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, shooters, and unique gems that collectors long for. It took a while for the the original Playstation to really appreciate in value, but these last few years have seen a serious uptick in collecting.
Update: Prices Current as of May 2019
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. Below you will see two prices beside each title. The first is the average daily selling price, which is typically the going rate for a game in non-ideal condition. The second price is the highest price in the past three months for a complete, non-sealed game (sealed prices are also listed separately if recent example exists). 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.
Limited Edition Collectibles
Elemental Gearbolt: Assassin’s Case: $1,700 – $3,300
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 (the standard edition mentioned below on the “Additional Games of Value”) 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 memory card (there are both gold and red memory card variants). You can see a full photo set from an owner of the set, Game-Rave. A 2009 auction saw got bids up to $1700, which was surprising since it was a new seller (that eventually backed out). Had it been an established seller, it may have gone for more. In 2012, one sold for about $3300. That same year, there was one listed on DigitalPress’s forums with an asking price of $6000, but didn’t seem to to sell at that price. Over these last handful of years, we haven’t seen much new activity on this rarity.
Treasured Standard USA Releases
Syphon Filter 3 – Pre-9/11 American Flag Varient $300 – $350 ($515-$615 Sealed)
The September 11th attacks obviously had a huge cultural impact and their were a number of games that were cancelled or adjusted as a result. Syphon Filter 3, in particular was scheduled to be released on September 21, 2001 and originally featured cover art with a US Flag draped over government buildings exploding. The initial shipments of the game were already shipped out to retailers in advance of the release, but were recalled quickly to swap out the artwork, causing a delayed launch for November.
These “American Flag” variants were never officially to be released for sale. Since some of the shipments did arrive at retailers, some staff members may have either grabbed some copies before sending the bulk back for the recall or some make have slipped through the cracks and were sold to consumers.
The back artwork of the game was also reworked to tone down some wording and visuals to avoid any insensitivity in the matter. The recalled “9/11 American Flag Cover” version was only printed in a dual case. It was never printed in a single jeweled case.
The values of this variant have actually cooled down in the last few years. Back in 2017, there were sealed copies selling for $1000 to $2400. This was likely due to the uncertainty of how many copies were in circulation. As more copies have surfaced and sold, this numbers have gradually decreased. And the fact that just as many sealed copies have been sold as opened is a bit telling that most of them probably got grabbed by store employees instead of general gamers that just happened to buy one at the store.
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne: $90-$310 ($425 Sealed)
This prequel to the Mega Man Legends games (see below) but is a multi-genre title (three different sections made up of moving-box puzzles, Descent-like adventure RPG, and Mega Man Legends-style action) featuring the anti-hero, Tron Bonne. Many of the game mechanics revolve around her use of her fighting mecha, Gustaff and her Servbots.
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne game was the biggest percentage riser over the in the three year span of our previous guide and has continued to grow strongly in value, despite being released digitally on PSN in 2015. It’s one of those games that didn’t quite find mass appeal at the time of its release, but many fans of the series now want to collect and appreciate its interesting aspects. Being a low print-run part of an already-popular series just reinforced its collector appeal.
Revelations: Persona: $90-$305 ($320 Sealed)
The Persona series (also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona) is now quite well-known by hardcore gamers, but was fairly under-the-radar back in the late 90s and even up until the mid aughts. It is also a spin-off of an RPG series that was a Japan exclusive on the Super Famicom, PC Engine, and Mega CD. Since then, it has gradually built up a very loyal following worldwide. Games from the publisher Altus are typically the perfect combination of great quality and low print runs so the fact that it is the first game in a now-iconic sub-series makes it no surprise that it is valued highly.
At the time, Persona broke typical RPG conventions in North America by taking place in a modern high school setting and the game’s title is inspired by the beings summoned by characters in battle, manifesting from their psychological persona.
