The Rarest & Most Valuable Sega Master System Games

Rare and Valuable Sega Master System Games

About this series: 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 Sega’s first console wasn’t a bit hit in the United States and it doesn’t have as much of a collector’s following as some newer systems, it can be a challenge to find a lot of price information on the rarer Master System games.  However, after a lot of research on eBay, forums, and rarity guides online, I think I’ve compiled a fairly accurate listing of the Master System libary.  It’s also worth noting that with a quick search on eBay, you may find that some prices for games may vary for certain games.  Often in those cases, it may be due to a more common region variation of the game being sold without being specified (often a common PAL version instead of the US version)

Sonic the Hedgehog Master System Cover Sonic the Hedgehog: $300 – $500

Now, don’t get confused on this one (or some of the others to follow).  If you look on eBay for a Sonic the Hedgehog for the Master System, you will indeed find some inexpensive games that will play on the North American Sega Master System, but most likely, it is actually just the more common European version.   The only way to tell the European versions from the North American counterparts is that US releases have a sticker barcode on the back (and the code often begins with “01008” as opposed to the PAL’s “49743”)  Because of this, you need a complete game (not just the cart) to have much value.
Shop for Sonic the Hedgehog on eBay

James Buster Douglas Master System Cover James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing: $150 – $400

This games is just hard to find all-around.  After the real US Sonic release, this is the next in line in terms of rarirty.  It is also the most sought-after loose cartridge (you don’t have to worry about the more-common European version).
Shop for James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing on eBay

Golden Axe Warrior Master System Cover Golden Axe Warrior: $65 – $200

This one is a mix of rarity and demand for a solid exclusive title.  Warrior is a real challenge to find at an affordable price and it’s also Zelda-like spinoff of Sega’s classic Golden Axe franchise.  If you’re looking to build a top-notch Master System collection, this is a solid entry that will command respect in more ways than one.
Shop for Golden Axe Warrior on eBay

Out Run Master System Cover Out Run (Blue Label) 1990 Re-Release: $50 – $100

It isn’t hard to find Out Run for the Master System, but there are a handful of games that saw a late re-release with a simple packaging change.  This 1990 release has a blue label on the cartridge instead of the original red one.  That’s the only difference.
Shop for Out Run (Blue Label) on eBay

Power Strike II Master System Cover Power Strike II: $60 – $85

Like Golden Axe Warrior, Power Strike II is both hard to find and an excellent Master System exclusive.  If you like 2D shooters then you owe it to yourself to try this game out (at least on an emulator). This is easily one of the best 8 bit shmups and can even hold its own against many 16-bit shooters.
Shop for Power Strike II on eBay

Phantasy Star Master System Cover Phantasy Star: $23 – $60

While it isn’t super common, Phantasy Star’s value rides more on the fact that it’s the first installment of Sega’s classic RPG series.  It is still regarded as one of the best 8-bit RPGs and other than a few releases in compilations many years down the line, it also remained an exclusive to the Master System
Shop for Phantasy Star on eBay

Out Run 3D Master System Cover Out Run 3D: $40 – $80

Here’s Out Run again!  This time it’s the version that makes use of the Master System’s ahead-of-its-time 3D glasses.  There were a handful of games that utilized the 3D, but Out Run is one of the harder games to find and also one of the most in-demand.  It’s a cool little collectible if you can scoop it up.
Shop for Out Run 3D on eBay

Spiderman Master System Cover Spiderman: $45 – $70

This is another rare North American release that can be easily found in other regions.
Shop for Spiderman on eBay

Moonwalker Master System Cover Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker: $30 – $50

Yes, another rare North American release.  The passing of the King of Pop also helped drive the value of this release up.  Both the Master System and the Genesis version saw a huge spike in value after MJ’s death, but it’s calmed down since then.
Shop for Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on eBay

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World Master System Cover Alex Kidd in Shinobi World: $30 – $50

This treasured platformer can be a bit hard to find, but the love of the classic Alex Kidd franchise also keeps the value of this gem up.  If you shop around, you can find it cheaper, but most of the time on eBay it will cost you.
Shop for Alex Kidd in Shinobi World on eBay

Valuable Brazil (Tec-Toy) Releases

Sonic Blast Tec Toy Master System Cover Tec-Toy released a large selection of Master System games in Brazil (where the Master System thrived quite a bit).  Many of them were actually simple ports of Game Gear games.  There are many Tec-Toy releases that are rather hard to find and can bring in some good money, but here are some of the most valuable.

