Rights & Money

Is Collectible Treasure Hidden in Your House?

These video games and consoles can be worth a pretty penny

By Caitlin Finlay


If you have old video games lying around the house somewhere, now might be the time to dig them out and consider selling them online—the pandemic lockdown has made many of them hot items on the second-hand market, especially rare and hard-to-find games. One copy of Nintendo’s 1987 Family Fun Fitness: Stadium Events sold for CDN $68,749; only 200 copies were ever sold.

Research conducted by the online cryptocurrency company Paxful looked at the global resale market between March 2020 and January 2021 and found that more than $85 million was spent on second-hand video games, 62% more than in the year before the lockdown. Games for Nintendo Switch got the biggest boost in sales, an increase of 446.63% from before lockdown.

Games created for the original PlayStation 2 netted the highest prices ($7.4M in total), with PlayStation 1 and Super Nintendo games not far behind at $6.6M and $6.1M, respectively.

With activities limited by COVID-19 lockdowns, many are turning to video games for in-home entertainment, and many gamers enjoy the nostalgia of playing older games. After Family Fun Fitness: Stadium Events for the NES console, the second and third most expensive game purchases were Stunt Racer 64 for the Nintendo 64 at $5,687 and Lode Runner for the NES, which sold for $4,922. All the top sellers were listed as “Complete in Box,” or CIB.

The rest of the Top 10 were:

Little Samson, NES, $4,750;
Shantae, Game Boy Color, $3,969;
Crusader of Centy, Sega Genesis, $3,750;
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge, Game Boy, $3,499;
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (5 Screw), NES, $3,362;
Hagane: The Final Conflict, Super Nintendo, $3,125; and
Spud’s Adventure, Game Boy, Release date: 1991, $3,125.

The 10 most popular consoles for second-hand games were the Playstation 2, Playstation 1, Super Nintendo, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, NES, GameCube, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo 64.

Photo: iStock/robtek.