How many times has this happened to you? You are a gamer, and you get a brand new game that you’ve been excited to play for months…maybe even years, depending on the game and how long it’s been in development. Then you start to play it, and you find that all of your expectations for this game have fallen short. Maybe the graphics aren’t what you expected, or the story doesn’t connect with you whatsoever. Perhaps the game’s runtime was lagging, or the action didn’t match up with the incredible trailer you’d seen before. Whatever the reason, the game becomes worthless to you, and you either put it away, never to be seen again, or you throw it out in frustration.
Well, you may want to hang on to that game that just didn’t give you the joy that other games have. You see, in the world of collector’s items and gaming, some of the worst games to ever be made are now worth a fortune. It’s hard to believe, but some of the gaming industry’s worst titles can get people thousands of dollars when sold online or to collectors. The worse the game, the more money you stand to make. Games like E.T. for the Atari or Action 52 for the NES can grab thousands of dollars, even if the game’s loose and not sealed.
Today is the day we explore these awful games and discover how much collectors are willing to pay. These are the thirty worst games now worth a fortune.
30 Clayfighter: Sculptor’s Cut — $4,000
This game may be considered a cult classic, but its place in the fighter genre makes this game not very good at all. The cheesy humor and cartoon-like graphics hardly stack up to the long list of popular fighting games, lacking a maturity that other fighting games tend to have.
This game can go anywhere from $400 for a loose copy, to a staggering $4000 for new-in-box collector’s editions.
This was an exclusive update to Clayfighter 63 1/3, released to Blockbuster, which makes its value way higher than others.
29 Birthday Mania — $35,000
This game was very strange. The basic concept of Birthday Mania was that you played as a disembodied head, and spent an endless amount of time trying to blow out as many candles as possible. It was kind of an endless, high-score style shooter game, but with birthday candles and air instead of any weaponry. Yet, the game only has 10 copies left in existence, and originally was sold through a mail-in service rather than in stores. This allowed the gamer’s name to be shown on the title screen in a customized game setting. For this lame reason, the game is listed at $35,000 total.
28 Super 3D Noah’s Ark — $450
This is a sad one to write about. The history of Wolfenstein the franchise in the video game industry is well known and developed. It’s one of the best WWII games in the world. Originally the game had to be censored, taking away the villains and other graphical elements, but the game lasted nonetheless. However, developer Wisdom Tree decided to take the classic gameplay of Wolfenstein, and change the character to Noah on his ark from the Christian Bible instead.
We saw Noah throwing food into the mouths of the animals on his ark, rather than a soldier taking down enemies.
This game sells for $150 when loose, and $450 for sealed copies.
27 Rule Of Rose — $200
This controversial survival horror game has a lot of history behind it. The game itself focuses on the struggles one young woman goes through after being orphaned, and the horrors that she endures both mentally and physically. However, rumors of the game featuring inappropriate content with children caused the game to be banned in Europe.
The game released in Japan and had a limited release, making this a rare game now.
While the gameplay was pretty awful, the story itself was intriguing, which is why copies of this PlayStation 2 game can go for up to $200 now.
26 Nintendo Campus Challenge — $20,000
This three-in-one title was part of a championship series of challenges across the United States at popular Spring Break college destinations. Players would be given a set amount of time to get the high score on three demo versions of games, including games like Super Mario Bros 3, Pinbot, and Dr. Mario. The games were destroyed after the championship, but one lone copy has been making its rounds on the collection sites, selling from $14,000 to over $20,000 total on eBay.
25 Super Copa — $6,000
This was basically the Southern version of the game Tony Meola’s Sidekicks Soccer. The graphics and gameplay didn’t live up to the original game’s levels, but this SNES title was still considered a good soccer game for its day.
This alternative version of the game is rare indeed, with bootleg copies making their rounds on eBay.
However, a boxed copy of the game can sell for $400 online, while factory-sealed copies can be sold for over $6000 each.
24 Nintendo Powerfest 1994 — $23,000
This is yet another of Nintendo’s long-running three-in-one gaming titles that focused on competition. There were 33 gaming cartridges made, with demo versions of Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Kart, and Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball, all being used in the competition. A copy that featured the million point home run in Ken Griffey Jr. Presents sold for over $10,000 online, but the exclusive original copy of the game which featured only 10,000 points for the home run sold once online for $12,000 and nearly made it to $23,000 before the bidder backed out, selling instead for nearly $11,000.
23 Action 52 — $800
This NES title was considered one of the worst games to ever exist.
Consisting of 52 “new and original” games, this collection had a variety of different genres and games that should have made it a smash hit.
