If you’re a video game buff, you realize that some retro titles can be worth a small fortune. From rare, limited editions to games with unique features, these games can fetch astronomical prices on the collector’s market. Believe it or not, some vintage video games were auctioned off for literally millions of dollars. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most expensive ones, explaining what makes them so valuable in the eyes of collectors.
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario is arguably the most famous video game franchise in history. It all started in the mid-1980s when Nintendo published the first game of the series – Super Mario Bros.
The game sold almost 60 million copies around the globe, prompting Nintendo to make additional editions of Super Mario in the following years. The game also inspired numerous movies, books, and even some online casino games. The original version of the Super Mario Bros. video game remains popular, particularly among collectors. Despite there being millions of copies of the game worldwide, only a limited number of them remain unopened, and these are the ones that video game enthusiasts covet. This was evidenced in 2021 when an unopened box of Super Mario Bros. from 1985 was sold at a Rally auction for a staggering $2 million, breaking the previous record held by another boxed version of the game that an unnamed collector had paid over $1.5 million for.
First released in 1986, Stadium Events hit the shelves in the United States in late 1987. No more than 10,000 copies of the original game were made, with just a few hundred of those being the American version. In fact, only 11 Stadium Events cartridges have been confirmed as existing in 2023, making it one of the rarest Nintendo games in the world. Because they’re so rare, copies of the game are worth a lot in the gaming world. Back in 2017, one copy sold for $41,000.
1990 Nintendo World Championships
Similarly to Stadium Events, the 1990 Nintendo World Championships game was also released in limited numbers, with only around 350 copies ever produced. Nintendo designed this game as a promotional stunt to commemorate the company’s centenary, and it combined elements of three popular titles: Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. The game was intended for use in gaming competitions held in 29 cities across the USA, which is why most of the copies remain in the possession of arcades that hosted these events. In 2021 a Nintendo World Championships 1990 Grey game sold for $180,000.00.
The Legend of Zelda Cartridge
The Legend of Zelda is another title that played a significant role in the video game craze of the 1980s. The original version of the game was released in Japan in 1986 on a floppy disk, with the American version following a year later on a cartridge. Within the first few months of its release, the game had sold over 2 million copies, with most people purchasing the cartridges to play Zelda. Surprisingly, some individuals have never even opened their copy of the game, and a few years ago, one such person put their unopened 1987 cartridge of The Legend of Zelda up for auction. The cartridge sold for a staggering $870,000!
The 1990s were a breakthrough era for the video gaming industry. From classics like Super Mario Bros. to The Legend of Zelda, these games have become a part of popular culture and have captured the hearts of gamers around the world. As we’ve seen, some of these vintage video games are not just valuable for their cultural significance but are also worth a small fortune in the collector’s market. From rare, limited editions to unopened versions of iconic games, these games have been auctioned off for millions of dollars. These high prices are a testament to the enduring love and nostalgia that video game enthusiasts have for these retro titles.