Sealed copies of ’80s-era games are pretty rare these days, as you’d imagine. Combine that scarcity with series that have a huge following, and you get a recipe for high prices. That’s what happened last Friday, when a sealed copy (original hangtab and all) of Super Mario Bros. on NES sold for an eye-watering $114,000 via Heritage Auctions. It’s now become the most expensive video game ever sold at public auction.
This sale overtakes the previous Heritage Auctions record, where a sealed copy of Mega Man sold for $75,000 in November 2019. As for video game memorabilia, the Nintendo PlayStation has them both beat at $360,000. A selection of other video game products was also sold this past week on the platform, including an incredibly rare version of Super Mario Bros. 3. This particular auction ended at $38,400 and contained a slightly different format for the game’s title on the box. This difference was limited to the game’s earliest production run.
One factor that contributed to the value of this Super Mario Bros. cart was the overall grading of its condition. The grade for this $114,000 item was 9.4, the highest ever for a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. The original cardboard hangtab used for store displays back in 1985 also added to the value of this particular version.
Is this a ridiculous price for a game, regardless of rarity, or is this completely reasonable?