The Rarest and Most Valuable Neo-Geo Games

Rare and Valuable Neo-Geo

SNK’s Neo-Geo platform started as both a solid arcade system and an upscale home console that only the most hardcore (or wealthy) owned. Over its lengthy lifespan it remained as a treasured system for old-school gamers. Unlike most video games, the Neo Geo hardware and software has held its value quite well over more than a decade’s time. Considering the high initial prices on the Neo-Geo software, it isn’t surprising that the games are still some of the most expensive out there.  This guide has been revised since its original publication in 2009.  Entries for King of Fighters 2000 (English), Last Hope, and Zupapa have been added since then and prices have been updated (some of the more popular titles have increased in value by several hundreds of dollars in two years).

In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & 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.  Special thanks to Neo-Geo.com and NeoGeoFreak for their price guides — they were essential to compiling this list and the rest of their site is required reading for anyone interested in SNK’s mega-platform. Also, thanks to TonK for helping out as well.

English AES Releases

Kizuna Encounter cover Kizuna Encounter (Euro) – $5,400 – $13,500  (RUMORED)
Rarity = 10
One of the most rare games on any platform, the Euro version of Kizuna Encounter is the Holy Grail of European game collecting, and also a complete mystery. A tag-battle fighting game from SNK, the arcade version is very common, routinely selling for around $50 USD. Also very common is the Japanese AES version of the game, identical in every way to this release, except for the packaging and inserts. It is unknown exactly how many copies of the Euro version exist, but no more than five have ever been claimed to be witnessed sales. (and we haven’t seen any recent eBay sales of this item) 

It is also not possible to confirm that this game was commercially released, given what appears to be an inconceivably low production number. Suposedly, the only PAL versions of the games were sold in Germany/Austria, but were quickly recalled by SNK before many reached gamers’ hands.  The most recent sales of Kizuna Encounter supposedly ended in the range of $12,000-13,500, which remains as some of the highest prices of any singular video game in history. This price, like all others on this list, is relative to the current demand and desire for the title, and may include many secondary factors such as rumors, small-scale bidding wars and over-estimation.
Check for Kizuna Encounter on eBay

Ultimate 11 Cover Ultimate 11 / Super Sidekicks 4 (Euro): $4,800 – $10,000  (RUMORED)
Rarity = 10
There aren’t a lot of sports games on the Neo-Geo platform, but the Super Sidekicks series is quite popular among soccer/football fans. This is technically the final game of the series (Neo-Geo Cup ’98 was released later, but is actually a rehash of Super Sidekicks 3). The Euro version of Super Sidekicks 4 is especially hard to find and is obviously only for the most die-hard collectors. 

Much like the Kizuna Encounter European release,  the prices associated with this release are often speculated to be rumors or over-estimation.  If one would show up on eBay, that would surely help us establish a more solid value on this item.
Check for Ultimate 11 on eBay

King of Fighters 2000 English AES Cover King of Fighters 2000 (English Edition):  $3540 – $6000
Rarity = 10
With only 100 confirmed copies world-wide, the sales are very infrequent.  However, unlike the Kizuna and Ultimate Euro releases, everytime they have been offered for sale, it’s been in an open/public offering on eBay, Craigslist, Yahoo Auctions (Japan), or NeoGeo.com Forums. 

The cartridges were released in North America by NeoGeoFreak, a company that was a licensed (and eventually exclusive) distributer for North American Neo-Geo consumer merchandise.  Because of the limited release, KOF 2000 is the rarest, licensed North American Neo-Geo AES release.
Check for King of Fighters 2000 on eBay

