You might be wondering, are SNES games worth collecting? If you consider the prices of the most valuable Super Nintendo games and how they've clearly skyrocketed up in price in recent years, the answer is an astounding YES!
Gamers all over the world have a particular place in their hearts for the Super Nintendo, often known as SNES. When it was first released in the early 1990s, this legendary gaming system exposed us to a huge collection of amazing games.
Every game, from platformers that defined generations to legendary action-adventure and role-playing games, featured distinct gameplay and engrossing narratives.
Due to their low initial sales or restricted production runs, several Super Nintendo games become rare over time. The demand for these vintage games soared as committed collectors and enthusiasts looked to preserve gaming history.
Certain cartridges gained enormous value as a result of the confluence of nostalgia and rarity, making them highly prized collectibles.
Table of Contents
- 20. Ninja Gaiden Trilogy
- 19. Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
- 18. Pocky & Rocky 2
- 17. Demon's Crest
- 16. E.V.O.: Search for Eden
- 15. Earthbound
- 14. Castlevania: Dracula X
- 13. Chrono Trigger
- 12. Mega Man X3
- 11. Rendering Ranger R2
- 10. Harvest Moon
- 9. Hagane: The Final Conflict
- 8. MACS Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator
- 7. Batman Forever (Woolworth’s Box Set)
- 6. Aero Fighters
- 5. Star Fox Super Weekend Cartridge
- 4. Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer
- 3. Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992
- 2. Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge
- 1. Nintendo Powerfest 1994
20. Ninja Gaiden Trilogy
This action-packed series, which debuted on the NES, quickly gained popularity thanks to its demanding gameplay, compelling plot, and endearing protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa. All three of the iconic NES games were updated and improved for the 16-bit SNES, which was launched in 1995.
The limited production run of the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy is one of the main causes of its rarity. The SNES was towards the end of its lifecycle when it debuted in 1995, and the emphasis in gaming had turned to newer platforms. Because of this, the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy's cartridge production was less than that of several other well-known SNES games.
19. Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
Lufia II is not only a rare SNES game but is also one of the best SNES RPGs available on that epic 16 bit console.
The captivating story of bravery, camaraderie, and fate that forms the basis of Lufia II is its core. Gamers travel on an adventure alongside the main character Maxim and his allies as they try to stop the evil Sinistrals, powerful creatures that pose a danger to global peace. The plot of the game develops with skillfully written dialogue, poignant scenes, and surprising turns, completely engrossing players in the journey.
Although Lufia II eventually gained a devoted following, its commercial success was not as significant as that of other SNES games at the time. Because of the game's very small production run, it is more difficult to find copies of it on the market. Its scarcity has only grown over time, feeding demand among collectors and fans of old-school video games.
18. Pocky & Rocky 2
For its fascinating gameplay and adorable characters, Pocky & Rocky 2 is a hidden gem Super Nintendo title among vintage gaming fans. Despite the game's apparent attractiveness, its rarity has made it highly sought-after and intriguing to collectors.
In 1994, towards the end of the Super Nintendo's lifespan, the game was released. Pocky & Rocky 2 struggled to become well-known as focus switched to more modern gaming systems. Due to its delayed release and subsequent low sales and availability, it eventually became an uncommon collectible.
17. Demon's Crest
The spectacular graphics and eerie atmosphere of Demon's Crest contributed to its cult appeal. The game's graphics pushed the SNES system to its limits and demonstrated its technical capabilities. Players were further engrossed in Firebrand's gloomy and enigmatic universe because of the sophisticated level design and moving soundtrack.
Demon's Crest's value in the collector's market has increased dramatically due to its scarcity. Gamers that are trying to finish their SNES collections think finding a copy of Demon's Crest is a great accomplishment. The emergence of internet marketplaces and auction sites has made locating this elusive jewel a thrilling pursuit as well as a badge of distinction among collectors.
16. E.V.O.: Search for Eden
When considering the absolute most valuable snes games, it's gotta have EVO somewhere on the list. Enix delivered an absolute gem of a game in EVO.
As you make your way through the game, you'll evolve through various transformations like a fish, a reptile, you can even make your way all through to a human form throughout the game.
Retro gaming fans and collectors have developed a devoted cult following for E.V.O. : Search for Eden over the years. E.V.O. attracted the interest of people looking to complete their collections with rare and desired SNES games as the demand for these titles increased. This increase in demand added to the game's rarity and increased its worth in the gaming industry.
