The Rarest & Most Valuable Japanese Mega Drive Games

Rare & Valuable Japanese Mega Drive Games
Now you may remember that nearly a year ago we looked at the rarest and most valuable Genesis & Megadrive games. That guide obviously had a primary focus on North American releases and wasn’t quite complete in terms of games released in Japan and the UK. Now, with the help of our newest contributor, johnnydoyle123, we have a more complete and accurate listing of the treasured Japanese releases for the Megadrive. We aren’t yet finished with guides of rare US releases, but I thought it would be good to cover some of the rare imports separately, since those are often where the big money is.

In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare and Valuable 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 selling price while the second prices is the highest price the game has been known to sell for. The list is ordered by the balance of the two prices.

Limited Edition Collectibles

These picks range from the unreleased or unlicensed games that found their way into collectors hands to rarity box sets that saw limited production before “Limited Edition” was commonplace.

Megadrive Tetris Tetris: $3,000 – $16,000
So you think the unlicensed Tetris game for the NES is hard to find? Just try to get your hands on the Japanese Megadrive Tetris. It was developed alongside Sega’s System-16 arcade version, but never reached shelves after legal wranglings gave Nintendo exclusive console rights. However, that little issue doesn’t stop some people from obtaining it. Apparently, there are about 10 copies known to be floating around.
See The Latest Megadrive Tetris to Surface
Nagoya Home Banking Cover Nagoya Home Banking – $1,500 – $2,000
Nagoya Home Banking was originally a software program for the Sega Genesis created for the purpose of banking transactions. Although this could not be considered a game, it still remains in the higher ranks of Mega Drive rarities. The current quantity left in existence is yet unknown but when they do show up the can sell for nearly $2000
Go Net Cover Go! Net! – $1,500 – $2,000Go! Net! was another game released on the Japanese Mega Drive and, like San San (see below), uses the modem to play online. Numbers of this game are unconfirmed and so is the method of distribution. But has been known to sell for the huge cost of $2000
Panorama Cotton Japan Cover Panorama Cotton Tea Cup Set – $ 300 – $400
This pseudo 3D shooter had incredible backgrounds, making the Mega Drive hardware do things that the Nintendo fanboys claimed were impossible on the Sega machine. The game on its own is rare enough (about 5,000 copies were produced), but if you really want to show everyone up, try to find the game with the rare Panorama tea cup that was available initially for free to anyone that sent in a coupon to the publisher. Only about 300 of those tea cups exist and its presence with the game can nearly triple the overall value.
Gunstar Heroes Sample ROM Cover Sample ROMs – $ 50 – $150
Sample ROMs on the Mega Drive are quite sought after especially the two Treasure releases of Dynamite Heady and Gunstar Heroes. They where only store promos and contain a letter inside signed by Treasure. Needless to say, they were not available for sale but now show up from time to time for reasonable prices if you are a collector. And also a J League Pro Striker 2 sample ROM is quite sought after by collectors but not as much as the Treasures and usually goes for the lesser cost.

Treasured Standard Japan Releases

Maximum Carnage Cover Maximum Carnage – $600 – $950
Now don’t get all excited if you own a North American or PAL version of this beatemup. Maximum Carnage is the first of many games in this list that are quite common in most parts of the world, but get very limited releases in Japan. The game might not sell a lot at the $950 level, but as you can see in this photo at Super Potato in Akihabara, that’s what some stores have been asking for it. It has been know to sell in other parts of Japan for a few hundred lower, so if you really want a copy, be sure to shop around.
Virtual Bart Japan Cover Virtual Bart – $400 – $600
Here’s another game that quite common outside of Japan. You may have noticed Virtual Bart was sitting next to Maximum Carnage at Super Potato as well. And again, it’s not like it’s a hot seller at the high price. Even on a high-traffic store like Super Potato, it’s still sitting on the shelf between July and October of last year.
Batman Forever Japan Megadrive Batman Forever – $400 – $600
Many of these rare Acclaim Japanese releases hover around the same price points, but Batman Forever is typically one of the most sought after. Maximum Carnage, Virtual Bart, Batman Forever, and a handful of others were published by Acclaim during the last days of the Genesis and the publisher actually took some extra European game boxes, stuck on a new T number and a barcode on the box, and a Japanese cartridge for the quick and dirty release. Now they are simply collectors pieces.
WWF Raw Japan Megadrive WWF Raw – $400 – 600
Typically, this one sells for about the same price as the few above it on the list, but I wish I could read the price on this Super Potato photo.
Foreman for Real Japan Megadrive Foreman For Real Boxing – $350 – $560
This late Acclaim release was also spotted at Super Potato.
San San Cover San San – $350 – $550
Sansan was a game created for uses with the modem unit on the Japanese genesis. It usually sells for the higher mark of $400 on auction sites but can be obtained a lot easer in Tokyo’s gaming district where it has been know to pop up from time to time for a lot less. Needless to say the game is now un-playable since the modems are no longer active
Justice League Japan Cover Justice League: $250 – $350
Yup. Another late Acclaim release.
The Ooze Cover The Ooze – $200 – $300
The Ooze is actually said to be the rarest retail game on the Japanese Mega Drive. Yes, even though those Acclaim titles are worth more, they are actually easier to find. Strangely, this Sega-published game contains a 18-year-old age restriction on it. Pretty harsh for a mild violence game. The cover also has the strange effect of being reversible so technically has 2 different covers. It rarely appears for sale even in its home market and is on high demand with collectors so can sell for a large price.
Comix Zone Cover Comix Zone – $200 – $300
Comix Zone is arguably the second rarest retail game on the Japanese Mega Drive. And who does not love it wacky sense of style and humor. It was one of the last games released on the Japanese Mega Drive along with many Acclaim titles and can sell for a very high price. It was originally for sale with a CD containing 6 tracks from the game. Only the Japanese version of the game is considered rare and the CD is very hard to come by.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Judge Dredd – $200 – $270
  • Tom and Jerry – $260 – $280
  • True Lies – $200 – $270
  • Snow bros – $200
  • Vampire Killer – $180
  • Nikkei Pro Yakyuu VAN – $170
  • Robocop vs Terminator – $160
  • Chuck Rock 2 – $160
  • Battle Mania 2 – $150
  • Twinkle Tale – $120
  • Gleylancer – $120
  • Slap fight – $120
  • Pengu – $150
  • Alien Soldier – $150
  • Eliminate Down – $90 – $300
  • Ristar – $100

