The Rarest and Most Valuable Sega Saturn Games

Rare and Valuable Sega Saturn Games

The Sega Saturn is definitely one of the leading consoles among hardcore classic gamers. It’s strong selection of unique and engaging 2D games keeps it relevant a decade after its premature demise. While many of the Saturn’s best games were not adequately appreciated at the time of their release, word of mouth discussions online have boosted many of these games to underground stardom. Even though some of the highest-flying Saturn games like Panzer Dragoon Saga, Guardian Heroes, and Burning Rangers were rather collectible even two years ago, they have essentially doubled since 2006. (See the “affordability” section in my 2006 review of Guardian Heroes to compare as an example).  (Digg This)

Three factors can be attributed to much of the rise in Saturn game values

  • Many of the Saturn’s best games have still not been ported to other consoles
  • a good number of classic gamers are just now discovering what the Saturn has to offer
  • Emulation of the console can still be challenging

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 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.

The Expensive Saturn Imports

Rakugaki Showtime Cover Art Psychic Assassin Taromaru: $270 – $400
Rarity = 8
Stealing this place from the infamous Radiant Silvergun, the Psychic Killer Taromaru is the most difficult to aquire Saturn title, regardless of region. The game is a well drawn 2D acion title, with a decidedly “Shinobi meets Castlevania” style. The publisher, Time Warner Interactive, shut down all production facilities after only 7,500 copies were made. There are also manual-art variations as well, all of which are included in the total production number, and each generally fetch the same price.
Check for Psychic Assassin Taromaro on eBay
Suikoden II Cover Art Radiant Silvergun $190 – $350
Rarity = 1
Known as one of the Holy Grails of console game collecting and one of the greatest 2D shooters of all time, it does not need an introduction for experienced retro gamers. However, to the surprise of those not schooled in Japanese game retail, Radiant Silvergun actually isn’t very rare at all. In fact, the game is actually quite common in Japan and up until recently could be found in Japanese gaming store quite affordably. However, store owners are now taking advantage of it’s increasing popularity
Check for Radiant Silvergun on eBay
Suikoden II Cover Art Hyper Duel – $180 – $220
Rarity = 6
Technosoft is well-known for their wonderful Thunderforce shooter series, but Hyper Duel is a little-know shmup from Technosoft that was released in between Thunderforce 4 and 5 and shares many characteristics with the series. The game was never released out of Japan on any platform and is one of the harder-to-find games in the Saturn library. Because of all these factors, shooter fans are willing to pay a good chunk of change to score Hyper Duel.
Check for Hyper Duel on eBay

Limited Edition Collectables

Daytona US Netlink Cover Art Daytona USA: CCE Netlink Edition: $250 – $300
Rarity =
7
Although commonly thought to be Panzer Dragoon Saga, this NetLink version of Daytona USA: CCE is in fact the rarest North American Sega Saturn game. It was available only through Sega’s online store, and making it even more rare is its almost total indistinguishability from the regular version of Daytona USA: CCE. The only notable differences are found only when opening the case up, which features a black and white NetLink booklet underneath the standard booklet, and the disc has a small NetLink logo.
Check for Daytona USA CCE Netlink Edition on eBay