Metal Slug Cover Metal Slug: $2,500 – $3,000
Rarity = 9
Known universally for its hand drawn, over-the-top comic carnage, the original Metal Slug is an amazingly difficult find on the Neo Geo AES and is the most treasured US release on the system. Even though it became increasingly popular and is much more affordable on other platforms and formats, Metal Slug wasn’t produced very high quantities for the AES (I have no clue why). And even though you can take a few other approaches to play the game on SNK hardware, most Neo Geo fans can’t go without the game in their AES collection and are willing to pay a hefty fee for it.
Check for Metal Slug on eBay
Metal Slug 2 Cover Metal Slug 2: $1,500 – $3,000
Rarity = 8
The second installment of the popular run-n-gun series is significantly easier to find in AES than the original, but its still rather rare. I’m still blown away by how low the print run was on Metal Slug 2 even after the success of the original.
Check for Metal Slug 2 on eBay
Ninja Masters Cover Ninja Master’s: $1,500 – $2,200
Rarity = 8
This versus fighting game was a joint venture between ADK (of World Heroes fame) and SNK and is thematically much like the Samurai Shodown series. However, Ninja Master’s, not surprisingly, has more of a ninja focus to it. It is said to be one of ADK’s best games and is one of the best hidden gems in the Neo-Geo’s expansive fighting library.
Check for Ninja Master’s on eBay
Neo Turf Masters Cover Neo Turf Masters: – $1,500 – $2,000
Rarity = 9
Yes, another unsuspecting sports title makes this list, but this time it’s a golf game. If you into video golf, it’s a great game (many Neo fans rank it on their list of top 10 Neo-Geo games), but unless you’re an AES purist, you’ll probably find a cheaper way to play it.
Check for Neo Turfmasters on eBay
Last Hope AES Cover Last Hope: $1,100 – $1,300
Rarity = 9
In 2006, German indie developer, NG:DEV.TEAM released this beautiful shmup for the Neo-Geo AES, Neo-Geo CD, and Sega Dreamcast.   In addition to being a solid game, it was released as a bit of a tribute, not only to the classic genre, but all the cult-classic platforms it was released for. 

The Last Hope AES cartridge was sold directly by the developers and was limited to only 60 copies (which is even less than the King of Fighters 2000 English), although this release is technically a unlicensed, indie release.  The cartridge was originally sold for around $730, so initial buyers of the cartridge have seen a decent return on their “investment” in a short amount of time.
Check for Last Hope on eBay

Double Dragon Cover Double Dragon (Euro): $800 – $1,500
Rarity = 8
This isn’t the type of Double Dragon game most of us are used to. Instead of a sidescrolling brawler, it’s a versus fighting game. Even though it’s a quite popular game, it never received a home version in the States. So if you want an English home version, the rather small print run of the European version is your only choice.
Check for Double Dragon on eBay
Stakes Winner Cover Stakes Winner: $900 – $1,100
Rarity = 8
If you enjoy 2D horse racing , Stake Winner is a great game. However being such a niche genre it isn’t terribly surprising that the print run was so low for the English home version.
Check for Stakes Winner on eBay
Zupapa Cover Zupapa: $700 – $800
Rarity = 8
This whimsical puzzle platform in the vein of Snow Bros (and very similar to another game from SNK, Nightmare In The Dark)  is a bit of a hidden gem of the Neo Geo library — both in terms of the game itself and actually finding it in AES format.   It seems like it hardly ever shows up on eBay or in the wild.  Keep an eye out for this one!
Check for Zupapa on eBay
Last Blade 2 Cover Last Blade 2: $600 – $755
Rarity = 7
Last Blade 2 is one of the best fighting games on the Neo-Geo, but since it came out as the Neo-Geo was reaching its tenth year, it is understandable that the print runs for the games were starting to decline even for popular games. And while it isn’t especially rare compared to some games that are more affordable, the demand for this high-quality fighter keeps the value high.
Check for Last Blade 2 on eBay
Metal Slug X Cover Metal Slug X – $550 – $700
Rarity = 7
Metal Slug X is actually a tweaked version of Metal Slug 2 that fixes some slowdown issues in addition to adding some new weapons and items and re-arranging some enemy placements. Luckly, this release is a bit easier to find than Metal Slug 2, so if you’re trying to save a few hundred dollars, this is a better bet for your collection.
Check for Metal Slug X on eBay

Additional English AES Releases of Value

  • Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: $550 – $700
  • World Heroes Perfect: $525 – $650
  • Mark of the Wolves: $500 – $650
  • Last Blade: $380 – $500
  • Metal Slug 5: $365 – $500
  • Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer: $360 – $475
  • Art of Fighting 3: $360 – $450
  • Rage of the Dragons: $325 – $385
  • Samurai Shodown 5 Special: $335 – $365
  • Samurai Shodown 4: $300 – $350
  • King of Fighters 2003: $285 – $350
  • Metal Slug 3: $250 – $350

