The art form of gaming is clearly vastly significant to many of us. Compared to any other form of art or media, video games have had an incredibly short amount of time to evolve. And for the most part, they have done so beautifully. It is perhaps this impressive facet that makes us all so passionate about them. And this passion has led to an inane desire to collect trinkets that show off our love.
Outside of the world of comics, video games have produced one of the healthiest and most vast markets for collectibles over the years. Whether this be through companies issuing limited quantities of collectible editions for their games, or games themselves that have been all but lost to the annals of time, owning any of the items on this list would ensure you’re well off for quite a while.
But don’t go rummaging through your closet or attic for boxes of old games just yet. The reputation for many of these collectibles has become famous among aficionados. The majority of them have had to be lost before they could become what they are today, meaning that not just anyone is going to have them. And it’s not as if any old bauble is worth a lot of money. If you have any of these, chances are you know how lucky you are. Here are 25 video game collectibles that are impossible to find and how much they’re worth.
25 Fallout 3: Survival Edition ($515)
When Bethesda acquired the Fallout property, they began with one of the best entries the series would ever see. Regardless of how they’ve handled things lately, Fallout 3 is a majestic monument of a game. And it also has one of the rarest collectible editions out there.
The Survival Edition could only be ordered through Amazon and in the U.S. It came with a ton of cool items like a life size Pip-Boy, a Vault Boy bobblehead, and a lot more. Pricecharting.com values it currently at $515 when it was originally $120-$130. But good luck finding it even that cheap.
24 Pokémon World Championship DS Systems ($1,000)
Every year, the top players in the Pokémon Trading Card Game compete for glory and several prizes. And though the prizes have varied depending on what year and place you receive, all of them are now worth quite the pretty penny.
One of the prizes winners could have nabbed were these special edition DS systems. They have come in different colors with unique designs, but each is worth around $1,000. For any Pokémon super fan, this would be an excellent addition to their collection.
23 Link's E3 1997 Statue ($1,000)
This 16-inch high statue may not look like much in comparison to today’s collectibles, but it was unlike any other figurine gamers had seen before in 1997. Fans were only able to buy this at E3, where Nintendo was selling it to get people even more hype for Ocarina of Time. It features the smirking hero on a pedestal with the series logo on it.
This statue represents one of the first times Link would be in 3D and is therefore a piece of gaming history. So, naturally, these sell for around $800-$1,000 whenever they do happen to show up.
22 The Last of Us: Post-Pandemic Edition ($1,100)
If you haven’t played The Last of Us, just talk to any fan and they’ll tell you how amazingly life-changing it is. And coming from the esteemed crew at Naughty Dog, it unsurprisingly received a collectible edition. Similar to Fallout 3’s Survival Edition, the Post-Pandemic Edition could only be purchased in the U.S. and through a specific retailer: GameStop.
Contents included a steel-book case, issue #1 of the fantastic American Dreams prequel comic, DLC packs, a sticker book, and a backdrop for the glorious Joel & Ellie figurines. Due to the game’s reputation, this collection unopened goes for around $1,100.
21 Hyrule Warriors: Limited Edition ($1,000)
And here we have a collectible that really shouldn’t be worth the amount it is. Hyrule Warriors took the characters and lore of The Legend of Zelda and blended it with the gameplay of Dynasty Warriors. And it did so fairly well.
Nintendo was thrilled enough about the spin-off to give it a limited edition, though the only special thing it came with was Link’s in-game scarf. In the U.S., these were only available at the Nintendo store in NYC, though they were apparently easier to find in Europe. It’s valued around $1,000, but is currently on Amazon for $3,000.
20 Elemental Gearbolt: Assassin Case ($2,100-$2,200)
In the '90s, collectible editions weren’t as common as they are today. That doesn’t mean they didn’t get released though. This particular one was produced for the original PlayStation game, Elemental Gearbolt. Being that it was a light gun shooter, the collectible edition came with its own gun.
Instead of coming in a box like today’s collectible editions, this one came in a small metal briefcase, giving it a more interesting look. This, along with the relative obscurity of the game, has made this edition pretty hard to find. If you can find it, it normally sells for around $2,100-$2,200.
19 Blockbuster World Championships II Cartridge ($3,600)
One element from the world of 90s gaming that you don’t see much of today is the holding of championships. Nintendo held several (more on that later) and, not to be outdone, Sega partnered with Blockbuster to create their own. Essentially, players could travel to different Blockbusters to compete on this cartridge, scoring points and winning prizes.
