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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 11:21pm 05/15/13 (05:11pm 03/10/10) in 3h8m12s  §  2702 eyeballs
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Taking a look at some of the rarest video games ever sold. I'm only going to cover games that were actually commercially released, so no Earthbound prototype, no Drac's Night Out, no Star Fox 2, etc.

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Atari 2600

  • Air Raid (Atari 2600) - Probably the single rarest Atari title (excluding Atlantis II), Air Raid is also its strangest looking, with an odd baby blue color and a T-shaped handle on top of the cartridge. Produced by an extremely obscure company called MenAvision in extremely limited quantities (as in, less than 20 are known to exist), copies have been spotted selling on eBay for thousands of dollars apiece.

    Average price: Spotted a copy on eBay recently for $12,600, and there's two days and 21 hours left. Will it go for over 20 grand? Likely!

    Atlantis II - Back in the earlier days of gaming, it was common for companies to hold high score contests for games to boost sales and maintain player interest. Imagic held one such contest for their popular game Atlantis, with a promised prize of $10,000 for the highest scorer. However, more entrants than expected had actually managed to max out the scoreboard, which made selecting a grand prize winner rather difficult. They eventually came up with a solution - hand the first few entrants a version of the game with faster gameplay, lower scoring, and give them a much shorter deadline to post a high score. You guessed it, the top entrants all received copies of "Atlantis II", a slight edit of the original game, its only distinguishing feature being a plain white sticker on the box reading "Atlantis II".

    Only about ten copies of the game were created; the game never received a wider release, making it not only one of the rarest Atari games, but one of the rarest games ever.

    Average price: Only one is known to have hit eBay, and the lister was attemping to make a sale at the price of $1.75 million dollars; not surprisingly, there were no takers. But who knows; with the label art being literally identical to the original Atlantis, you might just get lucky and find a copy at a flea mart for two or three bucks.

  • Pepsi Invaders (aka Coke Wins) (Atari 2600) - Pepsi Invaders is an altered version of the Atari version of Space Invaders, with two slight changes - the aliens are edited into the Pepsi logo and letters spelling out "Pepsi", and the game operates on a short time limit rather than a lives system. Interestingly, this was not a third-party bootleg - it was commissioned by Coca-Cola and officially produced by Atari.

    The game was only "released" as a giveaway to Coca-Cola executives at a 1983 sales convention in plain black cartridges without labels. Only 125 copies were made.

    Average Price - One copy surfaced on eBay in 2005 and sold for over $1800. To the best of my knowledge, no others have been sold online.

  • Custer's Revenge - One of the most notorious games of all time for its depiction of rape, and one of a wave of unlicensed Atari porno carts. While the game had a fairly wide release, it was always kept behind the counter or hidden in a back room, requiring customers to specifically ask for it. As few knew they even existed, sales of all of the pornographic games were very poor, but Custer's Revenge is perhaps the most sought after due to its infamy.

    Average Price - Can go for up to $200 complete.

  • Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Two more notorious Atari games created by Wizard, based on the popular horror movie franchises of the same name. While groundbreaking at the time for their depictions of graphic violence, they too were kept hidden behind the counter, and their obscurity and surrounding controversy prevented them from ever selling well. As a result, both are now highly sought collector's items.

    Average Price - Seen going for over $300 in various states of completeness in the rare cases when they show up online.

  • Swordquest: Waterworld - The third in a series of four cartridges created by Atari for a contest that centered around finding and deciphering clues in the games' included instruction booklets and manuals, piecing them all together, and mailing the right answer to Atari for some seriously hefty prizes. Sadly, Waterworld only got a very limited release through the Atari fan club, Airworld never came out, and the contest was scrapped before the last three prizes could be given away.

    Average Price - A loose cart can go for over $200, Complete copies usually for around $500.

    NES

  • Secret Scout - Probably the rarest of all of Color Dreams' unlicensed titles. Originally intended as a licensed game based on, of all things, Six Million Dollar Man, the deal fell through and Color Dreams decided to release it without the license. This was apparently not long before they changed their name to "Wisdom Tree" and transitioned over to making nothing but bad Bible-based games, as it was discontinued shortly after its release.

