Last week I talked about how old videogames have undergone a rather surprising amount of price appreciation. I ended with: “Anyway, if you still have a box full of old games in your own closet, now might be a good time to take stock.” I ended up taking my own advice… and guys…
To save you some math, that adds up to $1871. That’s basically a current-gen gaming PC with a RTX 3080 (on sale). Are these “real” prices? Well, Price Charting has links to sold eBay listings with specific prices listed, so… yeah. I ended up Googling why something like Valkyrie Profile is worth so much, and apparently there were only ever 100,000 (English) disks sold, of which it is assumed 70,000 remain functional. In that scenario, I would have assumed something like PaRappa the Rapper would have been worth more, especially the trouble I went through tracking it down 15 years ago.
Slightly out of frame on the PaRappa case? The $9.99 sticker from whatever family-owned game reseller I found it in. I should probably research how to remove that before listing.
Time will tell if I actually achieve any of these prices. I went ahead and ordered some packing supplies and am committed to actually listing at least the pictured games. There are actually 17 more not shown, but next eight combined are $362, and then it starts getting into the ~$20 range where I’m not sure it’s worth my time. Real shame that something like ICO or Tenchu is only worth $12.
Seeing the physical Xenogears disks did give me a slight twinge, but I am very much in a post-ownership mindset. In the case of Xenogears specifically, I actually own it legitimately on PS+ (should I ever re-subscribe) and have it
illegitimately digitally backed up in other locations. It’s not worth “buying” for $112 just to keep it in a box another decade, especially given the high likelihood that my son and/or uncontrolled climate change will accidentally ruin it.
There was a Reddit post recently titled “I just sold my childhood for $600.” Bunch of photos of multiple old consoles, stacks of games, and so on. Nice vicarious nostalgia trip. Open up the comments section and the most upvoted replies are roasting the OP saying he got swindled, and that his collection was easily worth $3500 or more. Really?
For giggles, I went to Price Charting and looked up… Chrono Trigger:
Now, some of those top numbers are clearly ridiculous collectors items that rich people buy and sell for
money laundering dick-measuring reasons – the rarity of sealed copy of a 27-year old game becoming a thing in of itself. But… uh… guys. I sold my own childhood collection back in 2012 for $375. One of the items? Chrono Trigger with the box and instructions intact. Probably wouldn’t count as “Complete” since I taped the poster to my wall back in 1996, but still. Worth about $300 by itself today.
I’m not going to go through my full list, but for comedy purposes:
- Chrono Trigger + box + instructions = $300
- Secret of Mana = $54
- Super Metroid + box + instructions = $120
- Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past + instructions = $45
- Final Fantasy 3 = $78
- Super Nintendo console = $76
That’s $673 just on the SNES side. Granted, everything else not listed was less expensive. Nothing was worth much on the Genesis or regular Nintendo side. Did see that Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube) was $54, which is about what I paid for it back in college.
I’m not even saying that I regret selling those games when I did. That was almost 10 years ago, after all. If you look at the price graph, Chrono Trigger was selling for $42.50 at the time. Plus, I was starting a new phase of my life:
What brought all this up to me again is that I am moving to a new apartment this week. While rummaging around in long-forgotten closets, I came across my NES and SNES collections; the wave of nostalgia nearly rendered me unconscious. While I did act on the daydream of plugging the consoles back up in college one time, these pieces of electronics haven’t otherwise seen the light of day for almost a decade. Was I really going to pack them up and move them to a closet in the new place? Would my theoretical future child have the slightest bit of interest in daddy’s ancient consoles in 2020’s era of (mobile) games? Hell, would these things still even work?
Bit prescient there, eh? I wrote that in 2012. My son will turn 3 this year, so it will be closer to 2025 before he’s playing videogames, I reckon. But sorry, kiddo, you’ll have to play Chrono Trigger on an emulator and not a then-$900 cartridge.
Anyway, if you still have a box full of old games in your own closet, now might be a good time to take stock. Some of them have apparently appreciated very nicely. For some reason.