Retro video games are seemingly all over these days. The sheer advances in processing power for personal computing purposes allow smartphone owners of a certain age to relive their childhood by playing retro games in the doctor’s waiting room, during lunchbreak or even while riding the train.
To enjoy the full pixelated glory of video game titles that were released from the 1980s until the end of the end of the 20th century, modern gamers simply have to download an emulator or even a dedicated mobile app. Just about any retro game can be ported to new devices, or it can be redesigned in a way that is respectful to its roots.
For video game collectors, however, emulators and ports simply don’t do justice to their hobby. There is a subculture dedicated to finding, collecting and trading original and rare titles in mint condition. The following four retro games can fetch a pretty penny in collector’s circles, and each has a reason to justify its price tag:
1 – Blockbuster World Video Championship
Back in the days of VHS tape rentals, Blockbuster stores actually rented Sega Genesis cartridges and even held neighborhood contests. A special cartridge was created for the contest, which usually allowed contestants to play a competitive version of NBA Jam. These cartridges can be found on eBay for up to $2,000.
2 – Virtual Lab
There’s an untold history of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy portable gaming console, and it involves strange games such as Virtual Lab. Many titles for the Virtual Boy did not make it past the prototype stage, and Virtual Lab is one of them; except, however, that it was shipped in Japan before going through quality control. Virtual Lab combines Tetris with Pipe Dreams, but it is deeply flawed and incomplete. For this reason, it could fetch up to $1,500.
3 – Atlantis
The eSports craze of the 21st century is not as fun as the crazy contests that console makers and video game developers use to organize for dedicated gamers. Atlantis is a neat Atari 2600 version of Space Invaders that was promoted with a worldwide contest that intended to fly four contestants to the Bermudas for the finals. The developer chose Bermuda because of the Triangle and Atlantis lore, and it designed 10 cartridges for the special event that never took place. One of these special cartridges could sell for $15,000.
4 – Nintendo Campus Challenge
In the early 1990s, Nintendo held a tournament at dozens of college campuses across the United States and Canada. A special cartridge was designed, and it featured timed versions of Dr. Mario, Pinbot and Super Mario 3. Whoever kept one of these cartridges could be holding on to $20,000.