When it comes to Earthbound, it's a story of one person's trash being another person's treasure. This game was everywhere back in the 90s and couldn't sell one copy. We would see them all the time at the local game shop's bargain bin discount aisle.
The "Earthbound Player's Handbook," which was included in the game package, raised the retail price. Although providing insightful explanations of the game's mechanics and setting, the guide probably turned off some potential customers, resulting in fewer copies being sold.
As the years went by, Earthbound started to amass a devoted fan base, partly as a result of recommendations from people who had personally experienced the game's distinctive charm. A new generation of gamers were able to learn about Earthbound thanks to the growth of online forums and emulation in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
14. Castlevania: Dracula X
In 1995, Nintendo released a port of the super popular Akumajou Dracula XX or Castlevania Rondo of Blood on the PC Engine CD. It was basically a stripped down version of the game that lost a fully playable character in the process.
The rarity of Castlevania: Dracula X was greatly influenced by the timing of its release. When the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn entered the game market in the middle of the 1990s, the SNES was somewhat eclipsed by these newcomers. Because of this, fewer physical copies of Dracula X were made available, making it more challenging for gamers to obtain one.
13. Chrono Trigger
By providing a ground-breaking dual and multiple ending mechanism, Chrono Trigger disrupted the paradigm of conventional role-playing games. The tale would change depending on the decisions players made throughout the game, offering a level of replayability uncommon in RPGs at the time. Chrono Trigger was put in a class of its own because of its avant-garde method of storytelling.
Chrono Trigger had a relatively short manufacturing run despite receiving high praise from critics and finding success on the market. Due to its later release in the SNES lifetime, it had a smaller window of availability than previous games. Because of this, there were less copies in circulation than for other well-known SNES games, which added to its rarity.
12. Mega Man X3
The Super Nintendo was nearing the end of its useful life in the middle of the 1990s as other consoles began to dominate the gaming market. As a result, fewer copies of Mega Man X3 were made than for other games in the series by Capcom. Market dynamics and the impending release of the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn consoles were major factors in this choice.
Collectors and fans started looking for Mega Man X3 as it got more difficult to locate so they could complete their collections. Mega Man X3 became extremely sought-after due to its restricted release, delayed arrival in North America, and the attraction of nostalgia, which caused its value to soar in the video game market.
11. Rendering Ranger R2
When it comes to rare Super Nintendo games, you'd be hard pressed to find one that comes close to Rendering Ranger R2. Today, finding an original copy of Rendering Ranger R2 is an arduous task. In search of this elusive gem, collectors and fans trawl internet markets and retro gaming shops. When one turns up, it frequently fetches a high price because of its scarcity and the fervour of those who want to own a piece of gaming history.
German video game developer Rainbow Arts created Rendering Ranger R2, which Virgin Interactive Entertainment released in 1995. This action-packed platformer debuted without much fanfare as the SNES was approaching the end of its lifespan and was up against stiff competition from more well-known games. Although having excellent gameplay and gorgeous graphics, the game had trouble catching the interest of the general public, which led to its limited distribution and low production numbers.
10. Harvest Moon
We were amazed just by how good Harvest Moon's warmth and simplicity really were. It stirs up memories of simpler times, when the virtual farm was a haven of peace and contentment, and it makes gamers feel nostalgic.
While Harvest Moon received favourable reviews and a devoted following, its first release didn't result in blockbuster sales. As a result, compared to other well-liked SNES games, the game's production run was relatively short.
9. Hagane: The Final Conflict
No, the rumour is not true. Hagane wasn't a Blockbuster exclusive. It was even advertised in your favourite gaming magazines back in the 90s as a title to be sold at retail. We have no idea where this rumour came from as it's clearly something that is untrue.
The scarcity of Hagane: The Last War can be due to its constrained distribution and production. Less copies of some games were made in the mid-1990s as the Super Nintendo's lifecycle was coming to an end and the gaming industry shifted its focus to newer systems. Unfortunately, Hagane was a victim of this trend, therefore there aren't too many cartridges available to the general public.
8. MACS Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator
Sculptured Software, Inc. created the video game Military Multifunctional Arcade Combat Simulator (MACS) with a particular objective in mind. The U.S. Army used it largely as a target practice training simulator. MACS was included into the Army's basic training programme from 1996 to 2001, giving trainees an engaging and useful method to target shooting.
The functionality of the game was improved with a unique light gun made to resemble the Jäger AP 74 semi-automatic rifle, giving the soldiers a more engaging and accurate training experience.
