Even though the original Playstation is one of the most common consoles of all time, there are many valuable PS1 treasures to be found. Its diverse library is filled with RPGs and unique gems that collectors long for. However, when we last surveyed the collectable PS1 market in early 2008, original Playstation titles seemed to have peaked in value. Three and a half years later, we have seen the most popular games come back closer to reality (many games have dropped around 30% of their value — 2008 values have been noted for each of the top entries). Having some of the games become availible as inexpensive downloads on PSN might have something to do with it, but this seems to be a more widespread trend that covers non-PSN games as well. However, there were three cult classics that did increase drastically over the same span of time and have broken into our list.
These drastic changes in value prompted us to do a complete update so that our popular Rare & Valuable series can remain accurate and useful. 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 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.
(Digg This Story)
Limited Edition Collectibles
|Elemental Gearbolt: Assassin’s Case: $1,400 – $1750
This treasure chest of sorts was given away as a tournament prize at the 1998 E3 convention in addition to a few people who worked on Elemental Gearbolt at Working Designs. When all was said and done, only 40 of these sets were produced and given out. The set includes a briefcase, gold GunCon, and gold memory card. The latest auction (this was updated in August 2009) got bids up to $1700, which was surprising since it was a new seller (that eventually backed out). Had it been a established seller, it may have gone for more.
Check for Elemental Gearbolt Assassin’s Case on eBay
Treasured Standard USA Releases
|Suikoden II: $80 – $300
(2008 Value: $140 – $350)
Even though it eventually became one of the most recommended RPGs on the Playstation, a limited printing and tepid initial response means there aren’t many copies of Suikoden II available. For the longest time, this classic was the most desired North American release. However, between the dropping of the PS1 market in general and the possibility of digital re-release on the Playstation Network has cooled its value quite a bit (about a 30% – 40% drop)
Check for Suikoden II on eBay
Check for Suikoden II on Amazon.com
|Valkyrie Profile: $70 – $220
2008 Value: $92 – $210
Valkyrie Profile is an action/turn based RPG hybrid and has become a cult classic to the many RPG fans in the Playstation crowd. The original game is hard to find now, but it has since be released on the PSP, which probably sparked continued interest in the original.
Check for Valkyrie Profile on eBay
Check for Valkyrie Profile on Amazon.com
|Final Fantasy VII (Black Label): $47 – $350
2008 Value: $78 – $715
For the longest time, you could find this popular game for a reasonable price (after all, it was the second highest selling game on the PS1 at 9.8 million units), but it still has heavy demand behind it from collectors. As with most Playstation games, the original black-label released command far more from collectors. Back in 2008, a sealed copy sold for over $700, but we haven’t seen those types of numbers as of late.
Check for Final Fantasy VII on eBay
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|Tomba: $65 – $225
2008 Value: $56 – $81
If there was one PS1 game to invest in over the last three years, it seems to be Tomba. This gem of a platformer wasn’t even in the top 15 list and has increased at least 20% over a couple years. Also, a sealed copy was recently sold for $225. This side-scrolling platforming adventure is actually a project of Tokuro Fujiwara of Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Mega Man fame. It has be widely undiscovered, but has recieved more exposure since we featured Tomba in our PS1 Hidden Gems Guide.
Check for Tomba on eBay
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|The Misadventures of Tron Bonne: $70 – $125
2008 Value: $40 – $50
This game is the biggest percetange riser over the past few years, nearly doubling in value in three years. It actually serves as a prequal to the Mega Man Legends games (see Mega Man Legends mentioned below) but is a platformer featuring the anti-hero, Tron Bonne. Her recent appearances in the Marvel vs Capcom series in addition to the aftermarket growth in the Mega Man Legends series has helped this title’s value prosper.
Check for The Misadventures of Tron Bonne on eBay
Check for The Misadventures of Tron Bonne on Amazon.com
|Tactics Ogre: $62 – $200
2008 Value $89 – $190
Tactics Ogre was originally released as a Super Famicom game in Japan in 1995 and was re-released on the PS1 in 1998 in addition to other spinoffs on other consoles. This strategy and role playing franchise which are notoriously expensive, and this installment in particular has received critical praise — RPGamer stated that “the game is and forever will be a masterpiece”.
