It may be hard to believe for some of us that grew up in the Atari and NES era, but there’s also an adult generation that “grew up” on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 generation. (And it doesn’t seem that long ago that I put together the Rare & Valuable guide for Playstation 2). While this generation has a lot of budget shopping opportunities, this new environment we are living in is ripe for collectors starting to hunt down the rarities early.
And as you’ll see below, there’s also a handful of items below that are the result of high-quality games that a certain niche but demand outstrips demand. You may also notice some similarities in the top rankings between this PS3 guide and the guide for the Xbox 360, but each console also does have its own personality as well.
In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & Valuable series takes a look at the most in-demand and expensive games for a console. 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 either a loose disc or a game in a case but without a manual. The second price is the highest price in the past three months which is usually the price for a gem mint copy (sealed values are then listed separately). The list is ordered by the balance of the two primary prices.
Prices Current as of September 2021
Treasured Standard North American Releases
NBA Elite 11: $4000-$5000 ($5300 Sealed)
The collector allure of recalled Stadium Events on the NES has added to the mystique of games like NBA Elite 11.
NBA Elite 11 was indeed cancelled near the end of its production run due to the last-minute discovery of some compromising bugs after advance player testing, including one where Chicago Bulls’ Luol Deng almost never missed a shot from the left baseline. It seems that EA did a pretty good job in halting the shipments of the game, but apparently at least a few copies of the game got leaked out into the public somehow.
Way back in 2010 after the cancellation, somebody sold one copy of the PS3 version on eBay for $225, however, within a few years things heated up considerably. In 2016, PS3 copies were selling for about $2,000 to $3,000 and a graded copy sold in the $10,000 range. In 2017, PS3 units sold for a little over $5,000 each. Xbox 360 version didn’t surface until later, and as we covered in our Xbox 360 Rare & Valuable guide, they are still harder to find and command a premium over the PS3 versions.
In July of 2017 and eBay auction for 5 copies of NBA Elite 11 bundled together: 3 Xbox 360 copies and 2 PS3 copies. The auction closed for $30,000.
Painkiller: Hell & Damnation Uncut: $305-$600 ($610-$760 Sealed)
Both a remake and a sequel to the original Painkiller game that was published on the PC and original Xbox, Hell & Damnation is a first person shooter that follows a dead man in Purgatory who is offered a deal to defeat the invading forces of Lucifer’s army in exchange for being allowed to enter Heaven.
The console versions of this release were “toned down” after German censors supposedly claimed it was “too evil”. The game was released on both the PS3 and Xbox 360, but was never sold in North America for the 360. So the Playstation 3 version is the only North American console release for Hell & Damnation.
There’s a lot of non-US copies showing up on eBay, so if you’re in the market for buying it, be aware that the more valuable version is the one that has the ESRB M/Mature rating marking on the cover. Check for Painkiller: Hell & Damnation on eBay Check for Painkiller: Hell & Damnation on Amazon.com
Syberia Complete Collection: $270-$455 ($506-$1136 Sealed)
Syberia: Complete Edition is the collection of two renowned adventure games, Syberia and Syberia II (but not Syberia III, so it’s less “complete” of a collection now)
The Syberia games are point-and-click adventure games from the early 2000s that send you across alternate versions of Europe and Russia, twisted and changed from the familiar with failed utopias, clockwork automatons, and a whole lot of mammoths. They were directed by the late Belgian comics artist Benoît Sokal, whose artwork helped create an otherworldly atmosphere.
The games originated on the PC in addition to the PS2 and original Xbox. Both games are also available for free on GoG, but that doesn’t stop collectors from valuing this hard-to-find compilation. I suppose the fact that it’s the best console port of both games helps.
Afrika (US): $165-$220 ($355 Sealed)
Think of Natsume’s Afrika as a natural wildlife version of Pokemon Snap. The game is a photography and safari simulation in which you document the wildlife and photograph incredible sights while exploring a brand new conservation area.
The goal was to model not only the scenery rather accurately for the era, but to replicate the professional photography experience a bit as well. While some critics argued that it didn’t quite meet its ambitions, many players found it to be a relaxing experience and great for animal lovers.
There are many import copies of the game floating around, but the North American version can be much harder to track down and commands the higher premium.
Arland Atelier Trilogy: $100-$200
So this one may be cheating the list just a bit as it contains three retail games that were already on the PS3 (as opposed to the Syberia which had a remake in the bundle). However, to its credit, each of the standard individual releases of the games can be purchased for $25 or less in excellent condition, so there is quite a premium on this Trilogy package.
