More often than not, when gamers get nostalgic for the games of yesteryear, Nintendo consoles are the ones that come to mind. There are some ridiculously valuable games out there for NES, and on the Sega side, the Genesis/Mega Drive has its fare share of sought after games as well. If you really want to spend some big money (or make some big money if you are lucky enough to own any of them), the Atari 2600 is actually a gold mine.
Sure, Stadium Events and the NES World Championships are worth some big money on NES, but Atari has some games that easily compare with those from a pure value perspective. If you have one of these in your collection, consider yourself among the lucky few. If you happen to spot one of these on Craigslist or at a garage sale, jump on it as fast as humanly possible, as you will have just won the video game collecting lottery.
Air Raid is generally regarded as the holy grail for Atari video game collectors. It’s so rare that only a few are known to exist, and even less with the actual box. Without the box, the game sells for somewhere between 13-14 thousand dollars. No, that wasn’t a typo, just the cartridge is worth around $13,000. With the box, the last one that hit the market sold for an even more mind-blowing 33 thousand dollars. That means the little bit of cardboard is actually worth more than the game itself. It’s pretty nuts. What’s even crazier is that the game is actually a commercial release, whereas most of the really rare games were never sold in stores.
The game features a very distinct design, as it comes in light blue, and it has a t-shaped handle on the top. It’s actually very cool looking, and if you ever happened upon one, you would know you found it right away. If you have Air Raid in your collection, I, and collectors around the world, envy you.
Red Sea Crossing
This game was not even known about by Atari collectors until 2007. It was all but lost to history until someone found it at a garage sale. The reason Red Sea Crossing was so hard to come by is that it’s a Christian game that was only sold by mail order. On top of that, only one ad for the game’s original release has actually been found, which explains why no one bought it when it was new.
So how much is this insanely rare game actually worth? The last loose cartridge sold for $13,800, which is just staggering. No copies with a box have ever made it to the public, but it’s easy to imagine that if one did, it would probably sell for around the same price as Air Raid. If you happened to order away for this game when you were a child, and you have one hanging in your closet, consider yourself incredibly lucky. If you had it, and were the person who sold your copy at a garage sale, then that really stinks.
This is another special order game, but it comes with a very interesting twist. Buyers would custom order it as a gift, and the name of the recipient would be added to the title screen. There was also a spot on the front to write the name of the person getting the gift. This is about as custom as you are going to find in terms of video games. Sadly for the company that made it, but happily for collectors today, the concept did not catch on at all, and as such, copies are incredibly hard to come by. It’s so rare, in fact, that only two or three copies are known to exist.
Sadly, this game has never been sold to the public, so it’s hard to put a true value on it. That being said, there is a record of a $6,500 offer on a copy, so that’s really all we have to go on. Perhaps more copies will surface someday, but for now, this is easily one of the rarest video games available on all platforms, and one that collectors the world over would be willing to pay insane amounts of money to have in their collection.
For game collectors the world over, these are the Atari 2600 games they wish they had. I know I do! How about you? Do you own any of these incredibly rare games? Are you going to look for them next time you to a garage sale? What are the rarest games in your collection? Hit the comments section below and let us know!
Image Credits: Chris L Via Flickr