The original XBox doesn’t have quite as many cult classics as the PS2 and Gamecube, but there are still some gems and oddities in the library that collectors do their best to snatch up. Much like Gamecube games on the Wii, many of the games listed below still benefit greatly from being backward-compatible on newer Xbox hardware.
In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & Valuable series takes a look at the most in-demand and expensive games for a console.. Below you will see two prices beside each title. The first is the average daily selling price, which is typically the going rate for either a loose disc or a game in a case but without a manual. The second price is the highest price in the past three months which is usually the price for a gem mint copy (sealed values are then listed separately). The list is ordered by the balance of the two primary prices.
Prices Current as of November 2023
RECENT GROWTH OF NORTH AMERICAN RETAIL GAMES
With three 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 average loose/rough price levels for a game and their highest mint copy sale during the time frame. I compared those averages between our 2020 guide and this 2023 guide to calculate the value growth percentage. If you’d like to see the full 2020 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 North American, Japanese, and PAL OG Xbox games — we have a lot to cover!
Treasured Standard USA Releases
Steel Battalion: $170 – $1050 ($1400 sealed)
Even though Microsoft had a difficult time getting strong Japanese developer support, but those that did sign on were excited to make use of its hardware strengths. Capcom was amongst the established developers that created some fresh content for the Xbox and really took things to the next level with Steel Battalion. The game not only delivered a high-end mech simulator that gamers would only expect on a PC, but created a custom controller that drastically elevated the experience. Both during the Xbox’s original run and in the two decades that followed, Steel Battalion has remained a legend that is included in our Games That Defined the Xbox guide.
It’s a bit unfair to include Steel Battalion so high on the list as most of the value of the full set is due to the massive controller that remains as a mech fan’s dream come true. However, even the bare game still holds its own in the top 10, so we can’t complain too much. It’s also worth mentioning that used copies have are now significantly over its original retail price of $200. Back in our 2009 guide, it was only in the $81 to $204 range with the controller in our 2009 guide (and $30 to $35 for the game only).
If you aren’t familiar with it, Steel Battalion’s controller tries to replicate being inside a Mech and had nearly 40 buttons. With the large, expensive controller setup and a relatively niche audience, the initial production was close to 2,000 units but the game was re-released, adding a few more copies to the market. Later releases had blue buttons on the controllers compared to the green buttons of the original run. There is usually a bit of a premium on the original green-button units, but often the condition/existence of the outer box makes more of a difference in resale value.
OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast : $200 – $360 ($400 Sealed)
Sega has so many awesome franchises under their belt, but in recent years they have struggled to do them justice. However, the 21st-century resurrection of the Outrun franchise was right one the mark when it came to maintaining the exhilarating arcade feel in a modern gaming world.
The original Outrun 2 release is quite an affordable gem to own on the OG Xbox, but this Coast 2 Coast follow-up (which is the same game with some extra modes, cars, and some redesigned levels) did not get a very large production run on the Xbox despite being relatively plentiful [and still affordable] on the PS2.
With that being said, keep in mind that while Coast 2 Coast is indeed a solid release from Sega, you could be more than fine with the original Outrun 2 release or play Coast 2 Coast on another platform more affordably. Back in our original 2009 version of this guide, Coast 2 Coast was merely an honorable mention on the list, weighing in at a $20 to $28 price range. It wasn’t until 2016 that solid collecting interest in this version really started to take off, hitting a $70 to $80 range. Since then, Coast 2 Coast has risen gradually and established itself as the most in-demand Xbox standard retail release that doesn’t include a special controller.
Futurama: $110 – $280 ($350 Sealed)
The cult-classic animated series from Matt Groening was struggling to find a mainstream audience on Fox when this console game adaptation was in development. The show ended up getting canceled in 2003, the same year the game arrived in stores. Since the game wasn’t released until after the last episode of season 4, the Futurama game was viewed as a “lost episode” containing 28 minutes of new animation.
Vivendi Universal Games had a feeling the show wasn’t doing well so the print run of both the PS2 and Xbox versions were kept rather low. (You can find the PS2 version at a similar price point on that Rare and Valuable guide) A Gamecube and Game Boy Advance port was also originally developed but canceled.
