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Tips:

Select By Title: If you already know the title, check the rating in our Game Grades section. If you have no specific title in mind, try asking the player to name a few games that interest them and then compare their ratings in our Game Grades.

Select by Game Type (genre): Video games are roughly divided into genres or game types. A few examples are, strategy, role playing, sports and shooter. Ask the gamer what game type they prefer and then refer to our top ten lists to pick a leading game from that game type . Note: For youngsters pick a game from the Elementary game type.

Select by Educational Strength: GRADE rates the content of games in 8 categories, such as creativity, facts, business skills and people skills. Check out Top Ten Lists and Game Grades to see which games score higher in the various categories. For an explanation of the categories see Understanding The Ratings.

Know Your Platform (game equipment): This may seem obvious, but don't make the mistake of buying a game that won't work on the owner's game equipment. If the player owns an Xbox game system don't buy a game cartridge designed for PlayStation. Find out what kinds of game equipment a person owns, then use our Top Ten Lists or individual Game Grades to select a game that is available for that game system.

Fun vs. Education: For the most part, the games with the best GRADE rating are also top games in popularity. However, we see exceptions all the time, games rich in educational content that bore us silly and extremely popular games with only slight educational value. If someone you love wants a highly popular game that has only an average GRADE rating, we say go ahead and buy it. After all, it is a game. But..., we suggest you make the second game you purchase for that person a solid "A" game from GRADE. You can both be winners.

Budget Minded: There are many ways to save money on video games. Video games can be rented and purchased used. Also, video games are generally marked down within 1 or 2 years of release with the more successful games holding their price longer. Demonstration (Demo) versions are available for many games so you can try out a game before you purchase.

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