matter which plan you choose, rentals can be kept for as long as you want. There are no due dates or late fees and shipping is free both ways. When you are ready to return a game, you can mail it back in the pre-paid envelope that comes with each rental.

When your returned game is received, the company will immediately ship out the next game on your wish list.

quick tip

Take note of where each site has its shipping center. If you live in Florida, a site with a Los Angeles-based shipping facility may take a long time to get your games out to you.

video game rentals

The most popular game rental site. Over 4000 titles. Offers a "try before you buy" option -- if you like your rental game, keep it and pay a discounted price. Games ship out of Los Angeles.

GottaPlay is all about speed. Unlike most rental sites, which only ship from one location, GottaPlay has 9 shipping facilities, so 95% of users get their games in 2-3 days. The downside is that, at last check, GottaPlay had less than half as many titles as GameFly.

Title selection is almost comparable to Gamefly's and you can purchase your rentals if you want to keep them. Gamerang's four shipping facilities cover the East Coast (NJ), Midwest (OK, MN) and the West Coast (Santa Ana, CA), so you won't have to wait as long for your games, no matter where you live. Games usually arrive within 2-4 business days.

How does RentZero stand out from the pack? It's the only one that ships the manuals along with the games. Doesn't support as many consoles as the other sites. Games ship out of Houston, Texas.