Video games have been a part of American (and international) culture for generations. Depending on your age, you may be a third-generation gamer. Over the years, there have been some major hits in the video game industry as well as some legendary misses. With such a massive industry (one that has generated billions of dollars over the years), there are bound to be some games that are considered more collectible than others.
Before we dive into our list, we should clear something up regarding value. Video games generally drop in value the minute that they’ve been opened and played. Most of us bought video games for the sole purpose of playing them, not keeping them in their factory wrapper sitting on the shelf somewhere. If you’ve got some of these games and have enjoyed them over the years, don’t become frustrated by the fact that you’ve damaged their resale value. If you received hours of joy out of playing these games, then you got your money’s worth out of them.Read More »
Futurama: The Video Game
Most TV shows or movies that get converted into video games fall flat. There’s not really any consistent reason why, but the concept of transitioning from a show or movie that viewers watch into a game that viewers play usually doesn’t work. Futurama: The Video Game, released for the original Xbox and Playstation 2, pretty well kept that trend alive. However, since Futurama has its own cult following, this game (which didn’t last long on the market), it’s still seen as a collectible. The rarity of the game has led to copies for Xbox selling on eBay for $150 while PS2 versions have gone for as much as $260.
Don’t get too excited here, as virtually everyone who had an original Nintendo Entertainment System (or a Gameboy or a Super Nintendo) had some version of Tetris at some point. Those copies aren’t worth much. However, Sega decided to produce a copy for their Sega Genesis system. The only problem with this was that Nintendo owned the rights to the game, so only 10 copies were produced. Since it was illegal to sell these in stores, members of the development team received the 10 cartridges, and the game was never mentioned again.
If a game (and its marketing/release) has ever lived up to its name, Poop Slinger for Playstation 4 got the title. Poop Slinger was created by a one-man gaming company called Limited Rare. Limited Rare decided it would be best to try to sale as many copies of the game in a single day to generate interest in the product. Unfortunately, the game was released on April 1, 2019. Since people thought the game, it’s goofy title and the lack of marketing reeked (no pun intended) as an April Fool’s joke, only 84 copies sold. Limited Rare went bankrupt within the week. If you were one of the 84 people who grabbed a copy of this game that flopped, you may be onto some money. One copy sold on eBay for over $1,000.
Yoshi’s Story: International Version
Yoshi is the lovable green dinosaur that Mario rides around in his never-ending quest to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. Since Yoshi is so loved, he got a few of his own games. Yoshi’s Story: The International Version was released for the N64 but was only playable on consoles that were produced in America. The catch is that all of the game’s text is in Japanese. We’re still not sure if this was an error or just Nintendo trying to do something fun. However, very few copies of the game ever made it to market, making it one of the most valuable, collectible Nintendo games of all time.
NBA Elite 11
EA Sports has long been seen as the pinnacle for sports video games. In 2010, EA decided that they were going to maximize their NBA license and launched NBA Elite in addition to their existing NBA Live franchise. What came out was an odd mixture of easier and more difficult gameplay, depending on what you were trying to do. Fans didn’t really see enough of a difference in NBA Elite and NBA Live, so they stuck with what they knew and continued to purchase NBA Live. Since EA gave up on Elite pretty quickly, there are very few copies out there. In fact, it’s so rare that one copy recently sold for $1,500 on eBay.
Earthbound suffered from being released at the wrong time. Released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo, the game was supposed to be a big release. In fact, Nintendo slapped a $70 price tag (incredibly high for that time period) on the game and included a few extras with it. These extras included scratch-and-sniff stickers and a full-sized guidebook. Unfortunately, the N64 was released within a year of Earthbound, making it even harder for the niche title to ever gain its footing. Only 150,000 copies were sold in the US, making it one of the rarer Nintendo games out there.
Long before people were raising digital crops on Facebook through Farmville, Harvest Moon hit the shelves as a farming simulation for Super Nintendo. Much like Earthbound, it was released pretty close to the release of the Nintendo 64, meaning that it went out of style almost as quickly as it was released. When Harvest Moon failed to produce a bountiful harvest (sorry, pun intended), Nintendo gave up on the title. However, its rarity has driven up the current value for the title, as unwrapped copies regularly sell for $100 on eBay while a factory-sealed copy sold for $2,199.99 in 2016.
If you’ve ever collected video games or read up on the industry, you probably already knew this title was going to round out our list. Stadium Events was produced in 1986 and was meant to be an Olympic-style game that got users active. It’s seen as the inspiration for many of the games on the Nintendo Wii. Unfortunately, only 2,000 copies of the game were ever produced. It becomes even rarer when you realize that only 200 copies made it to store shelves. Need to make things even more niche? It was only sold at a line of stores called Woolworths in the Northeastern United States. The game was quickly recalled and rebranded as World Class Track Meet. To date, there have only been 11 verified copies of Stadium Events found. In 2017, one of those 11 copies sold on eBay for just north of $41,000.
Video games have always been (and will always be) a collectible item. People are loyal to gaming companies and platforms, driving the value even higher. Who knows what video games will make this list 20 years from now? It could be a title that you have in your collection today.