Video game collecting is a hugely popular pastime! Many people are interested in collecting video games, whether they be factory-sealed or loose games that can still be played. Retro game collecting is especially popular, as retro games have a special appeal for video game enthusiasts.

Part of the draw for video game collecting is the nostalgia. People enjoy owning things that they enjoyed during their childhoods. The colorful graphics and familiar games are comforting. Another part of the appeal is to own rare and unique games that no one else has. There are some games that weren’t very popular originally, but have become popular today among collectors searching for obscure games.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of video games, the best games and accessories for collectors to acquire, the appeal of retro game collecting, and the difference in value between loose and factory-sealed video games.

Handheld Pac-Man game

Video Game Collecting: A Brief History

The very first video game was actually invented in the 1950s. Created by William Higinbotham, it was called “Tennis for Two.” This simple game would later become significant, but it was originally created to display the power of technology.

Another early video game was introduced in 1962. It was called Spacewar! and it was created by Steve Russell at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was a two-player game where the players competed in a dogfight.

The first game console was known as a Magnavox Odyssey, and it was invented by Ralph Baer. The idea of being able to play a video game in your own home, without having to travel to an arcade, was a game changing idea at the time.

For years, arcade games were the only way to enjoy a video game. Games such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man were popular with players. By the 1980s, at-home video game consoles began to change the landscape of gaming, leaving arcade games as somewhat of an old-fashioned trend (although they haven’t completely disappeared).

The best selling console was the Nintendo Entertainment System, which produced a wide variety of games between 1985 and 1995. Early releases included Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Popeye. In 1987, the Legend of Zelda was released, and it became massively popular.

In 1996, Nintendo 64 was released, and became a popular gaming system of the day. In 2000, Sony released the best-selling console of all time, the PlayStation 2. Sony has sold over 150 million units of this gaming system.

In 2000, Microsoft released the Xbox, another popular gaming console. They then released Xbox LIVE, which allowed people to game with their friends online. The Xbox LIVE game Halo 2 broke many sales records.

In 2006, Nintendo made headlines again with its release of the Nintendo Wii, which allowed gamers to physically take part in the games.

Today, the gaming industry is more robust than ever, with options such as the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the PS4. One can only speculate what the next big thing will be!

Nintendo Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Top 15 Retro Games Collectible Items & Their Value

If you are a collector, you love to find video games and collectible items to add to your growing collection. Rare games and older games may hold a special appeal. Here are just a few unique, rare, or valuable items that would make a great addition to a video game collection.

1990 Nintendo World Championship Gold Edition (NES)

This was a gaming competition from the 1990s that involved three games: Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and Rad Racers. These games were changed to fit a tournament playing style. This gold video game cartridge was given to just 26 people who were living in North America. Today, this rare game is valued at $50,000.

Metal Slug (SNK Neo Geo)

The Neo Geo version of the game Metal Slug is very rare, which contributes to its high value. It can cost around $3,000 for this scarce game.

Nintendo Power N64 Controller

This was a special edition of the N64 controller. It was created to celebrate the 100th issue of Nintendo Power magazine. Only a few subscribers got their hands on this controller, which comes in a gold color with the Nintendo Power logo at the top. This valuable and rare piece is worth a pretty penny.

Magical Chase (TurboGrafx 16)

The game Magical Chase is a shooting game for the TurboGrafx 16. With bright and colorful graphics, this game is now worth around $2,000.

Nintendo Campus Challenge (NES)

Similar to the Nintendo World Championship cartridge, this tournament style cartridge has a different group of games: Super Mario 3, PinBot, and Dr. Mario. There is just one known copy of this game left in the world, and it sold for $20,000.

NES Super Chair Controller

This unique chair doubled as a controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System. You use your body to replace the D-pad, and the chair handles contains all of the other buttons. This chair sold for just $200, but it is extremely rare.

Virtual Bowling (Nintendo Virtual Bay)

The Virtual Boy was a failure in the world of gaming. It was difficult to use and the selection of games wasn’t very good. The game Virtual Bowling is now worth $1,200, which is a lot to pay for a game that wasn’t very exciting to begin with.

