Right now is the perfect time to search your gaming collection for rare Nintendo games worth a fortune. Some were simply failures of their time that made a comeback in later decades, others were produced in such limited runs that demand for the games vastly outpaced their short production times. The nostalgia for a simpler time is so heavy right now that collectors are willing to shell out big bucks for these rare Nintendo games worth a fortume.
In Bonk's Adventure, you play with the titular character, a tiny caveman battling the typical caveman adversaries; dinosaurs and other giant beasts. Bonk is trying to rescue his princess, Za, another, slightly more attractive, cave-person. As the title suggests, Bonk runs through this side scroller “bonking” his enemies on the head and eating the coveted “meat” for power-ups.
Bonk was a big success in Japan, showing up on multiple platforms. Even today, the brave caveman shows up in his own phone game. In the US, however, it’s a different story. Bonk was quickly discontinued. The rarity of the US game, combined with the current hyper-nostalgia craze, has led to a sort of rebirth for old Bonk, with games fetching as much as $850 on eBay. It’s even been retooled and rereleased for Wii-U, so even kids who didn’t spend a few short weeks with our hero can experience running from anthropomorphic dinosaurs and bonking them on the head.
Power Blade 2
Power Blade 2 is the sequel to, you guessed it, Power Blade. The original wasn’t exactly legendary, but was popular enough for a sequel. Generic action title aside, it’s actually a pretty decent action game set in a dystopian future. Similar in play to the vastly more popular Mega Man, the game takes place in the year 2200, where the protagonist is set out to destroy the evil Delta Corporation.
The reason there are so many rare Nintendo games worth a fortune that happen to be sequels is the same reason revenues for sequels in the film industry see a steady decline, they aren’t as good. Since they aren’t as good, they get pulled quickly, leading to fewer on the market. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who bought this when it came out, put it back in its box and never play it again, consider putting it up for sale; the game has been known to attract as much as $1,000!
The goal of Stadium Events is pretty simple. It’s a track and field competition game, and it’s one of the first games to make use of Nintendo’s Power Pad. Except it wasn’t called the Power Pad at the time, it was called Family Fun Fitness and was recalled, along with the game shortly after its release. This recall is the reason for the game’s current hefty price tag. It regularly fetches $1,000 or more on eBay, and has been seen priced in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak
This The Flintstones game was very cartoony and silly, but is apparently very well thought out and enjoyable to play. Fred and Barney travel through some very different worlds and game styles, from sports to shooters. It wasn’t widely released for sale, and since it came out towards the end of the original NES’s life, didn’t catch on. It was mostly available as a rental at Blockbuster, which is the reason for it’s rarity. These days this silly, unremarkable game sells from $200 up to almost $2,000 when it’s in the right condition and comes with the original box.
The Jetsons: Cogswell’s Caper
Another video game from the 90s based on a cartoon from the 60s is The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper. In this one, George Jetson is ordered to put a stop to a sketchy project from his boss. It’s pretty much a standard side scroller, with George battling by throwing items he stumbles across and enlisting his family to help along the way. It’s another late release, and the game was never terribly popular. That, however, is a recipe for rarity. This 8-bit throwback commonly fetches over $1,000 on eBay, and like the other games on this list, the price goes up if the original box is included.
Little Samson is the story of a boy battling monsters in a Mega Man-like setup. The game is difficult, but also captivating. It was praised for its high quality graphics, especially for an 8-bit game, and for its challenging gameplay. Sadly, due mostly to timing, the game never quite caught on with the public, and sold poorly. Most players had simply moved on to bigger and better graphics by the time it was released. Hindsight is 20/20, and the game now has a stellar reputation, but has become a little hard to find. Due to its initial lack of success, this game now sells for $2,900 or more, based on condition. They’ve been seen to command as much as $8,000!
Bubble Bobble 2
Bubble Bobble was a popular game for Nintendo when it was first released in 1988. In fact, the farting dragons frequently reside near the top of retro "best of" lists. The popularity of Bubble Bobble means it’s too common for our rare Nintendo games worth money, but its sequel, the aptly titled Bubble Bobble 2, is a different story. Another tale of woe for a good game simply released too late. The flop made this game rare, and that rarity means dollars in todays nostalgia obsessed marketplace. Bubble Bobble 2 regularly attracts hundreds of dollars on eBay, with mint condition copies in the original box going for as high as $1,200.
1990 World Championship Gold
Of all the games on this list, there’s one that tops all else. It’s legendary, the holy grail for game collectors. Nintendo released a special cartridge for the 1990 World Championships. It was timed, like the other competition cartridges on this list, and contained Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. There were only 26 copies released of the gold edition, adding to its legend. When found, the games typically sell for over $20,000 and have gone for as high as $27,000. Of all of the rare Nintendo games worth money, this one easily takes the cake.