Image: Nintendo Life

Here's some news: We are not infallible human beings here at Nintendo Life. Hard to believe, but true.

We don't all sit on a throne of priceless Spice Orange GameCubes and rare SNES games, although a fair few of us have been known to collect a few odd trinkets here and there. But life wasn't always mint-in-box... In fact, we've all had our share of mistakes and woes that we look back on with shame and sorrow. Sometimes, we miss out on great deals, lend a prized gaming possession to a less-than-trustworthy pal, or sell a game that would later become priceless (monetarily, or emotionally). These are the stories that keep us up at night.

And, since our pals and co-workers on the Nintendo Life YouTube channel have admitted their most heinous gaming mistakes of the past (check out the video at the bottom of the page), we might as well be honest in the same spirit.

So! Without further explanations and attempts to explain away our shame, here are our biggest gaming regrets.

Kate Gray, Staff Writer

Phantom Hourglass 3DS
I also traded this away but I bought it back years later (Image: Nintendo Life)

No Ragrets. That's my motto. But it's not true. I have many ragrets.

The main ones I have are based around a particular time in my life. I was at university, and didn't have a great deal of money at the time, as I was spending most of it on lectures and noodles. But I wished... to game.

My solution was HMV's fairly generous (at the time) trade-in policies, which gave me in-store credit in return for my games. I would buy a game, like Ghost Trick, Professor Layton, and Okamiden, play through the whole thing as quickly as possible, then trade it in for the maximum amount of store credit (which was usually about half the cost of a game). With that credit, I'd buy another game... rinse and repeat.

While this resulted in me getting a chance to play a ton of excellent games, it also resulted in me not actually owning any of them in the end. Now that I have more disposable income, I've been buying them all back — and DS games are not cheap. I still haven't found a reasonably-priced copy of Ghost Trick. Still... I'd rather have lots of memories and zero games, than still be in possession of one or two games that I could afford at the time.

Also, I wish I could go back in time and replay VA11 Hall-A. I think I was pretty unfairly mean about it in my reviews (which you can read here, and also here), with way too much focus on the bartending, and not the story (which is the more interesting bit). In my defense, I was working very long hours, and I was very stressed, tired, and sad at the time — but I couldn't afford to turn down work! It made me re-evaluate what a "review" can and should be, and what a reviewer owes the audience and themselves.

Gavin Lane, Editor

Gamecube Controllers (1)
Imagine one of these is a chainsaw (Image: Nintendo Life)

Most of my gaming regrets are based around bargains I didn’t snap up, or games I sold during a clear-out. At the time it must have made sense to cull a couple of games and snatch back two DVDs’ worth of space on the Billy Bookcase, which is why I no longer own Metroid Prime Trilogy or Killer7. Bad times.

Not buying the Resident Evil chainsaw controller for GameCube when I saw it for 20 quid is another error I think about often. Lending Sonic & Knuckles and Castle of Illusion to a schoolfriend and having them come back to me inoperable unless you jiggled the cart out of the slot a millimetre or two is another one. I learned a lesson about trust there, though.

But probably my biggest game-related “what the hell was I thinking?!” is the time when during a rough patch I decided to sell my Xbox 360 Elite. I was savvy enough to keep the games – again, I’m not sure why – but either Microsoft hadn’t introduced cloud saves by then, or I wasn’t aware they existed (pretty sure it was the former) and all my precious save data got wiped as I prepped my Elite for its trip to GameStation.

It’s not the saves I miss – the achievements I unlocked were saved forever to my Xbox profile – but I built some stunning (if I say so myself) creations in Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts, and now they’re just gone. I don’t even have the little screenshots I grabbed of my London bus, my Ecto-1 or my awesome USS Enterprise to offer hints for a potential rebuild. What a bloody numpty, eh?

Gonçalo Lopes, Contributor

NES & Super Mario Bros
This is not the NES in question, of course (Image: Nintendo Life)

A younger version of this humble scribe who still lived with his parents once walked into local Cash Converters to be blessed with a complete-in-the-box Nintendo Entertainment System with two joypads. The whole thing was in spot-on condition and of course, if someone sold a NES they probably got rid of their games as well. My heart nearly skipped a beat when I spotted Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Mega Man 2, Ducktales and Faxanadu also in their pristine CIB glory.

I did not think twice about grabbing the whole lot for an absolute bargain and spent the next week playing those games in absolute bliss. Despite lots of friends having NES and Famiclones I never had one myself because by the time Nintendo arrived in Portugal, the Commodore Amiga already ruled my household. My parents were not so keen on the space this “incredible find” was taking up in the living room that was already abnormally filled with an extensive collection of GameCube games. I had no choice but to sell the entire lot for twice the price of purchase (and I can assure you it was still a bargain!).

It only took a few more years before I bought and moved into a house of my own, one of the biggest changes in my youth since up to that point I never even had a bedroom to call mine. At the time of this brief NES ownership I had no idea I was going to move out so soon nor had a real sense on how valuable those games would become. Along with the NES Classic Mini I keep two CIB NES games on my living room shelf (Ice Hockey and Blades of Steel) as a reminder to never (ever!) sell anything video game related from my youth.

Ollie Reynolds, Reviewer

GBA IPS Mod & Games (4)
Good thing our staff photographers didn't give up their consoles, or we'd have no photos for this article (Image: Nintendo Life)

So my biggest gaming regret is not so much specific to gaming, but rather a general life regret that happened to have a huge effect on my beloved hobby. So gather round, kids, and listen to a tale of true woe.

Back when I was around 14 or 15, I'd amassed a decent selection of Game Boy Advance games to go with a NES edition of the GBA SP. It was my pride and joy. Of course, being an impressionable teenager, I'd gotten a phone contract and used it to chat with a girl I'd become rather smitten with, well into the early hours of the morning.

Now, contracts back in the mid 2000s didn't offer much for your money; maybe about 50 text messages per month. I went way beyond this, racking up a bill of around £150-200 in just one month. It's safe to say my parents weren't best pleased, so in order to ensure the full amount would be comfortably paid off, they hauled my GBA SP along with its many games to the nearest store and sold them right there and then.

Ladies and gentlemen… I bawled. I was devastated and I knew it was my fault. Needless to say, I fell out of touch with the girl I was texting. Heck, I'm not even sure I remember her name now…

I remember my GBA, though. Every day. I hope it found a good home.

Good (or maybe bad) news: We certainly aren't alone in the gaming regrets that keep us up at night. We polled Twitter, and got over 150 responses (at the time of writing). Here are a selection of the ones that hit hardest:

So, welcome to the Nintendo Life confessional, where we will forgive you of all your gaming sins (unless it was someone else who lost/threw away/destroyed/sold your games. They will never be forgiven). Tell us: What are your gaming regrets?