Ten Games That Are Worth a Small Fortune

Rarity, controversy, and other factors drive prices up for a select few games

Ten Games That Are Worth a Small Fortune
Photo by Zlaťáky.cz / Unsplash

If any of you out there are vintage game collectors, then you might probably be all too familiar with the upcoming list of titles. But if you know of anyone that likes old games and is complaining about the space they’re taking up in their cupboard, then perhaps it would be worth taking a look at this list because they might actually be sitting on a small treasure. With starting values approaching US$10,000, some of these titles are considered to be extremely valuable due to how rare they are.

There are a few rare gems out there worth a considerable amount among collectors. Some due to an advertising campaign gone awry, others for their vintage packaging, and some others for reasons that can’t be explained. You might want to check your shelves in case you have any of them so you can cash out on these small treasures as soon as possible.

The amounts listed below are in US currency, based on the most recent information from pricecharting.com as of January 2023.

10. Nintendo Campus Challenge (1992), SNES - $4,000

Nintendo's Campus Challenge event was held in 1992. Contestants were up against Nintendo's greatest games—Super Mario World, F-Zero, and Pilotwings. Competition versions of the games were put together on a single cartridge created specifically for the event. After the tournament, the cartridges were ordered to be destroyed. Only three have been confirmed to exist since the end of the 1992 competition.

9. Blockbuster World Championships II, SEGA MegaDrive - $5,200

This cartridge was created for the Blockbuster World Championships II (although it only took place in America, not worldwide). Contestants could choose to play either NBA Jam Tournament Edition or Judge Dredd on the SEGA Master System, or Donkey Kong Country on the Super NES. Once the tournament ended in July in 1995, Acclaim ordered the Mega Drive cartridges be destroyed. Only a handful have surfaced over the years, but they do exist! A rough copy can net you an easy $2,000.

8. Kizuna Encounter, Neo Geo - $10,100

This fighting title was created for the Neo Geo all the way back in 1996. The Japanese edition isn't too rare but the European PAL version is a different story completely as only five copies are known to exist. The highest price paid for one of these copies was $12,500, yet since then, their price has dropped a little. The game serves as a sequel to Savage Reign. Players must once again fight their way through King Leo's Battle of the Beast God tournament but this time around it also came with a nifty two-player mode so your friends can join in.

7. Red Sea Crossing, (1983) Atari — $10,400

Only 100 copies were made of this game for the 2600 console. After that, it disappeared off the face of the earth and today a couple of copies appeared as a rare diamond inside a cave hidden deep beneath the planet’s surface. Rumor has it that the original version came with a VCR cassette and a coloring book.

6. Tetris, (1984) SEGA — $16,000

Back in 1984, Alexey Leonidovich Pazhitnov (also spelled Pajitnov) created Tetris while he was studying in the Soviet Academy of Science in Moscow. The game was considered government property and was lost somewhere within the former U.S.S.R.’s bureaucracy. All of a sudden, SEGA published their own version of Tetris, buying the rights from Pazhitnov for $16,000, but some rare copies of the original can still be found in Russia.

5. Nintendo Powerfest, (1994) SNES - $17,500

In the early 90's, Nintendo held a tournament in North America called Nintendo Powerfest. Teams tested their skills in three Super Nintendo games: Super Mario Kart, Super Mario All-Stars, and Ken Griffey Jr. Home Run Derby. The Nintendo Powerfest cartridge contains a competition version of all three of those games. 33 cartridges were created for the needs of the tournament, yet 31 of them were recycled for spare parts. Only two cartridges remain in the wild. After a number of sales that have taken place throughout the years, the average price of one of the two cartridges has been set to around $17,500.

4. Super Mario Bros, (1983) NES — $30,100

Only the factory-stamped version wrapped in plastic costs this much. The original version might get you up to $50,000!

3. Air Raid, Atari - $33,400

A copy of Air Raid, which has come to be known as the rarest Atari game in existence, surfaced in 2012 from a man who claimed to have received it in the early '80s. The man was the owner of a pharmacy and was given a copy of the game by a sales rep in order to try it out. He contacted the rep after playing the game and seeing it wasn't suitable for his customers. The sales rep told him he could keep the game since nobody else wanted it. A few years down the road, the lucky pharmacist sold Air Raid for over $33,400 at an auction. Not bad, eh?

2. Stadium Events, (1986) NES - $41,000

One of the rarest games out there, Nintendo only kept this officially licensed product on store shelves for a very limited time until deciding to replace it with the similar World Class Track Meet. That meant that there were only 200 copies of this title in the wild. Back in 2017, one of the very few owners of this game decided to hold an auction for it and after a few failed attempts, was finally able to find a buyer willing to fork out the asking price of $41,000! Guess they must've really wanted to add it to their collection...

1.Nintendo World Championships, 1990 — $100,000

Even if you go all over the world’s markets or even trespass on the private property of some frantic game collector to find a copy of this title, you won’t succeed. And that’s simply because this game was only given by Nintendo to those that won their 1990 World Championships competition. Sadly, many of the owners of this cartridge paid little attention to their rare item, with some getting lost or even damaged. Now they’re left wondering what could’ve been...


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