The Dreamcast is a perfect example of a console that had relatively low commercial success, but a huge underground following after its death. These two factors help brew up a strong library of games that have high collectibility among gamers that are just now finding out what was so great about the Dreamcast.
There are two major trends you will notice in the list below. First of all is the dominance of fighting and shooting games, mostly of the 2D nature. This is of little surprise to those that know the Dreamcast well as there games are some of the main draws for the system — especially when they don’t get ported to other systems. The second trend you may notice is that Capcom hold eight of the ten places on the US release list — Treasure and SNK are the only others to break the list. Capcom was one of the few third party publishers to really support the Dreamcast, but they new put out quite as many copies as Sega did with their first-party releases. Anyway, lets get on with for rest of the formalities and this highly-anticipated list.
In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & Valuable series by JJ Hendricks and Racketboy 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. JJ owns VideoGamePriceCharts.com and writes a Video Game Pricing Blog which analyzes video game prices, pricing trends, and charts historic video game prices. He used his pricing statistics to find both the average selling price and the highest selling price for each game over the last three months.
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 game by itself. The second price is the highest price in the past three months which is usually the price for the new/sealed game. 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.
Limited Edition Collectables
|Bangai-O: Prize Edition: $500 – $1,200
This version of the shooter was given out by Treasure to exactly five people as the top prizes in a Japanese high-score competition. While the game itself is identical to the original Bangai-O, the Prize Edition can be identified by a sticker on the case declaring itself as a winner’s trophy. In the past, two of these games have been sold, both very quietly. its unknown the price of the first sale, but the most recent was placed in the inventory of an online store for $500, and at that selling point was quickly snatched. Now, with the most interested of collectors turned on to its existence, any future sales would likely break $1000.
|Border Down LE: $250 – $280
After the Dreamcast was already buried by US retailers and the last big name import releases like Shenmue II, Rez, and Ikaruga had been released, a small developer by the name of G.Rev (who worked with Treasure on Ikaruga) took a chance on the Dreamcast and helped start a trend of 2D shooters being released on the “dead” platform. The production of this Limited Edition of Border Down was halted at 5,000 copies. Initially, it has the same print run as the standard edition, but the original has since been reprinted at least once, at least doubling its availability and the premium placed on the Limited Edition.
Check for Border Down LE on eBay
|Space Channel 5 Part 2 LE: $200 – $250
Space Channel 5 was one of the best examples of quirky fun that made the Dreamcast special. The game actually received a sequel, but it never came to the Dreamcast outside of Japan. As if getting the game wasn’t good enough, Japan also received a special box set that included headphones and a carrying case.
See Pictures of Space Channel 5 Part 2 Box Set
|SegaGaGa Box Set: $150 – $200
Segagaga may well be one of Sega’s best love letters to its fans. Released in 2001, this “Sega Simulator” lets you run the company and battle its nemesis, which is essentially a disguised Sony. The game was initially only availible through Sega’s online store in Japan and came in a few different flavors with this box set being the most elaborate. You can see a picture of all the included goodies in this pack on this recent eBay auction.
See the SegaGaga Box Set on eBay
The Expensive Dreamcast Imports
|Border Down: $100 – $130
Since releasing a new game on a “dead” platform was seen as a bit of a risk, only 5,000 of this standard edition were initially released (along with 5,000 of the limited edition), but since they sold quickly, another 5,000 were released. At the beginning of 2008, there was also to be another very small print run, but numbers have not been disclosed.
Check for Border Down on eBay
|Under Defeat: $76 – $96
After an impressive string of shmups being released on the Dreamcast, well into the 21st century, G.Rev added one more to the mix with Under Defeat. It was initially billed as the “last Dreamcast game ever”, but there was actually a few more shmups on the way from Milestone over the next couple of years. There is also a Limited Edition that includes a soundtrack that is on the higher end of the price range above, but as you can probably tell, its isn’t that much more “limited” or valuable.
Check for Under Defeat on eBay
|Ikaruga: $60 – $95
If you have read the Rare and Valuable Saturn games list, you’re probably well aware of Radiant Silvergun and its strong following and inflated resale values. When Ikaruga was announced and rumored to be Radiant Silvergun’s follow-up, collectors thought it was a sure-thing investment for their game collections. And while it did have some rather high prices for a while, it never reached Radiant Silvergun’s levels for multiple reasons. Because everyone was expecting it to be a collectors item, many people hoarded them and even left them sealed. So unlike Radiant Silverun, its very easy to find a mint copy of Ikaruga on eBay. The other reason for Ikaruga’s recent decline (20% decrease in 10 months) in value was retail release in the US for the Gamecube and then the very affordable XBox Live version that is in infinate supply.
Check for Ikaruga on eBay
Treasured Standard USA Releases
|Project Justice: $60 – $400
Rival Schools 2, known as Project Justice in the US, obvisouly built on the original and remains as one of Capcom’s most popular (with a rather nice following) 3D fighters. Like its predecessor, Project Justice has a lot of quirky characters that cater to the anime crowd and is just a real pleasure to play. It isn’t especially rare, but Capcom released it in May 2001, several months after the Dreamcast was discontinued by Sega. Finding a sealed copy of this Dreamcast exclusive is very tricky and has sold for a few hundred dollars.