Even though the animated series was revived four years later, the game has remained a collector’s item and has appreciated quite well over the last few years. Back in 2012, you could score a copy in the $30 to $36 range, but it has been climbing steadily since then.
Teen Titans : $100 – $225 ($260 Sealed)
Every now and then, it’s fun to pick up a fun beatemup based on one of your favorite licensed properties and zone out. Teen Titans from THQ is one of these types of games that was released on all the major platforms in the era.
It’s quite easy to find copies of the same game on the PS2 and Gamecube for under $20, but the Xbox version is much trickier to find in the wild and commands about 4 to 5 times the value.
Between 2008 and 2014, the Xbox version only had a 2X premium over its PS2 and Gamecube peers, but collectors eventually started noticing it is a trickier pickup.
NBA Ballers Platinum Hits: $70-$255 ($270 Sealed)
The NBA Ballers Platinum Hits edition is by far the hardest to find of the series at least in part because of being released so late into the OG Xbox life span. The Platinum Ballers also happens to be among the very hardest OG Xbox releases to find as a whole.
Back in this Reddit thread from 2020, it was stated that collectors thought “there are like 5 copies we know about in varying states and one of them sold for a $1000 or something a while ago.” As far back as 2017, there were many doubting the variant even existed, despite being listed on Wikipedia.
While it is indeed rare, more people are learning of its significance and starting to cash in on it, balancing out the supply and demand. And while it is definitely not a single-digit print run, it is still likely the rarest North American Xbox release.
Spikeout Battle Street: $75-$200 ($260 Sealed)
However, many Sega fans, including myself didn’t really hear much about Spikeout Battle Street, a modern beatemup which was released in the Spring of 2005, just months before the Xbox 360 was launched.
Spikeout Battle Street was developed by Dimps (known for their work on the Sega Advance series and eventually collaborated with Capcom on Street Fighter IV and V). The Spikeout series originated in the arcades (and this is the only console installment) and Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi also directed this installment.
Marvel vs Capcom 2: $75 – $200
If you want the biggest mashup of characters in your fighting games, Marvel vs Capcom 2 is the place to be. It may not be the most balanced game for tournaments, but its one of the most popular mainstream 2D fighters out there even nearly 20 years after its initial release.
Most gamers may flock to the PS2 version, but the Xbox release is just right behind it in terms of value. The more recent Marvel vs Capcom games have stolen some attention from part 2, but some fans still swear by this installment and its often the ones that gets the most nostalgia talk (I’m personally still partial to the original Marvel vs Capcom and even X-Men vs Street Fighter before it).
These physical releases original had a higher ranking on the Rare and Valuable guides, but MvC2 has also been released digitally on XBLA and PSN making it more accessible and calming down the value of these “vintage” releases. Back in our 2009 guide, copies were in the $73 to $155 range (and were a bit more expensive couple years earlier.) The game took a big dive in 2009/2010 after the digital re-releases and just stared to increase a bit more between 2016 and now.
Def Jam Fight for New York (Black Label): $62 – $156 ($250 Sealed)
Def Jam Fight for New York (Platinum Hits): $55 – $120
It’s not too often you see a mainstream, multi-platform EA game on a Rare and Valuable guide like this, but this follow-up to Def Jam Vendetta has remained a fan favorite and has had more people looking to pick up a copy than there are people looking to part with their own copy.
This sequel expanded from exclusively wrestling battles to more fighting styles such as Streetfighting, Kickboxing, and Martial Arts. It also, of course, adds to its lineup of rapper and other pop-culture celebrities to battle with. Fight for New York also strived to make the controls more intuitive and offer a Create-A-Fighter feature.
Fight for New York also received a Platinum Hits release (which is mentioned down below), but there is a slight premium on this original, “Black Label” release.
Unlike some of the other multiplayer games on this list, Fight For New York is actually more expensive on the PS2 — in fact, it’s about double to price. This could be more of a demand issue for those that are nostalgic for a game like this have one of the plentiful PS2s out in the wild.
