Digital sales of video games are eclipsing physical copies more and more for average people, but the collector’s market for physical games is absolutely booming.
Since 2020, the world record for the most expensive video game auction has been broken over and over, with classic games selling for jaw-dropping prices.
Collectible video games are graded for condition on the Wata scale, with the highest-priced games all ranking above 9 on the 10-point scale. Sealed games also get a letter grade for the condition of their packaging.
This copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 got a great 9.2 A+ Wata rating, but that only accounts for part of its appeal. It also comes from a rare production run before the word “Bros.” was moved to the center of the cover art.
This copy of Final Fantasy got a near-perfect 9.8 A++ Wata rating, fetching it a massive $204,000 bid in July 2021. That’s well below the record price at the time, so news of the sale was buried by the enormous price tags to come.
A July 2021 video game auction included the highest sale price ever for Ocarina of Time. This copy of the beloved Zelda game is the only standard edition ever auctioned with a Wata score over 9.0.
Copies of Super Mario Bros. have sold for sky-high prices more than any other single game. This copy, sold in July 2021, is from a rare production run that only lasted a short time, making it hard to get ahold of.
Though it’s one of the most popular games of all time, sealed copies of the standard version of Super Mario World are extremely rare. That rarity, and this copy’s high quality, fetched it $360,000 at auction in July 2021.
Heritage Auctions’ first-ever video games spotlight auction included the record-breaking sale of a sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda for $870,000. It comes from the game’s second production run and is the oldest sealed copy known to exist.
Just days after the record-breaking Zelda sale, a copy of Super Mario 64 sold for $1.56 million. Even with its near-perfect 9.8 A++ Wata rating, auctioneers and retro game experts alike were stunned at the first game to sell for more than $1 million.