TA Top Five: Special Editions

By Michelle Balsan, 4 years ago
Chances are, among those of you that are reading this, that at least some of you are collectors. We don't mean only the type of collector that acquires a massive backlog of games (guilty!), but those that also go out and buy those Special Edition bundles of their favorite franchises. This week's Top Five looks to shed a little light on some of the more awesome packages that were available, specifically with regard to physical items. Of course, while statues are important (who doesn't love statues?), we're also considering bang-for-buck when constructing the list.

Honorable Mentions

Alan Wake
Alan Wake CE

Perhaps no special edition gave you a better sense of being drawn from the game itself than the one for Alan Wake. Not only was it encased in a special packaging that was made to look like a novel, but it contained a book that, unlike simply being an art book, was written from the perspective of the game's protagonist. It also included exclusive commentary and hints from Remedy, as well as an exclusive theme and avatar items.

Halo 3 Legendary Edition

This special edition serves to highlight one of the conundrums when buying a special edition. Sure, some may look great on paper, but then when you actually get them, the quality of the product isn't quite what you'd expect (Dead Space 2 plasma cutter, I'm looking directly at you), so when you look at what's included and the cornerstone piece is Master Chief's iconic helmet, you're hoping to get something of a reasonable value, and boy did this deliver. Keep in mind you can't actually *wear* the helmet, but it's a good quality piece that holds up well with time. Besides, as mentioned above, it has enough space to be the one stop for all your Halo titles, so there's value in that. It also includes everything in the Halo 3 Limited Edition, including an art book and a making-of DVD.

Top 5

5. Gears of War 3 Limited Edition
Collector's Ed

This package came full of items intended to satisfy the hardcore Gears fan. Documents supposedly written by Adam Fenix, Marcus' dad, an old photo, the Hammer of Dawn schematic, and a COG flag were all included. The stand out piece from this collection was the replica of the Octus Service Medal give to Adam in recognition of his work with the COG. Not only is the zinc-alloy COG heavy and well crafted, but each one was engraved with a download token for an Adam Fenix character skin, giving each copy something truly unique about it. The big time collector could also upgrade to the Epic Edition of the game, which included the Limited Edition as well as a PVC statue of Marcus Fenix and an artbook.

4. Fallout 3
Collector's Edition

The special edition itself is already intriguing enough just based on content. Bobbleheads aren't a typical game pack-in, and the Vault Boy Bobblehead might have been the centerpiece of this special edition... if it didn't come in a handy lunch box. It's not just any, typical, easily destructible plastic lunch box either, but a durable metal lunch box you'd proudly send your kid to school with or take to work with you if you weren't trying to preserve its pristineness for future generations. In addition to the Bobblehead and the game, the collection also came with an art-book and a making-of DVD, giving you all you needed to know about how your Fallout 3 experience came to be.

3. BioShock 2
Collector's Edition

Now these guys know how to make a limited edition seem special. While the first BioShock is easily the most sought after SE mentioned on this list (as of this writing, only one copy is available via Amazon where the seller is asking for over $600), it is the BioShock 2 special edition that gets the spotlight here. Not only did it arrive in beautiful packaging (hidden beneath a BioShock 2 sleeve), but it also included an art book, a record of the OST (yes, on Vinyl), and a pair of posters. The posters may not sound overly exceptional, but when you learn that taking a black light to them reveals hidden messages, you realize just how cool it was. This small attention to detail within the collection made it feel as though it belonged right in the BioShock universe, not simply on display in your living room.

2. Dead Rising 2 High Stakes Edition
Dead rising 2 High Stakes

When Dead Rising 2 was announced, multiple special editions were revealed. While the Zombrex Edition is still a nice collectible piece, it's hard to compete with a special edition that includes something you might actually use - in this case a complete poker set, including chips, a dealer chips, poker cards, and dice. It also included a map to Fortune City, downloadable content, and a chance to win a full-size zombie statue. All of this was encased in a high-quality, metal briefcase so you could, in theory, actually easily port the included materials and hold a poker night with your buddies.

1. Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector's Set
Collector's Edition 1

Ok, maybe this inclusion is a little unfair, as it's intended to span the history of an entire franchise and not just support a single game, but there's no doubt that this is a top-notch special edition in terms of pack ins. Not only do you get Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting, AND Street Fighter X Tekken, but you also receive a documentary, an anime, the entire run of the Street Fighter Animated Series, Soundtracks, AND a Ryu statue. There are things that aren't quite perfect - Japanese and English language options on the DVDs would have been appreciated, but this one certainly can't be beat for content.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Michelle Balsan
Written by Michelle Balsan
Michelle is the Assistant Manager of the Newshounds at TrueAchievements and has been a member of staff since 2010. When not contributing to gaming websites, she makes her living as a mild-mannered librarian. She can be compelled to play just about anything if there's a co-op component, and has been playing games with friends and siblings since the Atari 2600. As it's reportedly healthy to have hobbies outside of gaming, she also roots for some of the most difficult sporting franchises to root for, the New York Mets and New York Jets, but offsets that by rooting for the New Jersey Devils. She's also seen pretty much none of the movies you have, but she's working on that.