The cartridge features minuscule versions of Judge Dredd and NBA Jam Tournament Edition so that players could be tested on very specific things from those games. And as these cartridges couldn’t be bought, they now sell for about $3,600.
18 Life-Size Big Daddy Statue ($4,000)
If you’re the kind of person who loves to scare your house guests and has $4,000 to blow, I’d recommend ordering this next gaming treasure. Made by Oxmox and standing at a whopping 7’2," the life-size Big Daddy statue is a perfect representation of the BioShock enemy.
You could currently purchase it on life-size-universe.com, which states that it’s so big it has to be shipped in three separate boxes on pallets. Only 100 of these exist, which is not at all surprising.
17 Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer ($4,800)
A relic from one of the weirdest partnerships Nintendo ever agreed to. The Exertainment System, which was an exercise bike with a built-in SNES and small monitor, was created by Nintendo and Life Fitness. You might be thinking, “Who would want this?”
Well, apparently, no one. It didn’t sell well and only saw one game released: A combo cartridge of Mountain Bike Rally and Speed Racer. These days, it’s one of the rarest SNES games. The cart alone can easily sell for over $1,500. But an unopened box with the electronic personal trainer goes for $4,800.
16 Aztarac ($5,000)
Many of us wish we could have a room in our houses turned into an arcade of yesteryear. While it’s entirely possible, arcade cabinets can normally set you back quite a bit. But Aztarac is on an entirely different level.
It was released in 1983 as the last game developed in-house by Centuri and less than 200 were made. It’s a space shooter game, but its most remarkable feature is its dome-like screen. Due to the limited quantities, it is now the rare arcade cabinet and can sell for $5,000. Sometimes more.
15 Uncharted 2: Fortune Hunter Edition ($5,000)
This is, by far, one of the rarest collectible editions out there. And while it may look like any standard collectible edition, there is something about it that makes it a bit more special. Only 200 were made and they were only given out during contests and giveaways.
Since no one could buy them in store, this has led to their worth skyrocketing. Contents include a game signed by the Naughty Dog team, a guide book, soundtrack, and an awesome replica of the game’s dagger. They normally fetch around $5,000.
14 Net Yaroze PlayStations (Up To $7,500)
The Net Yaroze versions of Sony’s first console may not ring a bell for many players and that’s totally understandable. It’s a product of a bygone era before indie developers were cherished the way they are now.
Essentially, these versions of the PlayStation came bundled with tools for one-man development teams to create their own games and put them onto a demo disc. Different models were released in different colors, so prices can range depending on which one you’re buying. But these relics of gaming history can reach up to $7,500.
13 NBA Elite 11 ($9,500)
The story behind this legendary game is a strange one. The development team was only given 18 months to complete the title. This could be seen in the demo, which was riddled with bugs and publicly ridiculed. This led to EA cancelling the game last minute. However, one box of games had already been shipped from the warehouse.
Even though the game is almost certainly not good, the fact that there are so few in the world has made it a treasure. A regular copy can go for a couple grand but one authentically graded is valued around $9,500.
12 Red Sea Crossing ($10,400)
Most likely due to them not being considered more than anything but toys, there are plenty of video games from early days that are now worth a ridiculous amount of money. Red Sea Crossing, for example, was released in 1983 for the Atari 2600 by an independent programmer.
It told the tale of Moses and was only advertised once inside a Christian magazine. And while the person who created it made around 500 copies, only two are definitively known to exist. Which is why one sold in 2012 for over $10,000.
11 Gamma Attack ($6,000-$14,000)
Another Atari 2600 game that was lost to time is Gamma Attack. Developed by Gammation, gameplay consisted of controlling tanks that shot down UFOs. The longer you lasted, the quicker and more difficult your enemies became.
Only a handful of these were made. But only one is currently known to definitively exist until another copy turns up at some garage sale somewhere. Values can sometimes be hard to determine in cases like this, but racketboy.com currently values it somewhere between $6,000 and $14,000. If you’d like to give the game a shot, there are reproduced cartridges that cost significantly less.
10 Nintendo World Championship Cartridges ($12,000-$16,000)
The championship that Nintendo held in 1990 puts the Sega/Blockbuster team-up to shame. The company toured 30 cities, offering players the chance to compete on these cartridges for various prizes. But the cartridges themselves are now much more valuable than any of the prizes.