Treasured Standard USA Releases

Panzer Dragoon Saga Cover Art Panzer Dragoon Saga: $206 – $240
Rarity = 6
It’s a shame that Panzer Dragoon Saga came out at the end of the Saturn’s short life. Too many people missed out on playing this gem of an RPG. The initial production run was 6,000 (not enough to fill pre-orders) and by the end of the game’s run, only 30,000 copies were produced Sega. To this day, game is loved by critics and has a very devoted following. Many experienced gamers even consider it one of the very best RPGs of all time.
Check for Panzer Dragoon Saga on eBay
Shining Force III Cover Art Shining Force III: $89 – $115
Rarity = 3
Sega’s strategy RPG trilogy came to an end on the Saturn and this game released in the final days of the Saturn’s support in the US. Shining Force III is the first scenario in a trilogy but only the first scenario was released in the US and Europe because the Saturn was no longer supported in the West.
Check for Shining Force III on eBay
Guardian Heroes: $81 – $105
Rarity = 4
Developed by fan-favorite, Treasure, Guardian Heroes is another late-blooming Saturn title that many people still haven’t discovered. Guardian Heroes is a beatemup with strong RPG elements. In this masterpiece, Treasure combined great 2D animation, a unique control scheme, and killer gameplay with the ability to level up and focus the skills that you choose.The game is relatively rare, but sells for so much because of its unique gameplay.
Check for Guardian Heroes on eBay
Burning Rangers Cover Art Burning Rangers: $70 – $90
Rarity = 5
This futuristic firefighting game with randomly created levels was based on the NiGHTS into Dreams engine and was developed by Sonic Team. Even though it was well-recieved by those who played it, it was released in the last year of the Saturn’s life and had minimal commercial success.
Check for Burning Rangers on eBay
Dragon Force Cover Art Dragon Force: $65 – $97
Rarity = 4
A unique real-time strategy/tactics/war simulation game, Dragon Force received critical acclaim and was rated the best Saturn game in 1996 by EGM. The low production numbers and praise from gamers keep the price high. The game had a Japan-only re-release on the PS2, but that hasn’t stopped Saturn collectors from raising the values for the original.
Check for Dragon Force on eBay
Albert Odyssey Cover Art Albert Odyssey: $40 – $100
Rarity = 4
Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean is an RPG that was original developed for the Super Famicom in Japan but was ported to the Saturn by Working Designs as the SNES was losing ground in retail. The fact that good RPGs are relatively hard to find on the Saturn and being published in smaller quantities by Working Designs guarantees nice returns on investment.
Check for Albert Odyssey on eBay
Albert Odyssey Cover Art Magic Knight Rayearth: $40 – $100
Rarity = 4
This manga-based action RPG was also published by Working Designs and was supposedly limited to about 15,000 units upon its release. It was released at the very end of 1998, making it the very last game released for the Sega Saturn in the United States.
Check for Magic Knight Rayearth on eBay
The House of the Dead Cover Art The House of the Dead: $60 – $80
Rarity = 6
A port of the cult-classic light gun arcade game, House of the Dead was one of the last games released on the Saturn and didn’t sell many copies. The series has received many sequels in arcades and consoles, but the original is the hardest to find.
Check for House of the Dead on eBay
Saturn Bomberman Cover Art Saturn Bomberman: $52 – $79
Rarity = 5
Bomberman has been released on just about every console known to man, but Saturn Bomberman may still be the definative version thanks for its support of up to 10 characters on screen at once. Not even the new XBox Live Arcade version can top that. Saturn Bomberman is also one of five games for the Saturn to use the NetLink feature which allowed online play.
Check for Saturn Bomberman on eBay
Winning Post Cover Art Winning Post: $50 – $70
Rarity = 6
Winning Post is a horse racing simulation and sports game. It was published by KOEI and is one of the rarest Saturn games. The price isn’t much higher as most Americans aren’t into horse racing simulators.
Check for Winning Post on eBay

The Rarest Saturn Games At Affordable Prices

Each of these games have a rarity rating greater than 6, but routinely sell for less than $30. If you are a Saturn 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.

  • 3D Baseball – $20 -$29
  • Worldwide Soccer 98: $2 – $20
  • Virtual-On Netlink Edition: $20 – $30
  • Vallora Valley Golf: $5 – $12
  • Winter Heat: $7 – $20
  • Mega Man X4: $15 – $61
  • Shinobi Legions: $22 – $29

Additional Sega Saturn Games of Value

These games aren’t especially rare, but are quite collectable; resulting in a high resale value, especially for complete, boxes copies.

  • Shining The Holy Ark: $35 – $125
  • Sonic Jam: $35 – $59
  • Shining The Wisdom: $35 – $50
  • Christmas Nights into Dreams: $35 – $41
  • Mega Man 8: $33 – $60
  • Herc’s Adventures: $33 – $57
  • Enemy Zero: $33 – $50
  • Mortal Kombat II: $30 – $40
  • Golden Axe The Duel: $30 – $38
  • Mr. Bones: $25 – $30
  • NIGHTS into Dreams: $25 – $51
  • Clockwork Knight 2: $25 – $35
  • Three Dirty Dwarves: $25 – $30

Credits: Sega Saturn Video 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 February, 1st 2008 to April, 8th 2008. Racketboy also averaged in eBay sales prices from April 20th to May 20th, 2008. Rarity scores are courtesy of my friends at DigitalPress.


86 Comments

Zan says:

What about Mega Man X3. That game is so hard to find.

sir jorge says:

i would assume that the 2-d fighters would be a bit more rare, like Marvel vs. Capcom or Vampire Savior (my personal favorite)

Saturn Bomber sounds like something they would release on the Wii now..or at least they should.

Fabulous list Racket! The only games I own are HOTD ($50) and Burning Rangers ($50) but they were well worth the money! I’ll use this list to collect the rest!

rj says:

I think Command and Conquer belongs on the not rare but pretty valuable. They are disappearing rapidly too.

Droidparty says:

Have you done the Master System yet. If not that would be a great next stop.

racketboy says:

Nope — not yet.
I think he was going to do the Genesis and Dreamcast next…

Matt says:

What about Dragonball Z: Shinbutoden. It used to regularly go for $120+ on ebay. I still have my copy.

brass says:

The reason I wanted to get a Saturn was for Virtua Fighter 2 and shooting games. I’ve always been a big fan of the Sega shooter games like House of the Dead. I’m glad they came out with HOTD 2 and 3 for the Wii. Here’s hoping they port out Confidential Mission and Virtua Cop 3.

discoalucard says:

As a side note, grabbing Japanese versions are a lot of these games are much more affordable than grabbing US games. Both NiGHTs games can usually be had for less than $10. Burning Rangers and Panzer Dragoon Saga are a fraction of the cost, although the latter won’t work properly with standard converter carts. Guardian Heroes is also quite a bit cheaper, and the first episode of Shining Force can probably be had for a few bucks. Naturally, some of these can be hard to play if you don’t know Japanese, but even beginner language proficiency will get you through most of them, and it’s much easier on the pocket books.