The Arland Atelier Trilogy includes the following three entries of the popular jRPG/visual novel series developed by the Japanese studio, Gust:
- Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland
- Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland
- Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland
It’s also worth noting that before 2020, you could score a complete copy of the trilogy for under $50 and it started exceeding the $150 range in 2021.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle : $100-$190 ($200-$370 Sealed)
Ever since it made an appearance in the Sega Dreamcast’s fighting game library, the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime property has been an intriguing addition to the genre (it was also featured in our Fighting Hidden Gems). The Playstation 3’s All Star Battle capture’s Hirohiko Araki’s crazy source material well while also being a technical competent yet accessible and enjoyable fighter.
You can sometimes find this colorful and stylish fighter out in the wild, but fans of the fighting genre have increasingly been scooping this one up quicker these days. Back in 2016, you could easily find this for under $20 a pop — I even saw it then in my local resale shop pretty cheap. But in 2019, the game started getting some collecting traction in the $50 to $75 range. 2020, of course kicked it further into gear.
Splatterhouse: $66-$155 ($160-$385 Sealed)
Namco revived their horror beatemup series in 2010 and released it on both the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 after seeing the growing success of Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise.
After some internal struggles with developers, the game didn’t quite have the polished gameplay that fans of the series might hope for. As a result, the reviews were mediocre and the sales were relatively low.
Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions have some growing collectability given the franchise’s popularity and the relatively small print run. However, the PS3 version is just a bit harder to find and has a bit of a premium.
Check for Splatterhouse on eBay
Check for Splatterhouse on Amazon.com
NCAA Football 14: $60-$160
NCAA Football 14 [Walmart Edition]: $65-$105
The first couple of decades of the video game industry has trained us to think that most older sports games are next to worthless. However, in 21st century, there are a few that have ended up being treasured collectors items.
Over the past decade, there has been a lot of pushback about college athletes not being paid for their likenesses, names, etc. EA Sports and other sports game developers, as a result, backed down from producing college sports games. This forced fans of the sub-genre to keep playing their older games (fortunately, these games can be updated with some community effort).
As result, the best and most modern of the games have retained their value quite well. This increased demand, in addition to a relatively modest supply (college sports games typically don’ t sell as well their pro sports counterparts) results in significantly elevated resale values. NCAA Football 14 is one of the primary benefits of this as it is the last NCAA football game produced.
Just recently, there is talk that EA will be getting back to producing a NCAA football game again before too long. Gamers will still want to play what they have until this new game is released, but you might also see some getting ahead of the trend and selling their highly-valued titles now vs later. It will be interesting to see how this development changes the value of this game and the other college sports games you’ll see mentioned below.
In the meantime, it would be good to keep an eye out at thrift shops, garage sales, etc as most people will assume that old sports games aren’t worth a whole lot.
However, I will put this warning out there: these college sports game values could be a completely temporary supply and demand situation. Normally, we see rare and ultra-popular games rise in value over the years (especially in relation to the rather low price-point/pre-nostolgia zone the 360 is in currently. My guess is that these college sports games won’t hold up in value over time unless there are no better installments produced. The might not go to the dirt-cheap route of some classic sports games, but don’t expect them to remain holy grails of the system forever. The sealed and graded version I’m seeing sell at high prices are especially concerning, in my opinion.”
El Chavo Kart: $72-$148
It’s rather expected to see some Mario Kart-inspired racers on a popular platform — even more common when it’s based on a popular animated series.
El Chavo Kart, in particular was based on El Chavo Animado, a popular animated series in Spanish-speaking countries. This game is based on the Unreal Engine and was brought to the 360 and PS3, in addition to a brief stint on Android.
The Playstation 3 games was originally only released in a handful of South American countries. However, there were a handful of copies sold in the United States as well, primarily in heavily-Latin American populated markets such as Texas.
However, many gamers in Mexico have mentioned that the game used to be quite inexpensive there. In years past, you could pick it up in Mexico for $5 to $10. Eventually, Mexican gamers started selling copies to their US-based friends and more units started showing up on eBay and such.
It will be interesting to see how the supply and demand holds up from PS3 collectors, especially since El Chavo Kart isn’t regarded as an especially high-quality racer.”
China/Asia Releases with English Translations
There are a handful of PS3 games that got Asian region releases outside of Japan (typically China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore) that also had English translations. These releases are both a bit more limited than the pure Japanese releases and are obviously popular with North American collectors because of the English translations.
Aquanaut’s Holiday: Hidden Memories (Chinese + English) $85-$560
This particular title is actually a follow-up to the original Aquanaut’s Holiday that was released on the PS1 — including in North America. The game is an underwater exploration-adventure simulation and is the fourth game in the series in which the player acts as a journalist investigating the disappearance of a marine researcher. Hidden Memories is well-regarded for it’s immersive graphics, solid plot full of surprise and humor, and the sense of discovery it offers.