The mini-games included in each cartridge were based on Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. 90 standard copies exist and were given to finalists once the competition ended. And 26 special gold cartridges were given out during a Nintendo Power competition. Depending on the color, these carts can now go for $12,000-$16,000.
9 PlayStation 10 Million Model ($15,000)
While reaching 10 million sales seems a small deal by today’s standards, Sony thought it cause to celebrate when their first console reached that milestone. They produced a limited quantity of dark blue versions of their popular and groundbreaking console.
Only 100 of these were made and were only available through a special promotion. So, even though it is essentially the same as every other PlayStation, it’s almost impossible to find. But you could snag one currently on eBay for a reasonable $15,000.
8 Nintendo Campus Challenge Cartridges (Up To $20,000)
Nintendo sure does love their competitions. After the World Championships proved a success, Nintendo toured different college campuses and gave students the opportunity to compete. They actually did this twice: once in 1991 for the NES and again in 1992 for the SNES.
The cartridges from these competitions, both of which featured different mini-games, are now incredibly valuable. 3 SNES cartridges are said to exist and are valued around $4,000. But the NES one (of which only one exists and doesn’t even feature any artwork) sold in 2009 for a little over $20,000. It would probably be more today.
7 Gold Plated Game Boy ($25,000)
Interestingly, this special edition of the Game Boy wasn’t made by Nintendo. It was designed by Asprey’s in London, who redesigned Nintendo’s classic handheld by replacing the plastic casing with 18k gold. And they surrounded the screen with diamonds for good measure. Why? Who knows?
Naturally, its high price tag is due to its design instead of it being a relic lost to time. It can no longer be purchased on their website, but when it could it went for $25,000.
6 Tetris For The Sega Mega Drive ($25,000)
There’s a reason many fans have fond memories of playing Tetris on the NES or Game Boy. And that’s because Nintendo basically bullied Sega into giving up the rights to the game so that they could have it as a console exclusive. A family friendly company, but still business sharks.
Only a handful of copies for the Sega Mega Drive now exist since it was never publicly sold. And those that do exist were probably snuck out of the factory by those who knew how valuable it may one day become. It can now go for $25,000 or more.
5 Big Bang Bar Pinball ($30,000)
Did you know Capcom used to have a subsidiary that made Pinball games? Because I did not. And that’s probably because it was closed a little after a year of its inception. Big Bang Bar Pinball was the final game to be developed by this subsidiary before it closed and only 14 were ever made. If we’ve learned anything by now, it’s that limited quantities make for great collectibles. One of these sold in 2012 for $25,000 but is currently valued at $30,000.
4 Birthday Mania (Up To $35,000)
One thing that led to the video game crash in the 80s was that anybody could make an Atari game and sell it. This flooded the market with some pretty abysmal games. And while Birthday Mania isn’t one of those, as only around 10-15 were ever made, it is one of the weirder independently made titles.
People could custom order these cartridges, giving the creator the name of the person they were giving it to. The name would go on the cartridge and the title screen and gameplay consisted of birthday-themed mini-games. This oddity now sells for around $35,000.
3 Stadium Events (Up To $42,000)
The most expensive sports game that anyone could ever hope to buy was fairly common when it was released in 1987 by Bandai for the NES. It came packaged with a special mat that players could use for different track-based events. It wasn’t all that remarkable until Nintendo got involved.
They purchased the rights to Stadium Events and its mat, changed the name of both to make their own product, and pulled the remaining stock to avoid customer confusion. It is now the rarest NES game of all time. An unopened box sold in 2017 for $42,000.
2 Nintendo World Class Service Set (Up To $90,000)
The Nintendo World Class Service Set is something that only could have existed in the late 80s and early 90s. If you felt your NES or SNES was on the fritz, you could take your system to a Service Repair Center. Nintendo professionals would then use this set to test various aspects of your system.
They could test everything about your system, from controllers to peripherals like the Zapper and R.O.B. They are now essentially antiques and can only be found through private sales and auctions. One sold in 2014 for $50,000 but it’s valued more closely to $90,000 today.
1 Swordquest Prizes (Originally $25,000-$50,000)
The keyword being “originally.” Swordquest was a series of four games on the Atari 2600 that were based around a contest. Operating on a time limit, players could find numerical clues that corresponded to certain pages and panels of a comic. Mailing the most correct sentences from these clues to Atari earned them the opportunity to compete for a genuine treasure.
The winners of each game would go on to compete for a fifth prize: a jewel-encrusted sword. Unfortunately, Atari went under after only two prizes were given out and the location of the other three remains a mystery.