Check for Tactics Ogre on eBay
Check for Tactics Ogre on Amazon.com
|Revelations: Persona: $55 – $100
2008 Price: $79 – $123
The Persona series has a small but very loyal following. They don’t sell a ton copies as Altus, the publisher typically has smaller print runs, but the fans of the series love it. Persona takes place in modern times, which gives it a unique spin for RPG fans looking for something different.
Check for Persona on eBay
Check for Persona on Amazon.com
|Lunar Silver Star Story Complete $45 – $80
2008 Value: $62 – $167
Lunar Silver Star Story is seen as a gateway between RPG eras. The game originated on the Sega CD and was one of the first RPGs to use FMV cutscenes and voice acting, but did not get all the attention it deserved. This enhanced re-release on the PS1 helped gain exposure for this great game, but as with most Working Design releases, there was a relatively low print run and a high collectability factor.
Check for Lunar Silver Star Story Complete on eBay
Check for Lunar Silver Star Story Complete on Amazon.com
|Ogre Battle: $50 – $180
2008 Value: $55 – $153
This is a re-release of the Ogre Battle March of the Black Queen for the SNES, which is one of the most expensive SNES games ever. In fact, it is almost the exact same game as the SNES version. However, this special releases Includes a map and memory card stickers. Like its predecessor, Atlus only printed limited quantities of the game and never did a second product run.
Check for Ogre Battle Limited Edition on eBay
Check for Ogre Battle Limited Edition on Amazon.com
|Mega Man Legends 2: $50 – $90
2008 Value: $45 – $73
Here’s one other title that managed to increase in value over the last few years. As of this writing, the prices of Legends 2 might have spiked a bit due to the recent cancelation of Mega Man Legends 3 and the outcry that followed. The Legends series takes the Mega Man franchise into the Action RPG genre and has quite a cult following.
Check for Mega Man Legends 2 on eBay
Check for Mega Man Legends 2 on Amazon.com
|Persona 2 Eternal Punishment: $40– $80
2008 Value: $56 – $140
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is a direct sequel to the first Persona game seen earlier on this list and it is part of a duology (of which the US never received the first installment, Innocent Sin). Atlus published this game too so it is not surprising that there are limited quantities available and it is in high demand.
Check for Persona 2; Eternal Punishment on eBay
Check for Persona 2; Eternal Punishment on Amazon.com
|Tales of Destiny II / Tales of Eternia: $45 – $70
2008 Value: $55 – $135
Originally called Tales of Eternia in Japan. The name was changed to Tales of Destiny 2 but is not a direct sequel to any game in the Tales series. This game should also not be confused with Tales of Destiny 2 for PS2. They are completely different games. The game did not perform as well in the US as it did in Japan but is still cherished by Tales series fans.
Check for Tales of Destiny II on eBay
Check for Tales of Destiny II on Amazon.com
|Lunar 2 Eternal Blue Complete: $40 – $163
2008 Value: $54 – $120
This is actually one of the few big players that actually increased in value for mint/sealed over the last 3 years. The standard complete copy, however still sank quite a bit.
Much like it’s predecessor above, Eternal Blue Complete was also an enhanced remake of the treasured Sega CD game, but had a slightly higher print run than Silver Star Story Complete. However, considering that both of these remakes were released in 1999 when 2D games were becoming a rarity, so it should be no surprise that only hardcore fans picked this game up — and typically held onto them.
Check for Lunar Eternal Blue Complete on eBay
Check for Lunar Eternal Blue Complete on Amazon.com
|Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena: $48 – $85
2008 Value: $55 – $90
Brigandine is a turn-based strategy game with some RPG elements and is developed by Atlus. This by itself is a recipe for an expensive game. Atlus doesn’t produce many copies of them games as a publishing strategy, and strategy games and RPG’s typically dominate lists of expensive games.
