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.
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. Since most of these games (especially the English version) do not get sold very frequently, the prices are based on a mix of eBay prices (confirmed sales primarily), NeoStore’s sale history, and NeoGeoKult‘s price guide (based not their late 2019 guide). I have also factored in conversations and old price guides from Neo-Geo.com and NeoGeoFreak. These resources 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 and Scarlet Sprites for helping out on this guide in the past.
Values Current as of April 2020
Index (click to jump to section):
- AES (Home Console Cartridges) [English] [Japanese]
- MVS (Arcade Cartridges) [Exclusives] [Additional]
- Neo-Geo CD [Japanese] [English Variations]
English AES Releases
Kizuna Encounter (Euro) – $35,000 – $50,000
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 only about 10 have been confirmed to exist. (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. Supposedly, the only PAL versions of the games were sold in Germany/Austria, but were quickly recalled by SNK before many reached gamers’ hands. In our last guide revision in 2013, a sale of Kizuna Encounter supposedly ended in the range of $12,000-13,500. But over the last seven years, the legend and appraised value of this game has increased. 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.
Ultimate 11 / Super Sidekicks 4 (Euro): $35,000 – $45,000
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.
Back in 2013, this title weighed in at the $4,800 to $10,000 based only limited discussions of private sales. So the increases, so go in-line that the legendary Euro version of Kizuna Encounter, but still weighs in as a runner-up. 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.
Metal Slug: $17,500 – $20,000
Known universally for its hand drawn, over-the-top comic carnage, the original Metal Slug is an amazingly difficult find in the form of an authentic Neo Geo AES cartridge 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 in very high quantities for the AES. (Many of the 1996 run of home cartridges were said to be in pretty low quantities) Some have estimated that there were only about 500 to 1000 units of the original Metal Slug produced for US home cartridges. There are even some rumors that, in the early years, some of the cartridges were recycled into newer titles. There were plenty of Metal Slug Arcade MVS carts produced, and many of the units you are seeing on eBay are actually MVS boards that are converted into AES cartridges.
As a visitor, “Concerned Citizen” commented back in 2011 after a previous revision of this guide shared, “The pics shown for Metal Slug 1, 2 and X show the ORANGE stripe. The real SNK factory-released versions of Metal Slug 1 and 2 have BLUE stripes, and Metal Slug X has a red stripe. If you buy one of these cartridges with an ORANGE stripe, you have a version of the game that has been ALTERED from the original release. To most, these games are worth substantially less than the original copies. BE CAREFUL.” Of course, with more modern reproductions, these color stripes can be altered as well, so this shouldn’t be the only guide to checking authenticity. Oftentimes, the internal solder points on the cartridges and the print quality of the materials (especially the manuals) should be inspected carefully.
With the Neo Geo being such a cult classic to collect for and Metal Slug being a cornerstone of the library, there are very few owners of the original cartridges that are willing to part with it. (There are even rumors of some collectors having multiple copies).
Back in our 2013 guide, we had Metal Slug at the $2,500 to $3,000 range. I remember there were a lot of people that were blown away by that number then as it’s a very mainstream game. However, those values seem minuscule in comparison now.
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.
Neo Turf Masters: – $10,000 – $13,750
Yes, another unsuspecting sports title makes this list, but golf is the subject matter this time around. If you are 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 easily find a cheaper way to play it.
According to NeoStore and many other Neo Geo collector resources rank Neo Turf Masters as the 4th rarest English AES release and 2nd most rare US release, which also coincides with the value ranking on this guide. NeoStore has also kept a strong sales history of verified cartridges. Back in 2006, a sealed copy sold for $650. By 2011 a copy sold for $8,000. A slight increase was seen in 2016 at $10,000. But they also sold a copy in 2018 for $13,750. So even though this is far from the only way to play this game, there is a growing demand from collectors that want to add this rarity to their library.
Ninja Master’s: $3,800 – $7,000
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.
On top of this intriguing setup, Ninja Master’s also weighs in as the 5th most rare English release according to many diehard Neo-Geo fans. It very rarely goes up for sale on eBay and even NeoStore doesn’t seem to have ever sold an official English AES version over the years. Our 2013 guide had Ninja Master’s values in the $1,500 to $2,200 range, but its rarity and lack of going up for sale has kept the values climbing.
