You might be surprised to learn that the most expensive video games in the world are quite valuable. While there tend to be rare collector’s items or overly extravagant creations in many different product categories, video games is not one that would seem to fit that mold. The industry is rather young after all, and there are few examples of valuable collector’s items or limited editions of games that increased exponentially in value over the years.
The evolving value of video games is also an interesting case study given the ease today of acquiring ROMs (essentially copied versions) of the games online. These ROMs can then either be played with emulators, or copied to physical media to play on the game’s original system. As such, buying copies of rare games that you would otherwise be unable to play for the express purpose of doing so, is no longer a necessity (though it should be noted that ROMs are technically illegal, despite such older games no longer being in print or circulation). As you’ll see, even the rarest and most expensive game on our list, for which there is only one known copy in existence today, has had its ROM released online.
Perhaps the most shocking thing about the upcoming list is that it is composed of many Atari 2600 games, the majority of which are worth pennies on the dollar, even to this day. Many of those games were so awful that they doubtless would’ve had some of the Worst Video Game Weapons in the History of Humanity, if they had actually been advanced enough to even have such uniquely awful weapons. As you’ll see on that list however, no Atari 2600 games made the cut.
In fact some Atari games were so over-produced and downright poor that their millions of unsold copies were simply dumped in a landfill and destroyed, as was the case with hundreds of thousands of E.T cartridges. They were so bad in fact that they temporarily crashed the entire video game market in the U.S. Nonetheless, some of those games are now the most expensive video games in the world, and even that notorious landfill in New Mexico that is home to thousands of once-worthless games has been raided for some of its old cartridges, with them subsequently being sold on eBay for hundreds of dollars apiece.
Check out our list to see which Atari games as well as those of other systems made the cut as the most expensive video games in the world, with values estimated by racketboy.com, a gaming collector’s website that tracks the sales of rare and valuable games.