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 a huge collector’s item from day one and are exceedingly unlikely to pop up in your parent’s basement.
Last week, we got started with 10 of the most valuable games on the 8-bit NES. Now, here are the 10 most valuable Super Nintendo games 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!
Harvest Moon (1996)
Loose Price: $180
Complete Price: $325
The laid-back charm of the Harvest Moon games has earned the series a minor cult-following, but back in 1996, nobody figured a game about milking cows and planting turnips would generate much interest, so the game was only printed in small quantities. Being that you can pretty much play a game of Harvest Moon forever, there’s a good chance this valuable game may still be sitting in some people’s still-plugged-in Super Nintendos.
E.V.O. – Search for Eden (1993)
Loose Price: $206
Complete Price: $630
E.V.O. – Search for Eden sounds more like a modern indie game than something that came out in 1993. Players design a creature, then essentially play through the entire history of the planet. The levels are based on Earth’s geological periods, and your creature evolves as you move through through them. Needless to say, most gamers weren’t this kind of heady stuff in 1993, so E.V.O. is a rare find today.
Castlevania: Dracula X (1995)
Loose Price: $189
Complete Price: $300
Castlevania: Dracula X is the SNES port of the TurboGrafx-16 game Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. The SNES version came out late in the console’s lifecycle and isn’t nearly as well-known as Super Castlevania IV. Castlevania: Dracula X feels similar to later games like Symphony of the Night, so it’s coveted by players who like their Castlevania a little more open-ended.
Loose Price: $186
Complete Price: $585
A quirky Japanese RPG that comments on American culture from an outside prospective, EarthBound has become the ultimate cult game. The game used to go for even more, but after a long, unexplained wait, Nintendo finally released the game for download on the Wii U, driving the price down a bit. That said, you can still get a pretty penny for a boxed copy of Earthbound, particularly if you still have the gross-smelling scratch-and-sniff cards the game came with.
Mega Man 7 (1995)
Loose Price: $168
Complete Price: $320
Capcom started the Mega Man X series on the SNES, but they also put out another regular Mega Man game, as well. Yes, regular Mega Man and the guy from Mega Man X are different characters. Everybody had moved onto the radder, badder X games, so Mega Man 7 went mostly unnoticed and is worth some megabucks today.
Wild Guns (1995)
Loose Price: $210
Complete Price: $566
Wild Guns is an arcade shooter with a pretty unique wild west steampunk theme. We just take robot cowboys for granted these days, but you didn’t see many of them on the SNES. My friend had this one, and I got better at this game than I have at pretty much any other shooter (which, admittedly, isn’t saying much).
Pocky & Rocky 2 (1994)
Loose Price: $164
Complete Price: $710
Pocky & Rocky 2 is a cute little top-down shooter starring a Japanese girl (Pocky) and her wacky raccoon dog (Rocky). The first Pocky & Rocky is also worth a decent amount of cash, although not quite enough to make this list. My friend also had this one. I really need to catch up with him and talk about trading games.
Metal Warriors (1995)
Loose Price: $190
Complete Price: $456
This game has warriors made of metal! Metal Warriors was actually made by LucasArts, but it’s definitely not a quirky adventure game. It’s a straight-up action platformer with a very Japanese-influenced visual style. Basically, this is LucasArts trying to make a Japanese arcade game and actually doing a pretty good job of it.
Hagane: The Final Conflict (1995)
Loose Price: $426
Complete Price: $928
Hagane: The Final Conflict is about futuristic ninjas defending the Holy Grail. For some reason, ’90s gamers couldn’t quite wrap their heads around that simple concept, but the game itself is pretty good. Basically, it’s very similar to the Shinobi games on the Sega Genesis with slightly better graphics. Hopefully a copy is hiding, ninja-like, in the back corner of your basement.
Aero Fighters (1994)
Loose Price: $380
Complete Price: $1,200
Sadly, Aero Fighters isn’t a fighting game starring Aero the Acro-Bat. At first glance, Aero Fighters looks like a fairly typical 16-bit shoot ’em up, but once you look more closely, you’ll find a lot of oddities. Like robot gorilla enemies, and dolphins flying planes and some strange playable characters. The game’s quirkiness combined with its rarity have made it maybe the most valuable regularly-released game on the SNES.
There you have it, the 10 SNES games you should be scouring your basement for right this minute. Personally, I never owned any of these because I was more of a Genesis kid, but I’ve played half of them, so they’re not unobtainable. Any of these games in your collection? What are some of your favorite obscure SNES games you’ve owned? Let’s discuss.