Metal Slug 2: $3,000 – $7,200
Two years after the release of the original, SNK returned with a second installment of the popular run-n-gun series. Metal Slug 2 is significantly easier to find in the AES format than the original, but it’s still in the top 10 of official home cartridges. While there are a couple games mentioned below (primarily Stakes Winner and Double Dragon) that may be harder to find, the Metal Slug pedigree, not surprisingly, keeps the demand for this cartridge strong.
Granted, Metal Slug didn’t quite have the following in the 90s that it does many years later, but it’s hard to not be blown away by how low the print run was on Metal Slug 2.
Our last guide revision in 2013 had Metal Slug 2 in the $1,500 to $3,000 range. And while more than doubling in value seems like a major jump, it’s actually quite tame compared to the original Metal Slug or its other holy grail peers up above.
King of Fighters 2000 (English Edition): $4000 – $5850
This one is one of the most controversial of the lineup. It’s no secret that around the turn of the millennium, SNK was going through a lot of financial trouble and the ownership of the parent company changed hands. For a while, SNK and it’s later parent company, Playmore, had an agreement with the US-based NeoGeoFreak (lead by the infamous Dion Dakis, who you will notice commenting in older comments below) to do licensed (and eventually exclusive) distribution of English releases of Neo-Geo games in North America. NeoGeoFreak turned off a lot of die-hard fans when they made a show of shredding Japanese printed inserts that would be replaced by their English inserts. Obviously, this is a very non traditional approach to localizing game distributions, but that is the situation at SNK/Playmore allowed.
So here we are discussing King of Fighters 2000. It was arguably the highest-profile NeoGeoFreak release and is the only “official” English version of the game for the AES. I realize Mr. Dakis will take offense to putting “official” in quotations, but there are also many hardcore Neo fans that would throw a fit over those quotes not being there. I hope you get the point.
Anyway, NeoGeoFreak only produced 100 copies of their English version and the resale of these units are quite infrequent. However, unlike the Kizuna and Ultimate Euro releases, most of these sales have been in an open/public offering on eBay, Craigslist, Yahoo Auctions (Japan), or NeoGeo.com Forums. Around the time of our 2013 guide revision, the sales were in the $3,500 to $6,000 range. Because of the controversial nature of this release, we haven’t witnessed much interest in values much higher than this price point (if you are aware of any, please let us know) and the release isn’t acknowledged in NeoGeoKult’s price guide.
There is currently an eBay listing for a unit just under $10,000, but nobody is biting at that level. On the other hand, NeoStore, an established reseller of authenticated cartridges has a water-damaged unit listed for $3,995. Previously, in 2016 NeoStore sold a unit in solid condition for $5,850. These two listings alone are very helpful in establishing a value range.
Because of the limited release of 100 units, KOF 2000 is considered by some to be the rarest, licensed North American Neo-Geo AES release. It also depends on who is defining the official/licensed guidelines.
Stakes Winner: $4,000 – $5,000
Just like we’ve seen on some consoles like the Sega Saturn (see Winning Post), we occasionally see some horse racing games (which have a certain popularity in Japan) come over to the States, not sell well, and then go on to be valuable collectables.
If you enjoy 2D horse racing , Stake Winner is a great game. But it’s even more surprising that this saw a North American release on such a niche console like the Neo Geo.
Back in 2013, the game was commanding a hefty $900 to $1,100 range, but it’s more than quadrupled in value since then. Not too shabby! It’s not as high of a percentage increase as Mark of the Wolves or Metal Slug X (see below), but one of the next best performers!
Garou: Mark of the Wolves: $3,500 – $4,000
Possibly the best SNK fighter ever, Garou (Fatal Fury): Mark of the Wolves takes place well after the events of the previous games in the series. Because of this, the beautifully animated artwork and the modernized fighting system is basically SNK’s counterpart to Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. The game has been ported to a handful of systems, including the Dreamcast, PS2 and digitally on many modern platforms, but having this beauty on the AES is a high priority for many Neo-Geo enthusiasts.
