When it comes to install sizes it would be fair to say that video games have spiralled out of controlled during the last year or two. Not too long ago 6GB felt like a fairly chunky install. Now that’s but a fraction of some of the largest games there.

Seemingly spurred on by the transition to the current generation of consoles, free from the shackles of microscopic hard drives and the Xbox 360’s reliance on good-old-fashioned DVDs, the size of installs has increased exponentially. Just two years ago Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was a 10GB download, now Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare comes in at nearly six times its predecessor, taking up a monstrous 55GB. It’s taking a toll on our bandwidth and it’s taking a toll on our hard drives, but how much is it really costing us to store these games…

Top 10 Largest Games of 2014 So Far

Top 10 largest game downloads for the past two years.

Taking a look at some of the biggest titles released this year, the total download size of the 10 largest equals a mammoth 478 GB, averaging just over 47 GB for each game. It's worth bearing in mind that this list doesn't even included Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed Unity, with the latter in particular expected to be a huge download.

  1. The Elder Scrolls Online (60 GB)
  2. Final Fantasy XIII (60 GB)
  3. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (55 GB)
  4. The Evil Within (50 GB)
  5. Wolfenstein: The New Order (50 GB)
  6. NBA 2K15 (50GB)
  7. Titanfall (48 GB)
  8. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (40 GB)
  9. Alien Isolation (35 GB)
  10. Dead Rising 3 (30 GB)


The Cost Of Massive Game Install Sizes

Based on current prices, and these are prices right at the lower end of the scale (there are some far more expensive options), a 1 terabyte hard drive will set you back around £40, while a 1 TB solid state drive (SSD) will cost you roughly £300. This means the cost per gigabyte is around 4p for HDDs and 30p for SSDs. It doesn’t sound like much but when you add it up the numbers can get pretty incredible. For just these 10 games, which represent what we expect to be standard install sizes for this console generation, 478 GB worth of hard drive storage costs a pretty reasonable £19.12 to buy, while the same storage on an SSD will set you back an eye-watering £143.40, or £14.34 for each and every game. This is a 47% mark up on your average £30 release.

The Waiting Game of Digital Downloads

Of course the simple answer is delete your games to make storage, but this isn’t always an option for some, particularly those limited by download caps or limited bandwidth. Even on a relatively fast 10 Mbps ethernet connection (the US average), downloading Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare would take over 13 hours. If you delete it and decide one day you want to play it, you’re effectively going to have to wait until the next day until you can get your hands on it. Try that on basic 512 Kbps broadband and you’re looking at a wait of nearly 11 days, and none of this takes into account other uses of the internet slowing things down.

It’s all becoming problematic to say the least, from both a time standpoint and a cost perspective. Unless you preload a game you’re now looking at a significant wait before it’s downloaded, opening the doors for physical copies to once more become the more viable option.

How do you feel about the huge increase in download sizes arriving alongside the current generation of console? Is it making it difficult for you to get hold of games? Has the huge sizes forced you back into physical game purchases? Let us know what you think below!