Six of Gaming’s Most Valuable Collector’s Items

I’m always mildly fascinated by the amount of money people are willing to spend on their passion; intrigued by how far people are willing to go to attain a particular artifact. I mean, I consider myself pretty enamored with gaming(I have, after all, made something of a career writing about it), but even I’ve got my limits. There are just certain things which, awesome as they are; exist outside of my price range. 

In short, I’m not really much of a ‘collector.’ 

Like any other hobby that’s been around for more than a few years, the rather rich and storied history of gaming has turned up some pretty valuable relics. On a whim, I decided I’d do a bit of digging, see if I couldn’t track down some of the rarer items.

6. Ultimate 11: $10,000

Often referred to as “Super Sidekicks 4,” Ultimate 11 was developed by SNK in 1996 on the Neo Geo Console. The premise of the game is a pretty simple one: you play as one of eighty different national soccer teams in a world-wide tournament. It was one of the few games that featured a corporate sponsor, and featured a number of gameplay improvements over prior entries in the series. In spite of this, only a few copies were ever made; Ultimate 11 thus quickly became a collector’s item. 

5. Kizuna Encounter(European Version): $13,500

Fashioned after Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, Kizuna Encounter was originally developed for both the Neo Geo and arcade cabinets. The latter version is quite easy to find, and not terribly expensive, to boot. Same goes for the game in pretty much every region except for Europe, where only a dozen copies were ever released to market. As a result, the European version of Kizuna Encounter is considered extremely rare – but only when in its original packaging. Sold separately from the box, it’s pretty much just another old school brawler.

4. 1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Edition: $18,000

Now we’re getting up there in value. Nintendo World Championships wasn’t actually a commercially available game: it was designed to be used in nation-wide US video game tournament back in the 90s. The competition featured three separate age groups (11 and under, 12-17, and 18 and over) and was held from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. Each cartridge featured three games: Super Mario Bros, a modified version of Red Racer, and Tetris. Each player was given 6 minutes and 21 seconds to collect 50 coins in Super Mario Bros, complete a specially-designed World Championship Course in Red Racer, and finish off by playing Tetris. 

Only 116 of these cartridges were ever made, with 90 gray-matte copies being given out to finalists after the competition. The remaining 26 were the Gold Edition; given out through a Nintendo Power contest. The fact that this title was never intended to be commercially available makes it inarguably one of the rarest on the list. 

3. 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge: $20,100

Nintendo also hosted the Nintendo Campus Challenge competition in 1991, running it at 58 Spring Break locations and colleges across the States. The time limit was identical to that in the the 1990 Nintendo Powerfest Contest, and featured Super Mario Bros. 3, Pin*Bot, and Dr. Mario. As of now, only one known copy of this game actually exists, which sold back in 2009 for $20,100 on eBay. The other copies were reportedly destroyed by Nintendo, though a number of reproductions have since been created by Retrousb

2. Stadium Events: $22,800

There’s actually a bit of confusion on just how valuable Stadium Events actually is – I’ve seen it listed at everything from $14,000 to $41,000. After a bit of digging, however, it seems as though the highest price it’s ever sold at is $22,800– the high bidder in the case of the $41,000 auction actually never paid up. 

Stadium events is one of the few games developed for the short-lived Family Fun Fitness Mat/Power Pad (which many might consider an early predecessor to Wii Fit). The game puts players into an Olympics-style track-and-field competition, with a number of different events and modes of play. While a controller was used to navigate through the game’s menus, the mat was used to control the game. 

1. The Nintendo Powerfest ’94: $23,100

And now, ladies and  The Nintendo Powerfest ’94. This time, the competition featured Super Mario: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Kart, and Ken Griffey Jr Baseball. Only 30 copies of this cartridge were created, and only two known cartridges exist today. A few weeks ago, it sold for $23,100, making it the most expensive video game of all time – and one of the most sought-after collectors’ items in gaming.

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