King of Fighters 2000 (SNK Neo Geo)

The English version of this game only has 100 copies. The scarcity of it has driven its selling price up to $6,000.

Sega Dreamcast Broadband Adaptor

The Sega Dreamcast didn’t last very long, but while it existed, they added features such as internet access. The broadband adaptor was made to allow connection to broadband networks, which were popular at the time. This piece is only worth about $150, but it’s incredibly rare.

Psychic Assassin Taromaru (Sega Saturn)

This very rare game only has 7,500 copies released. It’s worth around $300 today. This 2d game was popular during the 32-bit era.

Pocky and Rocky 2 (SNES)

This retro game is worth around $1,000. This unique game is popular because it’s genuinely a good game. It’s based on Japanese folk tales.

NES Quickshot Sighting Scope

This was an add-on created for the NES Zapper. It’s not super valuable, at just around $100, but it’s a rare and cool item to own for the collector.

Earthbound (SNES)

Although not popular during its original release, this game has grown a cult following over the years. The demand has gone up, which brings the price of it to around $1,000.

Hagane: The Final Conflict (SNES)

This game has become more popular as the years go by. Loose copies come in around $700, but the original packaging will double the price.

PlayStation Analog Joystick

This incredibly rare find is a control system that Sony tested. It wasn’t very successful, but today it’s incredibly hard to find this piece. It’s only worth about $100-$200, but it’s a cool item to add to your collection.

Video games

Becoming Knowledgeable About Retro Game Collecting

Retro video games are popular among collectors, and even some games that didn’t catch on originally are popular with collectors today. This is because some collectors enjoy vintage video games so much that they want to try a variety of unique games, and they want to have a physical copy of rare or hard to find items in their collection.

If you start on the path of collecting vintage video games, especially games that are out of their packaging and can still be played, you are sure to become knowledgeable about a variety of unique and obscure games. This is part of the fun of collecting!

Xbox controller

Preserving the Condition of Video Games

It’s important that you care for your rare games and accessories properly! Be sure to store your finds neatly and in a safe environment. Avoid high temperatures and high humidity, as this can cause damage to already quite old games. If you wish to display your collection, you can display them in protective cases that were made especially for your collection.

Where to Find Video Games

If you are interested in retro game collecting, you may be able to get a good deal at flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores, pawn shops, or even vintage toy stores, scoring valuable games for dirt cheap. These types of stores are often the best way to get a good bargain as you can buy things at a better price, but you aren’t guaranteed to find the exact game you are looking for.

You can also find items to add to your collection online on sites such as eBay or other auction sites, such as Heritage Auctions. Keep in mind that you may pay a bit more for the ease of being able to search for all the games easily online. You may not get the good deals of a thrift shop, but you can quickly search for the exact game that you are looking to add to your collection.

Retro video games

Factory-Sealed Video Games

A popular segment of collectible video games are factory-sealed vintage video games. These are games that not only come in their original packaging, but they are still sealed and have never been opened.

These are quite hard to come by, as most games were originally purchased for the purpose of playing with them. The scarcity of such games contributes to their monetary and collectible value. The only downside is for collectors who enjoy playing with their vintage games: if you open up a factory-sealed game and play with it, it diminishes the value.


How do I organize my video game collection?

A good way to start organizing your video games is to categorize them. You can sort first by gaming system and then by different characters and themes. Be sure that you are storing your games safely, protecting them from dust and grime.

How do I start video game collecting?

First, figure out what you like. It’s always important that your collection is comprised of items that you genuinely enjoy! Do you have a particular gaming system you prefer, a special video game character that means a lot to you, or specific games that remind you of your childhood?

Once you know what you are looking for, start searching through online auctions and buying vintage games, systems, or accessories that are relevant to your interests. You can find items on eBay and more. Be sure to compare prices to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal for your items!

Are any old video games worth anything?

Old video games can be worth quite a lot, but it depends on the video game and the condition of the game. Factory-sealed vintage video games are one of the hottest collectible items, especially since an unopened video game is such a rare find.

Who has the biggest retro video game collection?

The holder of the record-holding video game collection is Antonio Romero Monteiro. The 45- year-old from Texas owns a collection of a staggering 24,000 video games! He appears in the Guinness Book of World Records.


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