Video game and geek culture website FandomSpot has analyzed the top-selling games over the past twenty years, to see which have increased the most in value—along with those which have decreased the most. You can view the piece here.
The retro movement
It’s widely recognized that retro gaming is a big-money business. In April 2021 an unopened copy of Super Mario Bros on the NES sold for an incredible $660,000, a game originally released in the US in 1985 for $24.99, and the top-selling game of that year. That’s an increase in value over the last 35 years of more than 2.6 million percent.
Back when Super Mario Bros was released, the home console industry was still in its infancy. Since then, gaming has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, with games available to buy in both physical and digital forms.
With that in mind, FandomSpot has revealed which modern best-selling games with a physical release have increased—and decreased—in value the most.
In 2002, Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire retailed for approximately $55 (£35), but now a complete copy of the game sells for an average of $576 (£414) – an increase of 942% and by far the biggest increase for a game released since the new millennium.
Dropping off quickly in second place is 2006’s Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which can fetch an average of $228 (£164), an increase of 306% on the original price of $56.
With far less dramatic increases, but still increases nonetheless, are Human Fall Flat at 144%, Terraria at 67%, and Wii Play at 47% to round out the top five. The only two other top selling games of the last 21 years with an increase were Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas at 47% and Pokémon Sun/Moon with just a 6% increase in value.
Top 7 increases
|Rank||Game||Sales||Approx original price (USD)||Current average sale price (USD)||Percentage increase in value|
|1||Pokémon Ruby / Sapphire / Emerald||22,540,000||$55.24||$576||942%|
|2||Pokémon Diamond / Pearl / Platinum||24,730,000||$56.30||$228||306%|
|3||Human Fall Flat||25,000,000||$14.99||$37||144%|
|6||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||27,500,000||$50||$73||47%|
|7||Pokémon Sun / Moon / Ultra Sun / Ultra Moon||25,090,000||$43.15||$46||6%|
The biggest losers
If you’ve already started rooting through your collection of games with the intention of funding an early retirement, it isn’t all good news. Just 7 of the 40 best-selling games over the past 21 years have increased in value.
FIFA 18 originally retailed for approximately £66 (£50), but now sells for an average of $6 (£4.30), a 90% decrease just 4 years after release. Borderlands 2, Diablo III and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim all experienced an 89% decrease in value, With Skyrim having been ported across 3 generations, it’s unsurprising that it’s decreased so much in value since it’s original release in 2011.
Other big drops include GTAIV (-85%), COD: Modern Warfare 3 (-85%), The Sims 4 (-84%) and COD: Black Ops (-84%). Clearly, games which are refreshed regularly such as sports titles and first-person shooters, rarely hold on to anything close to their original value.
Top 10 decreases
|Rank||Game||Sales||Approx original price (USD)||Current average sale price (USD)||Percentage decrease in value|
|4||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||30,000,000||$87.61||$10||-89%|
|5||Grand Theft Auto IV||25,000,000||$98.66||$15||-85%|
|6||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||26,500,000||$88.36||$14||-85%|
|7||The Sims 4||20,000,000||$82.66||$13||-84%|
|8||Call of Duty: Black Ops||26,200,000||$88.92||$15||-84%|
|9||Grand Theft Auto V||140,000,000||$71.56||$13||-82%|
Alyssa Celatti at FandomSpot.com and video game expert comments:
“Some collectors treat video games like Pokémon and are desperate to catch ‘em all—even if that means dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on an unopened copy of Super Mario Bros.
“With modern games selling tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of copies, it’s unlikely games from the past 20 years will ever sell for as much as their 8 and 16-bit counterparts. Gaming is a much bigger hobby than it was in the ’80s, however with the industry moving towards favoring digital sales, there’s every chance there’ll be a resurgence in demand for physical copies in the future.
“It certainly makes you think twice about whether or not you should take the plastic wrapping off Resident Evil Village when it’s released this week.…”
To find out more about the increases and decreases of modern, best-selling games, visit Fandomspot
If you enjoy games and gaming and want more NEWS from the Gaming World Click Here