Additional Valuable North American Releases
- The Guy Game: $55-$130 (eBay)
- Def Jam Fight for New York (Platinum Hits): $55 – $120 (eBay)
- Jet Set Radio Future (Standalone): $50-$115 ($250 Sealed) (eBay)
- Otogi 2: $50-$110 ($140 Sealed) (eBay)
- Obscure: $40-$115 ($200 Sealed) (eBay)
- Auto Modellista: $45-$110 ($200 Sealed) (eBay)
- Azurik Rise Of Perathia [Not for Resale]: $50-$100 (eBay)
- Fatal Frame 2: $44-$95 ($120 Sealed) (eBay)
- Xyanide: $47-$90 (eBay)
- Dino Crisis 3: $35-$97 (eBay)
- Curse The Eye of Isis: $40-$92 ($180 Sealed) (eBay)
- Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: $26-$105 (eBay)
- Bloody Roar Extreme: $40-$85 ($150 Sealed) (eBay)
- Digimon Rumble Arena 2: $35-$85 (eBay)
- SpongeBob SquarePants Lights Camera Pants Platinum Hits: $30-$90 (eBay)
- Fatal Frame: $33-$85 (eBay)
- Steel Battalion Line of Contact: $40-$75 (eBay)
- Godzilla Save the Earth: $34-$76 ($135 Sealed) (eBay)
- Halo Triple Pack: $40-$70 ($300 Sealed) (eBay)
- Sonic Riders [DVD Bundle]: $35-$71 (eBay)
- Splinter Cell [Not for Resale]: $40-$65 (eBay)
- 50 Cent (Platinum Hits): $43-$60 (eBay)
- Harry Potter Sorcerers Stone: $26-$71 (eBay)
- Gauntlet Dark Legacy: $18-$60 (eBay)
- IHRA Drag Racing Sportsman Edition: $27-$45 (eBay)
- Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2: $20-$52 (eBay)
- Fight Night Round 2 Platinum Hits: $20-$35 (eBay)
Most Valuable PAL Region Xbox Games
This racer is essentially a modern take on the Micro Machines (or the N64/Dreamcast RC racer, Re-Volt) with the setup of having toy cars racing around everyday household locations such as kitchens, bedrooms. The game incorporates a fun and whimsical atmosphere with colorful graphics and dynamic gameplay.
The game was quite affordable in North America (including a PS2 release), but was quite difficult to find in PAL regions. Even to this day, it’s tricky to find it show up on eBay.
This beatemup game by Konami is based on the Kids WB animated series that ran through the early aughts, allowing players to step into the shoes of the Xiaolin monks – Omi, Kimiko, Raimundo, and Clay – as they embark on a quest to thwart the evil Heylin forces.
The game blends martial arts combat, platforming, and puzzle-solving elements. Players can switch between the four main characters, each possessing unique elemental abilities corresponding to their Wu Xing elements.
Xiaolin Showdown was in wide distribution in North America on the Xbox, PSP, PS2, and DS. PAL regions saw a version of each, but the PAL Xbox version had a quite limited print run in the region and has become hunted down by collectors.
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Unlike its predecessor, “Lament of Innocence,” and other 3D Castlevania titles, Curse of Darkness featured a more open-ended, non-linear structure. Players explored a variety of interconnected environments, deviating from the linear level design of previous 3D entries.
While maintaining the series’ signature gothic atmosphere, Curse of Darkness departed from the traditional linear approach of 3D Castlevania titles.
Even though it isn’t the strongest 3D Castlevania installment, the game has maintained a respectable resale value in all regions on both Xbox and PS2. However, the PAL Xbox version is pretty tricky to find in the wild, resulting in this premium.
