10 Rarest and Most Expensive Nintendo Games Ever

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Nintendo is one of the most beloved video game companies in the world and has been going strong since the early days of video games. The company’s first console, the Color TV-Game was released in 1977, but Nintendo did not hit its stride until the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985. Since then, Nintendo has released several different consoles and sold over 700 million hardware units worldwide.

In addition to its game consoles, Nintendo has released some of the most iconic games in history. While everyone knows games like Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo has released several lesser known games. Unfortunately, these games sold poorly, which has made them rare today. However, the rarest Nintendo games were special edition cartridges made for various competitions in the 1990s.

As of July 2021, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

  1. Hagane: The Final Conflict
  2. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: Unknown
    Release Date: 1994/1995
    Console(s): Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
    Current Estimated Price: copies listed for $950 to $130,000 on ebay; copies sold for $440 to $6,000 in the past
    Hagane: The Final Conflict
    photo source: ebay

    When Hagane: The Final Conflict was released in North America in 1995, the game received mixed reviews, which led to fairly low sale numbers. Since then, Hagane: The Final Conflict has become one of the rarest Nintendo games and is sought after by serious video game collectors. Copies of Hagane: The Final Conflict have previously sold for a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. Recently, the game has risen in value and several ebay listings are asking for tens of thousands of dollars. One seller is claiming they have a copy in great condition with the original box and is asking for $130,000!

    Did you know?

    One of the reasons for the low sales of Hagane: The Final Conflict were its comparison to the Shinobi series of games on the Sega Genesis, which were seen as far superior to Hagane.


  3. Little Samson
  4. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: Unknown
    Release Date: 1992
    Console(s): Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
    Current Estimated Price: copies listed for $1,000 to $15,000 on ebay; copies sold for $900 to $6,100 in the past
    Little Samson
    photo source: ebay

    Little Samson is another rare Nintendo game that sold poorly and came out late in the NES’s run. The game came out in 1992 in Japan and North America and received very little promotion. The exact number of copies of Little Samson is unknown. Over the past decade or so, Little Samson has become a highly sought after Nintendo game, fetching a few thousand dollars on resale sites. Currently, a highly graded complete copy of Little Samson is listed on ebay for $15,000!

    Did you know?

    Although Little Samson did not sell well, since then the game has garnered pretty high reviews, with some even naming it one of the best platformers on the NES.


  5. The Flintstones: Surprise at Dino Peak
  6. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: Unknown
    Release Date: 1994
    Console(s): Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
    Current Estimated Price: copies listed for $1,190 to $25,000 on ebay; copies sold for $500 to $1,700 in the past
    The Flintstones: Surprise at Dino Peak
    photo source: Wikipedia

    The Flintstones: Surprise at Dino Peak is reportedly not a very fun or good game, but it is one of the rarest Nintendo games out there. It was released in 1994 and a low number of copies were produced because it was late in the NES’s lifespan. Although The Flintstones: Surprise at Dino Peak was produced by Taito, a Japanese video game company, the game was only released in Europe and North America. This has added to its scarcity, but copies of the game do come up for sale quite often and go for about $1,000 or so.

    Did you know?

    There is an ongoing rumor that The Flintstones: Surprise at Dino Peak was released in North America as a Blockbuster rental exclusive. However, this claim has been refuted as the game was sold in regular retail stores.


  7. Stadium Events
  8. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: Estimated 200 to 2,000 produced
    Release Date: 1987
    Console(s): Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
    Current Estimated Price: One copy listed on ebay for $40,000; copies sold for $1,200 to $35,100 in the past
    Stadium Events
    photo source: Wikipedia

    Stadium Events is a rather unremarkable game that was released for the NES in North America back in 1987. Somehow, Stadium Events has become one of the most coveted video games amongst collectors. For some unknown reason, video game collectors latched on to Stadium Events, which they believe had a very low production number. No one knows for sure how many copies of Stadium Events was sold, but typically, the standard minimum run for NES games was 10,000 units. However, game collectors are adamant that Stadium Run had only a few hundred or few thousand copies made.

    Driving, Stadium Events’ rarity is collectors’ willingness to drop tens of thousands of dollars on a copy. Also, there are some collectors who are determined to snatch up any copy of Stadium Events they come across.

    Did you know?

    The original run of Stadium Events was made to be used with the Family Fun Fitness mat accessory for the NES. The game was later re-branded as World Class Track Meet for a new mat, the Power Pad.


  9. 1990 Nintendo World Championships Grey Edition
  10. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: 90 given away as prizes
    Release Date: 1990
    Console(s): Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
    Current Estimated Price: None currently listed for sale; copies sold for $5,000 to $26,400 in the past
    1990 Nintendo World Championships Grey Edition
    photo source: Price Charting Blog

    Although the Gold Editions of the 1990 Nintendo World Championships game are rarer, video game collectors still get excited anytime a Grey Edition of the game shows up. The Grey Edition cartridges were actually used during the 1990 Nintendo World Championships and 90 copies were given to the tournament’s finalists. No one knows for sure how many Grey Edition cartridges were made.

    1990 Nintendo World Championships Grey Edition cartridges come up for sale fairly often and historically sold for a few thousand dollars. However, in recent years, copies have been sold for more than $25,000 and some listings even ask for over $100,000, but no copy has sold for this much.