Mark of the Wolves was released in 2000, so it is one of the newer games SNK published on their own hardware (only 13 official titles were released later on the AES). This factored into the fact that Mark of the Wolves was only selling for between $500 and $600 back in 2013 (compared to its $359 retail price from 2000). But the strong quality and resulting demand has really pushed the resale values up quite a bit. $4,000 is the highest we’ve seen on eBay recently for a US version, but ultra-reputable seller, NeoStore has one listed for $5,750, so it shouldn’t be unreasonable that it can top the $4,000 level we have listed.
Double Dragon (Euro): $3,000 – $4,000
Most gamers remember the Double Dragon games as being some of the foundational side-scrollers in the beatemup genre. However, in 1995, Technos created a versus fighting game for the Neo-Geo as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat made the genre the hottest thing in the arcade.
Even though it was a rather popular release, it never received a home AES 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.
Even though it is said to be slightly more common than Ninja Master’s, I have rarely seen documented transactions of English versions or units available for sale.
Back in our 2013 guide, Double Dragon was commanding a $800 to $1,500 price range, but the appraised value has more than doubled over the last seven years.
Metal Slug X: $3400 – $3535
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 rearranging some enemy placements. Luckily, 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 a better “value”. (Not that it really matters that much when we’re talking about AES collecting)
This more available version was “only” $550 to $750 back in our 2013 guide revision, but this has become one of the biggest percentage climbers over the last 7 years.
Samurai Shodown V Special: 2,200 – $3,800
Fixed: $2200- 2600
The Samurai Shodown series (which began in 1993) was a major part of SNK’s fighting game library, but the first four installments wrapped up in 1996. SNK fans eventually transitioned to The Last Blade series to get their sword-based combat fix until fans were blessed by the fifth installment in 2003. The first version of Samurai Shodown V was the 4th to last official AES release, but the “Special” version was actually the very last official game the Neo Geo system and was released in 2004 (only Metal Slug 5 and The King of Fighters 2003 were released in between the two issues).
V Special featured a handful of changes and upgrades such as swapping in some boss characters, some graphics and sound changes, plus some gameplay balancing tweaks. The original arcade release of V Special also had some extra fatality effects added, but controversy around them caused them to censor these effects in the home AES version. However, with these censoring changes, a handful of bugs surfaced. Thanks to fan outcry, SNK quickly recalled the cartridges for bug fixes.
As you can see from the pricing above, there is a value premium for the unfixed version of the game as there are many fewer of those units remaining.
Much like Mark of the Wolves, mentioned above, Samurai Shodown V Special didn’t have much of a change in its resale price in 2013 (we had it marked at a $335 to $365 range) from its original $359 price in 2004. However, seven years changed those resale values quite a bit.
The Last Blade 2: $2,200 – $3,000
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.
Back in 2013, The Last Blade 2 was more expensive than Mark of the Wolves and Samurai Shodown V at a “reasonable” $600 to $755 range, but it remains an essential addition to a Neo-Geo library so it can’t help but appreciate in value dramatically.
Additional English AES Releases of Value
- Rage of the Dragons: $1800 – $ 2200
- Sengoku 3: $1800 – $2200
- World Heroes Perfect (Euro): $1800 – $ 2200
- King of Fighters 2003: $1650 – $2000
- The Last Blade: $ 1650 – $ 2000
- Metal Slug 3: $1600 – $1900
- Fatal Fury Real Bout 2: $1500 – $1900
- Last Hope: $1500 – $1950
- Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer: $1500 – $ 2000
- Metal Slug 5: $1450 – $ 1800
- Metal Slug 4: $1250 – $ 1500
- Samurai Shodown IV: $1250 – $1650
- Matrimelee: $950 – $1200
- Samurai Shodown V : $950 – $1150
- Art of Fighting 3: $900 – $1200
- Savage Reign: $ 900 – $1100
- King of Fighters 99: $800 – $950
- Fatal Fury Real Bout Special: $ 750 – $950
- Street Hoop: $750 – $950
Japanese AES Releases
Metal Slug: $10,000 – $12,500
Even though it’s 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 sacrifice a little to save a few thousand dollars.
