5 Most Expensive Video Games of All-Time
When consumers were first introduced to video interactive games, the concepts were simple, like Bertie the Brain’s tic-tac-toe (1950) and Atari’s Pong (1972). As technology evolved, video games became more refined and sophisticated, transitioning from the early PC games to virtual reality and everything in between. Regarding the most valuable video games of all time, we’ve witnessed record-breaking sales arise from the games synonymous with cultural icons that altered the landscape of video games.
5. 1991 SEGA Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog
SEGA released Sonic the Hedgehog on June 23, 1991, for the SEGA Genesis, a 16-bit video game entertainment system centering around the protagonist, Sonic the Hedgehog, a free-spirited and adventurous blue hedgehog who possesses breakneck reflexes and can run faster than the speed of sound. The 2D side-scrolling, one-player 1991 Japanese video game has sold more than 15 million copies and is one of the most renowned video games of all time, continually conveying record sums. According to WATA’s Population Report, only 40 sealed copies have been documented, with a WATA 9.8 A++, the finest copy in existence, with a population of two. Considering that the record sale for the premier series of the beloved blue hedgehog bears a WATA 9.4 A, the future is bright for SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog, as 23 copies are of higher quality.
4. 1990 SEGA Genesis John Madden Football
On June 1, 1988, EA Sports released the first installment of the Madden NFL series for the Apple II, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, and MS-DOS. Then in 1990, the John Madden Football game was made available for the SEGA Genesis, followed by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, propelling the EA Sports football simulation game into a household name. While SEGA Genesis distributed John Madden Football in clamshell cases, this particular copy of 1990 John Madden Football was issued in a paper box, adding to the challenge of welcoming the treasured video game to a high grade. One of the unique characteristics of this copy can be found on the reverse in WATA’s grading details. The inscription states that the game originated from the offices of the late Pro Football Hall of Famer, John Madden, one of the most recognizable names in sports, who served as a coach and NFL color commentator for nearly four decades. The highest-graded copy of John Madden Football has a WATA 9.6 A++, which has an overall WATA population of 14. As the highest recorded sale of John Madden Football merited a WATA 9.2 A+, the prospective value of the 16-Bit football game, released annually since 1990, is sky-high.
3. 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System The Legend of Zelda
Arguably the most widely recognized video game series ever, The Legend of Zelda is an action and adventure game that follows Link through the Kingdom of Hyrule, a medieval fantasy island, first developed and published in Japan on February 21, 1986, for Nintendo’s Family Computer Disk System. The following year, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System on August 22, 1987, placing Link and the Kingdom of Hyrule on the map. This particular copy of The Legend of Zelda arises from one of the first production runs of the game, illustrated by the No Rev-A description, essentially meaning the NES Game Pak came assembled with five small, slotted screws instead of three, which materialized later in 1987 when NES modified its cartridges. There are 173 sealed copies of The Legend of Zelda in WATA’s population report, two of which are tied for the highest grade with a 9.8 A+. Although the highest documented sale of The Legend of Zelda houses a WATA 9.0 A, it is for a good reason, as this copy stems from one of Nintendo’s first production runs of the iconic game.
2. 1996 Nintendo 64 Super Mario 64
Nintendo released Super Mario 64 in Japan on June 23, 1996, becoming the first Super Mario game to offer 3D gameplay. This copy of Super Mario 64 bears a USA code, implying it was distributed and purchased in the US, initially released in North America on September 29, 1996. When Nintendo released Super Mario 64, its gameplay was second-to-none, allowing players to explore multiple worlds in a gamers’ haven, deemed the epitome of nostalgia. The second-most valuable video game ever is graded a WATA 9.8 A++, tied with two other copies for the game’s finest copy in existence. Nintendo has sold nearly 12 million copies of Super Mario 64, the best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all time, and often regarded as one the greatest video games ever.
1. 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System Super Mario Bros.
Mario made his debut in Nintendo’s Donkey Kong, one of the most famous characters ever created, where his trade wasn’t a plumber but a carpenter. Not only was he a carpenter, but the protagonist of the Nintendo Donkey Kong arcade game was named Jumpman. After his on-screen success in Donkey Kong, Nintendo created a spin-off series titled Mario Bros. as an arcade game before the groundbreaking Super Mario Bros. came out for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. There are a total of 190 sealed copies of Super Mario Bros. in WATA’s population report, six of which obtained a WATA 9.8 A+, this being one of them. The success of Super Mario Bros. derives from players being able to relate to Mario, an imperfect character with identifiable flaws, outstanding graphics for the time, and, most significantly, recognizable music and sound effects. The influential 1985 Super Mario Bros. game has acted as the core of the Mario franchise, transforming Mario into a cultural icon. The Meteoric Rise of Video Games As you can see, each of these five video games features characters, Sonic the Hedgehog, Link, Mario, or role models, the late John Madden, that have changed the video game industry. Taking into account that all of the aforementioned classic video games have either earned a higher WATA grade or are of equal condition, it wouldn’t be surprising to see any of these five iconic games fetch all-time highs in the near future.