Additional PAL Region Rarities
- Frankie Dettori Racing: $150-$160 (eBay)
- Gene Troopers: $50-$200 (eBay)
- OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast: $70-$150 (eBay)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: $75-$140 (eBay)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 Mutant Nightmare: $60-$140 (eBay)
- NightCaster II: Equinox: $50-$100 (eBay)
- Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball MAX’D: $60 – $80 (eBay)
- Otogi: Myth of Demons: $50-$80 (eBay)
- Jaws Unleashed: $50-$80 (eBay)
- Knights of the Temple II: $40-$66 (eBay)
Most Valuable Japanese XBox Releases
Daemon Vector: $300 – $500
As the hero, players combat this undead threat in a gothic-styled slashing action RPG, where a sinister strain of the Black Plague animates the decaying dead of Medieval Europe. The narrative traces back to the 14th century, triggered by Marco Polo’s return, breaking a seal from ancient China and plunging Europe into the horrors of the Black Death.
Even though the cover looks impressive and the premise is intriguing, the general consensus is that the actual game is sadly lacking. Daemon Vector is a console exclusive to the Japanese Xbox, but also received a PC release in the UK.
It is rumored that this Xbox version only had 200 copies produced, which is the prime reason this game is such a collector’s item.
Plus Plum 2: $105 – $300
Plus Plum 2, a puzzle game developed and published by Takuy, presents a competitive puzzle experience with three falling object types requiring color-matching in groups of three. The twist lies in disappearing objects and changing contiguous object colors upon matching.
Careful planning allows players to create multi-chain color combos, factoring in color changes as objects vanish. Adding complexity, the game introduces a weight concept, as the platform holding falling objects functions as a scale influenced by block quantity.
Shikigami no Shiro II: $130 – $220
Shikigami no Shiro II is a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up (shmup) game developed by Alfa System. The game is renowned for its unique blend of traditional bullet-hell mechanics and an innovative “Tension System.” In Shikigami no Shiro II, players can switch between two distinct modes – Human and Shikigami – altering their attack patterns and abilities. The Tension System rewards players for close encounters with enemies, encouraging risk-taking for higher scores.
Visually, Shikigami no Shiro II is striking with its vibrant anime-inspired art style and intense, bullet-filled action. The challenging gameplay, coupled with a dynamic scoring system and engaging character narratives, makes it a standout title in the shoot ’em up genre, appealing to both genre enthusiasts and those seeking a fresh take on classic arcade shooters.
Psyvariar 2: Extend Edition: $120 – $200
Psyvariar 2: Extend Edition is another solid vertical shmup. What sets it apart is the “Buzz System,” allowing players to level up their craft by grazing bullets without getting hit. This risk-reward mechanic not only boosts the player’s firepower but also alters the game’s difficulty dynamically, offering a personalized and evolving experience.
The game features branching paths, determined by player performance, providing multiple routes and encouraging replayability. The dynamic level design and evolving enemy patterns keep the gameplay fresh and challenging. The game’s trance-inducing electronic soundtrack complements the fast-paced action, creating an immersive experience.
The Xbox edition known as “Extend Edition” features less slowdown than the original Dreamcast port and replay saves to hard disk, and replay sharing on Xbox Live. It also does not have the “roll” button that the PS2 port includes.
Double S.T.E.A.L. The Second Clash: $110 – $155
Double S.T.E.A.L.: The Second Clash is the sequel to Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (which was on the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube). This sequel was released only in Japan in 2005. Despite this region-specific release, the game is completely in English.
The series is an action racing game – the original game set in Hong Kong, and this sequel is set in America. Having already freed Hong Kong from the grip of the Yakuza in their last game, the Dragons of the Hong Kong Police Force fly to America to hand Tiger Takagi off to the CIA. Unfortunately, Takagi is barely on American soil for five minutes before his Yakuza cronies spring him, and this time it’s up to the Dragons alone to put him behind bars for good.
Players assume the roles of two elite anti-crime task force members, driving a variety of vehicles through the bustling streets. The missions involve intense car chases, stunts, and combating the criminal underworld.
With the OG Xbox’s commercial struggles in Japan and it being released so late in the platform’s lifespan, it isn’t surprising, this was such a limited release. Now it remains a pricey exclusive.
