The world record for most expensive video games sold at auction has now been surpassed by a staggering amount, thanks to a sealed “9.0” -rated copy of the 1987s The legend of Zelda.
A boxed copy of the game̵
This week is Zelda The auction began with an astonishing opening bid of $ 110,000, yet the amount was deserved with its special rarity. The copy in question was part of a late 1987 production run called “NES R”, which preceded the game’s broader initial production run in early 1988 (called “REV-A”, according to a label on the box). The latter was a much wider race that coincided with the console’s explosion in American popularity, and it also featured a foil-gold cartridge. Thus do not assume that your shiny Zelda cartridge in an old drawer is somehow worth close to a million dollars – especially since this auction happens to come in a sealed, original box.
Game historians know of another production run that came before the NES R, but it is unclear whether these “NESTM” copies ever left the Nintendo HQ or were stored in the same way as boxes and sealed. As Heritage itself claims on the auction’s listing page: “Basically, this copy is the earliest sealed copy one could realistically hope to get.” (They forgot to add the crucial code “unless your dad works for Nintendo” there, of course.)
This NES R copy of Zelda was the highlight of Heritage’s latest auction game for games, which from the press era includes the following jaw-dropping results, all for boxed and sealed game classics. This list of particularly high prices is largely related to special indicators for the game’s earliest production series, with two important “circles” in mind: the circular Nintendo Seal of Quality on early NES games and a round Nintendo-branded sticker that guaranteed the box it current has not been opened yet.
- Super Mario World, SNES: $ 360,000
- Super Mario Bros., NES (“No Rev-A”): $ 228,000
- Final Fantasy, NES: $ 204,000
- Mario Bros., NES: $ 156,000
- Versus, NES: $ 150,000
- Super Mario Bros. 3, NES (a rare print of the “Bros.” text aligned to the left): $ 120,000
- Final Fantasy III, SNES: $ 96,000
- Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, SNES: $ 96,000
- Mike Tysons Punch-Out !!, NES: $ 84,000
- Tecmo Bowl, NES: $ 45,600
- Battletoads, NES: $ 38,400
- Tengen Tengen, NES: $ 33,600
In addition, a rare Nintendo World Championship cartridge sold at today’s auction for $ 180,000, and its listing claims that the owner traded a rare Tom Brady rookie trading card for the cart. The same entry indicates that the said rookie card was sold at auction for as much as 555,000 dollars. There’s some real salt in the collector’s year there, Heritage.
As of press time, the current game auction is still in progress, and it includes all conceivable console generations, with opening bids in the tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands for such as Super Mario 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Crash Bandicoot 1, Tomb Raider 1, and more.