Suikoden II: $88-$225 ($425 Sealed)
Even though it eventually became one of the most recommended RPGs on the Playstation due to its great storytelling and the ability to collect and manage 100+ allies, a limited printing and tepid initial response (often because of the decision to stay 2D) kept the game from initially reaching the masses. If you want a quick run-down of what makes Suikoden II special, check out Jason Schreier’s piece on Kotaku
Once word spread of the quality, there were no prospects for an additional print run and a legend was born. For the longest time, this classic was the most desired North American release, commanding $140-$350 in 2008 and then $80 to $300 in 2011. However, with a bit of consolidation of the PS1 market in general in the 2010s and the digital re-release on the Playstation Network has cooled its collectibility a bit over the past decade. It still remains as one of the centerpieces of the PS1 collection both from a collecting and gameplay standpoint, but haven’t kept pace with some of its “trendier” peers. However, you may note, it is currently the most treasured game in Sealed condition. A number of months ago, a sealed copy sold for $750, but lately, there have been a handful of sealed copies that sold for less than $450.
Tales of Destiny II / Tales of Eternia: $130-$180
Originally called Tales of Eternia in Japan. For some reason, Namco decided to change the name to Tales of Destiny 2 but is not a direct sequel to any game in the Tales RPG series. This game should also not be confused with Namco’s later game, Tales of Destiny 2 for PS2 (the actual sequel). They are completely different games.
Sales of the game did not perform as well in the US as it did in Japan but is still cherished by Tales series fans. Like others in the Tales series, it features a 2D anime-style, but its real time Linear Motion Battle System is far more advanced than in the preceding games.
Over the past decade, we have only really seen slight fluctuations in the value of Tales of Destiny II. In 2008, we saw prices in the $55 to $135 range. It cool down to the $45 to $70 range in 2011 before increasing a more since then. Loose copies with all three discs are actually becoming harder to find, so those values are climbing. I’m actually surprised there isn’t more of price difference between loose discs and complete copies.
Klonoa Door to Phantomile: $80-$238 ($420 Sealed)
Namco took a brave leap by not only developing in a new platform character, but also with sticking with a 2D gameplay dynamic at a time when all but 3D was looked at as something from the past. This conservative 2.5D approach teamed having art and game style that was designed to appeal to both kids and adults made Klonoa a game (and eventually a series) that took some time to find a broad appreciation.
Klonoa’s gameplay design was interesting and innovative. Klonoa can grab enemies Yoshi-style using a power ring and then use the captured enemy to propel higher in the air than a regular jump would propel. Players can also use the enemy as a projectile to throw switches or knock out bad guys or roadblocks.
In addition to its finely-crafted gameplay, Door to Phantomile also used the Playstation quite efficiently. As I wrote in my “PS1 Strengths and Weaknesses” piece from 2017, “Some advanced 3D games targeted a high frame-rate with simple, yet clean, visuals. Namco excelled with the likes Tekken 3 or Klonoa, which are fast and clean while minimizing the system’s weaknesses.”
All these aspects of Klonoa Door to Phantomile didn’t get noticed by most gamers until a decade or two after it was published. This is also reflected in resale value of the game as well. While it was never a cheap game, it hovered in the $30 to $40 range for nearly 15 years. It wasn’t until 2015 that the values started to gradually climb. 2017 saw the game’s value spiking to where it is now, with some slight reprieves thrown in between.
Valkyrie Profile: $85 – $230 ($380 Sealed)
After launching the long-lasting Star Ocean series on the Super Famicom and Playstation for Enix, developer tri-Ace developed a bit more of an underground RPG success in Valkyrie Profile. This action/turn based RPG hybrid draws heavily from Norse mythology. It garnered solid critical reviews due to its noting the deep gameplay system and solid story-telling. It slowly become a cult classic and eventually saw a PSP re-release in Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth which made changes to the cutscene formats.
As the series grew with a few follow-ups on the PS2 and portable platforms and Playstation RPG fans looked to expand their collections, Valkyrie Profile, with its rather small print run became a natural to rise in value.
Check for Valkyrie Profile on eBay
Check for Valkyrie Profile on Amazon
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: $70-$222
While Capcom typically makes develops its own intellectual property for its great fighting games, it did based one of its arcade fighters on on Hirohiko Araki’s manga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The style of the game’s visual style will be familiar to fans of Capcom’s Darkstalkers series, but also has its own flashy style that quickly entrances those that give it a chance. Its beautiful style and interesting “Stand” gameplay mechanic helped place JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure on our 2D Fighting Hidden Gems guide a while back.