27 Comments

  1. marurun says:

    When I was in Japan many years ago Castlevania: Bloodlines (or rather, the Japanese version of it) was quite a hot item.

  2. racketboy says:

    Thanks for mentioning that — I forgot to add a few onto the Honorable Mentions.

  3. Another.Joe says:

    Can anyone confirm who the artist for that Comix Zone cover?
    Looks like Adam Warren.

  4. shigure says:

    Hrmmm. No Rockman Megaworld?

  5. johnnydoyle123 says:

    nice 🙂

    rockman world is rare but not as rare as the others listed

  6. Thunderprince says:

    I was expecting to see Alien Soldier, Pulseman and Rockman Megaworld. I never knew about that Panorama Cotton tea set, cool.

  7. d says:

    Tetris is on sega Ages Tetris for the ps2, for those interested, 480p modes, etc.
    GET IT!

  8. johnnydoyle123 says:

    pulseman is a class game .. its more sought after than rare ….

  9. Eddie says:

    It seems like it would be smart to buy a bunch of good games for consoles you know are on the way out because the production level isn’t there. It’s cool to see how different the gaming markets are across the world, even if North America gets screwed a lot of the time.

  10. Winds says:

    Super Potato is always way overpriced. Everything I saw there I could get for a little over half the price somewhere else. They have a cool collection and a lot of rarities, but I would never ever buy from them.

  11. Incognito D says:

    what the hell is wrong with Yoshi on that bootleg Mario cartridge in the Super Potato picture!?

    http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/kotaku/2008/10/super_potato_gouge.jpg

  12. johnnydoyle123 says:

    he,s a trex lol ….. yea weird port have you ever seen the pokemon md game ?

  13. fingersmaloy says:

    It’d be nice to see an article on GOOD Japanese Mega Drive Games too.

  14. buzz_clik says:

    I’ve actually managed to snag complete copies of Snow Bros, The Ooze and Panorama Cotton (with tea cup) for relatively cheap prices. Someone here in Australia was selling them on ebay, and I doubt anybody else in the country knew what they were! Result.

  15. bombman says:

    Forgot Slap Fight on there.

  16. bombman says:

    virtual bart is now just under $400 at super potato

  17. bombman says:

    I saw the Super Potato price on WWF Raw. It was a few yen below Maximum Carnage. In my opinion, it’s actually harder to find.

  18. André says:

    Flashback japanese version (Sunsoft with minibox) is very rare? Thanks.

  19. Barry Smith says:

    Hi,

    Can anyone tell me about the UK release of Judge Dredd – is that rare or is it just the Japanese version?

    Cheers,
    Barry.

  20. racketboy says:

    Nope, it’s not that rare — just the Japanese version….

  21. Barry Smith says:

    Ah, thank you muchly.

    Barry.

  22. baku says:

    @Andre

    Flashback isn’t nearly rare enough to be on this list. It’s maybe $40 at the very most. Of course if youre going off whatever ebay sellers are charging you might think differently.

  23. dlsakjfl;a says:

    About the modem….it still works today. It was direct dial like the Saturn netlink, so as long as you have 2 people, and as long as it doesn’t dial a master server, you can still play it. Cyberball still works online, and it is common as dirt.

  24. dlsakjfl;a says:

    Also, add pulseman. It goes for high prices on eBay.

  25. James says:

    Hi I have a few of the games in the list all Japanese, where can I sell them for the best price, as I live in the UK.

    Thanks.

    Japple

  26. Great thanks so much for this list

  27. Antony says:

    I have a very rare jap game for the sega mega drive called woni woni world it’s taken me 20 years to find it just thort you would like to add this game to your list of rare games