To most, Lakers vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs, a game developed by EA and released on the Mega Drive, just sounds like your average ‘90s basketball game. To one seller on eBay, though, it’s much more than that. Only 13 copies of the game were ever released, making it an extremely rare and valuable item. The owner of one such copy recently advertised it on eBay, and the winning bid was £3,380 ($4,500). If properly released, it would have cost no more than £40 ($50).
There are stories like this everywhere, from people picking up a £1 game from a bargain sale only for it to be worth thousands, to limited edition versions of games getting lost in the midst of people’s basements until someone realises the fortune they’re sitting on. For most collectors £3,380 is a huge amount of money to invest in just one game, but to others it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what games can be worth. Here are some of the rarest and most valuable games ever.
Gamma Attack (Atari 2600)
Cost: Estimated Between $20,000 and $50,000
Only one copy of Gamma Attack was developed for the Atari 2600, which is as rare as video games can get. The owner of the copy, Anthony DeNardo, advertised it on eBay for an unbelievable Buy it Now price of $500,000; it will come as no surprise that it never sold. While he valued it at more, most saw it as worth between $20,000 and $50,000. That was until, unfortunately for DeNardo, developer Gammation re-released 100 more copies on the bidding site, making it much less rare and valuable. A few years ago though, Gamma Attack was the most valuable game of all time.
Stadium Events (NES)
Cost: $35,100 ($10,000 for the packaging alone)
Stadium Events, a sports fitness game for the NES, was released by Nintendo in 1987, but shortly recalled for rebranding purposes. This left only 200 copies in circulation, most of which were rumoured to have been destroyed. However, a former Nintendo employee was gifted a copy after they had been gifted a copy, evidence that the company decided not to destroy them all. Luckily for the owner, they kept the game factory sealed, and in 2015 eventually sold it for $35,100. Amazingly, it’s thought even the packaging for the game alone can shift up to $10,000; exactly why you’d want this is anyone’s guess.