Remember back in the 1980s, or even the 1970s, when mom and dad yelled at you for all the video games that were cluttering the TV room? Fast forward a few decades, and those same video games are virtual treasures, sought after by collectors and fans alike. Vintage products have always been hot, and, it turns out that video game cartridges, in particular those with the Nintendo brand, have a long shelf life. Now that online marketplaces exist, you don’t have to spend the day poking through garage sales or grandma’s attic to find that retirement fund nest egg.
Nintendo continued with cartridges later than other systems, as the rift between the PlayStation and the N64 in the 1990s was defined largely by the difference between the media they used. Thirty years later, cartridges have proved their longevity, and the lore of Nintendo’s storied past also helps drive up the price and availability of certain titles. For collectors or those who are just keen on playing old games on a classic Nintendo console, there are a few recommendations for games that you should keep and games that are better to sell now.
10 Appreciate: Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, N64
When it first came out, Majora’s Mask was the black sheep of the Zelda family. It was dark, confusing, and just plain weird. In later years, the fan base has moved beyond the small cult following that always appreciated this unique game. It’s one of the few Nintendo titles that’s a direct sequel to the previous one, in this case, the Ocarina of Time, and the story is unlike any other RPG adventure game out there.
Majora’s Mask is currently appreciating in value as it’s lore and popularity grow. Hang on to this one for a while, especially if you have a box with an instruction manual, as they’re going for about $180 and rising.
9 Sell Now: Batman Forever, SNES
Sometimes, it’s easy to understand why games are valuable. It might be because the games were either so bad or so good that players can’t forget them, or perhaps a quirk of the production or manufacturer made the cartridges rare and hard to find. In this case, Batman Forever seems to get its recent jump in value from a mix of nostalgia and new movies from the DC universe that feature the titular character.
Other than that, there’s nothing special about this game to guarantee it will keep going up in value, so you might want to unload it while it has a higher value. It’s selling at about $60 right now for used games and over $100 for a new, sealed copy.
8 Appreciate: Pokemon Yellow Version, Game Boy
It might have started as a fierce trend, and, although the insanity leveled out in the early 2000s, the popularity has been consistent. It’s a safe bet that almost anything with the Pokémon name is a worthwhile investment, especially if it’s on an equally popular platform. Even years after it was discontinued, the Game Boy still gets a lot of love for being one of the most reliable and durable consoles ever made, especially for a portable one.
New and sealed copies of this game sell for more than $2000, and, although the value fluctuates slightly depending on what happens with the Pokémon brand, it’s steadily appreciating in value. It’s worth keeping this one for a while.
7 Sell Now: Snow Brothers, NES
A classic game that has had a long history among collectors and players, the novelty of this quirky but mostly unremarkable game is starting to wear off. It was worth more a year ago and is steadily depreciating. It’s possible the price will rise again, but that’s not likely, considering the lack of any brand recognition that seems to be trendy these days. New and sealed copies are still going for almost $300o, but the price was much higher a few years ago, so unload that game before the price drops any more.
6 Appreciate: Jack Bros., Virtual Boy
Certain collectors and gamers are keen on the horror genre, and it’s fun to find “horror” games before the concept really existed. Add this to the fact that the Virtual Boy is a rare console, and the games for it are just as hard to find.
Currently, there’s no price estimate available for new and sealed copies for Jack Bros., but used and complete ones are currently selling for about $1100 dollars, and the price is steadily going up. Wait another year at least before selling this one.
5 Sell Now: Spud’s Adventure, Game Boy
It’s cute, unique, and a lot of good fun, but that’s not really enough to make a game valuable past the initial trend. This isn’t to say that it will probably drop in price. The game is rare and has a consistently high value, as does the Game Boy system that supports it. It just won’t be getting any more valuable anytime soon, at least not by very much.
New and sealed copies of the game aren’t available—at least, not on the internet—but there are a few new, complete copies floating around. If you have one, best to sell it now while it’s still worth more than $2000.
4 Appreciate: Yoshi’s Story, N64
The Mario brand has more than a little clout in the gaming world, being a famous fixture of Nintendo and its de-facto mascot. Mario has been with us from classic sidescrollers to full-on 3D. It seems that collectors have always been interested in Yoshi’s Story, but the price didn’t really start to go up until this year. It’s already worth almost $530 for a new or sealed copy, and that price is steadily increasing. It’s also fun to play, which also makes it worth keeping for a while.
3 Sell Now: Hagane: The Final Conflict, SNES
Some games are valuable because they’re hard to find. That can happen for a number of reasons and in this case, it’s the story of a game that was ahead of its time. Although the graphics are typical of the SNES at the time and aren’t exactly remarkable, the setting and story are a combination of sci-fi and medieval Japanese samurai, and, when it was released, it appeared at a glance to be a Ninja Gaiden clone, so it didn’t get the attention it deserved.
Today, however, the value of this game is steadily going up in value for the past few years and seemed to have leveled out at a healthy $4,500 for a new or sealed copy. Even complete and used copies are worth almost $2000. The trend seems to be heading down, however, so sell this one soon.
2 Appreciate: Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, SNES
Speaking of The Legend of Zelda franchise, A Link to the Past is one of the series’ most popular entries. It was one of the biggest games in the franchise and remains one of the favorites of the Super NES. It seems like an unlikely collector’s item for that very reason. There are a lot of copies available, and it was always popular, but it seems that some new gamers have rediscovered the classic game, driving the price up.
It’s easier to find a used cartridge if you’re simply a curious player, as those go for only $100 or more. That’s pocket change, compared to the price for a new copy, which is currently more than $2500. The price had peaked and currently trending down, so sell this one while it’s still valuable.
1 Sell Now: Family Fun Fitness: Stadium Events, NES
Stadium Events is one of the most notorious games on the collector’s list. Thanks to a quirk related to the first third-party developer that Nintendo initially had to produce this game, it’s one of the most expensive cartridges in existence. The prices for this humble cartridge are nothing short of breathtaking, coming to over $40 000. Yes, that’s four zeroes. The price actually went up a lot earlier this year, and that’s not even for new or sealed, just for a complete game. If you’ve got a copy, sell that bad boy now and retire early.
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