Drihoo: $70 – $193
Drihoo, an obscure Japan-only Xbox title from 2002, has emerged as a foundational influence on FromSoftware’s renowned “Soulsborne” series, which includes titles like Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls, and Bloodborne. Developed and published by Highwaystar Co., Ltd., Drihoo played a pivotal role in the evolution of the franchise due to the involvement of game designer and director Kaikō Arima. Arima joined FromSoftware after Drihoo’s release and contributed to major titles, including Elden Ring.
Drihoo tells the story of a futuristic miner who excavates the ruins of an ancient civilization looking for treasures and other riches. Drihoo’s deliberate design choices, including slow and deliberate attacks, a dark and claustrophobic setting reminiscent of Soulsborne locales, and an obtuse storytelling style, are highlighted. The game’s narrative, set in a dark underground realm with parallels to real Egyptian mythology, offers an intriguing blend of mystery, exploration, and unique mechanics.
Noteworthy connections between Drihoo and the Soulsborne series include animation priority, a third-person camera perspective, and a health system emphasizing decision-making. The leveling system, currency mechanics, and the emphasis on player exploration without explicit guidance also draw parallels.
Despite its lack of recognition outside Japan, Drihoo has recently garnered attention, thanks to the efforts of Shawn Sackenheim, founder of Delisted Games. Sackenheim has undertaken an exhaustive translation of Drihoo (see the ROMhacking.net listing), aiming to introduce this overlooked title to a wider audience.
Takahashi Junko no Mahjong Seminar: $100 – $140
Takahashi Junko no Mahjong Seminar, as the name might suggest, is a Mahjong game featuring the Japanese professional mahjong player Takahashi Junko. The games are focused on providing players with a virtual mahjong experience, often including tutorials and tips from Takahashi Junko herself.
Even though the original Xbox was not very successful in Japan, this game was exclusive to the platform but seems to have had a limited print run. It’s a rather under-the-radar collectible at this point, but it routinely has high price tags when it surfaces.
Metal Wolf Chaos $100 – $139
The Xbox was known for having very poor sales in Japan, but somehow the system still managed to have a fairly high-profile Japanese exclusive in its library. Metal Wolf Chaos is a third-person mecha shooter game developed by FromSoftware (known for their Armored Core and Souls series) in a bit of a partnership with Microsoft in an attempt to boost interest for the Xbox in Japan.
Interestingly enough, the game built up a cult following in the States due to the interesting storyline of a fictional US President digging into a mecha battle with an rebelling military led by the fictional Vice President and the exaggerated patriotic themes that go along with such a premise.
With it being a Japanese exclusive, it has never really been considered an affordable pickup for North American collectors. Interestingly enough, there was prequel in the form of Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit (without as much bravado in its premise) that was released in North America and is quite affordable (although the reviews also weren’t as favorable).
With growing popularity, Devolver Digital worked with FromSoftware to localize the game and bring a remaster to the PC, Playstation 4, and the Xbox One in the summer of 2019. So far, it has only reduced the resale values of the Xbox original by 10% to 20%.
Check for Metal Wolf Chaos on eBay
Check for Metal Wolf Chaos on Amazon
Additional Valuable Japanese Releases
- Tenerezza: $90-$130 (eBay)
- Rent-A-Hero No. 1: $85-$120 (eBay)
- Aoi Namida: $90-$100 (eBay)
- C.A.T.: Cyber Attack Team: $85-$100 (eBay)
- Togue R: $80-$100 (eBay)
- Dinosaur Hunting: $80-$90 (eBay)
- Bistro Cupid 2: $70-$85 (eBay)
Rarest North American Xbox Games At Affordable Prices
Each of these games are quite hard to find, but routinely sell for $20 or less. If you are a collector and see a mint copy of any of these on eBay for a low price, you might want to snatch them up — you might not see them often and they could be a higher profile target down the line.
- Outlaw Golf 9 Holes of X-Mas: $6 (eBay)
- Outlaw Volleyball Red Hot: $7 (eBay)
- Outlaw Golf Holiday Golf: $9 (eBay)
- Outlaw Golf 9 More Holes of X-Mas: $7 (eBay)
- Loons Fight For Fame: $12 (eBay)
- Totaled: $10 (eBay)
- Kakuto Chojin: $17 (eBay)
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