Rare Video Games: Nintendo Consoles

All pictures are property of Jared Zane Kessie, unless otherwise noted.
All pictures are property of Jared Zane Kessie, unless otherwise noted. | Source

For some, gaming is more than a casual past time, developing into more of a hobby or collection. Personally, I would never get rid of what I consider my video game collection, though my wife sometimes wishes I would. It is not that I spend hours playing them, but rather knowing that I have such a cool part of my childhood available to play makes me excited.

Now, I am not as hardcore into collecting as some, but I do love collecting old video games. Here is short list of some of Nintendo's rare games by console, minus the Wii (since it is still producing games) and the handheld series, of which I will either add later or explore in another article.

Rare NES Games

The glory of 8-bits, the Nintendo Entertainment System, was released in North America in 1985. I can still recall me and my brother saving up all our coins to purchase one, which included the Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt combo. Being the younger brother, I remember purposely dying so my brother could have a turn and think I was cool. I still haven't beaten the first Mario.

#5 - Action 52

Price range: $200 to $600

Quantity: Normal

Why is it so rare?

This is an unlicensed NES game, and though I generally want to steer clear and only show licensed games, this one is too interesting to pass up. The game consists of 52 new games, and was retailed at $199. For 52 games this amounts to nearly $4 per game, making it a steal of a deal.

However, the games was riddled with incomplete levels and a ton of glitches that made playing it unbearable. It is now considered one of the worst games ever made, though it was a great early attempt at producing one cartridge that housed a large variety of original content.

#4 - Bubble Bobble Part 2

Price range: $100 to $500, dependent upon used or new.

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

The late release of the game (1993) came two years after the SNES had hit the markets. Most had shifted to the SNES, leaving the NES market somewhat barren. Though games were still being produced for the NES, they were produced on a much smaller scale due to a lack of buyer interest. Thus a limited quantity caused later produced NES games to become rare.

Bubble Bobble had other editions made for NES (its predecessor), and for the Game boy, and even continues today with a Wii edition.

Source

#3 - The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak

Price range: Around $500

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

Released in 1994, this game comes three years after the release of the SNES, when NES game development was halting. Considered one of the final games made for NES, this Flintstone adventure was also released solely to Blockbuster for rentals, making it even more difficult to secure a personal copy. However, as Blockbuster's stock shifted, the games went out into the wild.

At the time of writing this article, this was the only game I was unable to find for sale online, nor was I able to find any data about past sale trends.

Source

#2 - Nintendo World Championships

Price range: $4,000 to $21,000 (depending on cartridge color)

Quantity: 116 gray cartridges, which were used in the contest, and a separate 26 gold cartridges, which were prizes given during a later event.

Why is it so rare?

The game was created for and then released as a prize for those who participated in a 3 game championship, which included: Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. Because the game was timed for the championship, the cartridges also have DIP switches, which enable you to choose time limits for the games. Because of the limited total supply, plus only making 26 cartridges gold, this game has all kinds of rare attractions to it.

#1 - Stadium Events

Price range: $13,000 to $41,300 (depending on if sealed)

Quantity: Believed to be between 200 to 2000 (at least 200 were known to be sold before a recall).

Why is it so rare?

Nintendo purchased the rights to the game, and was never intent on releasing this version in North America. However, it was. A quick recall wasn't able to catch all units, and thus an extremely limited quantity at release caused an instant rarity. The game was later released as World Class Track Meet, which is the same game with a new title.

Stadium Events also utilized the predecessor of the Power Pad, known as the Family Fun Fitness, whereas the release of World Class Track Meet used the Power Pad. These pads incorporated movement and exercise into the realm of video games.

Rare SNES Games

The SNES hit North America in August of 1991, and quickly shifted the focus from NES to this new 16-bit relative. To this day the SNES is my favorite Nintendo console, producing some of the most challenging and exciting games, some of which have become extremely difficult to unearth.

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#5 - Castlevania: Dracula X

Price range: $70 - $100 (used), up to $800 new

Quantity: Unknown

Why is it so rare?

Part of the beloved Castlevania series, Dracula X was a supposed port of Rondo of Blood from PC to SNES, but was altered almost beyond recognition. Not only did they change things from the original, but they added content and took away content, making critics call the game more of a remake/sequel.

