They are fun, addictive, and made for ages two to 102 — they are video games. According to a report by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), 67% of U.S. households play video games, with the largest percentage of gamers falling in the age range of 18 to 49. Bringing in annual revenues of over $78 billion in 2009, the industry is projected to bring in $111 billion in revenues in the year 2015, according to a Gartner press release.
With so many consumers playing handheld, console, and PC games, collectors have taken a keen interest in some of the older, rarer games. Ultra-rare games, like Atari’s Gamma Attack (which is considered one of the rarest games ever made) can be valued at up to $50,000. But, it’s unlikely you have that game in your closet. We have compiled a list of games that are rare enough to have substantial value, but not so rare that you have no chance of ever seeing them. Check your closet for these games:
**Prices are current as of February 2015
1. Earthbound for Super Nintendo: Valued at around $1,250
Developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory, this role-playing game (RPG) was released on SNES in 1995, after it was first released in Japan. There, it was called Mother 2. In new condition, Earthbound sells on Amazon for $890 and used copies go for around $180. On EBay, copies of this game sell for as little as $100, or as high as $1,500.
2. Shantae for Gameboy Color: Valued at up to $1,300
This 2002 Capcom adventure game has seen a serious increase in value over the past few years and may very well continue to appreciate. If you have a used copy, you can expect to sell it for between $200 and $350, depending on its condition. Factory sealed copies are posting for prices up to $3,000.
3. Flintstones II Surprise at Dinosaur Peak for NES: Sells for up to $1,300
If you ever adventured through bedrock with Fred and Barney, check your collection for this rare gem. Used copies of this 1994 Taito sequel sell for around $800 on Amazon. This game was only available for rental, though, and was not released for sale.
4. Megaman V for Nintendo Gameboy: Sells for up to $300
This is a game that has a little less value, but it is also a bit easier to find. This 1994 Capcom action-platformer sells on Amazon for just under $100 for used copies (around $200 for collectible). On EBay, sellers are charging between $100 and upwards of $300 for this classic NES game.
5. Radiant Silvergun for Sega Saturn: Sells for up to $1,200
Released in 1998 by Gonzo, this game was only put out in Japan. To play this game, you had to have a modified system, or a Japanese system. If you have this collectible lying around, you can sell it used for between $130 and $400. Depending on the seller (and the current market) and if you wanted to buy a new copy today, you’d pay $1,000 on Amazon.
6. Suikoden II for PlayStation: Sells for up to $600
This 1999 Konami sequel is one of the first PlayStation RPGs to hit the U.S. If you own a used copy, you can sell it for anywhere between $100 and $200. But, if for some reason you never opened your copy, you may just get up to $500.
7. Nintendo World Championships: Sells for around $20,000
This is an incredibly rare find. Back in 1990, Nintendo had a cross-country competition where contestants played a specific game cartridge. These cartridges are grey in color (a few of the rarest one’s are gold) and sell on eBay for tens of thousands of dollars. An eBay listing from a while back indicates the sale price of an authentic grey cartridge as $20,000. The $20,000 EBay listing also includes other tournament memorabilia, including a flyer from the competition. Nintendo Life reports that few years back, a gold cartridge actually sold on EBay for $17,500.
If you find a rare bird in your video game collection, make sure you check several sources to determine its value so you know an appropriate selling price. As with any collectible, there’s always a chance that holding onto it will allow for an increase in the game’s value. But, there is of course, no guarantee the value will increase — it may even decrease. While the market does play a role in a game’s value, the value is also in the eye of the beholder.
From Amazon to eBay to private collectors, there are so many potential buyers for your rare and valuable games. Make sure you shop around and get the value you deserve.