With just under 300 games, the Nintendo 64 has one of the smallest libraries in Nintendo home console history. Even the GameCube, potentially Nintendo’s worst selling console to date, produced 200 games more in its lifetime. But even with such a limited number of titles, the N64 still has a handful of games that are worth their weight in (Killer Instinct) gold.
While popular games like Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Mario Party 3 and Harvest Moon 64 are considered relatively expensive and difficult to find, they’re nowhere near as rare (and pricey) as the following titles. It should be noted that I’m only covering “loose” games, and not those that are still in their original and untainted packaging.
Current Projected Worth: $2,500
The Story: Nintendo sure loves to put out special edition and limited runs of anything Zelda related. Most fans and children of the late ‘90s are familiar with the signature gold cartridges released alongside Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, but both pale in comparison to the Majora’s Mask Adventure Set. Solely released in Europe, only 1,000 Adventure Sets were produced. Each box came packed with a PAL copy of Majora’s Mask, a double CD of the original soundtrack, a watch, a shirt, two pins, a sticker, and an official certificate of authenticity. Let’s hope whoever managed to get their hands on it really liked the design of the titular mask, because boy is it everywhere on this set.
Current Projected Worth: $1,225
The Story: Games labeled “Not For Resale” have always been popular amongst collectors. They represent titles that were used in store displays or for internal use, ones which were not supposed to make it out into the wild. Usually they included a few demo levels and some information about the game’s upcoming release. There are plenty of these titles for Nintendo 64, but none as sought after as Yoshi’s Story. Why? Well, this particular demo has the odd case of having a Japanese ROM of Yoshi’s Story onboard. Meaning that while the cartridge will only work in an American Nintendo 64 (due to the cartridges physical regional lockout) all of its content is in Japanese. No other “Not For Resale” has managed this bizarre feat.
Current Projected Worth: $575
The Story: The unfortunately named “Wide-Boy 64” was manufactured by Intelligent Systems and only distributed to developers and a scant few members of the gaming press. It was used to showcase Game Boy Color (and later Advance) games on a larger screen so those working on or reviewing the titles wouldn’t have to stare at the Game Boy Color’s unilluminated pixels for hours on end. The attached Game Boy’s only use was as a controller (or as a second screen), as the majority of it’s guts were transferred the the over sized N64 cartridge. Rumor has it Nintendo sold these Wide-Boy 64 kits to magazines and developers for staggering $1,400 in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. It’s no wonder they usually sell for over $500 when they pop up on eBay. I still think they should have gone with “Tall Boy” instead.
Current Projected Worth: $339
The Story: Back when Blockbuster Video was still a household name, the movie rental company made a surge to acquire some exclusive versions of certain gaming titles. There are plenty of “Blockbuster Exclusives”, even on the N64, but none have garnered interest quite like Clay Fighter: Sculptor’s Cut. An enhanced version of the not-so-well-received game Clay Fighter 63 1/3, the game featured unseen content including four new characters, a tweaked combo system and new storylines. When Blockbuster locations started getting rid of their N64 stock or closing down for good they sold off their copies of Sculptor’s Cut for cheap. The game came with a box and manual, but good luck finding them all together.
Current Projected Worth: $155
The Story: Now here’s an interesting backstory. Turok Rage Wars was the third offering in the popular first person dinosaur hunting series for the Nintendo 64. Cased in a badass black shell, Rage Wars’ big pull was its multiplayer and co-op adventure modes. The only problem was that many players couldn’t advance past a certain part in the co-op mode due to a game-breaking bug that had somehow been overlooked. Turok creators Acclaim issued a statement that they would fix any copy of Rage Wars, but players had to physically mail in the original black cartridge. The few who took advantage of this offer were mailed back entirely new cartridges which were back to the normal N64 gray. No one is sure how many copies of gray Rage Wars exist, but it’s certainly one of the most uncommon variants on the resale market.
There are a few other valuable Nintendo 64 titles, such as test cartridges and “Not For Resale” color variants, that can also pull in a pretty penny online. Their backgrounds just aren’t quite as interesting as the five above. You’re best bet when it comes to tracking game worth (be it N64 or other) is Video Game Price Charts, a site that aggregates online sales.
Have a rare or valuable game that YOU prize above all others? Share it in the comments! And if you’re interested in starting a gaming collection of your own you should definitely read my beginner’s guide.
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Big thanks to handheldmuseum.com for being so helpful.