Geek Trivia

What Is The Most Expensive Video Game In The World?

Stadium Events
Nintendo Campus Challenge
Air Raid
NES World Championships
The Killer In 1978's Horror Hit Halloween Wore A Mask Of Which Sci-Fi Actor?

Answer: Stadium Events

When it comes to extraordinarily expensive video games, the console is king. While old computer games have been known to fetch a penny or two by nostalgic gamers, when it comes to video games auctions with absurdly high bids, cartridge games from old consoles fetch astronomical prices.

Among the most notable of video game sales is the 2010 auction of a copy of Bandai’s Stadium Events game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in 1987 as one of the very few games available in America that took advantage of the Family Fun Fitness Mat. Nintendo quickly bought the rights to the game and the mat and released the game under the name World Class Track Meet and the accompanying mat as the Power Pad. Only 200 copies were released in the US and collectors believe that only 10-20 complete cartridges exist. In 2010, a factory sealed copy appeared on eBay and sold for an astounding $41,300–by contrast a copy of World Class Track Meet sells for a few dollars.

While Stadium Events is, by a wide margin, the most expensive video game there are other games that command hefty auction prices. Another auction from 2010 turned an old Atari game into a pile of cash for a lucky Texan. After reading a newspaper article about rare video games Tanner Sandlin, of Austin, Texas, recognized an old Atari title. He went home, dug out the game–Air Raid–and listed it in eBay. It turned out that he had the only known copy in existance that was both first-generation owned and had the box and accompanying artwork. His copy of Air Raid fetched $31,600. Previously the game had never fetched more than $3,000 at auction.

Two other notably expensive video games cartridges come to us courtesy of Nintendo contests. In 1990, Nintendo held the Nintendo World Championships, a 30-city gaming tournament designed to find the best players in the world–fans of geeky movies will recognize this as the plot of the Fred Savage movie The Wizard. The winner from each city received a copy of the timed tournament game and then 26 lucky Nintendo Power contest winners were sent a gold version of that game. The grey cartridges are routinely auctioned for $5,000 and the gold ones easily fetch $15,000+. After the promotional success of the Nintendo World Championship, Nintedo started hosting “Campus Challenges” on college campuses around the US. They had a special cartridge made for the events but it was only for the event and never distributed as a prize. When the Campus Challenge ended, all the cartridges were destroyed. All that is except for a copy kept by a Nintendo employee, Rob Walters. He sold the game at a garage sale and it ended up on eBay–where it fetched $14,000. Campus Challenge is easily one of the rarest games in the world; as far as anyone knows that single copy is the only one in existence.