The 8-bit and 16-bit Nintendo markets have really taken off in the last five years even in comparison to the growing retro gaming landscape as a whole. At the same time, we are starting to see some of the true rarities and gems surface into collectibles and some less rare classics hold steady instead of getting further out of hand.
With so many more obscure games rising in value, this list could give you more motivation to dig through your piles for valuables and give you a solid reference while treasure hunting in the wild. While it may not be a surprise, boxed copies are continuing to see even more of a premium.
In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare and 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 the cartridge by itself. The second price is the highest daily selling price of recent history. The list is ordered by the balance of the two prices.
RARE & VALUABLE SNES GAMES TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Values Current as of February 2022
Recent Growth of North American Retail Games
Following the trend of the NES and some other mainstream retro consoles with high historical and nostalgic value, we are seeing a strong increase in complete and mint values. Loose cartridges are also increasing significantly, but it’s been surprising on how comparatively fewer complete games are entering the resale market. The fragility and rarity of the cardboard boxes decade after being opened also factors highly into premiums
With four full years since our last guide revision, it was easy to notice a lot of ranking shifting with the North American retail releases. I decided to chart out the major movers. In the chart below I compared the average pricing between the different the average loose price levels for a game and their highest mint copy sale during the time frame. I compared those averages between our 2018 guide and this 2022 guide to calculate the value growth percentage. If you’d like to see the full 2018 guide for comparison, I have made it available to my Patreon members. (Only $1 of support or more is needed to access)
After the chart, we will dig into the details of the top Limited Rarities, North American, Japanese, and PAL Sega Genesis/MegaDrive games — we have a lot to cover!
Limited Edition Collectables
Nintendo Powerfest 1994: $10,000 – $23,000
Nintendo experienced a wave of hype from their 1990 World Championship competition (the buzz from the 1989 film, The Wizard, may have helped), and the resulting game cartridges that were given out to finalists (gold) and used in the competition (grey) have become holy grail fixtures in video game collecting.
In 1994, Nintendo tried to replicate the experience during their Super Nintendo era, but for various reasons, it didn’t quite build up quite the same enthusiasm. In the US, the NES dominated the 8-bit era and was synonymous with video games. The SNES was still indeed popular, but Sega had kicked in as the “cool kid” by 1994. Nintendo also did not follow the same model of giving out and using collectible game cartridges this time around. Instead the 1994 Powerfest used beefy, improvised cartridges containing several EPROMs (one for each game plus the front-end in addition to a DSP chip to be used in Super Mario Kart) and 8 dip switches to customize the amount of time players got to spend playing the games.
The Powerfest Competition tested how many points could be racked up in a certain amount of time in level 1–1 of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, the first track of the Mushroom Cup in Super Mario Kart, and the home run derby in Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball.
Nintendo produced around 33 cartridges for the PowerFest ’94. These were used in stores across the country in 1994 for around 130 different events. The winners of each event won a trip to San Diego, CA to play in the World Championships. The second-place winner at each event got a Star Fox Jacket, which had been left over from the Star Fox Competition the year before.
Out of the 33 cartridges, there is said to be only two remaining today. The rest were supposedly returned to Nintendo where they were reused for parts. This relative rarity combined with the growing hype and valuations of the NES Championship Cartridges has led a certain group of collectors to pay large sums to own a copy.
One of the owners put up his cartridge on an auction in 2007 for $50,000, but it failed to attract an offer. Collector and game store owner, JJ Hendricks, bought the other cartridge in a private exchange for $12,000 in 2012 and then re-sold a year later on eBay for $23,100.
Since these cartridges aren’t polished, and decorated cartridges intended to be in the hands of a Nintendo fan, it shouldn’t be surprising that the valuations aren’t at the same level as a NES Championship Cartridge. One could argue that there aren’t really in the same league as the valuable retail games or collectors editions but instead more of a rare promotional cartridge that leans towards a prototype build.
Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992: $4,000 – $7,000
The Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge was created by Nintendo for a video game competition like the Nintendo World Championships in 1990 (and later the Powerfest in 1994, mentioned above), but these contests would tour college campuses and spring break hot spots. There was a competition and accompanying cartridge in 1991 for the NES (see the NES Rare and Valuable guide plus our look at the 1991 NES Campus Challenge Cartridge), but this Super Nintendo installment took place a year later in 1992. This particular competition tested players ability on Super Mario World, F-Zero, and Pilotwings.
Much like its NES counterpart (and the later ’94 Powerfest), these bulky cartridges were supposed to be destroyed and not designed for fan or collector consumption. Currently, there seem to be three known 1992 Campus Challenge cartridges. One was found in 2006 at the same New York City garage sale by Rob Walters as the 1991 cartridge. The cartridge is owned by a video game collector named Rick Bruns. A second unit was listed on eBay in 2011. A third unit was found in 2012 within an attic of a former employee of a company who did projects for Nintendo.
Like the ’94 Powerfest cartridge mentioned above, these are items that start out as “one-of-a-kind” items until more get discovered and are only worth what people are willing to pay.