Back in 2013, you could score this Japanese version in the $1,800 to $2,600 range (with the English version being $2,500 to $3,000). Even though this Japanese version has seen a tremendous increase, the difference in values between the Japanese and the English version have greatly widened as well.
Quiz Chibi Maruko-Chan Deluxe: $8,500 – $10,000
This is said to be the rarest of the Japanese AES games (although Neo Turf Masters/Big Tournament Golf 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. The cartridge was released in 1996 but it didn’t fit the home market nearly as well as the arcade.
Even though Metal Slug has overtaken it in value over the last few years, Quiz Chibi Maruko-Chan has seen a nearly threefold increase since it’s 2013 price range of $3,000 to $3,800.
Big Tournament Golf (Neo Turf Master): $7,500 – $9,500
A golf game makes much more sense as a home release than a quiz title, but Big Tournament Golf (the Japanese name for Neo Turf Masters) is still one of the rarest home releases on the Japanese market, much like in North America. Much like Metal Slug, the Japanese version is just about as rare but is a bit more affordable.
But if you thought the percentage increase on Metal Slug was impressive, get ready for the 10X increase that we saw from the 2013 value range of $760 to $950. Seems like there’s a big demand for those wanting authentic AES titles but are less picky about language.
Blazing Star: $4,500 – $5,500
A lot of fans of the Neo Geo or of the Shmup genre will be familiar with Pulstar, our top Hidden Gem (by 2007 standards) pick for the side-scrolling shooter genre that was released in 1995 worldwide. Blazing Star was developed by Yumekobo (formerly known as Aicom) and published by SNK in 1998 as a follow-up to Pulstar, but aimed to reduce the difficulty a bit (which was a criticism of Pulstar) while amping up the graphical presentation.
It was impressive that SNK was still putting some support behind the shmup genre in 1998. Even though we saw a handful of strong titles in the genre on the Sega Saturn, Playstation, and Dreamcast during that time, it was pretty niche at that point and the Neo-Geo was already seeing diminishing market returns (with mostly Metal Slug installments and high-profile fighting games being the main sellers).
Unfortunately, Blazing Star got mixed reviews from critics and didn’t see even the commercial success of its predecessor. As a result, the Neo Geo CD port was cancelled and the cartridge never made it outside of Japan.
Despite it not being a legendary shmup, the demand for the game still remains strong and its rarity is on par with Metal Slug. As a result, Blazing Star has held the #4 spot on the Japanese AES list for quite a while. Even though the ranking was the same in 2013, it was only $750 to $900 then. It’s seen a pretty solid gain, but not as intense as the above titles.
Tokuten Oh 4 (Ultimate 11 / Super Sidekicks 4): $4,500 – $6,000
In case you haven’t figured it out, Tokuten Oh 4 is the Japanese title for the soccer game Ultimate 11 / Super Sidekicks 4 that also ranks pretty high on the English release list.
And, if you have been paying attention so far, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this one has jumped dramatically from its 2013 price range of $575 to $750. This is pretty on-par with most of the big rarities that are toping both the English and Japanese lists.
Over Top: $4,000 – $5,000
This isometric (or over-the-top view) racer was a hidden gem for a number of years, but has garnered more attention over the years as more gamers have noticed the pretty cool retro style and impressive speed with the likes of Youtube videos showing off the action. This may have factored into Over Top jumping from #15 to #6 on the Japanese AES value list.
Back in 1991 (the first year of Neo Geo releases), ADK (then known as Alpha Team) released “Thrash Rally” for the Neo Geo. It was a fun racer as well, but the graphics didn’t really take strong advantage of the Neo Geo hardware — instead it looks more like a Micro Machines game on a Sega or Nintendo system from the 16-bit era. But five years later ADK drastically stepped up their game with Over Top that not only added quite larger sprites but more realistic-looking environments — all improving an already-great racing setup in a variety of beautiful environments.
While Over Top did also receive a Neo Geo CD release, there was never an AES cartridge released outside of Japan.
As I mentioned before, Over Top has seen one of the largest ranking jump in this guide (although Breakers down below beats it) as it has increased 10X from its $400 to $520 price levels.
