Who knew video games could be worth so much money? Video gaming, like any hobby, can become very expensive, especially if you’re a collector. Some video games of previous generations are now worth hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands, depending on rarity and condition. Of course, most old games are considered junk and are likely to fetch little more than a dollar at a local garage sale. Heck, just go down to your local thrift store and sift through the games collecting dust on the shelf. The point is, just because a game is old doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s worth good money. But there is always that one game, the Holy Grail of gaming, that is worth a fortune.
Antiquity, rarity, and condition often coincide to create a video game of immeasurable value, and as such, most of the games on this list are a combination of old and rare. Of course, some of them aren’t very old at all (depending on your idea of what constitutes “old”), but their rarity has greatly increased their perceived value. Others are extremely rare or limited editions of common games. And others are simply factory sealed versions that fetch a fortune due to their pristine condition. Whatever the case, these games have been deemed valuable by the gaming community, and if history is any indication, people are willing to part with a surprisingly large amount of money just to get their hands on a piece of gaming history.
30 Primal Rage ($300)
Primal Rage was a popular fighting game that saw players controlling various monsters and beasts. While it was originally released to arcades in August of 1994, it was ported to the Jaguar CD in December 1995 and instantly became one of the console’s most popular titles.
The game is worth a pretty penny.
The game with the original case can go anywhere from $250-300 online, and in May 2014, a mint condition Primal Rage sold on eBay for $355 after 14 bids. But we’re just getting started.
29 The King Of Fighters 2000 ($400)
The King of Fighters series was a popular fighting franchise in Japan, but it never really took off in North America. The King of Fighters 2000 was a Japanese game released to arcades and the Neo Geo back in 2000, but it didn’t make its way to North America until 2003 when it was packaged with The King of Fighters 2001. The original Japanese release is now quite the collector’s item and is currently selling for around $400 on eBay. Get your bids in, people!
28 Atlantis II ($500)
Have you ever heard of the Atari 2600 game Atlantis II? No, of course you haven’t. And that’s why it’s so expensive. Atlantis II is one of the rarest Atari video games, with some people believing that less than one thousand copies were produced and distributed.
It’s not often that a copy surfaces online, but when it does, collectors gobble it up. In January 2014, a used copy was sold on eBay for $500, and there’s seemingly no telling how much a factory sealed version would be worth.
27 Conker's Bad Fur Day ($700)
Conker’s Bad Fur Day is consistently regarded as one of the greatest Nintendo 64 games of all time, and as such, everyone wants to buy it. However, supply and demand have increased its value to astronomical levels.
If you want your hands on this classic, you’re going to have to fork over some major dough. It’s not uncommon to see a boxed version of the game going for $150 online, but VGA-rated versions of the game (which means it was authenticated by the Video Game Authority) can go upwards of $700!
26 Luigi's Mansion ($800)
Luigi’s Mansion was one of the most popular games on the GameCube, selling over two million units and becoming the fifth highest-selling GameCube title at the end of the console’s (painfully short) run.
As such, it became a “Player’s Choice” title and significantly decreased in quality. An original “black label” version of the game verified by the VGA can go upwards of $800, so be sure to go through your old GameCube collection. You may be sitting on a gold mine.
25 Paper Mario ($800)
Paper Mario is another beloved N64 classic that is going for big money online. The game was released in North America in February of 2001 and became a surprising success, garnering critical acclaim and securing a devoted fanbase.
And it apparently still has one, because a brand new edition of the game is going for $800 on Amazon.ca. Some people would consider the N64 to be the pinnacle of gaming if these insane prices are anything to go by.
24 The Adventures Of Batman & Robin ($936)
The Adventures of Batman & Robin is a collector’s item for both video game historians AND Batman fans! You can only imagine how much popular it’s gotten in the heyday of comic book films and TV shows.
A sealed version of the game recently sold for $936 on eBay after 37 bids raised its price from the starting $300. And while that seems to be an outlier, it’s not uncommon to see the game selling for $400-800. Clearly, there’s a lot of rich Batman fans out there.
23 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial ($1,537)
The infamous E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has quite the storied history. It was rushed to release for the 1982 Christmas season, and as such, it was an utter disaster on every conceivable level. It was such a failure that Atari literally dumped hundreds of unsold copies in a landfill in New Mexico. One of the recently-excavated cartridges now resides in the Smithsonian and another was sold on eBay to a Canadian buyer for $1,537. Not bad for such a poor video game!
22 Virtual Bowling ($1,825)
The Virtual Boy is one of the most infamous items in gaming history. While it was conceived as being the next great leap in gaming technology due to its supposed 3D capabilities, it didn’t have any good games and gave its players headaches.