Back in 2011 (back before the third unit was discovered), the eBay auction closed with no bids with an asking price of $15,000. Before that, the first unit sold in a private sale for $4,000 in 2006 (when it was the only known unit). So supply has increased, but values have yet to officially climb.
M.A.C.S. Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator 1500
By now, most of us have heard about military use of video games to train soldiers in an inexpensive and low-risk environment. It maybe be rather surprising, however, to learn that the the US Army used Super Nintendos for combat training.
The Multipurpose Arcade Combat Simulator (or M.A.C.S.) was a shooting simulator that was teamed with a rifle peripheral. The light gun rifle used is a replica of a Jäger AP 74 (an M16A2 clone). The unit is far more accurate than the Super Scope and has the weight and feel of an authentic weapon. The gun includes a scope used for aiming, and the light sensor is in the barrel of the gun. The cord that connects to the controller port of the SNES comes out near the end of the barrel. It is worth noting that the game cannot be played with a standard controller although a Super Scope can be used.
The cartridges that came with the guns were rather generic SNES cartridges with a white label and black text. Rumor is that there were only about 600 of these units produced, and many less are likely to have survived in good condition. You can find more info and pictures here.
Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer Combo: $1000 – $4800
While some people are hawking the single game carts for a handful of money, the rare version of these games actually has both the Speed Racer and Mountain Bike Rally game on it together for use with the LifeFitness Bike Unit. It is one of the rarest games for the system as it may have not seen full or even any retail distribution.
This 2 in 1 most likely never made it to stores, and most copies that have been found have been from Nintendo of America’s warehouse itself. Loose cartridges have been hovering in the $1000 to $1900 range. A boxed copy finally showed up and sold successfully in 2014 for about $2700. A sealed copy later sold in 2016 for $4800. However, another sealed copy was listed for $3700 in 2017 from a reputable seller and did not sell successfully.
Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartidge: $3500 – $4000
Donkey Kong Country Competition cartridges were used exclusively by Blockbuster Video stores in tournaments held within the store. The competition cartridge is rumored to have a print run of 2,500 copies and looks very similar to the standard commercial release other than the little accent in the corner of the label. If you’re lucky, there are also official clamshell cases out there that are green plastic and have some special cover art.
As typical with most video rental stores, a few leftover carts were tossed into the bargain bins for customers to purchase. Nintendo Power also offered some extra carts in their catalog. These “official” means of distribution makes them a little less mysterious than other Nintendo and Sega competition cartridges, but it’s still a pretty cool collectors item.
Back in 2018, bare carts were going for between $1200 and $2000. There had also been an empty case with artwork sell for $500. You can do the math on what complete copies can reach, but it’s worth noting that the $3900 listing didn’t close with a bid on eBay. Fast forward through the 2020-2021 retro surge and we can see going somewhere between those average 2018 sales and the more lofty aspirations,
Star Fox: Super Weekend Cartridge: $3000 – $4000
Much like the DKC Competition cartridges, this Star Fox cart was used by Blockbuster for game tournaments, and extra carts were sold off by Blockbuster and Nintendo Power. An article included in the original packaging suggests that the Starfox Weekend cart actually had a smaller production number (around 2,000) than the DKC cart, but for some reason, the Star Fox cart has shown up on auction sites a bit more often and has fetched a lower price.
Back in 2013, it had been listed on eBay a number of times and not sold for asking prices of $255 and $285. Into 2018, we saw carts going for between $400-$1000. However, as more interest in Super Nintendo collecting has grown and the retro market has been hyped up, we have seen loose copies sell easily for over $3,000 and exceeding $4,000
It doesn’t seem that this cartridge was offered with packaging like the Donkey Kong Country cart, but there were other related items offered
Treasured Standard North American Releases
Hagane: The Final Conflict : $950 – $7100
This was a hidden gem for many years and has recently become one of the best Super Nintendo collectors pieces. A little over a decade ago, you could find a copy of this game for around $50. However, in July of 2012, Mike of AVGN posted this video of obscure SNES games that praised Hagane and mentioned it being a Blockbuster-exclusive title although some Blockbuster store managers mentioned that they saw it sold new in Electronic Boutiques stores. Regardless, the fire of rare game talk was lit, and Hagane has been near the top of SNES collectors’ lists since.
We may never truly know what the real circumstances are; we can only observe the true supply and demand on the open market. The game itself is a side-scrolling action game from Hudson Soft that has a graphical style that feels more at home on the Genesis or TG16 and a gameplay style that seems inspired by the likes of Shinobi III on the Genesis.
Back in our 2018 guide revision, before the 2020-2021 surge, we were seeing Hagane selling for about $650-$750 loose, but complete copies for as much as $1375. Even though that still put it at as the top US Retail release, that seems like a steal now. Things have pretty much doubled in those four years. The high-end sales of cartridges can hit $1500 recently. And while there have been boxed copies with manuals sell under $1900, there’s been really complete copies (with inserts, posters, etc) selling for $3400 and $7,100.
