10 Most Expensive Video Games Ever Sold

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The first video game was invented by William Higinbotham. After graduating from college in the early 1930s, William became a graduate student at Cornell University where he worked on electronics. Later, in 1941, William joined a lab at MIT that developed display screens for radar systems.

That was the start of his work in the electronics field, but it wouldn’t be until the late ‘50s that William finally made an interactive video system. William got the groundbreaking idea when he noticed the public’s bored reaction to exhibits at a yearly science convention. With the hope of getting visitors more involved, William began working on an interactive video system.

After some clever engineering, William’s video game debuted in 1958. Users could play virtual tennis by turning a knob and pressing a button, making a tennis ball graphic move around a display. William continued to improve his tech, making a path for the video games we have today.

Video games have evolved way beyond the basic graphics and controls of William’s invention, but the most expensive titles out there actually come from older consoles like the Atari 2600. Despite their age, these games have high price tags, typically because they’re very rare.

  1. Atlantis II
  2. Price: $779.89
    Compatibility: Atari 2600
    Genre: Action and adventure
    Unique Feature: Potentially less than 25 copies were made
    Atlantis II
    photo source: racketboy.com

    As the name suggests, Atlantis II was a sequel. More specifically, the game was a tournament version designed for the Defend Atlantis competition, a gaming contest held by game company Imagic in 1982. The updated version featured harder gameplay because there were several players who maxed out the scoring system in the original game. Basically, they needed a harder version so they could pick a winner.

    It’s not clear how many copies were made, but some reports say there could be less than 25 in the whole world. Other game enthusiasts estimate 100 copies exist, but everyone agrees that the game is rare.

    It’s not known how many people received a copy of Atlantis II, but we do know that the top four players from that select group were picked for the competition’s final round which took place in Bermuda.

    Did you know?

    The history is complicated, but it’s believed that a 15-year-old named Andrew Levine ultimately won the Defend Atlantis competition, earning him $10,000.

  3. Red Sea Crossing
  4. Price: $864.73
    Compatibility: Atari 2600
    Genre: Action and adventure
    Unique Feature: Made by an independent programmer
    Red Sea Crossing
    photo source: thegamesdb.net

    Red Sea Crossing was made by an independent programmer in the early 1980s. In those years, indie releases really didn’t stand a chance against gaming giants like Atari, so the game went unnoticed.

    Years later, in 2007, someone found one of the few copies made at a garage sale. Through some internet detective work, the programmer was tracked down and asked about the game. According to someone who spoke with him, the game was advertised in “a local religious magazine.” Based on the ad (and the game’s title), we know the game was based on the Biblical story of Moses crossing the Red Sea.

    Interestingly, the game’s creator apparently couldn’t get the title on any store shelves. Instead, gamers had to call to order the cartridge from the programmer (which cost just $34.95).

    Did you know?

    Although Price Charting says copies of this game typically go for about $860, one copy reportedly sold for more than $10,000.

  5. Stadium Events (North American Version)
  6. Price: $1,200
    Compatibility: Made for NES
    Genre: Exercise and sports
    Unique Feature: Only 200 copies were available for sale
    Stadium Events
    photo source: gamevaluenow.com

    Stadium Events (North American Version) was made by a publisher called Bandai. The game’s initial release was designed to see if people were interested, so just 200 of the 2,000 original copies made it to stores in the U.S.

    That was in 1987, but the real story starts in 1988. In that year, Nintendo bought the rights to Stadium Events. The Nintendo company then recalled the game so it could re-release it under its own name and title. As a result, only copies that had already been sold remained in circulation.

    Did you know?

    When Nintendo re-released Stadium Events, they rebranded it as World Class Track Meet.

  7. Super Copa
  8. Price: $3,034.35
    Compatibility: Made for SNES
    Genre: Sports (soccer)
    Unique Feature: Potentially only disrupted in Latin America
    Super Copa
    photo source: ebay.com

    We don’t know much about Super Copa, but reports say the game is essentially a Spanish language version of Tony Meola’a Sidekicks Soccer. In that game, players compete in soccer matches using a first-person perspective. That’s pretty advanced considering the game came out in the early 1990s.

    Today, rare copies of Super Copa sell for at least $3,000 in new condition. If you’re looking for something cheaper, you could buy just the game’s box for a whopping $150 (or more).

    Did you know?

    Super Copa was made by Sculptured Software. The company was founded in 1984 and closed in 2002. The last game Sculptured Software made was Legends of Wrestling II.

  9. Exertainment Mountain Bikerally Speed Racer
  10. Price: $3,971.75
    Compatibility: Made for SNES
    Genre: Exercise and racing
    Unique Feature: Designed to work with a stationary bike
    Exertainment Mountain Bikerally Speed Racer
    photo source: giantbomb.com

    This SNES game was designed to work with a stationary bike made by the publisher. The idea was users would ride the bike to power their avatar’s bike. The overall design was essentially an early version of exercise systems like Peloton.

