The 8 Most Valuable and Rarest Console Games Ever

In the ever-evolving world of video games, some titles stand out not just for their gameplay, but for their rarity and jaw-dropping price tags. While it may be hard to believe, there are a fair few nostalgic games out there that when sold, could see astronomical figures. Here's a list of the 8 most valuable and rarest video games that have sent collectors and gamers into a frenzy.

In this blog:

Red Sea Crossing (Atari 2600)

Price: $700-$10,000

Created by an independent programmer and advertised in religious magazines, Red Sea Crossing is another rare game for the Atari 2600 that's worth a pretty penny or two today.

In this game, you play as Moses as he attempts to cross the Red Sea. With its biblical narrative and limited production, collectors are willing to shell out around anything from $700 for a loose copy to over $10,000 for a CIB (complete in box) game.

Reports claim that there were only 100 of these cartridges produced, so if you're lucky enough to find one stashed away in your home you could be in for a treat!

Tetris (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive)

Price: $3,000-$16,000

Joining the list is the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version of Tetris. While Tetris is a well-known classic, the Sega Genesis version is particularly rare due to its limited release.

Due to legal issues and Nintendo's exclusive rights to the game, the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive never released a licensed version of Tetris. Luckily, Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov has confirmed that at least 10 unlicensed versions of the game are out there somewhere.

A complete, sealed copy can command a price of around $3,000-$16,000, making it a sought-after addition for collectors of both puzzle games and Sega history.

Birthday Mania (Atari 2600)

Price: $15,000-$35,000

While Birthday Mania isn't as commonly known as Super Mario Bros, this unique title is known for its rarity.

Created by Anthony Tokar and advertised solely through the Newark-Star-Ledger, Birthday Mania allows players to play birthday-themed mini-games involving popping balloons and blowing out candles. Another fun quirk of Birthday Mania is the box, as it could be personalised with a birthday message or name.

There's no exact number of verified copies, but reports claim that there are less than 10 in existence. If you're lucky enough to find a copy it'll cost you between $15,000-$35,000, making it a valuable addition to any collector's arsenal.

Nintendo Campus Challenge (NES)

Price: $20,000 – $22,000

An elusive gem in the NES library, the Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge was created for a nationwide gaming competition in the early '90s. Nintendo Campus Challenge is composed of Super Mario 3, PinBot, and Dr. Mario all on one cartridge.

All copies were thought to be destroyed… that was, until a copy was found in the garage of an ex-Nintendo employee. This rarity resurfaces occasionally in collector circles, with prices ranging from $20,000 to $22,000 or more, making it a sought-after prize for NES aficionados.

Air Raid (Atari 2600)

Price: $14,000-$33,000

For Atari enthusiasts, Air Raid is a true collector's dream. Released in limited quantities, Air Raid is similar to Space Invaders, as players are forced to defend two buildings from a bombing raid.

This shoot 'em up game is recognised for its distinctive blue T-shaped cartridge and finding a complete copy of Air Raid could set you back between $14,000-$33,000, making it one of the rarest video games for the Atari 2600.

Stadium Events (NES)

Price: $20,000-$41,000 

Originally released by Bandai in 1987, this fitness game has become the holy grail of rare console games.

Nintendo bought the rights to Stadium Events in 1988 and re-released the game as WorldClass Track Meet, before pulling all copies of Stadium Events from shelves and destroying them.

It's said that 200 copies were sold in the year that the game was on the market and of those games, it's believed that only 20 are complete copies. A sealed Stadium Events can fetch up to a staggering $41,000 at auctions.

Gamma Attack (Atari 2600)

Price: $50,000

Another Atari gem on our list is Gamma Attack, a space shooter that is as elusive as it is fascinating. Gamma Attack was created by Gammation Productions and up until a few years ago, the game was a mere rumour within the collectables industry… that was, until one was found.

Said to be the only copy of Gamma Attack in existence, it was put up for sale on eBay for $500,000 but was later valued at around $50,000

Nintendo World Championships (NES)

Price: $26,000-$100,000

In 1990, Nintendo organised a global video game tournament and manufactured custom NES cartridges for the occasion.

The Nintendo World Championships cartridge for the NES contains a compilation of iconic games such as Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer, and Tetris, all with a special tournament timer ticking away. 90 copies were made in the standard grey while a further 26 were made in a gold colour ready to be given out as prizes in a Nintendo Power contest.

Today, this sought-after piece of gaming history can fetch a cool $26,000 or more if you've got a gold cartridge. In fact, a gold cartridge version was sold in auction for a whopping $100,000 back in 2014.

For those who aren't lucky enough to find any of these rare games lying around your home, you can still make some money from your old games. Trade in your games with musicMagpie and we'll give you cash for them!