Aero Fighters – $900 – $6,500
Aero Fighters was released as an arcade game in 1992 and then ported to the SNES two years later in very limited quantities. After being under the radar for a while with collectors of 2D shooters driving prices of many 16-bit shmups up, this gem is finally getting more recognition in collecting circles and has taken off in value and keeps climbing with prices nearly doubling every few years (couldn’t avoid the aviation analogies).
The $3000 value mentioned above for a complete copy actually a conservative estimate. I haven’t seen a successful sale of a fully complete copy on eBay in a while. There was a cartridge with a box that was sold for “only” $1200, but we’ve seen loose carts sell for more than that, plus if anyone has one with a manual, and inserts, watch out! There’s actually a copy with that description for a $10,000 asking price. It’s a lot of money, obviously, but it’s not completely ridiculous when you compare the rarity compared to Hagane above (there’s more been more complete Hagane surfacing) and its $7100 mint complete sale.
In our 2018 edition, Loose cartridges were going for $500-$800 in pristine shape, an empty box by itself (not even 100% pristine) have been seen listed on eBay for $1000 (or best offer). Now, a similar box has an asking price for $3,000 and
Final Fight Guy : $400 – $4,000
The original Super Nintendo port of the arcade classic (released in 1991) only had two playable characters – Mike and Cody – with the third character, Guy, trimmed to help it fit on a cost-effective cartridge.
This second variation of the classic Final Fight brawler had a full retail release in Japan a year later. It swapped out Cody and let you play as Guy instead. In the States, this variation didn’t show up until the summer of 1994 as a rental exclusive at Blockbuster stores. It eventually had a very limited retail release.
As you might expect from a Blockbuster release like this, finding boxed / complete copies of this one are super rare. We haven’t noticed a successful sale of a complete copy lately, but there are currently some mint complete copies for sale in the range of $6,000 to $8,000 (and simple boxed copy for $5000). For a rather conservative estimate, we think $4,000 is a reasonable appraisal of a complete copy.
Bare cartridges are tricky too, but there’s more of those and they typically sell for between $380 and $500. A manual will often add an extra $400 to $500 to the sale value.
Earthbound: $350 – $4,000
One of the easiest to find games on this list, Earthbound is also one of the most popular. The game is famous for its cult like following of fans, and those who love it most are always on the hunt for one in wonderful condition.
Earthbound a non-traditional RPG taking place in suburbia, and the game’s weapons are everyday household items. It is still regarded as one of the most enjoyable RPGs to this day. Prices have increased quite a bit for Earthbound over the last decade or two. Back in 2007, you could score a cartridge for under $70 and a complete copy for about $180, but it has seen been doubling in value every 3 years (for each condition level).
Pre-2020 levels shown in our 2018 edition of the guide showed loose carts going in the $130 to $250 range and complete copies go from $400 to $1500 depending on condition of the box and manual. A sealed copy in 2018 sold for $4000 (up from $2500 in 2014).
Now a fully complete and mint opened copy can touch those old sealed prices. Current loose copies can now range between and $225 and $550. In our 2018 guide, loose Mega Man X3 copies had a premium over the plentiful Earthbound carts, so we gave a slight edge to MMX3 on our rankings. But with all conditions of Earthbound appreciating more, it’s an easy move up the list for Earthbound.
Pocky & Rocky 2: $500 – $2600
This installment of cult-classic series from Taito and Natsume is often regarded as a favorite in the franchise. It’s a charming top-down shooter that has an adventurous story and support for 2-player co-op. I can’t blame collectors for wanting to round out their Super Nintendo collection with this gem.
Pocky & Rocky 2 has always been quite hard to find in the wild, but in the last decade years, more attention has been drawn to the game, and eBay hunters often swarm when it shows up for auction. Back in 2013, you could find it for less than $100 for a cartridge and $300 complete. In 2018, it got more attention at nearly $300 for a cart and $400 to $1000+ for a boxed copy depending on condition. Just in the last four years, we’ve seen that roughly double.
Even on eBay, boxed/complete copies are very hard to see surface. One recently sold for about $2600, but there’s also a couple other copies currently for sale in the $1800 to $2500 range. So this is one other that leaped over Mega Man X3 in the rankings these last few years.
Castlevania Dracula X: $360 – $1550
Castlevania Dracula X is the final Castlevania game released on the SNES, and like many games in a series, the later versions didn’t sell initially. As the Castlevania series got a boost with Symphony of the Night on the PS1 and then the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, the series saw many more collectors jumping back to older installments. However, now the series is firmly a pillar in the retro gaming landscape, so there is very little surprise in its collectability.
“Dracula X” on the Super Nintendo is actually an adaptation of the classic Japan-exclusive PC Engine game, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. While it may be simple to view this SNES version as a port, there are game elements (including level designs) that are drastically altered from the original. It is also worth noting that Dracula X is considered be in a different universe than the official Castlevania timeline.
