Video games haven’t always been regarded as being high value collectible items. They tend not to age well, and titles that were considered revolutionary years ago can appear laughable to many people when compared to contemporary games. However, while there’s no shortage of retro video games that can be bought for less than $3, there’s a small percentage that would come with a hefty price tag for anyone wishing to add them to their retro collection. Here are just some of the most valuable retro games ever made. [Banner image source: Nintendo via Facebook]

Nintendo Campus Challenge
In the early ’90s, Nintendo hosted gaming competitions at college campuses. The rules weren’t difficult to follow: Players were given six minutes to achieve the highest score in demo versions of three popular games: Dr Mario, PinBot, and Super Mario Bros. The player with the highest total score was named as the winner. When the tournament came to an end, the majority of copies of the cartridges that included these three demo games were destroyed. Fortunately, one employee at Nintendo kept a copy for himself before selling it at for peanuts at a garage sale in 2006. Not a smart move by the employee. Rob Walters, the game’s new owner, later sold it for $14,999 to a man by the name of JJ Hendricks. Hendricks went on to sell it on popular auction site eBay for $20,100. There is no other copy in existence, and its value keeps rising.

Nintendo World Championships
Not unlike the aforementioned Nintendo Campus Challenge, the 1990 World Championship was also a tournament that turned into a very highly valuable game. The tournament took place in over 29 US cities. The players used a customized Nintendo World Championships cartridge for the NES that came with special versions of Tetris, Super Mario Bros and Red Racer. The players were once again tasked to achieve the highest total score within six minutes, in order to be considered the winner. Once the championships were over, all 90 customized grey NES cartridges were given to the finalists. A further 26 gold copies were awarded as contest prizes by Nintendo Power Magazine. The rarity of these cartridges gave them collectible status, with the latest gold cartridge to be sold reaching the price of $26,000.

Air Raid
A rumor exists that suggests Air Raid is the lone game ever produced by a company called Menavision. As the cartridge lacked a title label, many weren’t even sure what the game was called, as the few copies that have been found came without a box. In 2010, Tanner Sandlin heard about the game, realizing that it resided amongst his old things. He went on to sell it for $31,600. Another man, Harv Bennett, also found his copy and sold his box, complete with the manual, for $33,433. Air Raid may never have been the most popular game in the world, but, high price tags aren’t restricted to the obscure. A number of popular retro video games have already been sold for much higher than their original price tag – a tag that could climb even higher in value in coming years. These titles include Final Fantasy VII, which once sold for $1,237, and the original Crash Bandicoot, which has cost at least one collector up to $1,076. For now, however, in spite of its obscurity, Air Raid remains one of the most valuable games ever.

Gamma Attack
In spite of its unknown exact value, there’s an argument to be made that Gamma Attack is the rarest of them all, with only a single copy in existence. That copy is owned by Anthony DeNardo. The collector listed the game on eBay, with a $500,000 Buy-It-Now price tag. He’d significantly increased his asking price from around the $10,000 mark after he claimed that he received offers that were substantially higher. It’s almost impossible to put a value on a game like this, with it being the only copy in existence and considering the fluctuating market value for collectible video games. Some say it’s worth $20,000, while others price it at more than $50,000, which would rank it among the all-time most valuable video games. As far as we know, DeNardo wasn’t able to sell his copy on that occasion.

Stadium Events
The Family Fun Fitness was the earlier version of the Power Pad released in the US. It came with a floor mat control, not unlike that for DDR. Released in 1987, Stadium Events was designed specifically for the Family Fun Fitness mat. Nintendo acquired the game’s rights along with the mat, in the following year, and rebranded it as the Power Pad. It also rebranded the Stadium Events game which supported it as WorldClass Track Meet. Of course, all copies of Stadium Events were pulled from the shelves. By then, only 20 copies had been sold. It is believed that all 20 remain in existence. The unique thing about this game is the value of the box. As children have a tendency to tear boxes open, intact boxes of Stadium Events have sold for almost $10,000. That’s without the actual game inside. In fact, a man from Kansas sold a sealed copy for $41,300.

Red Sea Crossing
This game is valued at over $10,000, based on the fact that it has never been sold in retail stores. Video gamers instead had to order over the phone to pay the manufacturer’s asking price of $34.95. When retro Atari games were first regarded as collectibles, no copies of Red Sea Crossing could be found. This resulted in people believing that the game never existed in the first place and that it was a mere myth. That is no longer the case, though, as in 2010 a copy was discovered at a garage sale. After the buyer made the purchase, he asked for more information in a message board post, since he couldn’t find anything online. Once he saw the game’s rarity value, he listed it on eBay, with an opening price of $100. It sold for more than $10,000.

For those who’ve ever collected toys, stamps, comic books, or baseball cards, the concept of the “Holy Grail” item is a familiar one. It could well be that one of these games is just that for video game collectors – if they’re prepared to pay the price, that is.