MACS was an important instrument in the U.S. Army's target practice training and an intriguing example of the nexus between gaming technology and military readiness because of its integration with a purpose-built video game and a proprietary light pistol.
7. Batman Forever (Woolworth’s Box Set)
When it comes to snes expensive games, fancy big box sets have to make an appearance. In this case, we present to you Batman Forever (Woolworth’s Box Set).
We have no idea why anyone would want one of the worst SNES games ever created but hey, if you're a fan of the movie and want the VHS tape that came along with it go for it!
You'd probably have to spend upwards of $600 USD at this point in order to snag a copy of this movie licensed game.
6. Aero Fighters
On the SNES, Aero Fighters offers a traditional arcade experience replete with frantic aerial combat, power-ups, and difficult boss fights. Those looking for an adrenaline rush will enjoy hours of amusement thanks to its slick controls and compelling action.
Retro gaming has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. The demand for uncommon and prized games like Aero Fighters has increased rapidly as more individuals try to recapture the memories of their earlier gaming experiences. This increase in demand raises the game's market worth and adds to its rarity.
5. Star Fox Super Weekend Cartridge
If you were one of the lucky ones to participate in the Star Fox Super Weekend that was held at KB Toys and Suncoast Video in the good old United States of America. These were timed right at the 4 minute mark in order to compete for score as many points as possible.Considering this was a unique cartridge that wasn't technically sold anywhere, rarity of the Star Fox Super Weekend Cartridge massive.
Unlike traditional retail releases, these cartridges were exclusively manufactured for the specific event. As a result, only a small number of units were ever produced, making them exceptionally scarce.
4. Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer
A fascinating hybrid game that mixes workout and enjoyment is Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racing. This 1994 SNES game, created by Life Fitness, sought to encourage fitness while involving players in thrilling virtual racing.
The game was a component of an avant-garde exercise bike system called "Exertainment," which aimed to gamify training and make it more fun.
The Exertainment system required specialised exercise cycles with sensor technology, which increased logistical challenges and costs for both producers and customers. Support for the Exertainment system declined over time as other gaming consoles and fitness fads appeared, making the game even more difficult to find.
3. Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992
In the world of retro gaming, some treasures stand out as truly extraordinary. One such gem is the SNES Campus Challenge cartridge - an elusive piece of gaming history that holds a unique place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Three SNES minigames to test the players' skills and mettle. The competition's first minigame features Super Mario World, where participants must gather 50 coins in a race against the clock. Echoing the spirit of the Nintendo World Championships, the second game presents a version of F-Zero, challenging players to complete two high-octane laps with precision.
The grand finale brings the players to Pilotwings, where the task is to successfully land on two targets. Each player's score is then tallied using a formula that takes into account their performance in all three minigames.
The SNES Campus Challenge cartridge is a true rarity in the gaming world. While there are reportedly three cartridges in existence, only two are known to collectors. One was serendipitously discovered at a New York garage sale by Rob Walters, alongside the 1991 cartridge.
2. Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge
The Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge was created as a specialized version for use in two prestigious gaming events - the Nintendo PowerFest '94 game competition and the Blockbuster World Video Game Championships II.
Initially exclusive to these events, the cartridge found its way into the hands of lucky Nintendo Power subscribers through a special catalogue after the Blockbuster competition concluded. Its limited print run of 2,500 copies adds to its allure, making it a prized collector's item.
1. Nintendo Powerfest 1994
The Nintendo World Championships '94 were a gaming extravaganza unlike any other and were the product of Nintendo's marketing prowess. Town tournaments took place on customised trailers that were placed in front of department stores. In a unique Game Pak challenge, competitors competed to complete three popular Super Nintendo Entertainment System games in a constrained six minutes.
Local competitions spanned three action-packed days, culminating in thrilling finals on late Sunday afternoons. The top eight finalists emerged from an intense battle, setting the stage for the ultimate showdown.
Currently, there are only two surviving cartridges among the original 33. The remaining ones were sent back to Nintendo and repurposed for their components. Reportedly, one of the cartridges was listed for auction on myebid with a fixed buy it now price of $300,000, but unfortunately, no bidders came forward.
To answer the question, will SNES go up in value? We've clearly presented that the Super Nintendo has brought some of the most expensive SNES games to date. The library of Hagane, Aero Fighters or even the more obscure titles like the Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge will continue to climb in prices. Making it unaffordable to those who are looking to casually complete a full SNES collection.
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