Dracula X has seen an interesting ride over the years with its major franchise power. We did see it go from $58 to $125 in 2010 to $100 to $230 (or $400 sealed) in 2013 before nearly doubling again 5 years later in 2018 to $210 average for a bare cart and complete copies topping out at 380. However, the 2020/2021 retro surge was strong with this one as bare carts are getting close to doubling again and mint complete copies are taking off. Boxed copies can be scored for $700 to $800, but once you start getting inserts, manuals, and everything in pristine condition, we have seen the game enter the $850 to $1500 range which helps it rocket up in the rankings.
Mega Man X3: $300 – $1500
The NES and SNES both were crucial platforms for fans of the Blue Bombers, and this particular beauty has continued to climb several of spots on this list each time we update the guide. Mega Man X3 has essentially doubled in value every three years since 2010.
Mega Man X3 was one of two games to use a specialized chip called Cx4 that allowed for some 3D graphics in games (Mega Man X2 being the other title). Because of this chip, it is an oddity and has some of the best graphics on the SNES. It is also quite hard to find. These two factors combine to make it one of the more expensive Super Nintendo games.
Mega Man X3 hasn’t increased a ton since our 2018 guide edition (with its $240-$1250) range. Now you can expect to pay between $200 to $450 for a good loose cart (you can score one under $200 if you don’t care about damaged labels). Boxes and manuals have been selling for about $300 each. And depending on the level of completeness and condition, boxed/complete copies have been in the range of $450 to $1500.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Box Variant): $400 – $1350
This classic top-down shooter with a humorous flair was developed by LucasArts and saw solid commercial exposure on both the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, but it can be extremely difficult to find the game with this late-release artwork.
There were some rumors that this variant was only sold in Mexico, due to these particular boxes stating they were “Made in Mexico”. There are actually a good handful of SNES titles that had notices of being made in Mexico, but they were all sold in the US and other parts of North America. The more logical explanation is that for a later run of games after the ESRB ratings were put in place, Konami (who served as the game’s publisher) decided to change out the artwork. Most gaming fans actually prefer this artwork as it captures the personality of the game and is a great illustration. Sadly, the game cartridge and the manual still features the original commercial artwork.
Because the artwork is only a variant on the outer box, the pricing above is only either the empty box, boxed, and complete copies of the game. The bare cartridge does not have any premium. See our forum discussion for more info and photos of this great variant.
Harvest Moon: $380 – $1400
The original Harvest Moon was released on the Super Nintendo the same year the Nintendo 64 was launched, so many gamers had already moved onto Nintendo’s new console and didn’t bother picking up this game. However, the Harvest Moon series eventually grew into cult classic series (including an installment on the aforementioned N64), and many fans and collectors starting hunting down the cartridge that started it all.
Even with the series picking up beforehand, we have seen some strong value appreciation over the last 2010s. In 2010, the game was selling for $57 for a cart and less than $100 in complete form. 2013 saw a jump to the $150 to $500 range, and it has seen very modest increases until 2020.
Harvest Moon, in particular saw a resurgence in 2020 and majorly kicked into gear in 2021, essentially doubling or tripling in values over the course of the year. “Basic” boxed copies have been seen in the $700 to $800 range, but once you start having all the extra interior pieces like manual, inserts and such then you go in to the $800 to $1400 range.
Wild Guns: $280 – $1400
There aren’t a ton of Western-based video games or really good Cabal clones (shooting gallery-style shmups), but Wild Guns delivers in every area from graphics, music, controls, and challenge. With this being a high-quality, unique SNES exclusive, it’s not hard to see why the value of this game has been climbing, especially for complete copies.
Wild Guns has essentially doubled in value between its 2013 range of $140 to $400 and 2018 range of $225 to $800, although before that, it was actually a rather affordable gem. Over the past four years, it’s been a bit more conservative ride. Despite the retro boom of 2020/2021, loose Wild Guns cartridges only saw about a 25% gain over 4 years time. However, while the high range of complete sales we saw in 2018 was $800, the jump to the recent $1400 sale we’ve seen (and not even gem mint/complete) show that this is still a strong collector item.
EVO the Search for Eden: $280 – $1300
The game can not only be tricky to find, but is has a bit of a following. It is a unique platforming/role-playing game that is based around the evolution of a creature. It can be rather slow-paced and has lots of grinding, but it has an interesting way of letting you determine how your create evolves (which also adds to re-playability). Being a truly unique RPG title and a SNES exclusive helps solidify its collectibility for the platform. (SNESDrunk has a great video of EVO, in case you are interested)
EVO made a huge jump in value between 2010 ($60 to $115) and 2013 ($150 – $200), but the last eight years have seen a bit slower, (but still steady) growth than some of its peers mentioned above. Cartridge values have seen a modest 25% increase between 2014 ($200 average) and 2018 and then about a 40% gain the next 4 years (which is conservative considering the rest of the market), but complete copies have more than tripled in value. Also worth noting that back in 2013, we saw a sealed copy sell for $3,500 but have not seen another sealed copy sell recently.
Metal Warriors: $380 – $930
This sidescroller was published by Konami but developed by LucasArts. Metal Warriors is very much influenced by Cybernator/Assault Suit Valken franchise and is considered by some to be an unofficial spinoff of the series. According to an interview with the developer, it was built on the game engine of “Zombies Ate My Neighbors,” but you’d never guess by looking at it. Metal Warriors has slowly built up a bit of a following among collectors and has recently begun climbing these rankings.
