All My Old Games Got Really Valuable When I Wasn’t Looking

All My Old Games Got Really Valuable When I Wasn’t Looking
Mega Drive Console Gaming Sega Games Video Games

While making my rounds this morning, I noticed a story over on Seven about how prices on retro games had leapt in the last few years. The piece talked about a site called Price Charting that tracks the ups and downs of the retro games market like a stock market ticker. Some of the prices in the article surprised me, given that some titles involved were of relatively recent vintage.

It made me wonder: what are the prices on all my retro games actually like?

Like a lot of gamers in their late thirties, I have a ton of old games stored in boxes out in the garage. They are the collected treasures of a lifetime. Most of them were bought when I was a kid, and many were procured second-hand. The vast majority are boxed and still have their manuals. Most of them I hadn’t thought about in years. I’ve hauled these boxes, sometimes unopened, over numerous moves across many years. Despite them being an extra hassle on moving day, I’d also never considered selling them.

I decided to look into retro game prices to satisfy my own curiosity. What could a Mega Drive game possibly be worth in 2022? Ten dollars?

Um, Actually

Look, some of them actually are ten dollars. Take Columns, for example, Sega’s tilt at a match-3 version of Tetris. The cartridge for Columns alone is now worth ten bucks. If boxed copies with manuals are going for as much as $35.

I bought my copy from Cash Converters Coolangatta for $3 in 1995. Even with inflation, I’ve still come out ahead by a huge margin.

This gave me pause. True enough, $35 doesn’t seem like that much. The thing is, at the time I bought Columns, retailers nearly couldn’t give it away. Every second-hand store had 15 copies of it in the cabinet. A game that no one wanted had climbed in value that much.

I wondered what I’d find if I went looking for something slightly rarer.

Oh my god

A few hours of googling and scouring various marketplaces has confirmed something for me: retro game prices in 2022 are absolutely bananas.

The dodgy Mega Drive port of Prince of Persia is fetching $127. Sonic 3 is getting up over $140.

PAL Mega Drive copies of Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, boxed with manuals, are going for $160.  A PAL copy of the Super Nintendo version, cartridge only, is going for $119.

Asterix and the Power of the Gods has several listings up to $240.

And then I saw one that knocked the wind out of me. A brand new copy of Earthworm Jim 2 is going for (deep breath) $3,986.

I haven’t even gotten into games on the seven or eight other platforms I have in storage. There’s an absolute fortune in classic games tucked away in my garage and I had no idea.

I need to lie down.

Rummage through your old games. Cross reference retro game prices on eBay and other sellers against your collection. If you can bear to part with them, you may find you’ve been sitting on a goldmine and not realised it.

Comments

  • Columns was such an addictive game, though. My dad, who swore blind that he hated video games and would never play them, used to sneakily play Columns on our MegaDrive when us kids had gone to bed.

  • Be careful though. Some places are artificially inflating prices of certain titles.
    What you’ll get for something will depend on if it’s boxed, what condition the box is in, does it have a manual, what condition the manual is in. Even the sticker on the cartridge and the colour of the plastic matter. NES and SNES have a bad habit of yellowing over time.

  • I made $6000 off ebay hocking all my old consoles buried in my garage, including a very banged up copy of Symphony of the Night that went for $660! Most gamecube games went for well over $100. A copy of Return of Samus for 3DS went for $110. However a lot of gameboy & SNES games went for a low value, espeically since very few were CIB. Anything that is CIB will recieve high value, luckily that was almost all my gamecube games.

    However overall it was an overall price of $60 for the 100 items I had put to auction. Still very much worth the effort if you no longer use the games or have a modern console to play these retro games.

    I used price charting to guide which games were worth auctioning separately and which were worth bundling with a console. Highly recommend a garage clean out to send those games to a new, valuable home.

  • It’s a false economy/bubble created by the same dodgy companies and auction houses that did it for baseball cards and comic books. This is their new cash scam.
    By all means sell your old stuff if you can, but don’t get sucked in to buying or speculating.
    Karl Jobst did a video on it last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvLFEh7V18A

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