Check for Project Justice on eBay
|Marvel vs. Capcom 2: $50 – $100
If you want the biggest mashup of characters in your fighting games, Marvel vs Capcom 2 is the place to be. It may not be the most balanced game for tournaments, but its one of the hottest mainstream 2D fighters out there. Most gamers may flock to the PS2 version, but the Dreamcast release still commands strong collectability.
Check for Marvel vs Capcom 2 on eBay
|Cannon Spike: $31 – $180
Cannon Spike is very similar to the overhead shooting Smash TV OR Commando and has a heavy focus on boss battles. The shooter also features playable characters and cameos from other Capcom franchises like Mega Man,Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Darkstalkers and Street Fighter. Cannon Spike was released during the Dreamcast’s final Christmas and did not receive much promotion or word-of-mouth until it was long gone from stores.
Check for Cannon Spike on eBay
|Power Stone 2: $31 – $175
Capcom may not have had much success with 3D fighting games, but it really got it right with the Powerstone series. Both games are fun-filled arena fighters that allow full 3D movement and interactive environments. Powerstone 2 added 4-player support and is significantly harder to find than its predecessor. It’s also very surprising that the series hasn’t been brought to any other platforms besides the PSP.
Check for Power Stone 2 on eBay
|Street Fighter III Third Strike: $35 – $105
While it did not get the attention of Street Fighter 2 and the Alpha series, Street Fighter 3: Third Strike is one of the best installments in the series, especially when it comes to finely-tuned tournament players. Its combination of smooth animation, great characters, and a new parrying system keep fighting enthusiasts coming back for more. Even though the game was included on the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection for the PS2 and XBox, the Dreamcast version is still in strong demand.
Check for Street Fighter 3: Third Strike on eBay
|Bangai-O: $45 – $90
Treasure is known for quirky action games, and Bangai-O is definitely on the higher part of that spectrum. This multi-directional shooter is all about explosions, chaos, and fun. Like most Treasure games, it’s a cult classic and is the Dreamcast version is the only English version of the game so far. (It had a small release in Japan for the N64).
Check for Bangai-O on eBay
|Fatal Fury Mark of the Wolves: $48 – $69
Mark of the Wolves was ported from the Neo-Geo and served as the last game in the Fatal Fury series. It is essentially SNK’s answer to SF3: Third Strike as it shares many of the same types of advancements, but it has its own unique fighting elements and showed off SNK’s strength in character design. The Dreamcast version ended up on store shelves more than six months after the Dreamcast’s demise and quickly ended up on clearance shelves
Check for Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves on eBay
|Mars Matrix – Hypersolid Shooting: $40 – $77
As one of the most popular vertical shooters released in the US, Mars Matrix still commands a respectable price from collectors. And with the high likelihood of it remaining as a Dreamcast console exclusive, that value should hold up for a while longer as shmup fans build up their Dreamcast collections.
Check for Mars Matrix on eBay
|Marvel Vs Capcom: $23 – $167
Even though Marvel vs Capcom 2 has more character and flashier visuals, there is still a strong following for the original Marvel vs Capcom. Personally, I prefer it to the sequel as it is seems to be a bit more balanced and slightly less chaotic. It is also the only console version of the game that accurately replicates the arcade game (the PS1 version is very crippled)
Check for Marvel vs Capcom on eBay
|Tech Romancer: $25 – $100
Tech Romancer is a 3D fighting game fought on a 2D plane. In this hidden gem, you fight as Mechs (designed by established anime creators, Studio Nue) and release power-ups by destroying the environment around you. The Dreamcast version also includes an unlockable version of the Tech Romancer anime.
Check for Tech Romancer on eBay
Additional Sega Dreamcast Games of Value
These games aren’t especially rare, but are quite collectible; resulting in a high resale value, especially for sealed copies.
- Love Hina LE $100 – $150
- Nakoruru LE – $90 – $100
- Castle of Shikigami 2 LE (Japan) – $83 – $89
- Sonic Adventure Limited Edition (USA) – $43 – $50
- Resident Evil 2: $22 – $85
- Giga Wing 2: $32 – $48
- D2: $21 – $98
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: $25 – $75
- Stupid Invaders: $21 – $60
- Skies of Arcadia: $21 – $70
- Last Blade 2 Heart of the Samurai: $20 – $80
- Eldorado Gate Box Set (includes multiple games): $180 – $200
- Shenmue II (PAL): $59 – $93
- Trigger Heart Excellica: $80 – $85
- Cosmic Smash: $74 – $85
- Zero Gunner 2: $69 – $75
- Twinkle Star Sprites: $65 – $75
- Trizeal: $53 – $70
Credits: Dreamcast Game Prices provided by VideoGamePriceCharts.com. The source for daily updated prices on over 10,000 video games. The prices are the highest daily price and average daily price from April, 30th 2008 to July, 30th 2008. Rarity scores are courtesy of my friends at DigitalPress.
Also, if you’re a Sega Dreamcast owner, be sure to check out the Sega Dreamcast VGA cable in the Racketboy Store