Vintage Video Games - a Money Maker?

( – If you loved video games in the 1980s, you were considered a geek (and often an outcast). Despite the fact that gaming wasn’t publicly popular back then, under the surface, a storm was brewing. Nintendo’s quick rise to popularity resulted in an ultra-fast collector’s industry and an entire generation of gamers. Today, just about everyone (and even their pets) is involved in the video game industry. From smartphone games by Apple to high-tech, $3,000 PCs designed to play the latest games, gamers are the norm now rather than the exception. But as it turns out, it just might be the original gamers and collectors who win financially when it comes to vintage games.

Original Gamers Were Hardcore

It’s no secret that gamers from the 80s and 90s were hardcore. Many competed in national tournaments and were far more skilled at these rudimentary games than any of us can ever hope to be today. The early gaming industry inspired collectors to collect, many of them just out of simple completionist desires rather than money. All that collecting led to certain releases becoming extremely rare. Two or three decades later, it’s only collectors and the company that maintain access to certain original copies — some of which may be worth hundreds or even thousands today.

The Most Expensive Games

So — which games offer the best selling price? If you’re considering digging through the basement or attic, keep your eye open for these titles:

  • EarthBound
  • StarCraft 64
  • Wrecking Crew
  • Stadium Events
  • The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak

These are just a few of the many valuable games in high demand on the market today. Just how valuable? In the case of the last one, Stadium Events, sealed copies go for as much as $22,000 if it’s the North American version. The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak, strangely enough, comes in at a close second. It’s worth nearly $2,000 sealed and $1,500 in excellent condition, but opened.


It seems simple enough; dig out your old games, make a fortune. Right? Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. The rabid popularity of Nintendo in the 80s and 90s led to many, many counterfeit games. That trend continued on through the early days of the internet, with many retailers selling home-brewed copies on eBay and other classified sites. It isn’t always easy to tell the difference between a real and a fake, so it’s best to work with a seller directly and in-person if possible. As with other collectibles, your vintage games must be in excellent condition with no damage or functional issues in order to achieve the highest price.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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