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 backwards-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 the 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 August 2020
Treasured Standard USA Releases
Steel Battalion : $250 – $500 ($600 to $1000 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 : $105 – $175
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 a quite 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: $70 – $205 ($1200 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 cancelled 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 were also originally developed, but cancelled.
Even though the animated series was revived four years later, the game has remained a collectors 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.
Stubbs the Zombie: $55 – $203
Instead of the typical “zombie game” where you are a hero in a an intense, modern setting fending off zombies, “Stubbs” takes place in the late 50s, reverses the roles and works humor into the formula. This third-person action game was the first game developed by Wideload Games, which was founded by one of the co-founders of Bungie and used the Halo engine as its foundation.
As you can imagine, Stubbs the Zombie was a bit of an underground hit, but was not without its political controversy. In the end, it wasn’t a mainstream seller, but it isn’t ultra-rare either. There’s just enough of an increase in demand with relatively limited supply that the game has increased in value over the last decade as more collectors are looking for Xbox Hidden Gems like this.
Stubbs also received a PC and Mac port a month after its Xbox debut, but the Xbox version is its only console release. It was also released on Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace as an Xbox Originals on in 2008 but was removed late 2012 due to technical issues.
A decade ago, it was pretty easy to find a copy of Stubbs in the $20 range or less, but as more collectors started adding it to their wish list (and the game was removed from Microsoft’s online service) we’ve seen a steady rise into this top 10 list of more desirable games on the Xbox.
Metal Wolf Chaos (Japanese Exclusive) $100 – $155
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
Teen Titans : $80 – $154
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 tricker 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.
Marvel vs Capcom 2: $50 – 132
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.
Jurassic Park Operation Genesis : $38 – $120
While this rarity didn’t get a Gamecube version like Teen Titans above, Jurassic Park Operation Genesis was also available on the PS2 (for nearly half the price) is one of the more uncommon original Xbox games.
In this adventure, you have to recreate the Jurassic Park theme park by creating dinosaurs, building rides, and attracting guests. Just like the movie, the dinosaurs can attack the guests if you don’t keep them safe. The game received mediocre reviews and just didn’t really get a large print run.
Our 2009 guide had Operation Genesis in the $38 to $120 price range, which makes it seem like it hasn’t grown in collectibility that much. However, values were almost twice as high between 2014 and 2016, before gradually calming back down these last few years.
Def Jam Fight for New York (Black Label): $45 – $108 ($158 Sealed)
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.
Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth: $30 – $76 ($86 Sealed)
This particular Xbox gem was the work of Headfirst Productions that was in some sort of development for six years and aimed to be a First Person Horror Adventure Shooter (although FPS style combat isn’t introduced until a bit later in the game and is mostly regarded as a survival horror game.
The game is based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft, author of “The Call of Cthulhu” and progenitor of the Cthulhu Mythos. It is a reimagining of Lovecraft’s 1936 novella The Shadow over Innsmouth.
After being in some sort of development for six years, the game was released in the fall of 2005, just a month before the release of the Xbox 360. It ended up getting mixed reviews and just never seeing very many sales rack up.
Between 2009 and 2015, the game lingered in the $15 to $20 range before gradually climbing out of obscurity into more collectible territory.
Additional Valuable Japanese Releases
- Double S.T.E.A.L. the Second Clash – $75 – $110 (eBay)
- n.u.d.e.@ Natural Ultimate Digital Experiment – $60 – $100 (eBay)
Additional PAL Region Rarities
- Xiaolin Showdown: $100 – $350 (eBay)
- Stubbs the Zombie: $43 – $130 (eBay)
- Jaws Unleashed: $38 – $115 (eBay)
- Castlevania: Curse of Darkness: $40 – $82 (eBay)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 Mutant Nightmare: $35 – $70 (eBay)
- Spikeout: Battle Street : $30 – $80 (eBay)
Additional Valuable North American Releases
- 50 Cent (Platinum Hits): $43 – $110 (eBay)
- Def Jam Fight for New York [Platinum Hits]: $45 – $95 (eBay)
- SpongeBob SquarePants Lights Camera Pants [Platinum Hits] : $35 – $98 (eBay)
- Halo Triple Pack: $ 35 – $75 ($135 Sealed) (eBay)
- Godzilla Save the Earth: $28 – $81 ($120 Sealed) (eBay)
- Grand Theft Auto Trilogy : $27 – $80 (eBay)
- IHRA Drag Racing Sportsman Edition: $25 – $75 (eBay)
- The Guy Game: $30 – $70 (eBay)
- Fatal Frame: $26 – $72 (eBay)
- Obscure: $25 – $70 (eBay)
- Harry Potter Sorcerers Stone : $23 – $63 ($189 Sealed) (eBay)
- Fatal Frame 2: $25 – $57 ($68 Sealed) (eBay)
- Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler’s Green: $20 – $66 ($106 to $160 Sealed) (eBay)
- Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2: $2 5 – $ 53 (eBay)
- Spikeout: Battle Street : $17 – $65 ($145 Sealed) (eBay)
- Gauntlet Dark Legacy: $20 – $57 (eBay)
- Fight Night Round 2 [Platinum Hits]: $29 – $40 (eBay)
- Digimon Rumble Arena 2: $23 – $45 (eBay)
- Steel Battalion Line of Contact: $28 – $38 (eBay)
Rarest Games At Affordable Prices
Each of these games are quite hard to find, but routinely sell for $20 or less. If you are an 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: $4 (eBay)
- Outlaw Volleyball Red Hot: $4 (eBay)
- Outlaw Golf Holiday Golf: $7 (eBay)
- Outlaw Golf 9 More Holes of X-Mas: $4 (eBay)
- Dragons Lair 3D: $16 (eBay)
- Loons Fight For Fame: $10 (eBay)
- Totaled: $8 (eBay)
- Kakuto Chojin: $15 (eBay)