Japanese AES Releases

Metal Slug Japanese Cover Cover Quiz Chibi Maruko-Chan Deluxe: $3,000 – $3,800
Rarity = 9
This is said to be the rarest of the Japanese AES games (although Neo Turf Masters is right up there). It’s one of those quirky quiz games that the Japanese seem to love so much and is, of course, based on a popular manga/anime license.
Check for Quiz Chibi Maruko-Chan on eBay
Metal Slug Japanese Cover Metal Slug: $1,800 – $2,600
Rarity = 8
Even though its not the rarest Japanese release, the value and popularity of the English release carries over to the Japanese version. Some English-speaking AES owners are willing to sacrafice a little to save a thousand dollars.
Check for Metal Slug on eBay
Big Tournament Golf Cover Big Tournament Golf (Neo Turf Master): $760 – $950
Rarity = 9
Much like Metal Slug, the Japanese version is just about as rare but is more affordable. It’s still a lot to pay for a golf game, in my opinion, but true Neo-Geo fans, just don’t care.
Check for Big Tournament Golf (Neo Turf Master) on eBay

Additional Japanese AES Releases of Value

  • Blazing Star: $750 – $900
  • Super Sidekicks 4: $575: 750
  • Metal Slug 2: $600 – $760
  • Ninja Master’s: $500 – $1,000
  • Twinkle Star Sprites: $600 – $700
  • Fu’un S.T.B (Kizuna Encounter): $550 – $650
  • Pulstar: $500 – $600
  • Metal Slug 3: $500 – $600
  • Metal Slug X: $500 – $600
  • Magical Drop 3: $500 – $575
  • Shock Troopers 2nd Squad: $400 – $550
  • Over Top: $400 – $520

MVS Releases

Nightmare in the Dark Title Nightmare in the Dark: $115 – $500
Rarity = 7
This excellent Snow Bros. clone (with a darker horror theme) is a bit of a hidden gem and was only released as an MVS cartridge. It was published by SNK in 2000 just a bit before they originally closed their doors. Obviously, since the company was in financial trouble and the platform was dying out, the print run was small for this one. Check for Nightmare in the Dark on eBay
Bang Bead Title Bang Bead: $200 – $350
Rarity = 8
This sequel to Flip Shot was only released on the MVS and only in Europe. Much like Nightmare in the Dark it was also released in 2000 near the end of the original SNK era. Check for Bang Bead on eBay
V-Liner Title V-Liner: $200 – $325
Rarity = 8
Released in 2001 only for the MVS, this obscure slot machine game was developed by Brezzasoft, the company put together by disbanded SNK employees after SNK’s bankruptcy. Check for V-Liner on eBay

Unreleased Games

Ghostlop: $Unknown
Rarity = 10
This game was to be released by Data East in 1996, it is a cross between Ikaruga in terms of polarity (red and blue), and the fast style of Puzzle Bobble. The object of the game is to clear your screen of ghosts by either throwing a red or blue ball at them. There are red and blue ghosts, and the ball color can be changed in mid air to clear them. The more you clear the more appear on your opponents side. This game was considered for re-release in 2001, but was canned possibly due to SNK’s closing. This is a rare game to own on any format (MVS/AES) and if you look in the right spot, you might just be able to secure your own copy.

Additional MVS Releases of Value

  • Pop ‘N Bounce: $200 – $300
  • Samurai Shodown V Special: $150 – $300
  • Digger Man (Unofficial): $125 – $300
  • Irritating Maze: $100 – $300
  • Super Bubble Pop: $180 – $250

Neo-Geo CD Releases

Iron Clad Cover Chotetsu Brikin’ger / Iron Clad: $195 – $300
Rarity = 8
Iron Clad is one of the few Neo-Geo CD exclusives — it did not receive a MVS or an AES release. It’s also quite a good shooter. Being a high quality game that actually an exclusive for the NGCD makes it the most treasured release for the platform.
Check for Chotetsu Brikin’ger / Iron Clad on eBay
Metal Slug CD Cover Metal Slug: $100 – $150
Rarity = 5
It isn’t a terrible surprise to see Metal Slug here since it’s by far the most affordable way of playing this classic on SNK hardware. However, it is actually one of the most common games on this list.
Check for Metal Slug on eBay
Breakers CD Cover Breakers: $90 – $130
Rarity = 8
An early Street Fighter 2 clone, Breakers didn’t bring a lot of gameplay originality to the table but some fans appreciated it for its design and tight controls. The value of the game is purely based on the low print run. The MVS and AES versions not only avoid load times, but they are also dirt cheap. So the only real reason to pick of this NGCD version of for pure collectibility.
Check for Breakers on eBay