Interestingly enough on this particular game, we didn’t see a lot of increase in complete values over the last four years, but cartridges have nearly doubled in value in the same time period. In 2018, you could score loose cartridges for $150 – $265 each while today $300 to $400 is the norm. During bother periods, boxed/complete copies can be between $500 and $900 depending on the condition and completeness.
Super Turrican 2: $300- $1050
This installment of the underground-popular run-and-gun series saw a release late in the Super Nintendo’s platform life. Between the rather niche following and the 1995 release, it shouldn’t be surprising that there aren’t a lot of copies floating around.
In 2010, it was pretty easy to find loose copies in the $20 range and boxed versions in the $50 range. Collecting heated up by 2013 with values rising to the $100 to $300 range (it may have also been boosted by getting retired from the Virtual Console in all regions without explanation that same year). However, between 2013 and 2018, we saw values nearly double. From 2018 to 2022 we saw loose cartridges increase another 50% from the $200 range to the $300 average. Complete copies in solid condition can be tricky to find and command a grand premium and have nearly doubled over the last 4 years. Top selling complete copies were at $540 in 2018, but we saw one exceed the $1000 line this month.
This rarity is based on an animated TV show featuring a fictional football (soccer, for us Americans) team. There were games produced from the license on a handful of 90s platforms including the Sega Megadrive, Sega Game Gear and the Super Nintendo. However, despite the TV series not being a mainstream hit in the States, the Super Nintendo version received a North American release in modest numbers. (The Sega version remained exclusive to Europe)
It should be noted that even though the characters are footballers and kick around a soccer ball in the game, Hurricanes is actually more of a platformer in which you use a soccer ball to defeat enemies instead of a traditional sports game. (This may feel familiar to those that played Soccer Kid. It should also be noted that the gameplay is slightly different in the Super Nintendo version when compared to the Sega counterparts, despite being created by the same developer.
The North American version of Hurricanes has always been pretty hard to find, even on eBay — near impossible in the wild. It’s been on our radar for this guide for over a decade, but it’s actually been tricky to get good sales data for it. Even though loose cartridges were rare, there wasn’t a lot of demand for it, so sometimes sales would get by at low valuations. Complete copies hardly ever showed up, so that was even trickier. Back in our 2018 guide revision, loose cartridges were going for about $100 each, but our conservative estimates were $300 for complete copies given there didn’t seem to be strong demand at the time (despite being rare). However, it did not surprise me to see mint complete copies rise above $1000 after this recent boom.
Chrono Trigger: $230 – $1100
Chrono Trigger is probably one of the most abundant of the games on this list, but it has such a strong bond with Super Nintendo and RPG fans that it commands a strong premium. As one of the most loved RPG games of all time (especially outside of the Final Fantasy series but still inside Square’s domain), it is considered an essential addition to any Super Nintendo collection. Even by Square standards, Chrono Trigger was created by an all-star cast of developers and stands up to the test of time in terms of story and game play.
While we have obviously seen both the SNES and NES libraries inflate in price quite a bit over the past decade, Chrono Trigger didn’t actually increase hasn’t increased in value too much over the previous decade. Even compared to 2010, we only saw an increase of loose cartridges go from $70 to $115 by 2019. Complete copies also remained around the $200 to $650 range (depends mostly on condition, of course) while sealed copies have stayed around the $1200 level since 2010 as well. Even though Chrono Trigger has a strong following, its heavy premium despite its lack of rarity combined with a DS release and digital re-issues have kept these values in check over that decade.
However, with most popular, but less mainstream games becoming bigger collectors items these last few years, we have seen the demand and prices catch up with the crowd more. We have, as a result seen the loose cartridges and complete copies preset much double since their 2019 levels .
Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel: $255-$900
Released in a time when anthropomorphic mascot platformers were plentiful, Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel was a pretty good gem that moves at a quick pace (though slower than the SNES version), combined with unique flying and acrobatic skills for its time.
A spin-off of Sunsoft’s Aero the Acro-bat series, one of Zero’s more interesting features is the large numbers of offensive action (such as limited shurikens and nun-chucks) and flying actions like diving and swooping. Its innovative features can be a bit tricky to control, but it stands out from the crowd of mascot action titles and is a nice way to round out a Super Nintendo collection.
The rise of building deeper retro collections has factored in heavily in the rise of Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel’s value. On both the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel have risen from “honorable mentions” into the top featured collectables rankings over the last few years, however the Super Nintendo is worth considerably more than the Sega counterpart.
Space MegaForce: $290 – $765
While RPGs have a stronger presence on the Super Nintendo, shmups have become a strong collecting force on many retro platforms. The Aleste series from Compile is often a mainstay with collectors, and Space Megaforce (known as Super Aleste outside of North America) is the offering for Nintendo’s 16-bit platform. While it didn’t quite get the attention that it’s Sega Genesis counterpart, MUSHA did, Space Megaforce is starting to climb the ranks for SNES collectors.