    Average Price - $120 to $180. Comes in both blue and black colors, with the black carts apparently being worth more.

  • Little Red Hood - An uncompleted (yet still released) action game created by Sachen, probably best known from the Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the game. Its only release in the English-speaking world was a brief release in Australia, utilizing an odd design that required another cartridge to be plugged into the top to bypass the NES' lockout chip. It seems to have gotten a very limited printing run, as copies of it are quite rare even on auction sites.

    Average Price - Unknown.

  • Panesian porno games - Among the rarest of all NES titles are Panesian's pornographic games, titled Hot Slot, Peek-a-Boo Poker, and Bubble Bath Babes. The first two are simply casino based games with occasional scenes of nudity, while the last is a simple puzzle game where the player must match bubbles of like color to clear them from the screen (again, with nudity). Oddly, the company still exists today, creating computer hardware under the name "MAG".

    Average Price - $500-$600 loose, over a grand for complete copies.

    Little Samson, Panic Restaurant and Bubble Bobble Part 2 - Three very obscure Taito games released late in the NES' lifespan, and actually, they're all pretty damn good. Still, as attention had largely shifted to the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo at this point, they were mostly overlooked and sold poorly. Bubble Bobble Part 2 is particularly rare, only being released to rental stores.

    Average Price - Upwards of $80 each, sometimes over $200-$300 complete.

  • The Flintstones: The Surprise at Dinosaur Peak - Another rare Taito game released in the twilight days of the NES, and without a doubt the scarcest of the four. Released in 1993 as a Blockbuster exclusive, it's extremely rare to even show up on eBay.

    Average Price - $500 or more.

  • Stadium Events - Everybody knows of World Class Track Meet, Nintendo's famous title that introduced us to the Power Pad accessory. But few know that it began its life as "Stadium Events" and was created by Bandai, seeing a very limited release in the mid-western United States. Nintendo liked the game, so they bought the rights to it from Bandai and republished it under their own label, recalling and destroying every copy of Stadium Events they could get their hands on. Fewer than 200 copies (and even fewer of Bandai's Family Fun Fitness Mat peripherals) are thought to have survived, and of them, only two are still sealed in their original shrinkwrap.

    Average Price - Seen selling from $15,000 to a height of $41,000 on eBay, and it's only sure to grow higher and higher.

  • Action 52 (NES) - Perhaps the most notorious unlicensed compilation cartridge for the NES. Action 52, unlike most unlicensed compilations, actually contains 52 original games; no Mario, no Contra, no Pooyan or other commonly pirated titles. There's just one problem - they're all really, really awful. Terrible graphics, hideous music, poor controls, and more glitches than you or I could shake a stick at. Not to mention that several of them are so poorly designed that it's literally impossible to complete them.

    Oh, and if you want some further laughs, check out these links:

    MikeySpiky200 chronicles his attempts to complete EVERY game on the cartridge, keeping a running tally of its flaws along the way.
    Active Enterprises' doomed ambitions to compete directly with Nintendo and Sega.

    Average price: $120 loose, $200+ complete. Ironically, that's about what they were selling it for new.

  • Cheetahmen II (NES) - A sequel to Action 52's flagship game, The Cheetahmen. 1500 copies were produced, but Active Enterprises went under before any of them could be shipped. However, they were later found in storage and sold off on the secondary market by collectors. Due to Action 52's failure, Active used recycled Action 52 cartridges to house copies of Cheetahmen II, adding on a sticker reading "Cheetahmen II" (sorry, "Cheetamen II") to distinguish it from the original game. Also not surprising is the fact that the game is poorly programmed to the point of being nearly unplayable. I've heard it argued that the game hadn't yet gone through the testing and debugging process, but given the number of cartridges produced and the overall quality of Action 52's games, I tend to doubt this.

    And for more laughs on this front, search for "Cheetahmen II" on Youtube and you'll find a ton of videos depicting, among other things, Cheetahmen-themed hacks of other games, numerous music parodies, and even a fan-created sequel that's just as shoddily made and glitchy as the original.