Breakers: $3,500 – $4,000
If there’s one genre that has always thrived on the Neo Geo, it’s the 2D fighter. While SNK developed many of the most popular fighters themselves, they occasionally published some fighters from other developers as well (ADK being the most well-known with their World Heroes series). One of the lesser-known fighters on the Neo-Geo is Breakers, which was published by SNK and Visco back in 1996.
Breakers got largely ignored in both the arcade and home markets due to the uninspired presentation in a crowded mid-90s fighting game market. Over time, the game did receive more fans due to a competent fighting system and tight controls. There was enough interest to warrant an updated version of Breakers Revenge. But ultimately, Breakers only had an AES release in Japan and an international Neo Geo CD port and Breakers Revenge never made it to a home system.
Much like Over Top, Breakers did see a significant gain in ranking on the values chart but skyrocketed out of the bargain bins (as much as Neo Geo games can be) at their 2013 levels of $40 to $80. This could be thanks to more online exposure as hardcore fighting fans have come to appreciate the game engine.
Additional Japanese AES Releases of Value
- Metal Slug X: $3000 – $3500
- Pulstar: $3000 – $ 4000
- Twinkle Star Sprites: $3000 – $3800
- Shock Troopers 2 : $2800 – $3500
- Fu’un Super Tag Battle (Kizuna Encounter): $ 2500 – $ 3000
- Magical Drop II: $2500 – $3000
- Magical Drop III: $2500 – $3000
- Metal Slug 2: $2500 – $ 3300
- Rage of the Dragons: $2000 – $2500
- Samurai Spirits Zero Special (Unfixed): $2900 – $ 3500
- Samurai Spirits Zero Special (Fixed): $2000 – $ 2500
- Sengoku 2001: $2000 – $2500
- Ninja Masters: $1850 – $ 2200
- Master of Syougi: $1500 – $2500
- Stakes Winner 2: $1500 – $1900
- Metal Slug 3: $1450 – $ 1750
- NeoGeo Cup 98′: $ 1300 – $ 1750
- Metal Slug 5: $1200 – $1450
- Stakes Winner : $1200 – $ 1600
- Waku Waku 7 : $1200 – $1500
- Andro Dunos: $950 – $1400
- Garou: Mark of the Wolves: $900 – $1000
- King of Fighters 2003: $900 – $1100
- Sonic Wings 3: $900 – $1000
- Matrimelee: $850 – $1000
- Metal Slug 4: $850 – $1000
- Flying Power Disc (Windjammers): $850 – $950
Valuable MVS Exclusive Releases
Nightmare in the Dark: $349 – $630
This excellent Snow Bros. clone (with a darker cartoon horror theme — think Darkstalkers) developed by AM Factory. It’s a bit of a hidden gem with beautiful sprite artwork and a comprehensive scoring system. It was only released as an MVS cartridge and 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.
Back in our 2013 guide, this cartridge was able to be scored for between $115 to $500. Complete copies haven’t increased too terribly much since then, but bare cartridges have pretty much tripled over that time.
Breakers Revenge: $75 – $450
You may have noticed the mention of the original Breakers up above as a Japanese AES cartridge. While the original didn’t get a lot of appreciation since it was written off as a Street Fighter clone with little to add in a crowded market, Breakers Revenge was a modest improvement to a game with a solid fighting engine and tight controls. Revenge added new music and one character, Saizo.
Over time, Breakers Revenge has become a bit of a hidden gem that actually has an online following and support for online play via emulators and middleware like GGPO.
But we’re not talking about emulation and online play, are we? But that exposure has helped raise the profile of both Breakers and Breakers Revenge.
MVS Cartridges of Breakers Revenge used to be dirt cheap, comparatively speaking. Even now, you can score bare cartridges for under $100 if you shop around. However, carts in good condition or those with the full MVS kit are frequently going for multiple hundreds.
Bang Bead: $150 – $400
Most of those familiar with the Neo Geo have seen Windjammers from Data East which is a cool take on a Pong-style game that has a tennis or air hockey vibe to it. It was a rather early Neo Geo title, released in 1994. Visco saw an opportunity to revisit modernizing the Pong formula by releasing Battle Flip Shot in 1998. Even though Battle Flip Shot was a MVS exclusive, Visco saw enough benefits to release a follow-up in the form of Bang Bead.
