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For most game collectors, sports games are shunned as being cheap and invaluable. After all, most sports franchises are annualized, and they are incredibly popular at the time of release, so there is usually a ton of copies floating around in the market. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Just because a game falls into the sports genre doesn’t mean you should automatically ignore it, because it just might be one of these incredibly valuable gems.
Stadium Events (NES)
Not only is this the holy grail of sports games, it’s among two of the most valuable NES games ever made. It was eventually rereleased as World Class Track Meet, which is worth almost nothing.
Because it was quickly rebranded, games retaining the Stadium Events name are insanely rare and valuable. How valuable? Currently a loose cartridge sells for just over $4000 and a complete in box copy pulls just under $8000.
NBA Elite 11 (PS3)
What’s this? A PS3 game that’s worth a lot of money? How is that possible? Quite simply, the game was never actually released. It was canned because the game was not finished in time for the NBA season, but some copies were shipped to retailers and reviewers, and the few that have actually made it to market have sold for over $1000.
For a game on modern consoles that isn’t a collector’s edition, it’s quite insane. Since the game is not finished, it’s buggy and borderline broken, so don’t expect top quality, but if you see one out there, it’s worth grabbing for rarity alone.
Super Series Big League Baseball (Intellivision)
For whatever reason, the Intellivision is the home of rare sports games. When I first got into game collecting I got a copy of a game called World Series Major League Baseball in a big lot, which sounds like any generic cheap sports game. Come to find out, it’s worth over $50. However, the very same game with the name Super Series Big League Baseball is much rarer, coming with a value of $305 for a loose cart.
It came out a year later, and as such, it didn’t sell nearly as many copies. This makes it much harder to find than the previous one, and for a game that follows a mainstream sport like baseball, it’s a shockingly valuable cart and one that most game collectors would love to have displayed proudly on their shelf.
Spiker! Super Pro Volleyball (Intellivision)
This is another example of a sports game on the Intellivision that has a really high value. It’s a volleyball game, which you could argue is a pretty niche sport. As far as games for this system go, it’s incredibly advanced, and pushes the gameplay beyond what you would expect from the console. It comes with a value of $550 for a loose cart and $1600 for a complete copy.
The reason this game is so rare is because it was released in 1989, long after the Intellivision stopped production. Because of that, almost no one bought it. That means copies are hard to come by, and hence, the value is insane for a sports game.
James Buster Douglas Boxing (Sega Master System)
The Sega Master System, which is actually my favorite of all of the retro systems, is home to one of the most valuable boxing games ever released. As of this writing, it currently sells for $200 loose, and $359 in the box with the manual. Sealed copies sell for $5000, but of course, those are nearly impossible to come by.
The reason this game is so rare is because it came out a full year after Sega released the Genesis. Because of that, not many copies of the game were made, and even less were actually sold. Factor in copies being destroyed over the years, and you have a game that not many gamers have in their collections, and as such, one that collectors are willing to pay top dollar for.
Next time you think all sports games are not worth collecting, think again. Now I am not going to tell you that your copy of Madden 94 is suddenly worth big bucks, because it’s not, nor will it ever be. That said, there are some hidden gems, and if you have these in your collection, consider yourself lucky.
What rare sports games do you have in your collection? Do you own any of these? Hit the comments section below and let us know.