Whatever the game is considered, it is considered a rare find.

The common game release box art
The common game release box art | Source

#4 - Donkey Kong Country Competition Edition

Price range: Peaks at $1400

Quantity: 2500

Why is it so rare?

These very limited cartridges were used for two separate competitions within a year of one another, one pre-release of the game, and another post release. Once they had finished their use as competition cartridges, Nintendo put them up for sale through their Nintendo Power catalog. These cartridges are different by looking in the top right hand corner of the actual cartridge where it will state, competition cartridge, plus resale is prohibited, yada yada.

The original StarFox (SNES) box art.
The original StarFox (SNES) box art. | Source

#3 - Starfox Super Weekend Competition

Price range: $200 to $700

Quantity: Around 2000

Why is it so rare?

Another case of a competition cartridge with limited supply released to the public. With only 2000 (estimated) cartridges, the Starfox competition cartridge is considered very rare.

The Starfox Super Weekend Competition cartridge can be spotted by its startup screen stating that it is a competition cartridge. The competition was a points competition with varying prizes, and once the competition was completed, the Nintendo Power Supplies released rarity into the wild at $45 a cartridge.

#2 - Super Copa

Price range: $100 to $300

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

It is believed that only one copy exists still sealed, the rest being used copies. When searching for this game you may come upon sites that re-direct you to Tony Meola's soccer game, which is considered the US version of this Brazilian/Portuguese SNES game. However, it is argued that this is a region released game, so it can be considered a US released game.

What makes it rare is my speculation that the game was released in the region with an intent on hitting the Mexican market, since the game is in Spanish. A majority of the game was released under Tony Meola, making the Super Copa title a treasure, one considered to be a top rare find for SNES games.

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#1 - Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally / Speed Racer

Price range: $400 to $1000

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

Having more than one game to a cartridge makes for an awesome addition to a collection. Because both games existed outside of being a combined entity, the need for a ton more cartridges with the combination were not needed. Therefore, only a limited amount of this cartridge was produced, making it one of, if not the rarest SNES game.

Not only was it limited in supply, but these two games (plus a fitness manager) utilized the SNES's Extertainment bike, which combined movement and exercise into games.

Rare N64 Games

Released in 1996, and known for its unusual controller design, the N64 quadruples the SNES graphic bits, going from 16 to 64 bits. This is the console that gave us some awesome multi-player content like Goldeneye. Check out some more classic and rare N64 games below!

#5 - Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber

Price range: $25 (used) up to $100+ (new)

Quantity: Lower than normal

Why is it so rare?

The reason this game is listed as a rare title is due to Atlus (the creator) limiting distribution of the game in the United States. This tactic has been used on other Ogre Battle titles released by Atlus as well.

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#4 - Harvest Moon 64

Price range: $30 (used) to $900 (new)

Quantity: Normal

Why is it so rare?

A follow up of the cult classic for the SNES, this 64 bit version offered the familiar game play with new elements and graphics. Due to it being such a great game, like the SNES version, this game is difficult to come by because people rarely let go of it.

However, there are noted glitches in the game, but fans everywhere don't mind a few glitches for what is considered epic game time. The only other complaints about the game are its repetitive soundtrack. More than worth it for a great game.

#3 - ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut

Price range: $65 to $100

Quantity: 20,000

Why is it so rare?

This version of ClayFighter came quickly after 63 1/3 was released. The reason was that 63 1/3 was rushed for release, and thus did not include many intended elements and characters. The Sculptor's Cut came in to remedy it, but was released as a rent only at Blockbuster. Because it was a rental game, finding a boxed copy is dang near impossible.

As a game that was rent only to start with, and with a limited amount of copies, plus it is a final release of a game that was rushed to production, this game is all sorts of cool and rare!

#2 - Worms Armageddon

Price range: $50 to $250

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

For me the Worms franchise was much easier to play on the PC, so perhaps they limited quantities when porting to a console to see how well it did, since Armageddon was the first console Worms game. Reception must have been somewhat warm since Worms went on to create two other games on the Gamecube.

With quite a few of these rare titles, this is one of those games that is just so darn fun it is difficult to let go of. I can recall spending hours playing this game against friends. Ah, nostalgia!