One of its rarest titles, Virtual Bowling, sold for $1,825 in 2017, which is weird considering absolutely no one on this Earth should ever play it. There’s good money in rare games, even they’re universally despised.
21 Dead Space (Ultra Limited Edition) ($2,500)
Dead Space is a relatively recent game, having only been released for home consoles back in 2008. But it’s not the age that has increased its value, but the rarity. You see, there exists a version called the Ultra Limited Edition that contained a ton of extra content.
The only thing was that EA only produced 1,000 copies, making it one of the rarest commodities of the seventh generation. It can often be found online selling for $700-1,000, but it has also gone as high as $2,500!
20 Blockbuster World Video Game Championships II ($2,500)
This was an odd little video game published by Acclaim and distributed to various Blockbusters around the country. You see kids, back then there was a video game rental store called Blockbuster, and they even had their own exclusive games.
Due to its incredible rarity, this game can sometimes be found online and often sells in the ballpark of $2,000-2,500. Too bad Blockbuster didn’t hold onto these – they could have saved themselves from phasing out.
19 Wrecking Crew ($4,000)
Wrecking Crew is an old and relatively forgotten Mario game which tasked the player with destroying a set number of objects. It never really took off the way other Mario games did, but its rarity (and the inclusion of Mario) has made it a collector’s item for gaming historians.
While you can get a used copy for peanuts online, a rare, sealed black box version of the game sold for just over $4,000 on eBay in 2012. What can we say, people love them some Mario.
18 The Flintstones: The Surprise At Dinosaur Peak! ($5,000)
Now we’re getting into the true rarities. The Flintstones: The Surprise at Dinosaur Peak is a very old and very rare game originally released for the NES. In it, you control both Fred and Barney as they attempt to rescue Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm from dinosaurs.
You can find this game going for all sorts of prices online, ranging from as (relatively) low as $1,500 to as much as $5,000 depending on the quality and contents. Now that is serious money for a video game.
17 DuckTales: Remastered (Gold Cartridge) ($5,100)
Ah yes, the famed gold cartridge version of DuckTales: Remastered. It’s actually like the Holy Grail of video games (you know, seeing as how it’s gold and whatnot). A very limited number of these gold cartridge press kits were sent to gaming journalists, and you can find them going for well over $1,000.
A specific “Artist Proof” version sold on eBay for an astounding $5,100 in November of 2014, despite starting at a measly $5. Collectors really want to get their hands on this incredible item.
16 ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut ($3,000)
The Sculptor’s Cut is an updated version of the infamous N64 title ClayFighter 63 1/3 that was sold exclusively through Blockbuster. It added various elements to the base game, including a new intro sequence, a brand new story mode, and four exclusive characters.
It didn’t really matter though, because the base game was garbage and no one cared about an “updated” version. That said, it can fetch some good money online due to its relative rarity and has sold for $3,000 on eBay.
15 Harvest Moon ($2,800)
The original Harvest Moon was developed by Amicus and published by Pack-In-Video in Japan, Natsume in North America, and Nintendo in Europe. And despite having been reissued on various consoles, including the Wii and the Wii U, the OG SNES version is worth a fortune. Used, cartridge-only copies of the game currently go for about $200, and in November 2014, a brand new, unopened copy sold for $2,800 on eBay.
14 EarthBound ($3,000)
Everyone who played Super Smash Bros. back in the day stared in confusion as they unlocked this little kid named Ness. No one knew who he was (but he was still a great fighter, so we used him anyway).
Ness came from a little Japanese game called EarthBound (or Mother 2 in Japan), which was released to little acclaim or fanfare in the North American market. However, it has since become a cult favorite, and factory sealed versions of the game are worth about $2-3,000.
13 Pepsi Invaders ($3,500)
Well yes, there actually was a video game called Pepsi Invaders, and it was a masterpiece. Well, we don’t actually know that. No one does, because no one has played it. In this altered version of Space Invaders, the player must shoot the letters spelling “Pepsi” out of the air. This game was actually developed by Atari and handed out at a 1983 Coca-Cola sales convention. Very few copies are known to exist, but one was sold on eBay in 2013 for $3,500.
12 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Fortune Hunter Edition) ($3,800)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is another relatively recent title with an insanely expensive limited edition. The special Fortune Hunter edition comes with numerous extra collectibles, including an art book and a replica of the game’s Phurba dagger.
Because of the sheer amount of content and its relative rarity, the Fortune Hunter edition goes for big bucks online, selling from as “low” as $2,000 and as high as $3,800. You need to find a treasure of your own to afford this!
11 Batman Forever ($3,900)
It’s no wonder Batman fans relate to Bruce Wayne so much – they seem to be just as rich as he is! In 2017 a special Woolworths Limited Edition of Batman Forever was put up on eBay, with the seller claiming that it is the only factory sealed version known to exist.
