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How To Find Rare Video Games

Updated on October 25, 2010

Old school games retain a certain nostalgic value among long-time fans. Probably because today's video game market lacks some of that same appeal. Sure there are exceptions. But for the most part, many video games just don't have the same lovable charm that they used to.

Thankfully, companies like Nintendo, Sony and Sega are re-releasing some of their classic video games as digital downloads on for this generation of consoles. This gives gamers both old and new another chance to experience these treasures.

Unfortunately, some retro video games will never be re-releasesd at all. The video game libraries are just too big, and many of the older game companies have disbanded, leaving their catalog of video games lost in translation.

However, for the hard-nosed video game collector, there are still ways to find those classic video games from the past. You just need to do a little digging.

People seek out rare video games for both profit and hobby. Knowing where and how to look can increase your chances of finding these long lost gems.
People seek out rare video games for both profit and hobby. Knowing where and how to look can increase your chances of finding these long lost gems.

Use the Internet (Step 1)

The Internet is a good place to start the search for rare video games. Browsing online can save you a ton of unnecessary running around. Furthermore, it can also extend your search beyond geographic limitations, drastically increasing your chances of finding older games.

Online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon are great resources to use when looking for old games. Personally, I was able to find a nice selection of N64 and PS2 games just on eBay alone. And for the most part, it didn't cost me all that much money.

The going rates for video games out of production can vary greatly. Extremely rare games like Valkyrie Profile (PSX) can be as cheap as $80, or as expensive as say, $300.

Placing an ad on Craigslist is another option. It's a bit more risky than an online search, but you'll never know until you try.

Rare video games can often be found in used game stores like GameStop.
Rare video games can often be found in used game stores like GameStop.

Search Used Game Stores (Step 2)

Back when GameStop was known as Funcoland, it was also a retro video game paradise. They offered used, (and sometimes new), copies of some of the oldest video games in existence. Likewise, any similar used video game store is another great place to look for rare games.

This method is more of a shot in the dark than searching online, because you never know what video games a store might have. Save yourself a lot of hassle and search the store's website before walking through the front door.

I remember being obsessed with collecting Bust-a-Groove 2 (PSX) a few years ago, but I couldn't find a copy on eBay or Amazon. I ran a search on GameStop's website, and saw that there was only one copy in the NY-PA-NJ area, at a store somewhere in Pennsylvania! I almost took a road trip across the state line to get the game, but it never happened. The point is: I managed to find what I was l looking for.

It seems that the speed of the gaming industry has hindered the number of rare video games still sold in stores. There are still some out there that sell rare games, but the longer you wait to look for them, the higher the chance is of them being lost.

Check Flea Markets & Garage Sales (Step 3)

Flea markets and garage sales are also some places to find rare video games.
Flea markets and garage sales are also some places to find rare video games.
Knuckles Chaotix, (Sega 32X), is one of the rarest video games most people never had the chance to play. If you search correctly, you can find just about anything.
Knuckles Chaotix, (Sega 32X), is one of the rarest video games most people never had the chance to play. If you search correctly, you can find just about anything.

So, you've exhausted all other options, but still can't find that rare, valuable, one-of-a-kind video game you've had your heart set on. What do you do now? The answer might be to find a local flea market or garage sale and look there.

A few years ago I would go to a nearby GameStop after work and pick up a new N64 game on occasion. That was until somebody came in one weekend and cleaned out the entire store! This person singlehandedly bought every N64 cartridge the store had and only left football games...

Needless to say, I was pretty heated about that. I asked one of the employees if they knew somewhere else I could find old video games, and I was told to check out flea markets . I never actually did though, but it could be a good alternative. So that's why I'm relaying that advice here.

Also, if stumble upon a garage sale, be sure to check that out as well. A lot of people have old video games that they just want to get rid of. You might even be able to haggle the price to dirt cheap numbers if the owner is really desperate.

The real key to finding rare video game gems is patience and creative thinking. These are most certainly not the only ways to find them, so don't be afraid to try something completely spontaneous. If it works, then even better.

Happy hunting, and long live retro video games!

Comments

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    • camdjohnston12 profile image

      camdjohnston12 

      7 years ago

      Great one,

    • profile image

      Doug 

      7 years ago

      I still have the sega nomad. I remember almost buying the Nintendo Virtual Boy at fred meyer for $30 back in the days.

    • School Games profile image

      School Games 

      7 years ago from Constanta

      The old games i think are the best. Is not that i am retro but every time i whant to relax and have fun i play Sonic and Tails or Mario bros. Cool games indeed.

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR

      MistHaven 

      8 years ago from New Jersey

      I told you, lol. I haven't been to a flea market in years, but I've been told they are good places to find older video games.

    • DavitosanX profile image

      DavitosanX 

      8 years ago

      I actually have found pretty nice games on flea markets: Zelda 1, Final Fantasy 1, Majora's Mask, Ninja Gaiden, Mario RPG to name a few.

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR

      MistHaven 

      8 years ago from New Jersey

      Ah, Abe's Exoddus was a great game! Never did beat it though. And unfortunately, I'm going to have to replace my FF collection for PSX, because none of them work anymore, lol. Thanks for checking out my revamped rare video games Hub, stay tuned for more!

    • profile image

      Am I dead, yet? 

      8 years ago

      GameStop is choice for finding rare games. I happen to have the entire Abe's Oddworld series including Oddworld Stranger, Munches Odyssey--All of the FF series, etc. I can go on an on! I am enjoying myself in your part of the hubberverse!

    • satomko profile image

      Seth Tomko 

      9 years ago from Macon, GA

      Thanks for the input, and keep up the good work.

    • MistHaven profile imageAUTHOR

      MistHaven 

      9 years ago from New Jersey

      I'd say you're better off searching online, just because it will save you a lot of effort. But definitely don't count garage sales and the like out. I still have my old Game Gear games in working order in my garage, so you never know.

    • satomko profile image

      Seth Tomko 

      9 years ago from Macon, GA

      Do you consider yard sales and garages sales as likely candidates to find old games, or are internet distributors and new-used game stores more likely to carry them?

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