Other rarities include Astra Superstars and Final Fight Revenge, which both run around $100. Astra Superstars is good…Final Fight Revenge, not so much.

peace4myheart says:

I think you’ve forgotten to include the saturn shmups called blast wind. It was pretty cheap until recently where it cost in the range of 120 dollars.

racketboy says:

Yeah, I realize there are more imports that are above $100, but there are actually a lot of them and I wasn’t going to list them all here. I just wanted to list a few of the biggest imports and then the top US releases.

Curlypaul says:

Well a few surprises here, like I’ve never heard of Phsyic Assasin so that was a surprise at the top of the list and the lack of some other titles like Deep Fear is intriguing. I’ve also never heard of winning post and I never expected any sports games to be in any of these lists.

Obviously the prices that I look at are bit different, eg Enemy Zero will cost you twice that here in the UK, House of the Dead is less than that and Clockwork Knight 2 is much less than that.

Interesting stuff though

kevinski says:

Psychic Assassin doesn’t even look all that great, so I’ve never understood its appeal. I remember reading a review for Winning Post in an issue of GamePro. It really didn’t get a very good score, although I believe that it was moreso due to the lack of excitement in the game.

peace4myheart says:

Kevinski, I think Psychic Assassin is expensive due to its limited quantity. BTW, I heard it’s not a really bad game.

d.d.d. says:

“….the game is actually quite common in Japan and up until recently could be found in Japanese gaming store quite affordably”
That’s the only thing I can’t agree with in the article. Over the past 8 years or so in Japan, I’ve never seen it cheaper than $100, unless it wasn’t complete and not-mint.

racketboy says:

When you say non-complete, do you mean without the spin card? I’ve heard some people say they have seen it in lesser condition under $100

crux says:

If we’re REALLY talking about Saturn Holy Grails here, a few games are starkly missing; Those of which would easily garner five (or six or seven) star ratings for rarity. The Holy Trinity is Derisoba Deluxe (estimated couple hundred copies produced and sells for around $1000 – by contrast the PC-Engine version purportedly goes for around $3000), Heim Waltz (estimated 50 copies and sells for $400-800 – usually the higher range), and Eyeful Home (estimated 50 copies and around $800-1000). Two of

They’re all promos as far as I know, but that pretty much fits the bill as far as holy grails are concerned. There are more where those come from too.

Radiant Silvergun is only “common” as far as its price is concerned. It’s garnered a high price since before online auctions ruined gem hunting in Japan, mostly due to the extremely devoted shoot-em-up fans throughout the world seeking what was and still is often considered one the greatest (if not the greatest) shoot-em-ups ever made (and never released outside of Japan).

As a tangent, thank god I’m not a collector just for the sake of it. It’s hard enough collecting great games without ports (or great games with inferior ports), never mind “holy grails.”

racketboy says:

Thanks for the heads-up — I’ll have to look into those!

tigerscream says:

Good list but may be incomplete…

I don’t understand where’s final fight revenge (was poor 3d fighting game Vs) which price is around 150 – 300 USD… Very very rare.

Almost Ther’es tittles like Tenchi from Capcom (100 USD) D&D collection 100-200 USD, Street fighter Zero 3 (100-200 USD), Metal Slug (50 – 100 USD)… almost you cand find rare 2d shooters like Salamnder, Battle Garega, Batsugun, Strikers 1945 (2 edition), Thunderforce V & gold pack, Cho Anki, … Alot of them more wich prices are 50-100 USD… almost there are non a lot mentioned tittles like Segata sanshiro or Sailormoon… around 50-100 USD too…

There are almost a lot of games more that i can’t remember in this moment but 25 – 50 USD are their prices…

X-men Vs street fighter, Marvel Vs street fighter, Groove on fight, Fighter’s History, World heroes Perfect, … which are good fighting games and rarity is normal level but not as easy to find as some others like King of Fighters, Fatal Fury editions, marvel or X-men,… which are so easy to find but good valued around 30 USD.

Thanks for this page.

mangelo says:

wow, im so glad i found this site. I’ve been collecting sega saturn stuff lately, so now I’ll complete my collection using this list.

Marc says:

No mention of Jp version of Wipeout XL…….stupidly rare!

Cidsa says:

It’s funny how the Japanese versions of many of these games (Rayearth, Burning Rangers, etc) cost next to nothing on Y!J.

Actually, one Saturn game that goes for a lot in Japan that isn’t here is Princess Crown (predecessor of Odin Sphere). The company did just re-release it on the PSP for everyone who missed it the first time around though.

Achilles says:

Surprised there was no mention of Crows: The Battle Action which is a rarity and goes for quite a bit.

CorruptionDee says:

Awesome page and site Racketboy! I thought the priceguide was awesome, but I can’t seem to find anything accurate and extensive online. For example, I seldom see Crows: Battle Action listed, yet people ask about $400 for it. Likewise, Final Fight Revenge is worth around $250. As for Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru, I don’t see that game dropping in price any time soon. If anything, the value only increases with time. Right now it averages $350-$400 on eBay. Man I love the Saturn.

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