  • Sonic Blast: $80 – $230
  • Legend of Illusion: $100 – $150
  • Virtua Fighter Animation: $80 – $150
  • Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge: $100 – $150
  • X-Men Mojo World: $40 – $130

Shop for Tec Toy Releases on eBay

Valuable Japanese Releases

Great Ice Hockey: $120 – $200

How does a common US game go from being worth $5 to $200+?  The Japanese version was only released through a magazine contest that coupled the title in with a Sega Sports Pad giveaway (before the Sega Sports Pad’s official release in Japan).  No box was ever made for it (we just included a picture.
Shop for Bomber Raid on eBay

Bomber Raid Master System Cover Bomber Raid: $100 – $150

This vertical 2D shooter was the very last Master System game released in Japan.  It was also released in Europe and North America, but this seems to be the most valuable Japanese release.
Shop for Bomber Raid on eBay

Valuable European/PAL Releases

Les Schtroumpfs Autour du Monde: $50 – $80
Masters of Combat: $60 – $80
Buggy Run: $60 – $80

Other US Releases of Value

  • Alf : $30 – $50
  • Strider: $40 – $60
  • Ghouls ‘n Ghosts: $20 – $47
  • Asterix and the Great Rescue: $30 – $50
  • Montezuma’s Revenge Featuring Panama Joe: $35 – $45
  • Ninja Gaiden: $32 – $45
  • Aerial Assault: $20 – $45
  • Ultima Quest of the Avatar: $29 – $42
  • Power Strike: $30  – $40

Other Hard-to-Find US Releases

  • King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown
  • Castle of Illusion (starring Mickey Mouse)
  • Slap Shot
  • Dick Tracy
  • Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap
  • Super Monaco GP
  • Blade Eagle 3D
  • Paperboy
  • Space Harrier 3D

Other Hard-to-Find Brazil Releases

  • Ariel The Little Mermaid
  • Ecco: The Tides of Time
  • Cyborg Hunter
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Fire & Ice
  • Buggy Run
  • American Pro Football
  • Asterix and the Secret Mission
  • Alien Storm
  • Battletoads Battlemaniacs

Other Hard-to-Find Japanese Releases

  • Great Ice Hockey
  • The Castle
  • Comical Machine Gun Joe
  • Loretta no Shouzou
  • Undead Line
  • Alex Kidd: BMX Trial
  • Cyborg Hunter
  • Hokuto no Ken
  • Super Racing

Other Hard to Find European Releases

  • Championship Hockey
  • Great Soccer [card]
  • Home Alone
  • T2: The Arcade Game
  • Assault City (Light Phaser Version)
  • Asterix and the Great Rescue
  • Daffy Duck in Hollywood
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Power Strike II
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Ultimate Soccer


Nick says:

This is a great guide that you have here, thanks for posting it!

I do have one question though concerning the Sonic The Hedgehog game, is there any other visual differences to the label we should be looking out for? I saw a couple listings that say “Blue Label” but most don’t generally show the back of the package. Thanks!

boringsupreez says:

I had no idea that MJ’s Moonwalker even had a SMS release.

CurlyPaul says:

Its odd that so many of the common games are hard to find in the US. Also, has anybody got a photo of a verified US Sonic? I’ve read a lot of different reports on the location of the sticker and what it actually has on it

hobie-wan says:

Some other things worth noting. The US Power Strike mail order only until the end of its run and the package was blue and white artwork only. The European release had different color artwork and black text on the spine. Power Strike II was also only released in PAL territories.

AchillesTheGreat says:

I have James Buster Douglas complete and in great shape. Price looks like it has raised considerably. It is definitely a big rarity, even some other guides ignore Sonic due to the UPC code ordeal and list JBD as being the rarest SMS game. Great Guide racketboy!

SONICISRARE???????? says:

Cool i have every single one of those games on the list and surprised that sonic 1 is rare

Jerry says:

I wasn’t aware the US Sonic was rare, as I’ve seen so many loose carts. Good to know, and I’ll have to keep an eye out.

Lonestar says:

US Sonic is only rare if you have it complete and it has the right UPC label on the back. A loose cart won’t net anything since it’s more about the case and the UPC.

