Retro value, the investment games


Very few games and consoles ever exceed their original RRP, so it is considered foolish to buy any gaming hardware and keep it to sell on later.

But there are exceptions to every rule. This was highlighted recently when a pallet of new Virtual Boy consoles was discovered, and now must be worth an eye-wateringly huge amount. These consoles would have presumably otherwise been sold off in the bargain bin of some department store back when they were withdrawn for, well, blinding small children a bit.

But, here are just a handful of ordinary everyday gaming titles that you probably wish you’d once bought by the truckload from Woolies way back. We’re not talking about the obscure rare games, we’re talking about the normal everyday ones that you might even have owned, and may still:

  • Panzer Dragoon Saga on the Saturn. Complete copies hover around the £120-130 mark.
  • Earthbound for the SNES. Never released in the UK, you’d have to have an American copy, or the Japanese version names “Mother 2″. Expect to pay at least £150 for a complete copy, but ironically you can pick up the Japanese version very cheaply indeed.
  • Legend of Zelda for the SNES. New price was around £39.99 back in 1992, a mint copy could now cost you upwards of £70
  • Shining force CD. Not sure what the retail price was on this game but you can bet it ended up in the bargain bins, considering the fate of the Sega Mega CD. Nowadays, a decent copy can and does go for well over £100.
  • Tombi 2 on the PS1.  You can easily spank £50 on a copy of this game, even more for a mint copy. And, unusually, it’s not an RPG, it’s a platformer.
  • Suikoden 2 on the PS1. I remember picking up a copy of this back in the 90s for £15 used. I really should have held on to it, but I didn’t. Shame, now it would be worth about £140.
  • Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore. If you have both of these in a nice condition, you have close to £100 on a good day.
  • Terranigma for the SNES. Boxed Terranigma can go over the £100 mark easily.

The bets are on..

Here’s a few games that in my “professional” opinion will increase steadily in value over the coming years, so might be worth stashing:

  • Yoshi’s Island on the SNES. The game was retailing at about £10 a year ago. Now it’s more than double that price.
  • Final Fantasy IX on the PS1. The price of this game was very high, but a whole stack of platinum copies found their way into the wild about 2 years ago. That has dropped the price down to around the £25 mark. But this remains a relatively rare episode in the FF series, and as more people become interested in FF, and the availability drops, I suspect the price may rise close to the £40 mark in a year or so.
  • Zelda Twilight Princess on the Gamecube. The Gamecube release did not shift, as the Wii release was thought superior. Ironically, the Gamecube release frequently fetches a whopping £45+ at auction, and this is surely set to rise.

Play, don’t invest..

Here’s a few games you really shouldn’t invest in. If you’re looking for a game that you can sell on at a profit, look away from these:

  • Fifa, any and all other Football games are worth less than the materials they are constructed out of, in such a short time.
  • Sonic games. With the exception of Sonic Adventure 2 on the Dreamcast, and Sonic CD on the Mega CD, these games are sold in such massive quantities, that they barely ever make more than the 99p mark in an auction. And that includes postage!!
  • Racing, Rally games. These tend to become outdated fairly fast. Some remain saleable years on, but almost never for even 25% of the original RRP.

And finally, lets not forget the humble Game and Watch. The payback time on these tiny handheld consoles is quite long, to be fair, in the order  of 20-25 years, but you can now net £500+ for a nice boxed “Egg” game and watch, though most of the more common types retail at £50-200 in their boxes. And demand is very, very high. Auctions can be very competitive.

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