The arcade game got ported to both the Playstation and the Dreamcast. Neither one is easy to find. While the Dreamcast port ranks fairy high on the Sega console’s Rare and Valuable list, the Playstation version actually holds a higher value. It hasn’t always been a high-dollar game, however. It did command a modest $30 to $40 up until 2014 when it started to climb.
Persona 2 Eternal Punishment: $80-$200 ($280 Sealed)
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is a direct sequel to Altus’ Revelations: Persona (which is a sub-series of the the Megami Tensei franchise), seen earlier on this list and it is part of a duology (of which the US never received the first installment, Innocent Sin except on the PSP version). Eternal Punishment also received a PSP two years later in 2002. Much like most of Altus’s games, Eternal Punishment didn’t sell in high quantities, but Eternal Punishment but it saw enough of success to firmly establish the Persona franchise in the West.
Persona 2 has never been a cheap game in the resale market, but saw an early peak in 2008 (our first installment of this PS1 guide) at the $56 to $140 range. It eventually cooled off a bit, bringing the 2011 range down to $40 to $80. Loose and low-end copies rose gradually from there, however complete copies in nice condition has seen a steady rise over the last decade.
Tail Concerto: $80-$200
This action-adventure game was developed by CyberConnect (the studio that later went onto develop the .hack series of action RPGs) and published by Altus in North America. It is the first installment in the Little Tail Bronx series (the other games being spiritual successors that were released on the DS and then iOS/Android), which takes place in a steampunk fantasy world of floating islands populated by anthropomorphic dogs and cats.
Due to it being kinda niche genre (and an Altus publication in general), it didn’t have a large print run. The visual and character style also didn’t help sales in North America in a time where a lot of publishers were trying to shake the “kiddie” label in gaming.
In the end, if you’re into Japanese action RPGs, this is one of the hidden gems for the PS1 that we recommended a while ago. It has the charming storytelling you might expect from an Altus game and has a positive and fun-loving atmosphere.
When you could actually find this one in the wild, it usually went for less than $20 before 2010. Between 2010 and 2015, it steadily rose to the $50 mark. But these last few years, it’s gradually started a steeper climb to its present values.
Adventures of Lomax: $60-$217
This 2D platformer from Psygnosis is a spin-off of the classic Lemmings series. The player takes the role of Lomax, a lemming character that has to save his friends and animals from an evil doctor. The PS1 saw its only console version of the game, but it was also brought to Windows PCs. As HG101 points out, Lomax was also “sort of a spiritual sequel to an Amiga/Sega CD game called The Misadventures of Flink, also published by Psygnosis. While the gameplay’s different, they share a very similar art style, courtesy of pixel artist Henk Nieborg.”
Looking back, the 2D art style is quite charming, but in hindsight, it is quite easy to see how the typical Playstation owner in 1996 might not have been interested in the game. Even a decade later, it was rather unknown for quite a while, languishing in the $20 to $45 range until 2015. After a year of modest collecting growth, it spiked to a $80 to $230 range in mid 2016 before calming back down a bit. It has been roughly at its current range since early 2017.
Brigandine The Legend of Forsena: $70-$175
This turn-based, tactical RPG was developed by Hearty Robin and published by Altus in North America. It’s very much a niche title — fans of these tactical RPGs often find it as one of their favorites, but it doesn’t have mainstream appeal. It has been described as a cross between Altus’ famed Orge Battle franchise and the Sega Saturn cult classic, Dragon Force. It was praised for its flexibility and innovation in its game engine, but can seem rough around the edges elsewhere.
This title truly doesn’t show up often in the wild and doesn’t sell a ton of copies even on eBay. Loose prices haven’t changed a whole lot over the last decade ($55 in 2008, $48 in 2011) but complete copies that topped out at around $90 have grown gradually since then.
Batman Forever Arcade: $60-$189
Beatemups had their heyday in the arcade in the very late 80s and first half of the 90s. Acclaim was hitting their stride in the arcade in the mid 90s with NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat and decided to take a swing at the side-scrolling brawler genre while bring in the Batman Forever movie license. (Although this is different than the Batman Forever game they released a year earlier on the 16-bit era platforms).
