We sent Adrian out to research the rarest NES games currently on the market. He did not disappoint!
10. Peek-A-Boo Poker
Peek-A-Boo Poker was made by Hacker International in 1991 and is one of their three pornographic video games made for the NES. The other two titles; Bubble Bath Babes and Hot Slots are also very rare. This raunchy title is one of the earliest pornographic video games ever released. It remains very rare as the initial distribution was limited to a few ‘select’ shops. This early controversial game is now a must have for any retro game collector.
Chance of finding a new copy: Peek-A-Booooouuurns! (Simpsons reference anyone? – Ed)
Cartridge Price – £450.00/$690.00. Boxed – £981.00/$1,500.00
9. Flintstones Surprise at Dinosaur Peak
Taito launched this NES title in 1994 and it is rumoured that it was launched as an exclusive Blockbuster Video rental game. The game was released when many people had moved onto the SNES and Mega Drive consoles so the games initial demand was very low. As the game was a rental exclusive it also means getting hold of a box and manual is also very difficult.
Chance of finding a new copy: Yabba Dadda D’OH!
Cartridge Price – £457.00/$699.00. Boxed – £801.00 / $1,225.00
8. Cheetahmen 2
The Cheetahmen was an ambitious set of characters made by Active Enterprises on their Action 52 NES game. The game (alongside 51 other games on the bumper cart) was quickly panned by critics and is now known as being one of the worst video games ever made. Active Enterprises probably expected their multi-game cartridge to be a huge hit, so quickly went about developing their feline characters into their own game. Sadly Cheetahmen 2 was never officially released. In fact, the game was never fully completed, with only 6 of the 10 levels ever finished. However, in 1996, 1500 copies of the incomplete game were discovered and quickly sold online. With such a low supply of this notorious game, Cheetahmen 2 soon became a must have game for any game collector.
In other news, Cheetahmen 2 could soon be back! Over $90,000 has been raised by Greg Pabich on Kickstarter to finally release the complete game. Watch this space for the full story!
Chance of finding a new copy: Not feline confident… (here’s here all week ladies and gentlemen! – Ed)
Cartridge Price – £471.00/$721.00. Boxed – £841.00/$1,286.00
7. Little Samson
This little known action platformer looks and plays like an early Mega Man title. Little Samson was developed by Takeru and published by Taito Corporation. The game is quite unique in the fact there is no in game dialogue (spoken or written). It boasts some amazing graphics for an 8-bit game and is heralded as being one of the best games ever released on the NES. The supply of the game was very low and it has now become very collectable among retro collectors.
Chance of finding a new copy: Little chance son
Cartridge Price – £497.00/$760.00. Boxed – £743.00/$1,136.00
6. Zelda Test Cartridge
Getting hold of this yellow cartridge is very difficult. Even to this day there are debates of why a yellow Zelda cartridge was ever made. Most people believe the cartridges to be a test copy of the game which were used by Nintendo Service Centres to check if the game worked on various hardware and third-party accessories. The yellow cartridges contain the same Legend of Zelda game you would normally find encased in the original grey or gold packaging.
Chance of finding a new copy: Don’t tri and force it…
Cartridge Price – £526.00 / $805.00
5. Myriad 6-in-1
Myriad 6-in-1 is actually a carbon copy of another game; Caltron 6-in-1, with a new sticker plastered over the cartridge as the only difference. This collectable unlicensed game actually contains 6 games. These are Cosmos Cop, Magic Carpet 1001, Balloon Monster, Adam & Eve, Porter and Bookyman. The games themselves have received poor reviews and are almost all direct clones of other popular NES titles. The Myriad version of the game is especially rare as it is rumoured less than 100 copies of the game exist.
Chance of finding a new copy: 6,000,000 to 1 (that’s still better than winning the lottery – Ed)
Cartridge Price – £768.00/$1,175.00 Boxed – £3,502.00/$5,355.00
4. Family Fun Fitness Stadium (NTSC/US version)
If you are lucky enough to own a copy of Family Fun Fitness Stadium Events on the NES it is definitely worth checking if you own the NTSC or PAL version of the game. Even though the PAL version is quite rare and will fetch around £300.00 it is the NTSC that is really worth the big bucks. Only around 200 copies of the North American version were ever sold to the public and therefore makes the game one of the most collectable ever. The innovative game was developed by Bandai and worked alongside the Family Fun Fitness mat, a running accessory for the NES.
Chance of finding a new copy: FFFS
Cartridge Price – £5,424.00/$8,292.00 Boxed – £22,960.00/$35,100.00
3. Nintendo World Championship
The Nintendo World Championships started after the success of The Wizard, a great 80s film that was based around a video game championship. The actual Nintendo championship was held in 1990 and toured 29 cities across the United States. The whole tournament was based around 3 games – all in one extremely rare cartridge. Contestants had to score as many points in Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tetris within a time limit. Alongside other prizes, each finalist was also given a copy of the custom grey NES cartridge. The grey Nintendo World Championship is one of the rarest games ever produced with only 90 copies ever made and awarded to the tournament winners. Each of the 90 carts has a unique number making them easier to track.
Chance of finding a new copy: Good luck!
Cartridge Price – £5,755.00/$8799.00
2. Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991
Just like the Nintendo World Championships, a similar tournament was held the following year around 60 college campuses in the United States and Canada. This time the tournament got students to compete against 3 different games – Super Mario Bros. 3, Pin Bot and Dr. Mario. This is how Nintendo tried to promote the tournament amongst students:
“Ok, you should really be studying for that calculus test next week. And there’s a paper due in English Lit. But who cares? The Nintendo Camps Challenge is coming! Nintendo of America is following up its hugely successful Nintendo World Champions with its first Nintendo Campus Challenge.”
Only one 1991 Campus Challenge cartridge is known to exist. It was discovered in a garage sale in 2006 and later went on to sell for over $20,000.
Chance of finding a new copy: Check those garage sales!
Cartridge Price – £13,148.00/$20,100.00
1. Nintendo World Championship Gold
There are only 26 gold Nintendo World Championship cartridges and it is rightly heralded as the “holy grail” of console game collecting. Unlike the slightly less rare grey version of the game, you didn’t have to win a game tournament. Instead you had to win a competition run by Nintendo Power. This is easily one of the rarest and most sought after games in the world with prices going up to a staggering £20,000!
Chance of finding a new copy: Your only chance is to invent a time machine, go back to the 90s, become the master of Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer and Tetris and win the tournament. And when no one is looking swipe the gold cart and travel back to 2015. Good luck with that! (to the DeLorean!!! – Ed)
Cartridge Price – a whopping – £17,450.00 / $26,677.00
Other rare and valuable NES titles also include Hot Slots, Bubble Bath Babes, Mr Gimmick (PAL version), Panic Restaurant and Bonk’s Adventure.
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