The Rarest and Most Valuable Super Nintendo (SNES) Games
Here is another chance for you to raid you closets or used game stores for hidden treasures. The Super Nintendo is the target of this expedition and there are plenty of highly-collectible games this time around. Surprisingly, many of the the most valuable SNES games aren’t actually rare, but are instead driven by popularity and the hunt for elusive boxed SNES games in good condition.
In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this series will round up the rarest and most valuable games for a given console or handheld so you’ll know what to look for whether you are buying or selling. Below you will see two prices beside each title. The first is the average daily selling price, which is typically the going rate for the cartridge by itself. The second price is the highest daily selling price of recent history. The list is ordered by the balance of the two prices. Note that some of these games are not rare in the sense that there are not many available, but rare relative to demand, which makes the games expensive.
Note: Values Updated on May 25, 2010
The Expensive Super Famicom Imports
It’s rather difficult to find solid rarity and value information on Super Famicom titles unless you have a Japanese connection, but here are three of the most desirable Super Famicom releases from the research we did. If you have more to add, please use the comments section below.
|Kunio-kun no Dodge Ball Zenin Shuugou Tournament
Special Gold Cartridge: $1,000 – $1,200
There were a number of Super Famicom games that were released as limited edition gold carts for tournaments in Japan, one of the most valuable being the Kunio-kun no Dodge Ball Zenin Shuugou Tournament Special. It was given away as a prize to winners of Technos Japan’s Dodgeball Tournaments, which they used to host several times during 1993.
Check for Kunio-kun no Dodge Ball Zenin Shuugou Tournament
Special Gold on eBay
|Fire Emblem Thracia 776 Box Set: $150 – $270
Before the Fire Emblem series came to the US on the GBA and Gamecube, it was a very popular strategy RPG series in Japan. To satisfy the many fans of the series an feature-packed box set was released that included maps, posters, toys, and other cool stuff. Check out this forum thread to see picutres of the complete Box set.
Check for Fire Emblem Thracia 775 Box Set on eBay
|Rendering Ranger R2: $90 – $200
From the makers of the Turrican series, this run-and-gun shooter is one of the most desirable standard-issue Super Famicom games. It is hard enough to find a bare cartridge of this game, but it will more the double the value if you have a complete boxed copy.
Check for Rendering Ranger R2 on eBay
Limited Edition Collectables
|Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartidge: $250 – $728
Donkey Kong Country Competiton cartidges were used by Blockbuster Video in tournaments held within the store, and never receieved a true commercial release. (The cartridge is rumored to have a print run of 2,500 copies) As typical with most video rental stores, a few leftover carts were tossed into the bargain bins for customers to purchase. Nintendo Power also offered some extra carts in their catalog.
See Latest Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge on eBay
|Starfox: Super Weekend Cartridge: $218 – $282
Much like the DKC Competiton cartidges, this Star Fox cart was used by Blockbuster for game tournaments and extra carts were sold off by Blockbuster and Nintendo Power. An article included in the original packaging suggests that the Starfox Weekend cart actually had a smaller production number (around 2,000) than the DKC cart, but for some reason the Star Fox cart has showed up on auction sites a bit more often and has fetched a lower price. It has been listed on eBay a number of times and not sold for asking prices of $255 and $285
See Latest Star Fox Super Weekend Cartridge on eBay
|Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer Combo: $150 – $200
Ok before somebody gets excited about the cover art to the left, that is for the more common version that only has the Mountain Bike Rally Game. The rare version of this game actually has the Speed Racer game on it as well. For use with the LifeFitness Bike Unit. One of the rarest games for the system, as it may have not seen full or any retail distribution. This 2 in 1 most likely never made it to any stores, and most copies that have been found have been from NOA’s warehouse itself!
Treasured Standard USA Releases
|Earthbound: $90 – $334
Another game that is not hard to find, but is very popular. The game is famous for its cult like following of fans. It is a non-traditional RPG taking place in suburbia and weapons are every day household items. Still regarded as one of the most enjoyable RPGs to this day. Prices have increased quite a bit for Earthbound over the last three years (2007 quotes were $66 - $181)
Check for Earthbound on eBay
Check for Earthbound on Amazon
|Ogre Battle The March of the Black Queen: $57 – $149
Enix, the publishers of the game, only made 25,000 copies of the game for sale in the US. The game is very hard to find because of this limited release. The Ogre Battle is a very good strategy RPG game too, so many RPG fans want to buy it just to get a chance to enjoy a great game.
Check for Ogre Battle The March of the Black Queen on eBay
Check for Ogre Battle The March of the Black Queen on Amazon
|Ninja Gaiden Trilogy: $65 – $135
All three NES Ninja Gaiden games combined onto one cartridge with some graphical improvements and passwords added, but gamers didn’t think this was enough to warrant a purchase. The game didn’t sell well on initial release. Collector’s want the game now because it is hard to find and they get three games for the price of one, even if that price is fairly steep.