    The game’s design falls under the exercise genre, but it’s also a racer game since players could compete against the system itself.

    As an extremely rare title, copies of Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally can easily sell for nearly $4,000.

    Did you know?

    The Exertainment stationary bike had an electronic component that let users link it to their Super Nintendo gaming console.

  11. Nintendo Campus Challenge
  12. Price: $20,100
    Compatibility: Made for Nintendo systems
    Genre: Competition games
    Unique Feature: Designed for college campuses
    Nintendo Campus Challenge
    photo source: retrousb.com

    Prices really start to climb with this game. One copy of the rare Nintendo Campus Challenge was auctioned off for more than $20,000 around the year 2009. Incredibly, the auction had a starting bid of just 99 cents.

    Nintendo Campus Challenge was designed as a marketing tool. Like Atlantis II, the game was made specifically for competitive gaming. Nintendo traveled around to 35 college campuses so students could play the game (and hopefully buy a Super Nintendo console).

    The game’s concept was pretty simple: users would play three Nintendo games all in one, sort of like a triathlon. First, grab 50 coins in Super Mario World. Second, finish two laps in F-Zero. Third, get the highest score possible in Pilotwings.

    Did you know?

    Before the owner sold it via an eBay auction, that $20,000 copy of Nintendo Campus Challenge was stored in a safe deposit box.

  13. PowerFest ’94
  14. Price: $25,000
    Compatibility: Made for SNES
    Genre: Competition games
    Unique Feature: Only two cartridges remain
    PowerFest '94
    photo source: wired.com

    Nintendo PowerFest ‘94 was yet another game designed specifically for a gaming competition. The contest included four teams trying to get the highest score possible on three Nintendo games. Players would compete in Super Mario Kart, Ken Griffey Jr. Home Run Derby, and Super Mario All-Stars, all of which were loaded onto one cartridge.

    While Nintendo originally produced 35 of these cartridges, only two copies remain today. It doesn’t look like either of these ultra-rare video games have sold, but reports say one seller is asking $300,000 while another wants $25,000.

    Did you know?

    While other Nintendo games let you pick your avatar, it’s not clear if PowerFest ‘94 had that feature.

  15. Air Raid
  16. Price: $33,433.30
    Compatibility: Made for Atari 2600
    Genre: Action
    Unique Feature: T-shaped cartridge handle
    Air Raid
    photo source: technabob.com

    Air Raid stands out with its unique t-shaped cartridge handle. The game was made for Atari 2600 and came out on January 1, 1982. When the game loads, players are met with a “pre-dawn sky” before enemy fighters show up. Users fight the raiders to save the city, almost like Space Invaders.

    Around 2012, a copy of this extremely rare video game sold for an insane $33,433.30.

    Part of Air Raid’s rarity comes from its extremely limited release. Apparently, the game just wasn’t that good and no one really bought it, so the publisher didn’t have much reason to make a lot of copies.

    Did you know?

    Air Raid was made by a company called Men-A-Vision.

  17. 1990 Nintendo World Championships
  18. Price: $100,088
    Compatibility: Made for NES
    Genre: Competition games
    Unique Feature: Only 116 cartridges were made
    1990 Nintendo World Championships
    photo source: giantbomb.com

    Nintendo World Championships is another game designed for competitive gaming. The title was released in 1990, with just 116 cartridges getting made. Interestingly, 26 of those copies were placed in gold casing while the rest used traditional gray cases.

    Around 2014, one of these rare gold cartridges sold for $100,088 on eBay.

    Like other Nintendo gaming competitions, the Nintendo World Championships involved three games: Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. Players had six minutes and 21 seconds to get the highest score possible.

    Did you know?

    The Nintendo World Championships of 1990 took place in 29 cities and included three age categories: under 11, 12-17, and 18 plus.

  19. Sealed Super Mario Bros
  20. Price: $2,000,000
    Compatibility: Made for the original Nintendo
    Genre: Action and adventure
    Unique Feature: Sealed copy from 1985
    Sealed Super Mario Bros
    photo source: thenationalnews.com

    A sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. from 1985 is the most expensive video game ever sold.

    With a sale price of $2,000,000, this sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. is by far the most expensive video game ever sold. The cartridge got its steep price tag thanks to its brand-new, unopened condition and “limited print run.”

    Although this copy of Super Mario Bros. is rare and expensive, most copies are easy to come by and not too pricey. The game sold 50 million copies when it debuted in the mid-80s, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time.

    Did you know?

    Super Mario Bros. was the successor to the Mario Bros. arcade game of 1983.


Head of Content at Rarest.org


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