When referencing classic games, Super Mario Bros. may be the pinnacle, sitting pretty at the top of the pile. All these years on, it continues to set new boundaries, and break records, despite being over thirty decades old.
Recently, a mint condition copy of the original Super Mario Bros. sold at Heritage Auctions for a whopping 114, 000 USD. Thus, exceeding the record before it, of the same 1985 game. Which only last year, sold for 100,150 USD. According to game collector Chris Kohler, that makes this sale the most expensive of its kind for a single video game.
“A sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. just sold at auction for 114,000 USD, which is a new record for the sale of a single game,” said Kohler. “Bet the owners of the $100,000 one, which is an earlier printing, feel great today.”
Image: Heritage auctions
Now, you may be thinking, what makes this version so unique? It has been graded a 9.4 out of 10, which brings it close to mint condition. Hence, all the contents remain sealed in original packaging. An ultra-rarity if you consider its cardboard casing.
Additionally, this is a specific version of the US retail edition, which underwent many iterations over the years.
According to Heritage Auctions, much of the game’s overall value derives from its cardboard hangtag. Of which exist only a handful of variants, that ran for a limited time. Ultimately, that means that this copy issues a “certain air of “vintage,” compared with others.
Why Super Mario Bros. Exactly
It is no secret that retro games are all the rage. Over the last few decades, referencing the most recent in particular, old gems have become a sort-after commodity for collectors of the classics—these great games of a bygone age span the platforms, from SEGA to Nintendo.
As the first game in the Super Mario Bros. series, this entry has a special reverence for players and collectors. Better still, it also stands as the highest-selling title on the NES. But there is one more critical element, that perhaps makes this one more lucrative than its peers.
Maybe the inclusion of the most infamous boss of all, Bowser?
Yes, that is right folks: Bowser, the primary antagonist of the Mario franchise. The “Great Sorcerer King Koopa,” makes his first appearance in the 1985 smash-hit, Super Mario Bros.
Not only is Bowser one of the most iconic and easily identifiable villains in video game history. But also, his evil plans to kidnap Princess Peach and take over the Mushroom Kingdom have become the stuff of legend. Despite being foiled one too many times by the world’s most loved plumber.
It is a beautiful sight, all these years on, to see the legendary titles of old retain their cult-status as classics. For a title, over 30 years on, to become the most valuable video game on the market only speaks of its prestige.
Not only that, but Super Mario Bros. is one of the industry’s most beloved franchises. And as time goes on, the likelihood is, games of that era will only increase in price, as players and collectors revisit the glory days of gaming. It almost brings a tear.
I still have a near-mint condition version of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on the N64. So, I understand the appeal. That one, though, has been played more times than I can count.
What do you think? Has the world gone mad, forking out 114, 000 USD for a video game? Alternatively, is this a worthwhile investment, considering the game’s near-mint condition? As always, we want to hear what you think.