Lost in the Rain (Asia / English): $300-$320
Lost in the Rain (or simply known as “rain” in North America) Rain revolves around a gameplay mechanic in which the player’s character and all enemies are only visible if they are standing in the rain. The game had a solid critical response, complementing its emotional impact from the atmosphere, music, and puzzles.
Rain was primarily released as a digital download on PSN in 2013, but it was released exclusively on a physical disc in Japan, with only Japanese language options, and a Hong Kong and Taiwan release containing English and Traditional Chinese language options. This last version is the only way to acquire an English language copy of the game in physical form, making it a sought after collectible.
The Last Guy (Chinese + English): $200-$300 ($470 Sealed)
This gem is a top-down adventure in which you’re the “Last Guy” in a region overrun by giant monsters and needed to lead stranded civilians to safety before time runs out. The game features real cities from North America, Europe and Asia and uses satellite imagery from Google Earth to accurately render the cities.
The Last Guy also originated as a digital release on PSN, but received a physical version exclusive to Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, with the Hong Kong and Taiwan releases being the only physical versions that include English translations.
Pixel Junk 3 in 1 Pack (Asia + English) : $100-$150 ($150-$200 Sealed)
The PixelJunk games were indie darlings that performed well as digital downloads on the PSN network. To offer the games in a physical format, the publisher bundled PixelJunk Racers (slot car style racing), PixelJunk Monsters (unique take on “tower defense” genre), and PixelJunk Eden (an interesting puzzle platformer) onto a single PS3 disc.
Additional North American PS3 Games of Value
- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: $75-$125 ($130-210 Sealed) (eBay)
- Legend of Spyro Dawn of the Dragon: $64-$123 Sealed) (eBay)
- BlazBlue: Central Fiction: $85-$95 (eBay)
- Lollipop Chainsaw: $49-$130 ($150-190 Sealed) (eBay)
- College Hoops 2K8: $47 -$130 ($250 Sealed) (eBay)
- King of Fighters XIII: $50-$125 ($135 Sealed) (eBay)
- El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron: $73-$97 ($100-200 Sealed) (eBay)
- Tornado Outbreak : $40-$120 (eBay)
- Asura’s Wrath: $53-$105 ($105-165 Sealed) (eBay)
- Saw II: Flesh & Blood: $60-$90 ($100 Sealed) (eBay)
- Folklore : $30-$120 ($120-375 Sealed) (eBay)
- Spiderman Web of Shadows: $50-$100 ($100-175 Sealed) (eBay)
- Yakuza Dead Souls: $41 -$105 ($120 Sealed) (eBay)
- Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom: $60-$80 ($90-225 Sealed) (eBay)
- Puppeteer: $38-$100 ($105-125 Sealed) (eBay)
- NCAA Basketball 10: $35-$100 ($180 Sealed) (eBay)
- 3D Dot Game Heroes: $40-$85 ($85-350 Sealed) (eBay)
- Marvel vs Capcom 2 [No Game Media – just a case for digital redeption]: $40-$55 Sealed) (eBay)
Special Collector’s Pieces
Last of Us Press Kit: $1,000-$1,200
The Press Kit was created with some great physical design — almost like it was a limited edition collectors set, but with more exclusivity built in. There was even a 512mb USB drive (housing soundtrack MP3s) in the style of an old-school audio cassette together with the classic library case to house the cassette.
The press kit was interesting enough to make its way to a handful of Youtube unboxing videos, which probably helped keep its value strong.
Check for Last of Us Press Kit on eBay
Top Collectors Editions and Bundles
I didn’t want to spend as much time and space on Collectors Editions, but I don’t want to overlook them completely…
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Fortune Hunter Edition: $1,525 – $2,200
Naughty Dog used this special edition as more of a marketing tool than a retail opportunity. Instead of being available via pre-order or stores, the special Fortune Hunter edition of Uncharted 2 was exclusive to a giveaway via their blog, Playstation Home, the demo, etc.
The Fortune Hunter edition contains the game, a replica of the Phurba Dagger artifact and stand, a BradyGames strategy guide, an art book, the official soundtrack, and a collector’s case autographed by Naughty Dog. Only 200 copies were released.
Additional Collectors Editions
- The Last of Us – Post Pandemic Edition: $560-$1000 (eBay)
- Metal Gear Solid 4 – Gray Kojima Bundle: $300-$500 (eBay)
- Fallout 3 -Survival Edition: $300-$370 (eBay)
- Dragon Age: Inquisition Inquisitor’s Edition : $200-$250 (eBay)
- Rock Band Special Edition: $200-$255 (eBay)
- The Beatles: Rock Band Limited Edition: $190-$250 (eBay)
- Drakengard 3 – Collector’s Edition: $110-$290 (eBay)
- Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – Wizard’s Edition: $180-$210 (eBay)
- Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut – Classified Edition: $140-$200 (eBay)
- Destiny – Ghost Edition: $140-$150 (eBay)