I held my first video game in my hand on February 1, 1996: A blue, chunky Game Boy with “Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins”, a present from my parents for their 6th birthday. And even if I threw it in the corner in anger and it broke in the process, it marks the beginning of a red thread that has run through my life ever since: I love video games. Collecting old, rare and strange games has been my hobby for over 20 years – even though I’m only 31.
But currently my hobby is getting a damper: The prices on Ebay, which have been rising for years for well-preserved, originally packaged games – especially those from Nintendo from the nineties and early 2000s – have been increasing strongly since the beginning of the pandemic. Do you want to go back to your childhood and play a round of “Pokémon Gold” on the Game Boy? Then you have to pay almost 250 euros for a well-preserved copy.
Did you like Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64? For 160 euros or more, it’s yours again.
The pictures are not from overpriced buy-it-now offers, but show real auctions over the past few weeks. The online price charting portal – which collects and evaluates data from eBay and its own marketplace for used games – clearly shows the rise in prices for retro games at the start of the pandemic (meaning all games up to the era of Sega Dreamcast in early 2000).
The entire video game market has been growing at a record pace since Corona, in 2020 there was an increase of 32 percent in Germany according to the industry association “Game”. Interest in retro games is also increasing, as Felix Falk, managing director of “Game”, reveals to NewsABC.net: “Whether new editions of game consoles from the 80s and 90s, porting older video games to new platforms or the large sums of money paid for individual collectibles are paid for. All of these examples show that games are a crucial part of their cultural identity for millions of people. ”
The millennials who grew up with Super Nintendo & Co. are now over 30 and have the financial means to invest in their childhood memories. The offer is also continuously shrinking: Many games are now almost 30 years old and break more and more frequently. Cardboard boxes dissolve, instructions tear apart. Well-preserved and functional copies are becoming rarer.
Therefore, my personal financial tip away from Bitcoin and Tesla shares: If you still have well-preserved games from your childhood in the attic, in the basement or with your parents, now is the best time to sell them – before the prices rise after the past The pandemic will return to normal or the modules will be defective at some point.
The following picture gallery shows 10 games, the value of which has skyrocketed in the pandemic. Limited editions and rare curiosities were deliberately left out – they should be games that many played as children and that may still be lying around somewhere today.
The condition of the game, as well as the packaging and instructions, have a significant impact on its value. I am therefore giving a rough guide (based on my own observations over the past few months, current auction prices on Ebay and the data from Price Charting) both for the game as a loose module and in packaging and with instructions in good condition. For all games I refer to the European PAL version.