Not only was Batman Forever feeling a little long-in-the-tooth nearly a year after the movie’s release, but the game didn’t really add much to a genre that was starting to fade a bit.
The game was ported to both the Playstation and Sega Saturn (in addition to a PC version) and both of the releases are pretty hard to find in the wild and have gradually climbed in value from a bargain price of $20 or so as late as 2012. And while the Saturn version is an honorable mention in the Rare and Valuable Saturn list, the Playstation version is surprisingly more valuable at this moment.
Check for Batman Forever Arcade on eBay
Check for Batman Forever Arcade on Amazon
Team Buddies: $75-$160
Our top pick in the Strategy/Simulation category in the PS1 Hidden Gems guide, but not what you would normally expect from the genre. 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. It also has a colorful and fun style that will appeal to all ages.
Not only is Team Buddies pretty hard to find in the wild, but it’s also a remarkably unique and fun game. It’s consistently been kinda in this zone of the Rare and Valuable list since we started it. In 2008, it was going for $60 to $120 and it slowed down to a $42 to $70 range in 2011 with only slight appreciation through early 2016. In late 2016 and early 2017, we saw a big spike in sale prices, but then it calmed back a bit over this past year.
Perhaps not as much as the Sega Saturn, but the Sony Playstation was a wonderful console for fans of 2D scrolling shooters. While most of the shooters were arcade ports, one of the very best on the system was exclusive to the Playstation and actually was published by Squaresoft.
Einhander also felt true to its 2D gameplay roots while still sporting some slick polygons. As you would expect from Square, Einhander utilized the Playstation hardware beautifully to create a very modern-looking shmup that fans of the genre could still rally behind. As we mentioned in our PS1 Games That Pushed The Limits guide, Einhander managed to run at 60 fps with minimal speed drops despite 20+ enemies on the screen. And even though it looked modern at the time (and still has quite a futuristic look to it) it still played tribute to old-school sensibilities.
Copies have consistently sold in the $40 to $50 range for most of its life, but over the last five years, we have seen complete copies in good condition command stronger values while loose copies have just gradually appreciated.
Castlevania Symphony of the Night (Black Label): $60-$160 ($250 Sealed)
One of the most timeless and essential games of the Sony Playstation’s library is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It gave the iconic series new life and became a Defining Game — especially for a 2D 32-bit game and actually pushed the system to its limits well.
SOTN was one of the best-sellers on the platform that received a Greatest Hits releases (with the lime green spine). Collectors often give a premium value to the original “Black Label” releases. They are typically more attractive and a bit harder to find since the Greatest Hits versions were sold at a budget price in retail.
In past versions of this guide the Black Label version of Final Fantasy VII was the hot one (commanding $78-$715 in 2008 and then $47 to $350 in 2011), but now you can find it in the $15 to $25 range. While FFVII was a hot collectable, SOTN was actually a nice affordable pickup. Just as FFVII was cooling down gradually, SOTN was heating up. Pretty interesting dynamic and something to keep in mind when thinking about long-term value.
Japanese Exclusive Imports of Value
Harmful Park: $250 – $500
This quirky gem from the small development house, Sky Think Systems (known for the Kururin series of puzzle games) is one of the most interesting exclusive games in the PS1’s impressive shmup library. It also happens to be one of the shooters in shortest supply. This rare shmup will remind many of Konami’s Parodius series and is filled with vibrant color and fun shooting action.
There’s quite a few copies of Harmful Park floating on eBay at any given time, but they are usually fishing for a big dollar score in the $450 to $700 range without any bites. Between 2008 and 2011, the game covered in the $110 to $200 range. However, as more Shmup fans have been building their PS1 collections, this one has gradually climbed up in value.
LSD: Dream Emulator: $250 – $375
Our dreams can be pretty weird and open-ended and this hidden gem captures this spirit quite well. LSD: Dream Emulator is a surreal exploration game that lacks any solid objective, but rather lets you experiment and experience this unique creation. If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to read HG101’s article.