#1 - Bomberman 64: The Second Attack

Price range: $45 to $400

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

This is another tale of a game being released towards the end of a consoles production life. Within the year of release, the N64 halted production and geared up for the Gamecube, leaving games like Bomberman: The Second Attack begging for attention. As the smoke cleared from the shift in consoles, this Bomberman emerged as one of the final chapter games of N64, and with its limited production, is a rare treat.

Rare GameCube Games

This is the only console I do not personally own, but have had my eye out to purchase in the near future. The big shift from the N64 to the GameCube is the use of miniDVD's instead of cartridges, ushering in a new standard of console game formats. Released in 2001, the GameCube capitalized on the success of the N64's Zelda franchise, pumping out some new editions and takes, as well as combo packs and porting of the N64 content. See below to learn more!

The single disc Wind Waker. A combined copy with the Ocarina of Time Master Quest is out there!
The single disc Wind Waker. A combined copy with the Ocarina of Time Master Quest is out there! | Source

#5 - Zelda Wind Waker / Ocarina Master Quest Combo

Price range: $70 (used) to $600 (new)

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

Because not only is the supply limited, but you also get a ported N64 classic of Ocarina of Time, which included the Master Quest. The Master Quest is essentially updated and new dungeons added to the main game. What is also cool is that the ported game of Ocarina of Time also gets a higher resolution than the original. Seriously, does it get any better than this?

As for the Wind Waker portion of the game, as a standalone it is difficult to compete with Ocarina of Time. But add a few games in a combo pack with an all time favorite and you get instant success and a sought after delicacy, one that I would hold onto for dear life.

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#4 - Metroid Prime / Zelda Wind Waker Combo

Price range: Around $200

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

Much like the above game, this is another instance of combining the Wind Waker with a great title, Metroid Prime. Bringing two classic Nintendo franchises together can be nothing but pure awesomeness.

This combo was part of a combo disc set sold with a new Gamecube console. According to some, this was exclusively for Best Buy bundles. That said, any game that comes only with a new console for a limited time has got to be extremely rare and limited, since it was never a standalone game.

#3 - Phantasy Star Online Plus

Price range: $70 (used) to $150 (new)

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

Because who wants to play a GameCube game using the GameCube's modem feature? Well, that is just part of the reason. It started with the original Phantasy Star Online, with the Plus version adding content and fixing some noted bugs.

Because this is a separate edition, it was limited, and as such has caused it to become rare in the ability to find. Couple that with a shift from using and making games that utilized the GameCube's modem, and you have the makings of an ever rarer find.

Source

#2 - Pokemon Box

Price range: $70 to $150

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

This "game" is quite interesting in itself. The purpose of this game is to store, breed, and trade Pokémon for the Game boy Advance. Nothing more, nothing less.

It is considered rare in that it was only released in one location: The Pokémon Center in New York. I had no idea there was such a place, but it does indeed exist.

The Game boy Advance games came with a cable to upload Pokémon to a GameCube memory card, which could then be used on the GameCube via the game. The GameCube game has some neat features as mentioned above, like breeding your Pokémon, but it also lets you showcase and trade Pokémon with other players.

#1 - NCAA College Basketball 2K3

Price range: $50 to $80

Quantity: Limited

Why is it so rare?

This is the only college basketball game for the GameCube. That alone speaks volumes of why it is such a rare game. Take that and add a limited amount of GameCube games produced, and once again, a rare treat. Not to mention it received a high score of 8.5/10 on IGN.com.

Just imagine having 300+ teams and "current" rosters on a system like the GameCube. It could be argued that it was this and similar titles that paved the path in producing even greater NCAA titles.


If you have a rare game you are selling, please contact me with a link to the eBay or Amazon item and I will try to include it on the site.

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Comments 2 comments

kgala0405 profile image

kgala0405 4 years ago from Michigan

Awesome hub, it really brought back a lot of memories of when I was a kid. It makes me wish I still had a few of these games, I can't believe what they are worth now.


IOwn profile image

IOwn 4 years ago from My laptop in the UK

Nice Hub, anybody know if there are other Hubs with similar content but not for Nintendo? Would like to know for Sony etc

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