We’ve all heard the stories and legends surrounding the rarest games out there. Their scarcity is obvious and their origins have been thoroughly explored. They’re rare, but they’ve also become so well-known that most of these highly sought-after prizes might as well be out of reach for those who don’t have a spare $20,000 lying around. There is still hope for the average gaming enthusiast who’d like to get their hands on a rare game, though. The likes of Nintendo World Championships and Stadium Events only represent the extreme high-end of rare games and there are actually plenty of games out there that, while not particularly valuable as loose cartridges, are considered fairly rare. Some of these might even be sitting on the ol’ game shelf right now.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
There are several factors contributing to the scarcity and value of Conker’s Bad Fur Day. First and foremost, the game was released in 2001, the same year that the N64 was discontinued. Most Nintendo fans were in the process of moving onto the Gamecube by the time Bad Fur Day Arrived on the scene, so the interest just wasn’t there. The game also used an expensive 64mb cartridge, making it more expensive to produce. Bad Fur Day also received little in the way of marketing from Nintendo of America thanks to its more adult-oriented content. This all resulted in poor sales during the game’s original release window. Later, many of the available loose copies were bought-up in anticipation of the original Xbox’s release of Conker Live and Reloaded. Put it all together and the product is a great, yet rare, N64 game.
Mega Man Legends 2
Mega Man Legends 2 is a classic case of a game that just wasn’t appreciated in its time. The first Mega Man Legends was a major departure from what fans had come to expect of games featuring Capcom’s Blue Bomber. So when it’s sequel hit store shelves in 2000, it wasn’t met with much excitement and suffered absolutely awful sales as a result. Capcom managed to move only 88,000 units in Japan, which just so happened to be the game’s best region. The Legends series eventually developed enough of a cult following over the years to invoke some real disappointment when Capcom cancelled Megaman Legends 3. The PS1 disc isn’t as expensive as it used to be now that Mega Man Legends 2 is available on PSN, but it’s still considered quite uncommon compared to most of the PS1 library.
Like Conker’s Bad Fur Day, the original Paper Mario’s release was complicated by both launching late in the N64’s lifespan and a lack of faith on the part of Nintendo. The game received a smaller than normal amount of cartridges and little in the way of advertising. It sold well despite this and has remained popular ever since. Its continued popularity is what’s contributed most to the cartridge’s relatively high price over the years. That price saw a dip once the game was released on the Virtual Console, but has been climbing again ever since the retirement of the Wii and Wii U.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Metroid Prime Trilogy is of the rare breed of collector’s editions that was actually sold as a collector’s item. Nintendo ceased production of the game only six months after release and its value has remained steady ever since. Unless Nintendo decides to release remastered editions of the Metroid Prime games for the Switch, one can expect to see Metroid Prime Trilogy’s value to start climbing again in anticipation for the release of Metroid Prime 4.
Mario Party 3
It’s strange thinking of Mario games as hard to come by, but here’s another one nonetheless. Mario Party 3 was also released in 2001 and was one of the very last games to be released for the system. Like Paper Mario, the game saw a small print run due to its late release, but still sold relatively well regardless. Its massive popularity has kept up its value over the years, even after the game got a release on the Virtual Console. Now that the Wii and Wii U are largely out of the picture, and recent Mario Party games have only been okay, one can expect Mario Party 3’s value to continue growing.
These are just a small sampling of the large number of surprisingly rare games that could be sitting on the shelf gathering dust. Every console has its own list of rare and valuable games. So even if one doesn’t have a copy of Powerfest ‘94 or Turf Masters, they can still enjoy some of the fun that comes with owning a hard-to-find or highly-sought-after title.