Check for Ninja Gaiden Trilogy on eBay
Check for Ninja Gaiden Trilogy on Amazon
|Castlevania Dracula X: $58 – $125
Castlevania Dracula X is the final Castlevania game released on the SNES and like many games in a series the later versions don’t sell as well. However, the hardcore following of the series and SNES collectors keep the price of this title rather high.
Check for Castlevania Dracula X on eBay
Check for Castlevania Dracula X on Amazon
|EVO the Search for Eden: $60 – $115
The game is not really hard to find, but is very popular and therefore expensive. It is a unique platforming/role-playing game and is very highly regarded by gamers which helps increase its popularity.
Check for EVO the Search for Eden on eBay
Check for EVO the Search for Eden on Amazon
|Harvest Moon: $57 – $95
Harvest Moon was released the same year the Nintendo 64 was launched so many gamers had already moved onto Nintendo’s new console and didn’t bother buying this game. The Harvest Moon series also has a cult following of gamers who want to farm and try to get a girl to like them. This is the first in the Harvest Moon series so many of these fans want to buy the game that started it all.
Check for Harvest Moon on eBay
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|Chrono Trigger: $47 – $1,217
The game is not rare, but is rated as one of the best games of all time on many gamers’ lists. It was created by an all-star cast of developers and stands up to the test of time in terms of story and game play. Typically, a complete copy of Chrono Trigger goes for about $150 to $200, however a sealed copy exceeded $1,200. It is worth mentioning that loose copies have dropped a few dollars over the last few years — possibly because of the DS re-release.
Check for Chrono Trigger on eBay
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|Mega Man X3: $55 – $194
Mega Man X3 was one of two games to use a specialized chip called Cx4 that allowed for some 3D graphics in games (Mega Man X2 being the other title). Because of this chip it is an oddity and has some of the best graphics on the SNES. It is also hard to find. These two factors combine to make it one of the more expensive Super Nintendo games.
Check for Mega Man X3 on eBay
Check for Mega Man X3 on Amazon
|Aero Fighters – $50 – $120
The game was released as an arcade game in 1992 and then ported to the SNES two years later. When it was brought over they made very limited quantities so it is one of the hardest games to find on the system. The price isn’t as high as other games but the chances of seeing this game are much lower. .
Check for Aero Fighters on eBay
Check for Aero Fighters on Amazon
|Super Mario RPG: $44 – $157
An RPG developed by Squaresoft featuring Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom? How is this not a recipe for collectability? Again, this game is far from rare, but collectors (especially of boxed games) keeps the value of this gem flying high.
Check for Super Mario RPG on eBay
Check for Super Mario RPG on Amazon
Valuable PAL Releases
- Castlevania – Vampires Kiss: $250
- Starwing Super Weekend Competition Cartridge: $200
- Harvest Moon: $200
- The Firemen: $100
- Secret Of Mana: $100
- Secret Of Evermore: $80
The Rarest Games At Affordable Prices
Each of these games have a rarity rating of 7 or 8, but routinely sell for less than $30. If you are an SNES collector and see a boxed or sealed copy of any of these on eBay for a low price, you might want to snatch them up — you may never see them again.
- Fun N Games: $29 – $39
- Super Turrican 2: $21-$52
- Chavez II: $20 – $42
- Shien’s Revenge: $18 – $41
- Zero: The Kamikazee Squirrel: $18 – $38
- Ardy Lightfoot: $19 – $28
- Oscar: $15 – $35
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Fire Dogs: $13 – $36
- Hurricanes: $10 – $20
- Pieces: $11 – $15
- Incantation: $15 – $25
- Bebe’s Kids: $15 – $17
- Casper: $12 – $18
- The Adventures of Kid Kleetz: $4 – $15
- No Escape: $5 – $6
- The Miracle Piano Teaching System: $16 – $25
Additional SNES Games of Value
These games aren’t especially rare, but are quite collectable regardless resulting in a high resale value, especially for complete, boxes copies.
- Super 3D Noah’s Ark: $45 – $100
- Lufia and the Fortress of Doom: $27 – $88
- Lufia and The Rise of Sinistrals: $38 – $50
- Secret of Mana: $37 – $101
- Metal Marines: $36 – $79
- Uncharted Waters: New Horizons: $35 – $137
- Final Fantasy III: $32 – $156
- The Ren and Stimpy Show Buckeroos: $30 – $75
- Dragon View: $27 – $139
- Mega Man 7: $39 – $78
- Boogerman A Pick and Flick Adventure: $35 – $60
- Metal Warriors: $39 – $52
- Final Fight 3: $31 – $40
- Super Double Dragon : $23 – $135 [sealed]
- Breath of Fire II: $25 – $95
- Kirby Super Star: $29 – $46
- Kirby’s Dream Land 3: $28 – $38
- Breath of Fire : $20-$52
Credits: Rarity scores are courtesy of my friends at DigitalPress.