Check for Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena on eBay
Check for Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena on Amazon.com
|Intelligent Qube: $43 – $60
2008 Value: $68 – $86
IQ is very unique and addicting puzzle game that received an Excellence Award for Interactive Art at the 1997 Japan Media Arts Festival and sold quite well in Japan as a result. It was a initially a relative unknown in the US, but those that gave it a try found it especially compelling. Most fans of the game have been holding onto it, keeping supply low and prices high.
Check for Intelligent Qube on eBay
Check for Intelligent Qube on Amazon.com
|Team Buddies: $42 – $70
2008 Value: $60 – $120
Not only is Team Buddies pretty hard to find in the wild, but it’s also a remarkably unique and fun game. Mixing a realtime strategy RPG with flavors of a shooter and party game results in a cult classic that is high on PS1 collector’s want lists.
Check for Team Buddies on eBay
Check for Team Buddies on Amazon.com
The Expensive Playstation Imports
|Rakugaki Showtime: $100 – $150
2008 Value: $190 – $205
It is hardly surprising to see a game from Treasure on a list like this, but it is relatively surprising to see a Treasure game on the Playstation as they typically did work on Sega’s and eventually Nintendo’s platforms. Rakagaki Showtime was Treasure’s was one of the first games in the arena fighting genre (like Poy Poy and Power Stone) and used a 3D paper-like graphical technique similar to that used in the Paper Mario series.
Check for Rakugaki Showtime on eBay
|Zanac X Zanac $100 – $130
2008 Value: $160 – $210
The Playstation has ones of the best 2D shooter libraries — up there with the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast. Zanac X Zanac is a Japanese exclusive that not only was a sequel of an NES classic from Compile, but also included the orignal game on the same disc.
Check for Zanac X Zanac on eBay
|Harmful Park – $100 – $120
2008 Value: $150 – $200
Another one of the essential Japan-only shooters to keep an out for is the quirky but fun Harmful Park. This rare shmup will remind many of Konami’s Parodius series. The word of mouth for this gem plus the limited print run from the small development house, Sky Think Systems, makes for a collectible treasure.
Check for Harmful Park on eBay
The Rarest PS1 Games At Affordable Prices
Each of these games have a rarity rating greater than 6, but routinely sell for less than $40. If you are a PS1 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.
- Lifespan Learing Games – $2 – $5 each (eBay)
- Psychic Detective: $20 – $27 (eBay)
- Fox Hunt: $13 – $20 (eBay)
- Syndicate Wars: $8 – $25 (eBay)
- Motor Toon Grand Prix: $10 – $15 (eBay)
- Goal Storm ‘97: $4 – $10 (eBay)
Additional Playstation Games of Value
These games aren’t especially rare, but are quite collectible; resulting in a high resale value, especially for complete, boxes copies.
- Arc The Lad Collection: $40 – $88 (eBay)
- Suikoden: $39 – $195 (graded) (eBay)
- Tales of Destiny: $38 – $180 (sealed) (eBay)
- Mega Man Legends: $35 – $90 (eBay)
- Legend of Mana: $31 – $97 (sealed) (eBay)
- Guilty Gear: $20– $70 (eBay)
- Klonoa Door to Phantomile: $27 – $40 (eBay)
- Tomba 2: $33 – $86 (eBay)
- Bust A Groove – $20 – $80 (eBay)
- Skullmonkeys: $28 – $60 (eBay)
- Spyro Collectors Edition (complete): $35 – $51 (eBay)
- X-men vs Street Fighter: $30 – $45 (eBay)
- Final Fantasy VII (Greatest Hits): $29 – $165 (eBay)
- Marvel vs. Capcom: $30 – $39 (eBay)
- Bust A Groove 2: $27 – $60 (eBay)
- X-COM UFO Defense: $25 – $50 (eBay)
- Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Mix: $20 – $60 (eBay)
- Einhander: $23 – $50 (eBay)
- Castlevania Symphony of the Night (Black Label): $28 – $168 (sealed) (eBay)
- Xenogears (Black Label): $22 – $60 (eBay)
Credits: Rarity scores are courtesy of my friends at DigitalPress.