Yet this game featured some truly poor graphics and one Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ripoff game titled “The Cheetamen,” which did not have fans clamoring to play at all. If you have a loose copy of this game, you can grab about $200, while sealed copies will get you $800 total.
22 Nintendo World Championships 1990 — $10,000
This may be a piece of Nintendo history and one of the classic video game competitions (long before professional gaming was a thing), Nintendo launched a contest across 29 different cities to find the best possible scores on three different Nintendo titles. Thus the game Nintendo World Championships 1990 was born, featuring time trials and challenges for partial copies of Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer, and Tetris. A grey cartridge of the game can go for $10,000 while an exclusive gold cartridge can go for as much as $100,088 on eBay.
21 Trip World — $1,000
Part of the Game Boy era, this Nintendo title is rare as it had incredible graphics and backdrops for an original Game Boy title. Unlike its predecessors, Super Mario Bros or Tetris, however, the game failed not due to its graphics, but due to it’s short game time.
The game itself can be beaten in a matter of 20 minutes, making this game not worth the effort.
With the game never being released in the West, the copies of that title are worth a lot of money. Loose copies can be sold for $300 while sealed copies go for about $1000 each.
20 Mr. Gimmick — $600
This NES game is similar to Trip World, as it’s graphics and story were not the game’s lowest points. In fact, they were quite good for games of that era. However, the hard part is that not only is the game very short, but also considered one of the most difficult games to play in NES history, making the game’s worth in 1992 simply not worth the money. However, now if you want a loose copy, you’ll have to pay $600, while new copies will set you back about $1200.
19 Panic Restaurant — $1600
This NES title was as basic as they come. The game featured a chef running around, hitting enemies with a frying pan and making his way through a restaurant-themed platformer. The game itself was pretty boring and kind of blended into the background of other platformer games of the 90’s. Even the chef himself was given a large mustache, a trait common for 90s video game heroes. This game can run you up to $1600 for a boxed copy.
18 Caltron 6-In-1 — $200
Similar to Action 52, this game featured multiple games in a single cartridge. The NES title saw six games total in a single cartridge, but like its predecessor, the game failed to meet sales expectations. The games were better in quality compared to Action 52, but still didn’t live up to the other classic NES titles coming out in the 90’s. This game will run you about $200 for loose copies and $300 for brand new copies.
17 Myriad 6-In-1 — $3,000
This game actually steals the work of the previous game developer.
I mean that literally.
Myriad purchased all of the stock for the failed game, Caltron 6-In-1, and instead of changing things for the better or making the game their own, they simply put a lousy new sticker on the cartridge that barely covered the original game’s look, and the title screen still said the name of the original game. Yet. because of this move, now collectors are willing to pay between $1300-$3000 for a copy. Wow.
16 Cheetahmen II — $3,000
Yes, there was a sequel to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle rip-off game from the failed Action 52 title. Cheetahmen II was the company’s attempt to turn the first game into a full-fledged single game, filled to the brim with more levels and gameplay, and yet it remains to this day unfinished. There were 1500 copies of the game found in a warehouse somewhere, and so now collectors are shelling out between $1000 to $3000 depending on the bidding war.
15 Zombie Nation — $600
Before the days of Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead, or the more recently popular Dying Light, the NES system decided to create their own zombie apocalypse game called Zombie Nation.
However, the game was considered to be just awful.
Filled with terribly pixelated zombies and a protagonist that was basically the disembodied head of an ancient Samurai. The side-scroller shooter, however, is fetching a high price, with loose copies selling for $300 to new copies for $600.
14 Zelda’s Adventures — $400
It’s rare to find a title from a bestselling franchise in this list, but that’s what we found when we discovered the poorly received title, Zelda’s Adventures. The franchise starring Link and the adventures of this fantasy driven world are one of gaming’s longest running series. This Philips CD-i title is considered one of the worst games in the franchise, with awful graphics and poor gameplay overall. Yet collectors cannot help clamoring for this title, paying up to $400 for the game.
13 Stadium Events — $35,000
Before the days of EA Sports and their stellar athletic games, the NES tried to launch an Olympic-style game of their own. This collection of stadium-style athletic games on the NES can easily sell for thousands of dollars. It was well known in 1987 and was originally called World Class Track Meet.
Originally, before that, however, it was known as Family Fun Fitness Stadium Events.
The rarity of the original title however makes these games sell for between $15,000 and $35,000 a piece.
12 Batman Forever Woolworth’s Box Set — $1,300
It’s important to know right away that the game itself isn’t valuable. You can’t sell the original cartridge for the NES for a lot of money. The game itself was a failure, much like the film, and failed to deliver any really amazing graphics or gameplay elements. Yet, despite the $5 price tag on the cartridges, anyone with a limited edition Woolworth’s Box Set of the game can sell it for anywhere between $900 and $1300.