    Average price: Amazon.com currently holds one complete copy for $2000. So if you want to spend that much on one of the worst video games of all time, go for it!

  • Myriad 6 in 1 - Myriad was an obscure company whose only claim to fame in the video game world was repackaging and publishing a poorly-received 6-game compilation formerly created by Taiwanese company Caltron, called simply "Caltron 6-in-1". The company went under shortly thereafter, and less than 100 copies of Myriad 6-in-1 are known to exist, making it one of the rarest unlicensed games on the platform.

    Average Price: Two auctions are currently listed for $1900 (loose) and $8000 (complete). The Caltron version is consierably more affordable at $200-$680, but it's still quite a high asking price for such an uninspired collection of games. They're not even bad enough to be funny, as with Action 52; they're just... mediocre.

    Pat the NES Punk's review of the game.

  • Nintendo World Championships 1990 - These very rare cartridges were made for a gaming tournament Nintendo held in 1990 across the United States. The cartridge contains three games (Super Mario Brothers, Rad Racer and Tetris) that players would have only a few minutes to complete goals in while trying for the highest score possible. While Nintendo had never planned to release them to the public, pressure from entrants prompted them to give them away as prizes to the top scorers.

    116 copies are known to have been made; 90 gray carts were made for the competition, while the remaining 26 (gold in color) were given away in a Nintendo Power contest. As such, it's one of the rarest and most sought after video games in the world.

    Average Price - Only a few are known to have been sold, but they all went for upwards of $10,000.

  • Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991 - Same premise as NWC 1990, but with Super Mario Brother 3, Pin-Bot, and Dr. Mario. Almost all of these found their way back to Nintendo to be recycled or destroyed. Only one copy is known to still exist, and was bought by a collector at a garage sale, then resold on eBay for over $20,000.

    SNES, Genesis, 32X

  • Action 52 (Genesis) - Not particularly rare, but still worth mentioning since we've already covered Active's other two disasters. Fortunately, this one is not the same game as the NES release; 52 new games were created (well, almost; several are graphical edits of other games on the cart) and it was programmed by Farsight Studios, a slightly more competent developer. As a result, the game looks and sounds much better, and most of the games are actually - surprise - playable! Still, most are average puzzle games or mediocre platformers, so this one's for die-hard collectors only.

    Average Price: Around $20.

  • Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992 - SNES cart following the same formula as our previous two entries, this time featuring Super Mario World, F-Zero and Pilot Wings. Only one copy is known to still exist, bought at the same garage sale as Campus Challenge 1991.

  • Spider-Man: Web of Fire (32X) - The very last Sega 32X game to ever see a US release as the platform failed and began to collapse, and it's a very rare title as a result.

    Average Price - $90+ for a loose cart, probably $200 or more for a complete copy.

  • Darxide (32X) - Intended as a launch title for the scrapped Sega Neptune, a system which would have combined the Genesis and 32X hardware into a single unit. The console was cancelled, but the game still saw a very limited release in Europe. Due to its auspicious creator (David Braben, co-author of the popular PC game Elite) and very low production quantities, it is now a highly sought collector's item.

    Average Price - Has been seen selling for over $1000 on eBay.

  • Primal Rage and T-Mek (32X PAL versions) - These were actually produced in lower quantities than Darxide as the platform was rapidly collapsing at the time. T-Mek in particular is so rare that its release was long thought to be a false rumor until a copy surfaced on eBay.

    Average Price - Unknown, but probably $1000 or more.

  • Star Fox: Super Weekend (Official Competition) - A special version of Star Fox for the SNES that features modified versions of two existing stages from the game, as well as an exclusive stage of its own. The game runs on a time limit, and the object was to rack up as many points as possible before time was up. The top scorers would then win t-shirts, jackets, and other prizes. Originally only seen in store demos as a means to bolster sales and in a few scattered contests, 2000 copies were later released through Nintendo Power.

    Average Price: At the time of this writing, there's currently one copy sitting on eBay for $450. It's not a stretch to say it's probably sold for more than that, though.