The game was eventually re-released on the Japanese Playstation Network, but the original copy has still remained pretty consistent in value over the past decade. There’s usually a handful of authentic copies of these on eBay at any given time, but they are usually asking in the $350 to $600 range and don’t really move much at those prices.
Check for LSD: Dream Emulator on eBay
Zanac X Zanac: $160 – $190
Compile’s classic shooter, Zanac is a Defining Game in the Shmup genre and Zanac X Zanac is a sweet package that includes three remixes of the original Zanac game plus a modernized take of the game in the form of Zanac Neo. It was a bit of swan song from the team at Compile at the time many of its members were moving on to work at other studios and projects.
The game isn’t especially common but can be found online here and there fairly easily. However, its easy to want to collect all the gems from Compile, so it’s often on collectors shopping lists.
Other than a few slight fluctuations here and there, Zanac X Zanac has actually stayed quite consistent in value from our first edition of this guide in 2008 through this day.
Rakugaki Showtime: $100-$140
There’s many of us old-school fans that love Treasure’s work. While they are best known for Gunstar Heroes and Radiant Silvergun, they also have a handful of rather unknown gems like the Japanese exclusive, Rakugaki Showtime. Rakugaki Showtime takes a arena battle concept like Power Stone or Poy Poy but takes a more 2D-ish approach by using a paper-like technique made popular in the Paper Mario series. If you’re interesting in learning more, check out our little Meta Review from a while back or HG101’s article.
Check for Rakugaki Showtime on eBay
Additional North American Games of Value
- Lunar 2 Eternal Blue Collector’s Edition: $90-$210 ($250 Sealed) (eBay)
- R-Type Delta: $45-$160 ($200 Sealed) (eBay)
- Tactics Ogre: $50-$175 (eBay)
- In the Hunt [Long Box]: $70-$190 (eBay)
- Hot Wheels Turbo Racing [Greatest Hits]: $60-$150 (eBay)
- Fox Hunt: $50-$135 (eBay)
- Lunar Silver Star Story: $50-$160 ($250 Sealed) (eBay)
- Tales of Destiny: $60-$147 (eBay)
- Hercs Adventures: $50 – $155 (eBay)
- Elemental Gearbolt: $47-$136 (eBay)
- Tomba: $57-$140 (eBay)
- Resident Evil (Long Box): $40-$150 (eBay)
- Ogre Battle: $40-$155 ($400 Sealed) (eBay)
- Alundra: $35 – $155 (eBay)
- X-Men Children of the Atom: $50-$130 (eBay)
- Vanark: $50-$120 ($200 Sealed) (eBay)
- Pink Panther Pinkadelic Pursuit: $40-$113 (eBay)
- Clock Tower: $43-$130 (eBay)
- D [Long Box]: $60-$102 (eBay)
- Shadow Tower: $45-$105 ($162 Sealed) (eBay)
- Castlevania Chronicles: $55-$150 (eBay)
- Diablo: $17-$130 (eBay)
- Namco Museum Volume 5: $45-$95 (eBay)
- Clock Tower 2: $60-$150(eBay)
- Final Fantasy VII Black Label: $30-$500 (eBay)
- Thunder Force V: $60-$90 ($150 Sealed) (eBay)
- Rival Schools: $40 – $125 (eBay)
- Mega Man Legends 2: $43-$110 ($115 Sealed) (eBay)
- X-men vs Street Fighter: $45-$95 (eBay)
- Bust A Groove 2: $40-$105 ($200 Sealed) (eBay)
- Tomba 2 The Evil Swine Return: $40-$100 (eBay)
- Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter: $43-$90 (eBay)
- Castlevania Symphony of the Night [Greatest Hits]: $40-$100 ($160 Sealed) (eBay)
- ISS Pro Evolution: $40-$100 ($150 Sealed) (eBay)
Additional Japanese Games of Value
- Pepsiman: $80 – $135
- 70’s Robot Anime Geppy-X: $80 – $135
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.
- Syndicate Wars: $8 – $25 (eBay)
- Motor Toon Grand Prix: $7 – $25 (eBay)
- Goal Storm ‘97: $8 – $26 (eBay)
- Spider The Video Game: $13-$20 (eBay)