Top 10 Rarest SNES Games Worth a Fortune
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) arrived in North America over 30 years ago in 1991, capturing the hearts of many gamers young and old. Nearly 50 million units have been sold worldwide, including approximately 23 million in the Western Hemisphere.
There were 717 different games that were officially released for the SNES in North America. Pack-in games like Super Mario World are of course common enough to be sold in retro game stores and online, as many games have been produced. However, not all titles were popular, and some games are much harder to find for sale.
We’ve put together a list of ten of the rarest SNES games that cost a pretty penny to buy these days.
This list will focus exclusively on NTSC (North American) game prices; as the PAL (European/Japanese) games had entirely different versions, it’s hard to compare. Additionally, the list only focuses on official retail releases; “not for resale” carts or exclusive competition carts are not included here.
Mega Man X3 – $300
Mega Man X3 is the third game in the Mega Man X series and was released in 1996. Like many other games in the series, players navigate eight stages of platforming action.
The game came out quite late in the SNES lifecycle, and there was a fairly limited impression at the time. Mega Man has continued to grow in popularity over the years, so many fans who didn’t have this game would be eager to add it to their collection.
It’s not too hard to find copies of Mega Man X3 on the market, but they have recently sold for between $200 and $300.
Castlevania: Dracula X – $300
Castlevania: Dracula X was released in late 1995. It featured the same gameplay and story as Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (which was released on the PC Engine Super CD-ROM) but with altered levels due to SNES cartridge limitations.
Like Mega Man X3, Castlevania: Dracula X saw a limited print release, launched quite late in the SNES lifecycle, and the series grew in popularity over time, making it sought after by new fans.
Copies of this game have recently sold for around $300 or more.
Land – $325
Earthbound wasn’t exactly destined to succeed. It was the second game in the Mother series, which was previously exclusive to Japan.
Not only was the franchise unfamiliar to American audiences, but the game’s marketing included a lot of toilet humor, and back then in 1995, many gamers were interested in more mature JRPGs such as Chrono Trigger and Final. Fantasy. No wonder so few copies were sold; in fact, it is estimated that fewer than 150,000 copies were sold in North America.
Earthbound and the rest of the Mother series ended up becoming a cult classic in the years since its release, perhaps due to Ness’ inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. series. and a growing fan base. Now copies sell for an average of $300 to $350.
Metal Warriors – $350
Metal Warriors was a side-scrolling gun-running game released in 1995 (notice a trend here with later releases?) by LucasArts. It was developed by the same team that created Zombies Ate My Neighbors, but this game is set in the future with different types of mecha suits.
Like many others on this list, there weren’t a ton of copies produced. Metal Warriors looked and played great for a SNES game, however, many collectors find it worth owning a copy.
Metal Warriors carts usually go for around $350-400 or so these days.
Harvest Moon – $400
Nobody knew that when the original Harvest Moon was released on the SNES in 1997, it would launch one of the most popular video game genres. Producer Yasuhiro Wada wanted to create a role-playing game that didn’t involve combat, and due to his love of the countryside, the first farming simulator was born.
Harvest Moon sold quite well for the end of its run in the life of the SNES, selling over 100,000 copies. Because the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons franchise would go on to become one of the most popular series of all time, the original game is sought after by collectors and fans alike.
Recently sold Harvest Moon carts have sold for around $400 or more.
Final Fight Guy – $450
Final Fight Guy was a bit of an odd release, and a lot of people might not even have known that version of the game existed. Final Fight was a SNES port of the arcade beat-em-up, but this port of the game removed features from the original arcade version such as multiplayer, one level, and the playable fighter Guy.
Three years later, a revised version of the game was released called Final Fight Guy. As the title suggests, it adds Guy as a playable character along with other features, such as multiple difficulty settings. This revision was originally only available as a Blockbuster rental, but was later released to retail stores in limited numbers.
Due to this odd release, Final Fight Guy goes on sale from time to time and sells for around $450 on average.
Pocky & Rocky 2 – $500
Pocky & Rocky 2 was a shoot-em-up sequel to the original Pocky & Rocky developed by Natsume. It built upon the first game by adding unique attacks to the second player character to aid gameplay.
The game was received very positively by critics and consumers. It didn’t have such a limited release or boom in popularity like some of the other games on this list, but for some reason copies of Pocky & Rocky 2 are pretty expensive to buy today.
Recently sold copies of the game have gone for as much as $500.
Hagane: The Final Conflict – $1,000+
Hagane: The Final Conflict was a unique side-scrolling platformer as it was set in a futuristic world but featured traditional Japanese samurai characters. One of the most notable features of the game was the wide variety of weapons and attacks players could use through levels.
These days, copies of Hagane: The Final Conflict are quite rare and extremely expensive. Some collectors believe this may be the result of false inflation, but that doesn’t change the fact that buying a copy will cost you close to a grand or more.
The NTSC version of the game seems to be much rarer than its PAL counterpart, and there is some uncertainty as to whether or not the game was limited as a Blockbuster exclusive in North America or not. Anyway, recent copies for the last few months have sold for between $950 and $1,300.
Air Fighters – $1,000+
Aero Fighters was released for the SNES in 1993 as a side-scrolling shooter. It was a port of a hit arcade game, but the SNES version had worse graphics and sound effects, and it suffered from lag due to cart limitations.
Even though it wasn’t a fantastic game, there are some theories as to why it is so expensive now. Its lack of commercial success is of course an explanation. Another is that in 2007, famous author John Green and his YouTuber son Hank Green made a video in which they accidentally read the title “Nerd Fighters”. This could have potentially brought the game into the eyes of a modern mainstream audience and jacked up the price.
Recently sold copies of Aero Fighters have sold for between $975 and $1,499, so be prepared to write a big check if you ever want to add this one to your collection.
Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer – $1600+
Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally / Speed Racer might be one of the most peculiar SNES games ever released. The two games of this title had separate versions, but it’s the version that combines them on a single cartridge that is so rare.
The racing game combo cart came with Life Fitness’ “Exertainment” stationary bike, and the game could actually be used with the exercise machine; pedaling the bike controlled the speed of vehicles in games. And… it was the only way to actually play the game.
Because Exertainment stationary bikes were so expensive at the time, there probably weren’t many copies of the game in circulation. Additionally, it seemed aimed more at casual consumers than a more hardcore gaming audience, meaning many copies might not be around anymore.
If you’re trying to add the Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer cart to your personal collection, you’ll need to keep a very close eye on the copies sold. The most recent recorded selloff was last March and was just over $1,600. Prior to that, the last recorded copy was resold in 2017, so this rare game doesn’t appear very often.