  • Donkey Kong Country: Competition Cartridge - Same story as the above, this game was used in a few Nintendo and Blockbuster-sponsored gaming competitions before seeing a limited release through Nintendo power. As you've probably guessed, it's also very rare and sought after.

    Average Price: Unknown, but probably around the same range as the Star Fox title.

  • Aero Fighters - A port of a popular Neo Geo game that saw relatively low release numbers and sales.

    Average Price: $150+.

    Sega Saturn

  • Panzer Dragoon Saga - One of the very last games released for the Sega Saturn in the United States, and despite popular demand, Sega made only 10,000 copies before shutting down production. Worse yet, the source code for the game has been lost, putting a damper on hopes of it ever being rereleased. As such, it's one of the rarest and most sought after video games on the Saturn platform.

    Average Price[b] - $250 and up.

  • Radiant Silvergun - While not the rarest game on the platform by a long stretch (having sold over 50,000 copies), it is one of its most popular and sought-after titles by both American and Japanese fans. As such, it's become common practice to ramp the price up to an absurd degree on sites like eBay, even if there are a good ten auctions for the game going at any given time.

    Average Price - $250 or more.

  • Final Fight Revenge - The second to last Saturn game ever released, and due to its late release and mediocre reviews, it sold poorly, becoming one of the rarest games for the system. While it does have some unique gameplay features (super moves effectively playing out as various mini-games) and some comedic value (the final boss is a zombified Belger), this one is definitely for die-hard collectors only.

    Average Price - $250 and up.

  • Psychic Killer Taromaru - Very last game ever made for the Sega Saturn, and quite possibly its rarest, with a mere 7500 copies made. A port of an equally rare arcade game and pretty good side-scrolling action platformer to boot, but only the most die-hard of Saturn fans are likely to shell out the asking price for this one.

    Average Price - Upwards of $300, sometimes as much as $500.

    Neo Geo AES

  • Metal Slug 1 and 2 - Produced in extremely limited quantities and popular games to boot, they're both very rare finds even in Japan. The sequels are all considerably more affordable as Neo Geo games go (although still worth a few hundred each).

    Average Price - Seen going for over $2000 and $1500 a pop, respectively.

  • Stakes Winner (Neo Geo) - A horse-racing game almost as rare as the Metal Slug titles, but nowhere near as demanded (for obvious reasons).

    Average Price - $900+.

  • Ultimate 11 ( PAL version) - A very rare soccer game for the Neo Geo, which only saw extremely limited release in European territories.

    Average Price - $8,000.

  • Kizuna Encounter (PAL version) - The holy grail of Neo Geo AES games. Very rarely seen on eBay and similar sites, and when it does show, it goes for a LOT.

    Average Price - $15,000 - $20,000 or more.

    Misc.

  • Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash (VIC-20) - A highly-sought item among Ultima fans, this game actually has no direct link to the Ultima series; Sierra simply used the name without Gariott's knowledge or consent in an attempt to bolster sales. Now, due to a combination of minimal advertising, a limited release and poor sales, it's among the rarest games ever made.

    Average price: $700 or more complete.

  • Bounty Bob Strikes Back! (Atari 5200) - The sequel to Miner 2049er, featuring similar gameplay and a much higher degree of challenge. Saw only very limited release as the platform collapsed.

    Average Price: - $500 or more.

  • Suikoden II (Playstation) - A Konami RPG that, despite critical acclaim and fan demand, never got a second printing run, limiting its production to some 30,000 copies. As such, it's one of the rarest and most sought games for the original Playstation. The original game saw a release on PSN some time back, we're still waiting on the second.

    Average Price - $120 loose, $200+ complete.

  • Mine Storm II (Vectrex) - Minestorm was a game built into the Vectrex's hardware, but unfortunately it suffered from a game-crashing bug in the thirteenth level. Complaints arose, and Smith Engineering sent out cartridged with corrected game code under the title of "Minestorm II". Few seemed to know of this fact at the time, however, and only a handful of copies were distributed, making it a very rare Vectrex title.

    Average Price - Unknown.