Earlier in the past decade, the game was mostly isolated to hardcore shooter fans and could be found in the $50 range for a cartridge. It wasn’t until about 2014 or 2015 that we really saw values rising. By 2016, Space MegaForce had nearly tripled from the levels just two years earlier.
Our 2018 guide saw Space Megaforce break into the top rankings and this has been solidified even further with a near doubling in value over the past 4 years from the $155 loose and $395 mint complete levels.
Incantation: $210 – $840
This little title got lost in obscurity due to being seen as a mediocre Mega Man knock-off at the very end of the SNES’s lifespan. The developer, Titus, already had a relatively bad reputation during the 16-bit generation, so the game really got buried in the bargain bins by the time it left stores.
Over the last two decades, Super Nintendo collectors have been trying to flesh out more of their collections, and finding this piece can be be a challenge to track down in good condition. Back in 2010, the cart could be found for $15 and complete boxed for only $25. Once it got on collectors’ radars, we saw a rise to a $60 to $760 (sealed) range in 2013. Loose copies nearly tripled since up to 2020 and complete copies remained strong. 2020 and onward has seen minimal (about 20% growth) since then on bare carts, but there’s a strong premium on ultra mint/complete copies.
Sunset Riders: $90-$1000
One of Konami’s underground favorite run-n-gun games back in the 90’s Sunset Rider is kinda like a hybrid of Contra and Turtles in Time that’s set in the Old West. While the game does have some challenging section, it is made easier (and fun) with a friend playing alongside. Overall, it is a well-crafted game that has plenty of personality and humor to complement a solid 16-bit audio/visual experience.
Sunset Riders originally saw a port to Sega’s 16-bit system, but it was trimmed to only 2 playable characters and 4 stages (although, those were made longer). The Super Nintendo port came later and was more faithful to the arcade original (with some exceptions of censorship). While the Sega version is rather collectable amongst its Sega peers, the SNES version often sells for 2 to 3 times the value (although cardboard boxes can factor in there too).
The following for this game has built over time and we’ve seen a steady climb in value over the years — not as much as a heavy spike as others. However, the cult-classic status of this gem has put a very strong premium on mint complete copies.
Final Fight 3: $150 – $900
Much like Final Fight 2, this third installment was an exclusive to the Super Nintendo. Critics at the time of the game’s release weren’t especially impressed as it didn’t add a whole lot to the formula other than it being the first Final Fight title to give four playable characters. However, in hindsight, if you are a fan of the series, you can appreciate that Capcom did put some effort into refining the Final Fight experience on the SNES. Running attacks are a subtle, but welcome addition and there are also special moves that can be pulled off with Street Fighter-like control motions.
Up until 2012, you could find loose carts of the game for $30 to $40 and $100 for complete. In 2013, prices doubled in the span of a year or two and has increased gradually from then. With it being a solid installment in a classic franchise and a late-release SNES exclusive, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Final Fight has started to attract attention.
Bronkie The Bronchiasaurus: $390 – $600 ($1200 Sealed)
This rarity was part of series of health educational games from Raya Systems that was a simple run-and-jump platformer aimed at teaching children about asthma and how to prevent it. While the game and Raya’s series had good intentions, the games are nothing to get excited about other than their current collectible status.
Upon booting up the games, you can tell that Raya Systems (who was actually a supplier of health devices) worked with developers that could create a game quickly and cheaply. YouTuber Kim Justice actually has a brief video discussing their work (focusing on one of the most unfortunate releases, Captain Novalin).
Back in 2013, Bronkie could be picked up for about $35 for a bare cartridge and about $100 for a complete copy. After getting more exposure, SNES collectors are noticing how hard this title is to find on a regular basis and are willing to pay a premium. In our 2018 edition, we were seeing an average sale price of a cartridge at $180 while a complete copy was maxing out at about $270.
While note massively increasing in value, we did see some solid appreciation continue into this decade. However, it is also noticeable that opened complete copies seem to be pretty rare these days. We’ve actually seen more sealed copies that boxed and opened. Perhaps that is the result of cases of previously unsold units have been found. For that reason, sealed copies of Bronkie don’t quite have the markup of other high-flying SNES games in sealed condition.
R-Type III: The Third Lightning: $200 – $750
R-Type III: The Third Lightning is one of the more popular games in the influential shmup series and one of the best shooters on the SNES due to its huge levels, impressive bosses, and a solid difficulty level. R-Type III also made good used of the SNES’s Mode 7 graphics to bring in rotating backgrounds. Irem also worked to cater to the SNES hardware to avoid slowdown. With this in mind, it isn’t a big surprise that R-Type III never saw an arcade release, but it was eventually ported to the Gameboy Advance. In the mid 1990s, this was a bold move, but it makes for a nice console exclusive for collectors.
Even though the R-Type series has been a mainstay in the shmup community, cartridges were relatively easy to find in the $25 range up until about 2014 when values started to appreciate. In the next two years, values of the game doubled or tripled. Complete copies started hitting the $200+ mark in 2015 and have stayed rather steady since then. Once the 2020/2021 boom kicked into gear, it has show another doubling in value from its 2018 levels.