    Did you know?

    On June 15, 2015, Nintendo held the second Nintendo World Championships took place for the events 25th anniversary.


  11. 1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Edition
  12. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: 26 given away as prizes
    Release Date: 1990
    Console(s): Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
    Current Estimated Price: One currently listed for $1 million on ebay; copies sold for $15,000 to $17,500 in the past
    1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Edition
    photo source: Price Charting Blog

    Although it isn’t the rarest game on this list, the 1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Edition game cartridges are considered by many avid game collectors to be one of the holy grails of the hobby. About 26 copies of the 1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Edition game were given out to winners of the contest held by Nintendo Power magazine.

    Over the years, copies of the Gold Edition cartridges pop up for sale, fetching tens of thousands of dollars. Around half of the 1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Edition games are accounted for. Currently, one copy is listed on ebay for an unbelievable asking price of $1 million!

    Did you know?

    The 1990 Nintendo World Championships is considered to be the very first major eSports event.


  13. Sealed Copy of Super Mario Bros.
  14. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: Estimated in the single digits remaining
    Release Date: 1985
    Console(s): Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
    Current Estimated Price: $100,000 to $660,000
    Sealed Copy of Super Mario Bros.
    photo source: Heritage Auctions

    Super Mario Bros. is the most iconic Nintendo game ever released and made the company a household name. While more than 50 million copies of Super Mario Bros. have been sold worldwide since its release in 1985, only a handful of sealed copies of the original print of Super Mario Bros. exist today. The most valuable of these existing sealed copies of Super Mario Bros. are the ones with matte sticker seals that indicate they were printed during the initial test market run.

    In 2019, a copy of one of these test market Super Mario Bros. games was sold for $100,000. While that number is very impressive, two years later, another sealed copy broke records when it was sold for a whopping $660,000! This sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. is now the most expensive video game ever sold.

    Did you know?

    The sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. sold in 2021 is in such good condition that not only is it still factory sealed, it even has its original hangtab and was rated a 9.6 by Wata, a video game collectible grading company.


  15. Nintendo Powerfest ’94
  16. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: 2 in existence (about 33 produced)
    Release Date: 1994
    Console(s): Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
    Current Estimated Price: N/A – one copy was sold for $12,000 in 2015
    Nintendo Powerfest '94
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    The Nintendo Powerfest ’94 game is another special cartridge, like the 1991 and 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge games, that was created specifically for a video game competition. Nintendo held the Powerfest ’94 competition all across the United States and Canada, culminating with the finals in San Diego.

    According to reports, about 33 Nintendo Powerfest ’94 game cartridges were made and they were all supposed to be destroyed or repurposed for parts. Two of these games survived and initially only one was known for many years. The first known Nintendo Powerfest ’94 game was picked up by Rob Walters at the goldmine of a garage sale where he also found a 1991 and 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge game. Walters sold Nintendo Powerfest ’94 and the 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge games to collector Rick Bruns. In 2015, the second copy of Nintendo Powerfest ’94 was sold to collector J.J. Hendricks, who also previously owned a copy of 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge.

    Did you know?

    After J.J. Hendricks purchased his copy of the Nintendo Powerfest ’94, he met up with Rick Bruns to reunite both copies of the game and play a few rounds.


  17. 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge
  18. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: 2 known copies (rumors there is a 3rd)
    Release Date: 1992
    Console(s): Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
    Current Estimated Price: N/A – one copy was listed for $25,000 on ebay in 2011
    1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    Nintendo followed up the first Nintendo Campus Challenge in 1991 with another tour in 1992. This was the second and final year for the event. Like the 1991 tour, Nintendo created a special cartridge for the 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge. However, this time Nintendo chose to use the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) instead of the NES.

    Reportedly, there are three 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge games, but only two definitively exist. One of the games was found by video game collector Rob Walters at the same garage sale where he picked up the 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge. This copy of the game was sold privately to video game collector named Rick Bruns. The other 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge game was found in the attic of a former employee of a company who did projects for Nintendo.

    Did you know?

    The 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridges was also used in the French Nintendo Super Tour 1992, and a Scandinavian-based competition the same year.


  19. 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge
  20. Number Produced or Current Number in Existence: 1
    Release Date: 1991
    Console(s): Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
    Current Estimated Price: N/A – sold for $20,100 in 2009
    1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    The 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge is the rarest Nintendo game ever as there is only one known copy in existence. The Nintendo Campus Challenge was an official competition held at58  college campuses and spring break locations around North America. While more than one Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge was used during the competition, the other copies were destroyed, but this existing cartridge ended up coming home with an ex-Nintendo employee.

    The last remaining 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge game was discovered at a garage sale held by that same ex-Nintendo employee in 2006. The game was found by video game collector Rob Walters, who bought it and sold it to another collector J.J. Hendricks for $14,000. A few months later, Hendricks sold the 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge game for $20,100 on ebay. Since then, the game has not come back up for sale.

    Did you know?

    The 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge features three minigames from Super Mario Bros. 3, PinBot, and Dr. Mario. Each player had about 6 minutes 21 seconds to clear the minigames and rack up as many points as they could.

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