If anyone tells you that video game prices are getting ridiculous, then they probably were not buying video games twenty years ago.
Because if they were, they would have seen that video games have always cost a fortune, relative to inflation. For example, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, a game that came out on the Nintendo 64 in 1997 cost an eye-watering £60. PlayStation 1 games in 1995 tended to have a general sale price of £50.
So yeah, the point is video games have always been expensive. It isn’t a modern phenomenon.
With that in mind, playing video games as a hobby has always been a pretty expensive business. There isn’t really any money to be made playing games, unless you turn pro and get a few decent sponsorship deals and some prize money. But that’s not exactly likely for the large majority of us.
It’s of little wonder why gamers tend to trade in their old models in order to bring in a bit of extra cash for the ever-increasingly expensive newer model or the newer update. However, there are a few gamers that hold on to their old models, whether it be for the purposes of building a collection or because they have put so much time, effort and energy – not to mention a healthy portion of their cherished free-time – into the game, that it is just to dear to them to give away.
The people who do save their older models may be rewarded for such loyalty, because there are a few games out there that are surprisingly valuable nowadays. Some games may have been a dime-a-dozen back in the day, but these days they are collector’s items, and as such, they can be sold for a pretty tidy profit. So let’s have a look at some of those old-school games that are now worth a fortune.
10. Cave Story 3D – Nintendo 3DS
Despite the Nintendo 3DS being a relatively new console, this game can still bring in a pretty penny or two. It is a 2011 third party 3D puzzle-platformer, and it was actually a decent little game (although not wildly original) and was popular enough to still be sold in the Nintendo eShop for download. With this in mind, why is it that a sealed version featuring the hologram slip cover able to garner prices of $250?
Well, put simply, not that many copies were made, and it wasn’t expected to sell too well. However its popularity means that its rarity is also highly prized, which makes a properly boxed version worth more far more than it ever was when it was new.
9. Christmas Nights into Dreams – Sega Saturn
If you live in Europe and bought the official Sega Saturn Magazine, you may have come across this free disc taped to the cover of your December 1997 issue. It was more uncommon in the USA where it was given away with the purchase of some games and in Japan where it was bundled with the console itself for a period. So why does a free, relatively common product manage to attract bids of around $80?
Well, because it was a free disc, not many people paid too much attention to it. They either tossed out altogether or kept it in pretty poor condition, as many people do with free disks taped to magazines etc. Therefore, a pristine copy has become a rare thing to come by but if you do have one of these in good condition it may be worth some money.
8. Rez Special Edition – PS2/Dreamcast
It goes without saying that the technology available to us at the turn of the millennium was nowhere near to the standard that it is today. As such, making an ‘immersive’ game was a lot more difficult. Things like VR, 3D and surround sound can help a game to feel like it is immersive, but back when Rez came out on PS2 and Dreamcast in 2001 it didn’t have great sales because it was widely acknowledged that it wasn’t what it wanted to be. Technologically speaking, it was a game about 15 years too soon.
The special edition of the music based rail shooter came with a ‘trance vibrator’ that pulsed with the rhythm of the music to make it more immersive. This, however, made it pricey. Therefore, it only sold few copies but what it did do is gain a hard-core following by those that did splash out, which made it a cult classic. With sealed copies of the PS2 version going for $167, the Dreamcast version is even rarer since the machine failed and thus makes a fair bit more at $200.
7. Earthbound – SNES
Earthbound is widely recognized as a video game classic and the main character of Ness appears in other franchises such as Smash Bros. due to his original popularity. With this in mind, it nonetheless remains curious that the game was only recently released to Nintendo’s Virtual Console, and before that happened the only way you could get your hands on it was to buy the original.
Despite its iconic status, the game was never released in Europe and since all SNES games were boxed in cardboard, finding a mint condition version of the game is near impossible. But if you do have a boxed version of the game, then you could stand to make $750!!! Even if you have just a much-loved, unboxed version of the cartridge, you may still be able to make $180 or more. Insanity.
6. Bioshock Infinite Songbird Edition – PS3/Xbox 360
Another relatively recent game on the list that was also incredibly popular. The game was so popular in fact, that this edition that came with a Songbird statue that commemorated the unique design aesthetic of the game series and even sold well around the world. The thing is, though, many people played the game and put the statue on a shelf for all to look at, which makes sense, but then they lost the boxes or damaged the collectibles that came with it. It happens.
If you have this statue gathering dust on a shelf somewhere and know that the box is lying around too, then for the love of god go and find it, because you may be able to get $200 for the whole lot if you can get them together and if they’re in decent condition. You could even make double that at $400 if they’re in a really good state and you’re lucky.