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Beginners Guide to Collecting Nintendo NES Games!

Updated on October 6, 2015

A Guide for Beginners

This Hub is dedicated to you beginner collectors. Whether you want to have a small personal collection or you want every game that was ever made for the Nintendo, this lens will serve as your guide. Even though the guide will be geared toward the beginning collector I will also dive into some advanced collecting.

In this guide I will cover how to begin your collection right through on how to finish it. Even if you have already started your collection and think you have all your bases covered, I would still recommend reading my guide because I am well into my collection and still learning new things about the hobby every day.

Where to Begin? - An introduction to collecting

So, you want to start collection Nintendo NES games? Why do I ask? Well, I ask because if you aren't walking around with pockets full of cash, the hobby can take quite a toll on your wallet! Don't worry to much about this yet. There are ways to get your collection moving along with spending little to no cash.

If your anything like me your probably closing in on your 30's, like video games, and have had the urge to collect something at some point in your life. I myself have always collected something. I started out with baseball cards and moved on to collecting pens. Both very satisfying to my collecting needs but there was something missing. The cards I could look at and organize. The pens I could display and write with. But there was little interaction with what I was collecting beyond that. I needed something more.

When the Wii was released in 2006 I was quick to pick one up. I remembered owning an original Nintendo and how much fun it was. Buying the Wii was a must if I wanted to relive those glory days of gaming or so I thought. Once the virtual console started making retro games available I wondered what it would be like to own all of the original Nintendo games.......and it bit me. The collecting bug.

I wasn't quite sure where to start. I didn't know how many games were made for the system or how easy they would be to find given their age. Like your doing now I started to research. I found out that there were hundreds of games released for the Nes, both licensed and unlicensed. There are over 600 licensed games alone! It seemed like a daunting task to collect every one. So we come to your first major decision! What kind of collection do you want?

What kind of NES collection are you striving for?

Small, Medium, or Large?

See results

What games to start with?

Now that you've answered your first question, what games do you start with? Whether you decided to go with a small personal collection of games that you owned or you want to be the proud owner of every game ever to grace the NES, your going to want to start in the same place. I haven't mentioned a system yet because I believe that goes without saying. If you are starting a collection there is no doubt that your going to want to play the games.

Nintendo Entertainment Systems can be picked up for relatively cheap. Your probably going to want to purchase one that has been refurbished and the pin connector inside replaced.....unless of course you enjoyed blowing into your games until you cheeks hurt. A system that has had it's pins replaced will work leaps and bounds better than one that hasn't. Nice new, clean, and tight pins will make a better connection and most seem to work like they are brand new again. In my ebay store I replace all the pins on the systems that I sell and all the games are cleaned inside and out so that the systems work like the first day they came out of the box. If you haven't yet bought a system and are looking to, check out my store HERE for some decent bundles that I have thrown together that will jump start your collection. (Our ebay store currently carries more Warhammer related items. Video Games & Systems are now exclusively sold in-store)

Besides the system you are probably going to want to start with the games you had as a kid. That's why your beginning this journey in the first place (and it is a heck of a journey), to relive your childhood! Some of the games you remember playing when you were little may not be the easiest games to come across out in the wild. This is where the collector geared towards obtaining his previously owned games is at a slight disadvantage. See, the collector who wants to hoard the complete NES library will have the advantage of being able to pick things up in bulk at first and keep everything they come across like a vacuum. The personal collector also has this option but will also be left with a bunch of games that they don't want and all just to score a couple or just one game that is collection worthy. Plus, money is obviously going to play a big part in this. So what if your not stacked with cash, there are other ways of starting your collection with little or even no money! Read on my fellow collector!

What are the damages?

If you play your cards right, money won't be an issue

You want games and you want them now, but you just don't have the money to be spending on a hobby right now. Not a problem. They say nothing in this world is for free. I beg to differ! When I first started collecting Nintendo games I would try to pick up games anyway that I could. Including asking for handouts. Some of the first games to grace my collection came from my Uncle Dino. I told him that I had started collecting and asked to buy his system and games. He said that he didn't play it much, wished me luck, and handed over his system and games for nothing. Thanks to his generosity my collection made a small leap forward without having to shell out a dime.

Here are a couple tips to jump starting your collection for little or even no money:

-Go digging through relatives attics and basements (with permission) The hunt is always fun and your bound to find something

-Hunt around at garage sales and flea markets (don't be afraid to try and talk people down in price)

-Visit your local Goodwill

-Ask your friends and co-workers if they still have old games lying around (some will even give them to you for free)

-If your having trouble finding a specific game your looking for you can always check out stores on ebay like mine http://stores.ebay.com/Tyton-Games?_rdc=1 for reasonably priced games that are hassle free

Armed with this knowledge and a bit of determination, you should be on you way to piecing together a respectable collection.

There are some other things that I haven't mentioned yet though. While starting your collection you are bound to find plenty of those little grey cartridges hanging around in places that you wouldn't even imagine. Every so often though, you will come across a NES game that comes with a little more than you were expecting.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of finding an original nintendo game complete with it's original box and instructions. They don't pop up very often but when they do they will send a wave of excitement over you. Especially so if the game is still sealed! This brings us to our next question: What kind of collector do you want to be?

To Complete or Not to Complete? That is the Question.

There are typically 4 different types of Nintendo NES game collectors. There is the cart collector. He doesn't mind much about boxes or manuals, he just wants the cartridges. Then you have the cart and manual collector. Some NES games aren't very easy to play unless you have the instructions on hand, that is why I believe this type of collector exists. Third we have the Complete in Box or "CIB" collector. This person strives to get all of the cartridges that they want in their collection complete with their original boxes and manuals. Last there is the most insane collector of them all......The sealed collector. I don't think there are very many of these around due to the difficulty of actually completing the collection that you set out for, but they do exist. It isn't easy finding these games still unopened and factory sealed.

What kind of collector do you want to be?

See results

Tyton Games

When I started writing this article back in February of 2012 I had no idea collecting would take me on the journey that it has. At that time I was unemployed and set up an ebay account under the name "tytongames". It is a mashup of mine and my business partner's name. We started selling the excess games we would come across that didn't have a place in our collections. We had aspirations of owning a brink-and-mortar store, incorporating Magic the Gathering and Warhammer Tabletop games. I am proud to say that today we have grown into a 3000 sq. ft. business in Villa Park, IL. I would encourage you to check us out if you are into anything gaming! Take a look at our facebook page Tyton Games

Tyton Games Villa Park, IL (street sign)
Tyton Games Villa Park, IL (street sign) | Source

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