Bang Bead adds detail to the already well-designed sprites and is a solid dose of fun for those that enjoy a bit of a sports battle (some even prefer it over Windjammers). Many Neo-Geo enthusiasts originally thought Bang Bead was only a prototype, but it was, in fact, only released commercially in Europe. Much like Nightmare in the Dark it was also released in 2000 near the end of the original SNK era.
Interestingly enough, there hasn’t been much change in value since our 2013 guide values.
Super Dodgeball: $120 – $360
Technōs, known for the Double Dragon and Kunio-kun series (which included the River City Ransom games). Along the way, they also developed Super Dodgeball, which started as an arcade game in 1987 before having a rather successful version on the NES in addition to a handful of other platforms.
The Neo-Geo version of Super Dodgeball wasn’t a port of that 1987 game, but was developed as a formal sequel to the arcade game that was, sadly, the last game that Technōs published before they closed down.
This sequel took advantage of the Neo-Geo’s hardware with large and vivid sprites and backgrounds. This nicely accented the refined gameplay that featured a lot of rules and mechanics that were found in traditional fighting games, such as vitality bars and unique motions for special moves. This installment also benefited from a minimized 3-on-3 team sizes, shorter matches, and the ability to customize teams with the captains of squads defeated.
While the final Super Dodgeball was never formally released in Japan, the game’s language is set to Japanese when played on a Japanese motherboard.
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 opponent’s 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
Three price levels: Low Cartridge Only / Mint Cartridge / Full Mint MVS Set
- Fast Striker : $180 / $400 / $465
- Ninja Masters: $178 / $1200 / $1500
- Last Blade: $2 70 / $ 800 / $1200
- Ganryu: $400 / $500 / $800
- Mark of the Wolves: $250 / $470 / $ 600
- Pulstar: $250 / $400 / $550
- Kizuna Encounter : $135 / $320 / $765
- Pochi & Nyaa: $300 / $380 / $500
- Last Hope Pink Bullets (Euro): $150 / $300 / $400
- Irritating Maze: $100 / $170 / $250
- Puzzle de Pon! R : $110 / $190 / $265
- Pleasure Goal: $250 / $350 / $ 450
- Twinkle Star Sprites: $150 / $450 / $600
- View Point: $220 / $350 / $400
- Samurai Spirits Zero Special (unfixed): $200 / $600 / $950
- Mark of the Wolves: $225 / $450 / $ 550
- Operation Ragnarok : $115 / $220 / $735
- Ganryu: $300 / $450 / $500
- Ninja Masters: $120 / $450 / $ 600
- Twinkle Star Sprites: $120 / $400 / $ 550
- Pulstar: $200 / $350 / $470
- Pochi & Nyaa: $250 / $300 / $400
- View Point: $200 / $290 / $ 350
- Fight Fever: $100 / $180 / $250
- Irritating Maze: $130 / $180 / $ 270
- Puzzle de Pon! R : $90 175 / $250
- Last Blade: $2 60 / $150 / $250
Hardest MVS Releases to Track Down:
- Fight Fever
- Pleasure Goal
- Twinkle Star Sprites
- View Point
- Money Puzzle Exchanger
- Bang Bead
- Nightmare in the Dark
- Pochi & Nyaa
- Samurai Shodown V Special
- Super Dodge Ball
- Irritating Maze
- Neo Mr. Do
Japanese Neo-Geo CD Releases
Chotetsu Brikin’ger / Iron Clad: $550 – $800
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. For those that enjoyed the Neo-Geo’s Last Resort, this shooter will feel familiar, but also features a branching stage structure and a more “steampunk-ish” setting. Your “pod”, in fact, is a transforming robot with a drill arm (and killing enemies with it means extra score medals!).
Being a high quality game that is actually an exclusive for the NGCD makes it ideal to rule as the most treasured release for the platform.