It was authenticated by the VGA and given an 80+ Silver rating, signifying “near mint condition.” It was eventually bought for £3,000, or roughly $3,900. To be honest, we kind of expected more…
10 Super Copa ($6,900)
No, we are not making this game up, despite its ridiculous title. Super Copa is a rare soccer game that was released for the SNES, and you can pick up your own copy for about $150 online. However (like most collector’s items), a game in mint condition goes for a lot more. You can expect to find a factory sealed Super Copa anywhere between $2-4,000, and in March 2015, a copy was sold on eBay for an astounding $6,900.
9 Red Sea Crossing ($10,400)
The story of Red Sea Crossing is quite spectacular. The game emerged GameGavel.com in 2012 after the seller found it at a garage sale. Upon further research, the collective minds of the internet discovered that it was an old Atari game created by an independent programmer and advertised in religious magazines. No one even knew it existed until the garage sale! The auction started at $100, but heated interest quickly drove the price up and the game sold for a ridiculous $10,400!
8 Nintendo PowerFest ‘94 ($12,000)
Like Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991, Nintendo PowerFest ’94 was a compilation of three video games. It was played in various competitions around the country, where each player tried to complete a set challenge in all three games within six minutes.
Most of the cartridges were destroyed after the event, and only two are known to exist today. A collector by the name of J.J. Hendricks bought one of the copies in 2012 for a cool $12,000, even though the seller was asking for $25,000.
7 Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991 ($20,100)
If you thought that was ridiculous, you haven’t seen anything yet. A weird game called Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991 popped up on eBay in 2009. Apparently, the cartridge (which contained three previously released games) was created for a national college video gaming tournament and was the only known one to have survived the promotion. Despite no one really knowing what it was, the cartridge ended up selling for $20,100, making it one of the rarest and most expensive video games in history.
6 Super Mario Bros. ($30,100)
Before you get too excited, no, regular copies of Super Mario Bros. are not worth a fortune. However, one specific shrink-wrapped copy netted a Pennsylvanian seller a cool $30,100 in 2017.
The seller was in possession of a factory sealed, shrink-wrapped version of the game, complete with the original price tag of $26.99 (about $68 in today’s money if you’re curious). And the kicker? The seller had no idea where it came from. This certainly shows you the value and rarity of a brand new Super Mario Bros.
5 Air Raid ($33,433)
Air Raid is an extremely rare game which was developed by Men-A-Vision and released for the Atari 2600. It’s essentially Space Invaders, as you are forced to defend two buildings from a bombing raid.
Very few copies of the game were even produced, making it a much-sought-after collector’s item. Two copies of the game have been found and sold – one for $31,600 in 2010 and another on GameGavel.com for $33,433. And to think, the bidding started at $1.
4 Birthday Mania ($35,000)
Birthday Mania was a video game created by a man named Anthony Tokar and advertised solely through the Newark Star-Ledger (AKA Tony Soprano’s newspaper of choice). The game consisted of numerous birthday activities like blowing out candles (sounds fun, right?), and unsurprisingly, it only sold about 10 copies.
Very few have surfaced. In 2009 an offer of $6,500 was made to a seller, but they eventually declined. No one knows exactly how much it’s worth, although estimates have ranged upwards of $35,000.
3 Stadium Events ($41,977)
Stadium Events was a sports-themed game released for the NES that was quickly forgotten and replaced with World Class Track Meet. As such, it’s one of the rarest video games in existence – so much so that ESPN documented its legacy.
While the game with the original box and manual can go for upwards of $20,000 by itself, a VGA-rated, shrink-wrapped copy was sold to a private buyer in 2017 for $41,977. That man now owns the rarest copy of one of the rarest video games to ever be released.
2 Gamma Attack ($50,000)
Gamma Attack was once thought to be nothing but a myth. However, a man by the name of Anthony DeNardo found a legitimate physical copy of the game, and the myth was finally put to rest.
Gamma Attack was a game created by Gammation, a company that manufactured controller modifications. While DeNardo tried selling the game on eBay for $500,000, no one nibbled (what a surprise). The game is actually valued closer to $50,000, but that is still nothing to scoff at.
1 Nintendo World Championships (Gold Cartridge) ($100,088)
We’re pretty sure this cartridge is made of actual gold considering how much it sold for. In 1990, Nintendo organized a global video game tournament called the Nintendo World Championships and manufactured custom NES cartridges for the game.
While 90 copies were made in the standard gray, a further 26 were colored gold and were given away as prizes in a Nintendo Power contest. The gold cartridge is the rarest NES cartridge in existence and sold for $100,088 on eBay in February 2014.