It turns out that gamers love nostalgia and will pay a lot of money to own a particular vintage game, even if they never plan to play it. Collectors from around the world diligently hunt for those rare and special prizes that they can proudly set on a bookshelf or pedestal for all their friends to drool over.
As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the most expensive video game special editions, we decided to look at the most expensive rare vintage games. These may not be the highest rated games or the most fun to play, but due to their rarity and place in history, each is now worth over $10,000.
It goes without saying that each of these games was released well before the new millennium. In fact, all of the games on the list are from either the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or the Atari 2600.
Below are the top six most expensive rare video games in the world.
Red Sea Crossing (Atari 2600) – $10,400
Red Sea Crossing was an Atari 2600 game that gave players an opportunity to experience Moses’ Biblical crossing of the Red Sea. Developer Steve Stack Inc. only released 100 copies in 1983, and there are only two known in existence.
The last known sale of this game was in 2012. A gamer found a copy at a garage sale in 2007 and held onto it for five years until he was ready to sell it. The game fetched $10,400 in a GameGavel sale and was referred to by the seller as “the Holy Grail of Atari Games.”
The lesson to be learned here is definitely to never short-change garage sales. What probably cost this gentleman a few bucks turned into a healthy investment. That’s not to say every garage or yard sale will have a priceless game waiting to be picked up and resold for thousands of dollars, but you never know.
1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge (NES) – $20,100
The 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge included three games in one: Super Mario 3, PinBot and Dr. Mario. The game was originally developed for Nintendo’s campus gaming challenges, and for while many thought that all copies of the game were destroyed. That is, until one popped up in a former Nintendo employee’s garage (there’s something important about garages in vintage gaming).
The game was sold in 2006 for $14,000, then resold shortly after for $20,100. As far as we know, this is the only one in existence, so we doubt we’ll see the current owner part with it anytime soon. Hopefully whoever owns it is putting it to good use with regular campus challenges.
1990 Nintendo World Championship: Gold Edition (NES) – $21,000
This unique game was never sold to the public, but instead was a prize given to the winners and runners up of Nintendo’s Power Contest in 1990. There were only 26 created, which makes this game a true collector’s item. Even sold second hand, this game can easily sell for $15,000 or more.
What makes this game special, beyond the fancy gold cartridge, is the game collection stored within it. Since it was an award for a contest, its three games, Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer and Tetris, all have a unique tournament timer that ticks away as a player progresses through the game.
This is definitely a game that should be (and is) displayed. Unlike the other games on this list, 1990 Nintendo World Championship: Gold Edition was likely meant to be kept as a trophy, rather than played like a normal game. However, we doubt that stopped some of the winners from trying to beat their tournament time on their fancy new game.
Page 2: The 3 Most Expensive Games Ever