Stories about lucky folks selling old video games for unfathomable sums of money make the rounds on a fairly regular basis, but these feel-good stories can be a bit deceptive. Usually, when you hear about an old Nintendo title selling for thousands of dollars, the game is some sort of oddity. A game that was never officially released, only given away in small quantities in a contest or not licensed by Nintendo. These games were huge collector’s item from day one, and they’re exceedingly unlikely to pop up in your parent’s basement.
That said, there are a select few NES titles that were sold on store shelves just like any other game that are now worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Here are the 10 most valuable NES that may actually be sitting at the back of your closet…
Note: The value of a game depends on its condition. If you only have the cartridge, you can only get the loose price, whereas if you have the box and instruction manual, you can get the complete price. You can get even more if the game is still “new” and plastic wrapped, but you’re unlikely to find anything like that in your closet, so I’m not listing those prices.
Note No. 2: Thanks to Price Charting for tracking and providing all these prices. Check ’em out before you give away any of your old games!
DuckTales 2 (1993)
Loose Price: $150
Complete Price: $327
Everybody loves the classic pogo-jumping NES DuckTales game, but did you know they actually made a sequel? DuckTales 2 out after most people had moved on to the Super Nintendo, but it was every bit as good as the original, and goes for a nice price today.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (1994)
Loose Price: $126
Complete Price: $255
Most probably remember this Ninja Turtles-themed Street Fighter clone as a Super Nintendo game, but they also made a version for NES that came out very late in the system’s life. I briefly owned this one, but sold it when my friends shamed me for having the inferior NES version. Thanks, guys.
Snow Brothers (1991)
Loose Price: $190
Complete Price: $3,000
Who didn’t love Snow Brothers? Just me? Sadly, I never owned this baby, but I practically had it on permanent loan for the video rental place. A loose copy of Snow Brothers is worth a solid amount, but check out that complete price. Find this snowy game in your closet, and you may have the cash to pay for a sunny vacation.
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (1985)
Loose Price: $45
Complete Price: $1,305
Another interesting loose/complete price disparity here. A loose copy of Donkey Kong Jr. Math is barely worth your trouble, but if you can find an in-box version, you’re golden. I never felt like I was learning all that much while playing Donkey Kong Jr. Math as a kid, but I’d be all too happy to have DK Jr. add some cash to my wallet.
Bubble Bobble Part 2 (1993)
Loose Price: $225
Complete Price: $950
Another under-the-radar late NES sequel, Bubble Bobble Part 2 is very similar to the first game, but it’s more Bubble Bobble. Who’s going to complain about that? That $950 complete price may almost make up for all the quarters I’ve pumped into Bubble Bobble arcade machines over the years.