Evan says:

I got my Golden Axe Warrior minty and complete for $3.99 recently at a game store 😛

tc says:

A loose cart US Sonic should be worthless. There is NO means to identify it from the PAL release.

I’d be wary of any opened box one too. If somehow a PAL cart got swapped into the box, then the copy is no longer fully US and chances are never will be again.

Sturat says:

A few nits to pick:

I don’t think Asterix, Ultima, or Ninja Gaiden were released in the US.

Also, since the rest of the featured games are based on the cost of the North American versions, it might be helpful to make it more clear that Power Strike II (and Outrun 3-D, if I’m not mistaken) were never released in North America.

Dup says:

I wish my PAL releases were that valuable! Atleast they’re easier to find….

Beard says:

The rarest and most valuable master system game by far is The Smurfs 2. It was only released in The Czech Republic in 1996. Only 30 or so copies are known to exist, when it does appear on ebay it usually goes for 400 euros!

Few mistaks says:

Yeah sturat, well said. Asterix, Ultima, and Ninja gaiden were not released in the US. It is also very confusing the way you have this listed. You make it seem like the first games listed were all US releases. Power strike 2 and outrun 3-d were not released in the US. Other than that, well done.

Matt Taylor says:

There’s no mention here of the Brazilian only STREET FIGHTER II for Master System, that thing is really rare and no copies on eBay as I write this. Its also awful

Adam says:

Hi im new to collecting , im from New Zealand and at the moment im collecting pal versions ive started this facebook page to help us collectors to trade ect!/pages/SEGA-master-system-and-clasic-gaming/148879565182273

some games i have manged to pik up that were more difacult or took a long time to come across were power strike 2 , home alone , crash test dumies, (im yet to add NZ story let me know if youve got that) chek out the page and start adding to it ,its blank at the moment

Ace says:

OK, there are a few missing games here and the guy that said Smurfs 2 is the rarest is right, It should be up the very top.
Also you need to add the Donald Duck Lucky Dime Caper box set to the top listing.
Maybe also the black and white version of power strike.
And yes Someone also mentioned Street fighter II. That needs to go in the tec toy section.
Now a few pal games you missed (so far as I know rare in Australia anyway)
Robocop 3
And you may want to include the 2sets that were only released in Australia those are bloody rare.

And finally if you wanna get technical you could add the Portuguese purple carts, which are just box variation re-releases that we’re only sold in Portugal and the silver box versions which were only released in Aus and only rare because of the silver boxes but it won’t make much difference if they’re there or not.

Ace says:

Oh and how could I forget. 4pak all action, which was only released in Australia by the company HES

Dylan says:

Wow, I have a handful of these games, didnt realise the price tag they demanded in the US

Kylie says:


I have alot of SEGA master games and i am wanting to see what they are worth.

Brent says:

The NTSC Sonic IS the PAL Sonic – there is no difference in artwork, manual or cartridge. The only thing that defines it is the US UPC code stickered over the European one. If you take the artwork out you will see the European UPC on the artwork. This is also the case with Strider, Spiderman and Golden Axe Warrior. The Sonic debate has been a long going one amongst SMS collectors and quite frankly, with todays technology, one could find the right UPC online and make a replica sticker that would be almost indistinguishable from a real one. I got my Sonic for $20 and when I opened the booklet, the sticker was adhered to the back page of the manual. It had fallen off the game and the owner had placed it inside the book. I’ll never sell it, but if I did, I’d only ask about $40 because anyone could make a fake now. The ONLY “sticker” game that is hard to fake is Spiderman because it had copyright info attached to the right of the UPC and the font is very specific and hard to replicate.

mark says:

have any of you guys heard of a copy of Dr Hello on sms,
i have only a the cartridge,
in the last few years collecting sms games,
never seen one being sold or published.
wikipedia doesn’t have a page on this game.
except sega mark III i’m collecting all games and accessories and consoles.
have 240 games and now the rares are costing me.
smurfs 2 is going for $800 aus on ebay.

Rev.H says:

Golden Axe Warrior really goes for that much? o.O That came with my Master System and I think I only paid $85 for the system and all the 15+ games and some other stuff (light gun, joystick, etc.). Crikey.

Mario says:

I have a bunch of Portuguese Purple Stuff on eBay check-out

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