The Most Expensive and Rarest Video Games Ever Sold

Today, the right copy of the right cartridge could make you rich. Now a million-dollar market, video games are hot commodities thanks to the soaring profit potential of this still-emerging class of collectibles — and plenty of Gen. X nostalgia.

Super Mario Bros

In August 2021, the New York Times reported that an anonymous collector had plunked down a record $2 million for a copy of Nintendo’s flagship video game made for its original 1985 console. Rally paid $140,000 to acquire the cartridge just one year before the sale.

Super Mario 64

The summer of 2021 was a breakout season for the nascent video game collectibles market. The $2 million August “Super Mario Bros.” sale broke a record set just one month earlier by another beloved title in Mario and Luigi’s franchise. In early July, “Super Mario 64” — released in 1996 for the Nintendo 64 console — sold for a then-record $1.56 million.

The Legend of Zelda

Just two days before “Super Mario 64” became the first game to fetch more than $1 million, another iconic Nintendo game broke yet another record. One of the most famous adventure games of all time, “The Legend of Zelda” commanded $870,000 at auction. This time, too, it was a rare unopened copy.

Super Mario Bros

In April 2021, a different sealed copy of “Super Mario Bros.” set the record that “The Legend of Zelda” would break just three months later in July. Heritage Auctions, which facilitated the sale, called the example “the finest known copy of the oldest sealed hangtab” and “the finest copy known to have been professionally graded for auction.”

Super Mario Bros

By this time, you might notice a pattern emerging. In July 2020, the post-pandemic video game boom began when a sealed copy of — you guessed it — “Super Mario Bros.” earned a world record-setting bid of $114,000 at Heritage Auctions.


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