  • Battlesphere / Battlesphere Gold (Atari Jaguar) - Created by the rather unfortunately named "ScatoLOGIC", Battlesphere is a similar case to Darxide for the 32X; the game only saw release after the platform had failed, and due to insufficient supplies, few cartridges were produced. The game was rereleased two years later under the title "Battlesphere Gold", with some new features added. Both versions only saw a few hundred copies sold, making it the rarest of all Jaguar titles.

    Average Price - Upwards of $1500.

  • Virtual Bowling, SD Gundam Dimension War (Virtual Boy) - The rarest of all Virtual Boy games, seeing a very limited release only in Japan as the platform tanked. Rarely seen even on auction sites.

    Average Price - Unknown.

    Tactics Ogre (Playstation) - Atlus doing what they do best - releasing their popular franchises in very limited quantities as we all watch the prices skyrocket on the secondhand market.

    Average Price - $100 - $300, depending upon completeness.

    Rakugaki Showtime (Playstation) - Probably Treasure's most obscure game, an arena fighter with a bizarre art style resembling crayon scribbles. Unfortunately, it was also pulled from shelves shortly after its release for unknown reasons, making it incredibly rare in a very short time. While a pretty fun game, it's hard to justify the asking price. (Although clever PS3 users can buy a Japanese points card and download it from the Japanese Playstation Network for a few bucks).

    Average Price - $250 - $400.

    Shantae (Game Boy Color) - An excellent title that had the unfortunate distinction of not being release until eight months after the Game Boy Advance was out; as a result, it sold very poorly and slipped into obscurity almost unnoticed, despite very positive reviews. Fortunately, with the recent release of the DSiWare sequel the name is starting to get some recognition, so we may just see the original get a re-release in some form as well.

    Average Price - Anywhere from $150 loose to over $300 complete.

    Clay Fighter 63 1/3: Sculptor's Cut - An updated rerelease of the original Clayfighter 63 1/3, featuring five new characters who were cut from the original version. It was also another in the list of games fated to become Blockbuster rental exclusives, and is exceptionally rare and expensive as a result. Surprisingly, though, the most expensive part of this game is not the game itself or even its box, but the game's manual, which has been chronicled on two occasions as selling for well over $1000. To put some contrast on that...

    Average Price - The game itself goes for anywhere from $200 to $300, a boxed copy can go for over $400.

    ---

    If you have any corrections or any you want to add to this list, leave a Rawk or send me an e-mail or something.
  •  
     
     rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
     ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 05:12pm 03/10/10
     
    I'll come back and finish formatting this later, I have to get running to work in about five minutes.
     ~vinic  §  at 08:55pm 03/10/10
     
    I thought this was about super games by Rare. I am glad I was wrong, because that's a much shorter list.
     ~Azul Rojo  §  at 11:08pm 03/10/10
     
    I don't know if Monster Rancher and Monster Rancher 2 for PlayStation are actually rare or not. After I got them, they seemed to vanish from stores. I only just recently saw a copy of MR in a store's used games display case. It was just the disc, and I didn't see a price on it. eBay and Amazon seem to have a few copies, at varying prices. Most of the Monster Rancher games seem to disappear quickly after release.

    Cool Spot for NES seems to be rare, too. And now I see there was one on the SNES, too. Both were 7up promo games, it seems.

    There was a Dragon Ball game for PlayStation that was hard to find. Might've been Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout. Complete copies could fetch over $250.
     ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 11:33pm 03/10/10
     
    Final Bout was rare for quite a while, but they reprinted it once Dragonball Z became popular over here, which brought its resale value down pretty hard. Now you can get it for around $10 (which I don't recommend; it's pretty bad).

    Monster Rancher's a bit of a cult franchise, so while it may not be produced in very high numbers, its prices generally aren't too bad; I grabbed my copies for around $30 each. Dragon Seeds is a bit rarer at $50.

    The 7up Spot games seem to be pretty common too, but I've talked to a lot of people who are convinced that they're rare. Not sure why that is. Maybe there's some rare PC game or something that also bears the name.
     ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 07:19pm 04/30/10
     


    Tearing Action 52 yet another new asshole!
     
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