Video games are not cheap. In fact, they are one of the most expensive forms of entertainment, with brand new titles regularly priced at $60 or more.
What you may not have realized is that some games can actually be a very good investment. A video game cartridge hidden away in a box in your basement could even be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Of course, it depends on how rare that particular game is and the condition it is in. For those that were only manufactured in small batches or had limited runs, the price can rise to silly heights.
Grab a box of tissues and prepare to weep if you owned one of these games and threw it out. Here are the eight rarest video games that are worth a fortune.
Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally & Speed Racer
Mountain Bike Rally and Speed Racer are not particularly rare in their own right. Yet, there are combo versions of the games available for an exercise bike. Known as the Exertainment System, it had a special built-in SNES that you can play with a fitted screen.
The Life Fitness equipment didn’t prove to be very popular and so manufacturers only produced a limited number of cartridges. As the cartridges could not be used with a normal SNES console, most people simply disregarded the game. It is so rare that sealed copies can sell for $1,400.
Red Sea Crossing
For many years, Atari experts claimed that Red Sea Crossing might not even exist. Programmer Steve Schustack created the 1983 title for the Atari 2600. It was a Biblical title that he aimed to market towards Christian households that wanted to give their children religious games to play.
Schustack only had around 500 copies manufactured for his mail order service. However, collectors have only found two in public, with one reaching a price of $13,977.
Tetris for Sega Mega Drive
Tetris went through a controversial period when Nintendo attempted to purchase the console rights for the game. While they were eventually successful, it didn’t stop Sega from producing their own version of the Tetris.
Nintendo was able to block its release for the Sega Genesis but a few copies made their way into the public for the Japanese version of the Sega Genesis known as the Mega Drive. Only about 10 copies are known to exist.
A sealed version of the game emerged on eBay in 2011. The fact that series creator Alexey Pajitnov signed the game made it all the rarer. The unsuccessful auction was listed at $1 million. The actual price people offered to pay for it was about $20,000.
The first and only game created by the company Men-A-Vision, Air Raid was released for the Atari 2600 in 1982. Created in limited numbers, it features a distinctive blue T-shaped cartridge design. Only a few copies have ever surfaced and each has sold for a considerable amount of cash.
One of these was discovered in 2011 after its owner read an article about the game online. The strange shape of the cartridge reminded him of a similar title he owned and it turned out that he had a copy of Air Raid. It later sold at auction for $31,500.
Stadium Events is a Nintendo Entertainment System title that released in 1987. It was only on sale for a very short amount of time before the company pulled it from store shelves.
The reason for this is that Nintendo purchased the rights to the game along with its floor mat controller from Bandai. This led to a rebranding of Stadium Events as World Class Track Meet.
Nintendo subsequently destroyed the original cartridges to avoid confusing any customers. The end result is that there are only a few dozen copies in the wild. There are even fewer that come sealed in their original packaging. In 2017, a rare sealed copy sold for $41,977.
The work of Gammation, Gamma Attack for the Atari 2600 is possibly the rarest game ever. That is because experts know of only one copy of the 1983 game in existence. Owned by Anthony DeNardo, it was listed on eBay in 2008 with an asking price of $500,000.
While it was never likely to sell for such a large fee, valuations since have given it an estimated value of $50,000. Although, DeNardo seemingly has no intention of selling the game right now.
1990 Nintendo World Championships
One of the rarest games ever created, only 116 copies of 1990 Nintendo World Championships were ever made. Nintendo gave out a total of 90 gray copies to finalists of the competition while Nintendo Power awarded 26 gold versions.
The cartridge itself contains versions of Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. The finalists had to finish these as quickly as possible to get the most points.
Due to the rarity of the title, it has regularly sold for more than $10,000 at auction. However, a gold edition of 1990 Nintendo World Championships sold for $100,088 in 2014.
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. is not a rare game. After all, it has sold millions of copies and is one of the most popular titles of all time. But finding a copy of Super Mario Bros. still sealed in its original shrink-wrap is almost impossible. Such a treasure will net you a cool $30,000.
But if you want to make an even bigger fortune from Super Mario Bros, you’ll need a test market copy of the game. An estimated 2,000-10,000 of these were released by Nintendo in 1985 and 1986. Instead of shrink-wrap, test market copies were sealed with a sticker instead.
Of those, only one copy has been found with its sticker seal intact. This holy grail of video game collecting sold for $100,150 in February 2019, making it the most valuable video game of all time.