Stack of NES Games

Are Nintendo games worth money

Are Nintendo games worth money?

Nintendo is a household name in the video game industry, known for its innovative consoles and beloved game franchises. The company was founded in 1889 as a manufacturer of playing cards, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that Nintendo entered the video game market. 

In 1985, Nintendo released its iconic console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which revolutionized the industry and cemented Nintendo’s place as a leading video game company.

Over the years, Nintendo has continued to release successful and innovative consoles, including the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii, and the Switch. 

The company is also known for its popular game franchises, such as Super Mario Bros., Zelda, and Pokemon, which have sold millions of copies worldwide.

We’ll explore whether Nintendo games are worth the money and what factors affect their value. Whether you’re a collector, a gamer, or just curious about the world of retro video games, this article will provide valuable insights into the world of Nintendo game collecting.

How much were Nintendo games in the 90s?

One interesting fact about Nintendo games is their pricing over the years. When the NES was first released, games typically cost around $50. Adjusted for inflation, that’s equivalent to around $130 today. Despite the high price tag, Nintendo games were incredibly popular and continue to be sought-after by collectors and gamers alike.

How much is an original Nintendo worth?

How much is an original Nintendo worth?
How much is an original Nintendo worth?

An original Nintendo console with all the original cords and controllers could be worth up to $80. Their value hasn’t gone up much because of their known issues with wearing down and being problematic and the fact that millions are still up and going today.

But if you find an NES in good working condition with lots of accessories and the original box and paperwork you could have yourself a $250 console on your hands.

Another factor to consider with Nintendo is which model you have. The most common front loader model was far more popular but also was more prone to have issues with the 72 PIN connector.

The top-loading version that came after is worth considerably more. The top loader NES was less prone to issues and is highly desirable. Just the console with controllers can go for $100 to $150. If you have the original box and paperwork you could easily be paying up to $500.

What are some factors that affect how much a Nintendo is worth?

The main factor in determining the worth of an original Nintendo (NES) is the condition followed closely by how well the console works. 

What kind of condition is the case?

The original Nintendo console case was built to last. But being plastic they do get chips and dings that can affect the value. Also many were known to get discolored. The closer to the original color the higher the value of the console.

Does it come with the original cords?

If either the RF cable or power adapter is not original that can cause the value of the Nintendo to decrease. Also, original controllers help to increase the value of the console.

Does it work well?

One of the biggest issues with a Nintendo is the red flashing light. Most of us remember pulling out the cartridge and blowing on it in hopes of getting the game to work. 

Most of the time it was more luck than the actual blowing because the issue was the 72-pin connecter that reads the data from the cartridge. You can either replace the 72-pin connector or refurbish it to get the console working like new again.

If most cleaned NES games work the first time you put them in, then the console is worth more. But if you have to continually take the cartridge and reload to get it to work or games simply don’t work at all then the value of the Nintendo decreases.

Current Pricing (as of July 2023):

Front Loading Original NES (NES-001)

  • Console With Cords and Controller Only: $50 – $80
  • Complete With Box: $175 – $250
  • New: $400 – $1500

Top-Loading NES (NES-101)

  • Console With Cords and Dog Bone Controller Only: $120 – $180
  • Complete With Box: $300 – $600
  • New: $700 – 1200

Are the original NES games worth money?

Are Nintendo Games worth money? (Stack of NES games)
Are Nintendo Games worth money?

Many of the original NES games are not worth more than $10 apiece. There were so many produced and the way they were built it was hard to find one that didn’t work. So any that were originally made are still floating around somewhere.

There are a few games that are harder to find or have a rarer 5-Screw variant that gives them more value. But a popular game like Dragon Warrior one of the first and best RPGs on the NES sells for less than $10 for just the game.

One of the rarest Nintendo (NES) games ever made and the most valuable is the Nintendo World Championship cartridge. Less than 200 were made for the world championships held in 1990. Several of these have sold at private auctions at close to $10,000 dollars.

Some of the other NES games that can go around $1000 on eBay are the following:

  • Little Samson
  • The Flintstones: The Surprise at Dinosaur Peak
  • Bonk’s Adventure

Here are a few more known games that can go for hundreds of dollars:

Bubble Bobble Part 2 for NES is worth hundreds of dollars
Bubble Bobble Part 2 for NES is worth hundreds of dollars
  • Bubble Bobble Part 2
  • Wacky Races
  • Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers 2
  • Wayne’s World
  • Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (5-Screw)
  • Jaws (5-Screw)

NES franchises to look for that still have value:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Contra
  • Legend of Zelda
  • Castlevania
  • Mega Man

What are some factors that affect a Nintendo game’s worth?

Black Bass Nintendo game with a sticker on the label
Black Bass Nintendo game with a sticker on the label

The first factor that can affect the worth of a Nintendo game is “Does it work?”. The cartridges were built to last and you will find very few that don’t work. Most of the time when they don’t work the cartridge just needs a good cleaning.

The next factor in value is the condition of the cartridge. Depending on how “clean” the cartridge is can really help or hurt the value of the game. Here are some points to consider regarding how clean a cartridge is.

Does the NES cartridge have any writing on it?

For some crazy reason, people would use a permanent marker to write their names on their cartridges. With a lot of work you might be able to get this off but leaving it on there can really devalue a game. 

Does the NES cartridge have any stickers on it?

Nintendo Game with a void sticker on the back. Stickers can affect their worth
Nintendo Game with a void sticker on the back

Back when game rentals were a big thing every rental place had stickers with their name and maybe a scan code on each cartridge. While stickers are not usually a bad thing, sometimes they would put security stickers that would leave a mark or residue if removed. These things were almost impossible to remove and you still find games with these stickers on them.

Is the label damaged or missing?

A complete label that is in good shape will price much better than a game with a ripped or torn label. While some people just want to play the game, most collectors will want an intact flawless label if possible.

Does the game come with a manual and an original box?

Most people discarded their original Nintendo game boxes. Finding an original manual and box can mean double or triple the value of your game. The better the condition of the box and manual the more value your Nintendo game is worth.

Nintendo games can be worth a lot of money. But buyer beware as some are only worth a few bucks. Depending on the rarity, how many screws they have, condition, and demand your NES cartridge prices can vary.

Make sure and do your research before buying. Check recently sold listings on eBay or Mercari or go to and search for the games there to find recent valuations.

Whether you are a hobbyist looking to fill your collection or a wanting to start reselling video games make sure you pay extra attention to the details and don’t overpay.

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