- Check for R-Type III: The Third Lightning on eBay
- Check for R-Type III: The Third Lightning on Amazon
Mega Man 7: $200 – $700
After seeing NES Mega Man games rise in value, it is no surprise to see the trend continue with the SNES installments. While Mega Man 7 didn’t really bring anything new to the series (and was possibly even a step backwards for Capcom), it still ended up as a collector’s item. It is the first and only title in the main series to make use of 16-bit graphics, and the eight Robot Masters in the game are the product of design contests held for fans in Japan.
Mega Man 7 has actually appreciated quicker than most games on this list over the last decade. Back in 2010, you could find cartridges for under $40 and a mint boxed copy for under $80. 2013 jumped to a $100 – $306 range before going from 2X to 3X of that in our 2018 guide. However, that momentum has cooled down in recent years. Cartridges have increased a modest 10% over the last 4 years, but complete copies have actually come down from the max of $1000 we saw in 2018.
Additional North American Super Nintendo Games of Value
- Mega Man X2: $130 – $350 (eBay)
- Kirby’s Dream Land 3: $160 – $700 (eBay)
- The Ren and Stimpy Show Buckeroos: $170 – $700 (eBay)
- Pocky & Rocky: $185 – $650 (eBay)
- Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen: $160 – $160 (eBay)
- Ninja Warriors: $160 – $640 (eBay)
- Demon’s Crest: $150 – $450 (eBay)
- Ghoul Patrol: $175-$560 (eBay)
- Ninja Gaiden Trilogy: $175-$560 (eBay)
- King of Dragons: $100-$600 (eBay)
- Nosferatu: $120 – $610 (eBay)
- The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang: $190 – $500 (eBay)
- SWAT Kats: $190 – $380 (eBay)
- Syndicate: $175- $500 (eBay)
- Casper: $100 – $450 (eBay)
- Captain Commando: $145 – $400 (eBay)
- Sparkster: $170 – $370 (eBay)
- Super Copa: $155 – $270 (eBay)
- Fire Striker: $150 – $250 (eBay)
- Mega Man Soccer: $70 – $330 (eBay)
- Super 3D Noah’s Ark (Unlicensed): $150 – $230 (eBay)
- Knights of the Round: $105 – $255 (eBay)
- 3 Ninjas Kick Back: $120 – $250 (eBay)
Rare & Valuable PAL Releases
Mega Man x3 : $450-$2000
While you will see some games below that were PAL exclusives, some games like Mega Man X3 are just a lot harder to find as a PAL release — especially in complete condition. The PAL release was distributed by Laguna Video Games (you will notice their logo as a major difference between the North American and PAL cover art) and it seems that they didn’t get this game into quite as many hands as in other parts of the world.
Mega Man X3 was mentioned above in the North American releases. It was ranking much higher on the list back in 2018, but has plateaued a bit since then. However, the extra collectability of this PAL release has stayed strong with mint complete copies commanding quite a premium.
Batman Forever Woolworths Box Set: $1000 – $1300
This PAL Limited Edition box set was only available from Woolworths and is very hard to find. The set includes the game, a “Making Of” VHS, Batman diary, Batman sticker, competition entry form, and the outer slipcase.
As many of you know, the game wasn’t especially popular, and in the days of people not really collecting video games, most people who purchased it would not have kept all the items and packaging together let alone in good condition. It has surfaced on eBay a few times in recent years, but it hasn’t always reached its asking price. In early 2018, it sold complete for about $1000. But with recent collecting surge we’ve upped our estimate a bit. However, this doesn’t have quite the enthusiasm of the Donkey Kong and Star Fox competition cartridges, so this has been lowered in the rankings a bit.
Additional PAL Games of Value
- Alien vs Predator (Australian): $400-$1600 (eBay)
- Super Chase HQ: $130-$1600 (eBay)
- X-Zone: $240-$800 (eBay)
- The Firemen: $200-$800 (eBay)
- Mega Man X2 : $300-$600 (eBay)
- Knights of the Round: $55-$750 (eBay)
- King of Dragons: $250-$500 (eBay)
- Castlevania: Vampire’s Kiss: $190-$500 (eBay)
- Demons Crest (Australian): $180-$500 (eBay)
- Pocky & Rocky: $100-$500 (eBay)
- Syvalion (Extra Hard to Find CIB): $95-$500 (eBay)
- Whirlo: $180-$400 (eBay)
- Joe and Mac 3: $80-$500 (eBay)
- Pocky & Rocky 2 (Ukv or Scn Region): $175-$400 (eBay)
- Super Widget: $70-$500 (eBay)
- Sunset Riders: $80-$420 (eBay)
- Pirates of Darkwater: $115-$365 (eBay)
- Super Adventure Island 2: $95-$350 (eBay)
- Super R-Type 3: $80-$300 (eBay)
- Hungry Dinosaurs: $50-$300 (eBay)
The Expensive Super Famicom Releases
It’s rather difficult to find solid rarity and value information on Super Famicom titles unless you have a Japanese connection, but here are some of the most desirable Super Famicom releases from the research we did. If you have more to add, please use the comments section below.