11 Starcraft 64 — $600
This is not a reflection on the Starcraft franchise at all. Blizzard’s core franchise is still widely loved.
Starcraft 64, by all accounts, should have been great.
It had the base game missions, the expansion, Brood War and a few Nintendo 64 exclusive missions on top of that. The problem with this game was the porting from the PC to the Nintendo 64. The game became sluggish and slow, making this a way better PC game. Collectors can pick up this game for $50 for loose copies and up to $600 for sealed copies.
10 The Flintstones: Surprise At Dinosaur Peak — $2,500
This NES title from Taito took a stab at a trend during the 1990’s, and that was developing titles based on popular films or franchises. The Flintstones were a perfect title to utilize, using a platform genre game with decent graphics and gameplay. However, the company released this NES title two years after the SNES released, and gamers had moved on from the old system. Now this game can be found for $700 loose to up to $2500 new.
9 Radical Rex — $1,100
This was meant to be a platformer that would topple the likes of Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Instead, the game turned out to be a real mess, with gameplay elements that just did not deliver the style and graphics that the previous two titles had done for their respective systems.
While the Super Nintendo version of the game is worthless, the collectors of the world are willing to pay anywhere from $75 for loose copies to $1100 for brand new editions on the Sega Mega Drive.
8 Texas Chainsaw Massacre — $500
Cashing in on horror franchises is a popular trend in gaming now, but it was rare to see such a title on the classic Atari 2600. The game was poorly designed and had awful graphics, but the gaming community still tried to cash in on the original film’s success at the box office. This failed, with people abhorring the violence in the game at that point in time and the graphics failing to live up to expectations. The game can now be bought for $500.
7 Red Sea Crossing — $13,000
One of the most difficult genre games to sell on the market are exclusive religious games, especially Christian Bible-based games.
That’s what happened with this game, as you were given the task to play as Moses, literally crossing the Red Sea and avoiding traps, similar to the popular classic title Pitfall!.
The game did not sell well and was only available through mail-in services, not in stores, therefore copies are now selling for as high as $13,000.
6 Air Raid — $31,000
This next one really has a special place in collector’s circles. Known as one of the rarest titles to ever grace the Atari 2600, Air Raid is considered a rip off of the games Missile Command and Space Invaders, two of gamings most classic titles. The graphics are nothing special and the game overall doesn’t perform as well as those two original games, and yet its rarity makes it incredibly valuable. Collectors are willing to shell out about $31,000 for one copy of this game.
5 Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer — $4,500
This is a massive bundle game that showed companies bought into the whole stereotype that gamers were “unfit” or “unhealthy” and needed an excuse to exercise.
The original game sold with an Exertainment Bike, an expensive piece of equipment, along with additional games like Mountain Bike Rally and Speed Racer In My Most Dangerous Adventures. While the bike doesn’t really sell anymore, the game bundle can sell for up to $1500 and even close to $4500 in some places.
4 Atlantis II — $7,000
This title is a rare find indeed. The Atari system game was a special edition of the original Atlantis game. The Missile Command style gameplay of defending your base from enemy attacks led to game developers running a contest, with gamers sending pictures of their high scores to the company.
Those with the highest scores received this exclusive title, which featured faster enemies with fewer points, making it a more challenging experience to get the high score.
It’s a rare game to find as it was limited in release, so if you find the small white sticker on the game which says Atlantis II then you can sell this game for up to $7000 total.
3 Little Samson — $2,900
This is yet another title from Taito games that failed to capture the platformer NES title before the rise of the SNES. This game was built with a similar style to the popular Mega Man franchise but failed to capture audiences as it was an NES title and the SNES was the popular system gamers were clamoring for. As a result, the game sold poorly, and now a boxed version of the game can be found being sold for up to $2,900 on the internet today.
2 Ducktales 2 — $350
This next title is a sequel to not only a major hit game, but is based on one of Disney’s most popular classic series. While the classic Disney title Ducktales sold a lot of copies of its first game, gamers might be hard pressed to learn that the game had a sequel.
However the game failed to live up to the original’s success, and kind of fell into obscurity.
Yet, a boxed version of the game can be sold for up to $350 total online.
1 E.T. The Extraterrestrial
One of gaming’s worst games ever made and a collector’s dream game to own, the game based on the original film had a pointless, difficult premise that did not capture the essence of the film whatsoever. The lovable alien E.T. failed to launch a franchise, but the game itself can be sold anywhere $5 to $1500 depending on the game’s condition, as several were found in a landfill battered and nearly destroyed years ago.
You can find these and other games worth a fortune from our very own Russ Boswell here!