ByAna Valens, writer at Creators.co
Writer and games critic. As seen at the Daily Dot, Waypoint, Kill Screen, Bitch Media, and ZEAL.
Ana Valens

Ah yes, there's nothing like absolutely rare video games. Earlier, we talked about some of the rarest and most expensive classic video game consoles on the market -- but what about some of the rarest games?

Don't fret, the prices are pretty high for these purchases too, but they're totally worth it. If you're looking to pick up a classic game that will raise the stakes behind your gaming collection, well, these titles are worth keeping an eye out for on the online market.

EarthBound

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia
  • System: SNES
  • Origin: US
  • Price: $573 - $1,000 for complete set
  • Rarity: 2/5

Ah, EarthBound. The cult classic SNES RPG that later inspired Undertale. Yes, EarthBound (better known as Mother 2 in Japan) wasn't the most popular SNES game in its heyday, but Ness's emergence in Super Smash Bros. on the N64 rekindled a nostalgic flame for the original game. Now, the title is hailed as one of the best and most hilarious RPGs within the entire SNES library.

And one of the most expensive. A full set will run you on average $573, according to Buy EarthBound. Due to the complete set's rarity, some of the prices in mint condition are even higher, with one complete copy at $979, and a full collection priced just over $1,000 USD. Remember, EarthBound didn't sell that well when it first came out in the US, so it only makes sense that a complete package featuring the game would cost a ton of money. Meanwhile, used copies aren't that bad, with some under $30.

BattleSphere

  • System: Atari Jaguar
  • Origin: US
  • Price: $1,795
  • Rarity: 5/5

Remember the Atari Jaguar? Probably not. Well, after the Jaguar's sales inevitably plummeted, 4 Play/ScatoLOGIC released the space combat game BattleSphere for the Jaguar. The game was in development for a very long time, first announced in 1995, and later released in 2000. Controversy arose because the game was in high demand, despite few copies being produced.

Here's where things get interesting. BattleSphere features JUGS: The Jaguar Unmodified Game Server. JUGS allows players to develop Jaguar games of their own, making this a pretty serious collector's item for both Jaguar fans and amateur developers. Price Charting reports that a complete edition of BattleSphere Gold will run as high as $1,795. with non-complete copies running anywhere from #377 to $1,526. Copies are rare, but when they do appear, it's not uncommon to see a lot of money spent on picking one up.

Outback Joey

  • System: Sega Genesis/Heartbeat Personal Trainer
  • Origin: US
  • Price: $2,025
  • Rarity: 5/5

Never heard of Outback Joey before? You wouldn't be alone. Released for the Sega Genesis, Sega Retro reports that the game was part of the Heartbeat Personal Trainer, a Sega Genesis build that came with exercise and motion sensor software to monitor the player's heartbeat. In Outback Joey, a high heartbeat moves the kangaroo Joey across the screen, meaning that players need to exercise in order to play the game.

Of course, only 1,000 units were made of the console, so only 1,000 copies of Outback Joey exist. Sega Retro calls the Heartbeat Personal Trainer's controllers an "awkward setup," explaining the console (and the game's) rarity. Price Charting lists the game at approximately $2,025, with only two sales between 2015 and 2016 as data. Meaning, yes, this game is both rare and very expensive.

NBA Elite 11

  • System: PS3
  • Origin: US
  • Price: $3,500+
  • Rarity: 4/5

Who knew sports games were collectible favorites? Well, there's an interesting tale behind NBA Elite 11.

Originally, NBA Elite 11 was intended as a spiritual successor to EA Sports's NBA Live series. When NBA Elite 11 was pushed for an eighteen-month development period for a quick turnaround, a demo of the game emerged, and the quality behind the game was just terrible. Glitches and bugs abounded, including one bug where Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls would never miss a shot from the court's left baseline. While bugs were planned to be fixed, EA reviewed the game and decided not to publish it. And so the game was cancelled completely.

But apparently, a couple PS3 copies of the full game passed into the general public's possession. And while some copies of the game are available for eBay, purchasing one is very expensive. As in, anywhere from $3,599 to $5,000 for a copy. Is it worth collecting for that price? Seeing how the game was so bad that it was cancelled... we say yes. For the laughs, at least.

1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Cartridge

Source: JJ Hendricks, Wikipedia
Source: JJ Hendricks, Wikipedia
  • System: NES
  • Origin: US
  • Price: $100,000 (2014)
  • Rarity: 5/5

In 1990, Nintendo launched the Nintendo World Championships, touring 29 cities across the US. Players used a custom NES cartridge to compete against one another across such NES games as Tetris and Super Mario Bros. 90 gray cartridges, handed to finalists, were created, and 26 gold copies were given away in a Nintendo Power competition.

Interested in picking up one of those gold cartridges? According to Polygon, one cartridge was sold for $100,000 back in 2014. It's unclear how many gold cartridges are even available, although some have been sold for $21,400 to $18,000 over the years. Regardless, finding one is incredibly rare, making this cartridge both one of the rarest in gaming history, as well as one of the most expensive.

Own one of these rare video games? Share your loot in the comments below.

Source: Buy Earthbound, Sega Retro, Price Charting

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