Interestingly enough, there are now AES and MVS conversions made of Ironclad for those that would rather play it in a cartridge format. These often sell for a few hundred dollars.
There are occasionally units of Iron Clad original CDs listed on eBay, but they are usually in excess of $1,000 and don’t successfully sell. NeoStore currently has a copy for $725 without spin cards. If you have an absolutely complete and mint copy, you could probably get $800 or more for the unit.
While most of the Neo Geo CD prices have stayed pretty consistent over the past decade (or even declined in some cases), some of the big ones like Iron Clad have increased quite a bit — in this case jumping up from its $195 to $300 2013 resale levels.
Neo DriftOut: $150 – $300
Much like one of our AES treasures above, Over Top, Neo Driftout was one of the most impressive top-down racers of the generation. As opposed to ADK’s Over Top, Visco’s Neo Drift Out skipped the AES and focused on an MVS arcade release and then a Neo Geo CD port. (It’s also worth mentioning that Neo Driftout was the fourth in a series from Visco that debuted in the arcade and visited the Super Famicom)
Neo Drift Out is all about the balance of speed and slippage. To succeed, you need to constantly adapt to the environments and plan out trajectories as you navigate the course.
While Iron Clad is a Neo Geo CD exclusive and has always had a firm lead in these value rankings, Neo DriftOut has an MVS cartridge as an alternative, but has climbed the rankings quite a bit to reach the number 2 spot — increasing dramatically from its $75 to $100 price range.
Additional Japanese NGCD Releases of Value
- Neo Turf Masters/Big Tournament Golf: $600 – $ 800
- Futsal: 5 on 5 Mini Soccer: $150 – $400
- Zintrick (Oshidashi Zentrix): $100 – $280
- Over Top : $100 – $ 280
- Metal Slug: $175 – $250
- Cyberlip: $155 – $235
- Robo Army: $150 – $190
- Ninja Masters: $160 – $185
- Metal Slug 2: $120 – $180
- Pulstar: $110 – $160
- Breakers : $110 – $150
- NAM 1975: $51 – $195
- Sengoku 2: $95 – $180
- Fatal Fury Real Bout 2: $90 – $ 160
English Neo-Geo CD Variations
Mutation Nation, Metal Slug 2 & Other Rare English Variations: $400 – $760+
Typically reserved for only the most adventurous or meticulous Neo Geo CD collectors, there are English variations of most of the Neo Geo CD titles. Not surprisingly, the English versions are significantly harder to find and, as a result, demand and hefty premium — especially certain titles. The Neo-Geo CD games weren’t really carried in mainstream stores in the states and primarily relied on mail-order for North American distribution with a few specialty stores that carried them. You can find a valuable comparison and price guide for Japanese and English Neo-Geo CD games here.
It should be worth noting that some of the English versions only have English manuals, spines and back liner. For some of the earlier titles especially, the actual game disc, and sometimes even the back liner, is the same as the Japanese releases. Some have mentioned that it was once possible to purchase English manuals direct from SNK USA. In all cases, the spine cards can be especially tricky to track down. Even some dedicated Neo Geo CD collectors have never seen English spine cards for certain games in the library.
As far as values are concerned, there are some games like Metal Slug 1 & 2 that are especially higher because they are high-demand titles in general (and see about a 2X to 5X premium), but there are others like Mutation Nation that have seen about a 10X premium just based on rarity. We will list a few top documented sales, and we will maintain a more detailed list for a while that will have price comparisons between Japanese and English releases.
Many in the Neo Geo community strongly advise against collecting only English releases as they can be very hard to find and most hardly ever come up for sale. If you’re interested in Neo-Geo CD, focus on Japanese version and, if you happen to find an English one in your budget, pick some up at your leisure.
Top Recent English Variation Sales
- Mutation Nation: $400 – $760
- Metal Slug 2: $450 – $500 ($1000 sealed)
- Last Blade: $420 – $475
- Metal Slug: $350 – $400
- Robo Army: $300 – $350
- Art of Fighting: $250 – $300
- Pulstar: $190 – $300
- King of Monsters 2: $200 – $250
- World Heroes 2: $200 – $240
- See Our Full Listing of Confirmed English Neo-Geo CD Values