Additional NGCD Releases of Value

  • Oshidashi Zintrick: $75 – $125
  • Ninja Master’s: $75 – $110
  • OverTop: $75 – $110
  • Metal Slug 2: $75 – $100
  • Neo DriftOut: $75 – $100

 


58 Comments

sir jorge says:

i used to work for a video game liquidator and they dumped a ton of these games in the trash, because no one wanted them. Now we see that people were willing to pay a lot more now that they aren’t easily accessible.

racketboy says:

Wow — dumping Neo-Geo games? that blows my mind!
What year was this?

denpanosekai says:

You’re kidding me with that Kizuna Encounter auction price. I demand pictorial evidence!!!

racketboy says:

Well it’s not like it goes up for sale very often. But talk to any serious Neo-Geo collector and they can confirm it.

randombullseye says:

Makes me sad that Metal Slug on the Neo Geo would be so expensive. Yet a copy with most of them for the PS2 costs twenty dollars.

How many copies are actually floating around out there? Also is it wrong to go dumpster diving behind a game store?

Droid party says:

This article completely crushed my dreams of buying an AES. The main reason I wanted one was Metal Slug. I guess I’ll be sticking to my ps1 and Xbox versions.

@randombullseye, Dive away my friend. Just watch out for those rats, home< people and meth addicts.

d says:

Forget AES! Why would anyone want to bother? useless!
Get MVS at only a fraction of the price!

lisalover1 says:

I’ve seen Neo Turf Masters on the shelf at my game store in AES form for about 3 years now, selling for $80.

AchillesTheGreat says:

Nice list. I have about 50 AES carts and about 25 MVS carts/kits in my collection, own quite a few of those that you listed in US/JPN versions. You missed some others like Waku Waku 7 which only was released in JPN AES cart form and things like Super Dodgeball for MVS but not a big deal.

Neo Turf Masters on a shelf for 3 years at $80? What store is that and where? It could be a conversion cart but just sitting there like that for that long..

RyaNtheSlayA says:

Well thanks RB. You further just killed my ability to get one of these. Im willing to pay a premium for a system, but when the games cost more than the system even when the system was new! Thats just wack. You might as well just buy yourself some Arcade cabs. And for all you NeoTurf AES fans, if you need another way to play it the NGPC conversion is AMAZING.

Binny says:

Looks, like everyone else, all my hopes and dreams have been crushed. Amazing prices though, I would have thought “Metal Slug” would have been cheaper, even if it is the best.

caleb says:

“Yet a copy with most of them for the PS2”

Metal Slug anthology is actually 14.99 at Best Buy

rid says:

some of these prices are just insane. and i remember seeing most of these games for sale in an import video game store (gamestar) years back for like $70 or $80 each.

Radarscope1 says:

Wowser. One of the reasons I like collecting retro games is because, all things considered, it’s a relatively cheap hobby. Not this stuff. Ya know, I’ve never even touched a Neo-Geo before. This is probably why!

crux says:

For those saying that their dreams were crushed, check out the link under Metal Slugs. Consolized MVS machines can play MVS cartridges, which play exactly the same as the AES versions for a fraction of the price. It doesn’t have the same console feeling as a physical AES cartridge does, but those that need that special “feeling” will have to pay thousands of dollars for the privilege. For everyone else, just use MVS.

TonK says:

If any of you need any Neo Geo assistance, I’ll be glad to help – just contact me through my website.

rommy667 says:

Crazy prices man wow i guess ill just stick with good ole fbaxx pro on the xbox1 btw running these games at 720p is AWSOME 🙂

TonK says:

I’ve added an additional game to this guide – can’t wait to see it added 🙂

ewon says:

Breakers on AES is not “dirt cheap”.

Feefle says:

I got lucky and ended up getting Ghostlop instead of Samurai Shodown II. Ordered Samurai Shodown II from the neostore, and it was a converted cart

R.Spencer says:

i have an opportunity to buy 5 AES carts for £65.00

is it worth it?

how much would they sell for?

xdeiri says:

i will pay any price you want for a new new geo+ some new games.

fabian garcia says:

hola soy coleccionsta y apenas llevo 10 titulos de aes versiones japonesa jejejeje saludos

gibson cantrell says:

man i cant believe that i wish i had a rare game for ridiculously low prices tracker so i could find these

Super Smash Bros. Fan says:

Wow, that is expensive. Too expensive.

Looks like I’m never getting an Neo Geo.

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