Kunio-kun no Dodge Ball Zenin Shuugou Tournament Gold Cart: $1200 – $3000
There were a number of Super Famicom games that were released as limited edition gold carts for tournaments in Japan, one of the most valuable being the Kunio-kun no Dodge Ball Zenin Shuugou Tournament Special. It was given away as a prize to winners of Technos Japan’s Dodgeball Tournaments which they used to host several times during 1993.
There hasn’t been a lot of value changes in this cartridge in the last 7 years. Back in 2010 and 2013, we had this in the $1,100 to $1,300 range based on some Japanese Yahoo Auctions, but it can been seen in Japanese shops in a more narrow range.
Magical Pop’n: $700 – $1800
It didn’t really get much exposure outside of Japan until recent years, but as collecting of the 16-bit era heats up, this is increasingly becoming one of the hot imports with the perfect blend of rarity and interesting gameplay and style.
Back in 2013, this lovely title was going for a range of $180 to $250, but you can’t blame 16-bit Nintendo fans for scooping this up to round out their collections and skewing the supply and demand curves.
Rendering Ranger R2: $300 – $1600
From the makers of the Turrican series, this run-and-gun shooter is one of the most desirable and beautiful standard-issue Super Famicom games. It is one of those import titles that is worth the hype, but it has been climbing up in value. It is hard enough to find a bare cartridge of this game, but boxed copies are quite the rarity.
Despite this being a high-quality game, we’ve seen this one cool down from 2018 levels. In 2018, we saw loose copies go in the $500 range and complete copies exceeding $2,200 (with attempts to sell for $3,000) However, the values are still a dramatic increase from our 2013 valuation of a $120 to $299 price range for loose and complete. What we are seeing now seem to be a rather “reasonable” level considering the otherwise ambitious retro market.
It seems that loose and complete copies are showing up to the market more often now (not including all the bootlegs), so the supply is starting to meet demand.
Undercover Cops: $350 – $1000
As one of our classic Beatemup Hidden Gems, Undercover Cops has had a cult classic following for a while, but has more recently began to climb to the top of the collectors lists of Super Famicom games.
This brawler from Irem (who is better known for their scrolling shooters) has some of the more outlandish weapons, power-ups, and bosses that you’ll find in the genre. It also is a bit less forgiving that some of Capcom’s brawler peers.
In 2021, Retrofit worked with Irem to reissue the game for the Super Nintendo and Limited Run games also worked on distributing this release as well. Even though it may have eaten into some of the demand for the Super Famicom original, it also has help build up the awareness for this Irem classic.
Iron Commando: $240 – $1220
This Final Fight clone was put out by French developer Arcade Zone in 1995. It was localized for a PAL release, but that was later cancelled. It has been seen at Japanese game shops for $1000 but has sold for more than $1200 complete on eBay in recent years.
It is also worth mentioning that Piko Interactive completed funding for an Indigogo campaign to obtain rights to reproduce NTSC SNES cartridges of the game and sell them for $45 for a cartridge and $55 for a boxed edition. It will be interesting to see what long-term effect this development has on the valuation of the Super Famicom version. In the meantime, these re-issue copies (with black cartridges) have been resold in the $65-$70 range in complete condition.
Fire Emblem Box Set Fire Emblem Thracia 776 Box Set: $450 – $550
Before the Fire Emblem series came to the West on the GBA and Gamecube, it was a very popular strategy RPG series in Japan. To satisfy the many fans of the series, a feature-packed box set was released that included maps, posters, toys, and other cool stuff. What makes this particular Fire Emblem entry so rare is that it was such a late release in the Super Famicom’s lifespan. It was originally released in 1999 on a Super Famicom flash cartridge through Nintendo Power and received this extremely limited release in 2000 – just one year before the Gamecube launched. Check out this forum thread to see pictures of the complete Box set.
Since we bought more attention to this set earlier in the decade, we have seen more boxed units surface on eBay. The value certainly hasn’t declined, but it has had a modest increase from its 2013 $150 – $270 valuation (There were fewer complete/pristine copies at the lower value, so good condition sets really only increases 10% to 15%).
Additional Super Famicom Imports of Value
- Undercover Cops: $210 – $1100
- Majyuu Ou: $225 – $840
- Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban: $118 – $520
- Ghost Chaser Densei : $90 – $$460
- Do-Re-Mi Fantasy Milon no Doki Doki Daibouken – $75 – $550
- Final Fight Tough (Final Fight 3) – $300 – $400
- Kiki Kaikai Pocky & Rocky 2 Tsukiyo Soushi : $50 – $430
- Spriggan Powered – $250 – $450
- Fire Emblem Thracia 776 – $54 – $210
Related Retro Gaming Guides
- The Rarest and Most Valuable NES Games
- The Rarest and Most Valuable Sega Genesis Games
- Super Nintendo (SNES) Beginner’s Guide
- The SNES Hidden Gems