Everyone knows sports games are worth next to nothing. The annual releases have resulted in sports games holding their value for a short while before becoming completely unwanted when the next update drops. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Today I thought I'd rattle off 10 sports games that are actually valuable.
The image I used up there is from Baseball Simulator 1.000. It's not on this list. Intrigue!
No one hates sports games more than me. Don't even try to act like you do, because you can't possibly. I won't blame you if you skip this. I myself literally would, if I were you. This feature is, after all, about my most hated genre of games.
But if you are interested for whatever reason what copy/paste sports games are worth some bank, then read on! Are you ready for the football? All my... zany friends... are coming over tonight. To play sports games. Uh... let's get started. I recommend listening to this while you read. Sports!
1) Stadium Events (NES)
General Value: $10,000
Let's just get this one out of the way right now. I don't want it to look like I'm doing some big reveal if the last thing I mention is the game that's worth far and away the most. Everyone knows about this one by now.
The story goes that an estimated 2,000 copies of this game were made, and only a few hundred were sold to consumers before it was pulled from shelves when Nintendo bought up the rights to the Power Pad and re-released the game as World Class Track Meet. The game fetches a ridiculous premium once in a blue moon when it goes up for auction. The value of this game has apparently made everyone with a casual interest in the NES stand up and take notice, causing people to think every game they own for the Nintendo Entertainment System that's stashed away in their attic is worth a fortune.
2) NBA Elite 11 (PlayStation 3)
General Value: $1,000
If you saw this game somewhere and didn't know any different you'd probably think nothing of it, as it looks like every other basketball game. This one, however, is extraordinarily rare. NBA Elite 11 was never officially released to the public. How's that for rare?
Apparently this game was cancelled about a week or so before it was supposed to be released. By that time, there were some copies of the game manufactured, and some of those copies made their way out into the world. It's apparently so rare that even the player featured on the cover doesn't even own a copy. If anyone should own this game, I'd say it should be him.
James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing (Master System)
General Value: $200
Much like the Sega Genesis, the Sega Master System doesn't have a lot of games for it that command a hefty price tag. However, James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing is in the top three most valuable Master System games. It's kind of refreshing that one of the most valuable games for the system tops out at around $200. Nothing is really going to break your bank if you're going for a complete set like the NES and SNES libraries.
This game was also released on the Genesis, but it is not worth remotely as much as its Master System counterpart. In fact, that version is worth just a few dollars. This game was released very late in the Master System's life, which is usually a factor in making a game rare, but not always valuable. In this case, however, it's both. Snatch it up if you ever encounter it!
Punch-Out!! Special Edition (Famicom)
General Value: $130
Here's one you might not know about. I didn't, if we're going to be honest.
Nintendo reportedly made 10,000 of these carts for a contest based around the Famicom Golf game. Not really sure why the prize for playing Golf would be a special edition version of Punch-Out!!, but I'm sure it made sense to someone at Nintendo. This cart is the same gold color as the original NES versions of The Legend of Zelda and Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, which as we all know makes the games look incredibly special and beautiful. Seeing a gold Punch-Out!! is surreal to me and it gives me the same feelings as looking at the gold Zelda carts. I wish I had one!
This version of Punch-Out!! differs from the North American version in that the game ends with the fight against Super Macho Man. Mike Tyson is nowhere to be found and is not waiting for your challenge. Apparently this is the first version of Punch-Out!! Japan was able to play. Later on Nintendo released a version with Mike Tyson in it and then later after that, the version with Mr. Dream.
Winning Post (Saturn)
General Value: $120
Part of the long-running horse racing series from Koei (wow, that's a sentence that really makes you raise an eyebrow), Winning Post is obscure outside of Japan not only for that fact, but also because it was a Sega Saturn game. Sorry, Saturn fans! You have to admit your system was a bit obscure, though.
Winning Post is worth triple digits, rubbing elbows with games like Shining Force 3, Albert Odyssey, and Panzer Dragoon Saga, all well-known Saturn games that are very desirable and make for a great Saturn collection. Chances of finding this one in the wild are slim to none, as finding Saturn games at all is rare enough a feat to accomplish. But ultimately, it is one of the rarest games for the Saturn and it's actually pretty good if horse racing is something that really gets your blood pumping.
World Series Baseball '95 Starring Deion Sanders (Sega 32X)
General Value: $100
Spider-Man: Web of Fire is known among collectors as the most sought after and valuable Sega 32X game, but right under that in terms of value is, strangely enough, World Series Baseball '95 Starring Deion Sanders. I would say it was a late release, but for a system that barely lasted two years, I don't think that's really relevant to point out.
I can't say anything to the quality of this one, but from what I've read, it's a very good baseball game with a robust roster. "Fans of the genre will love it" and all that. In any case, finding Sega 32X games in my travels is something that comes up more than you would expect. Usually they're mixed in with Genesis games because people seem to have no idea what a 32X is, and I can't really blame them. Check out the Genesis sports section for a chance of encountering this one! It looks like any other baseball game, so keep your eyes peeled.
Super Bowling (Nintendo 64)
General Value: $70
Nintendo 64 collecting is big at the moment, as the people that grew up with the system are now old enough to have disposable income and are wanting to relive their childhood (just like I did with NES and SNES). Games for it are becoming more and more scarce, which is truthfully a bit surprising to me as there used to be rows and rows of Nintendo 64 games everywhere I went.
Super Bowling is one of those games that's good, but not really all that rare. It's not even close to being one of the rarest games for the system, but it is one of the most valuable. I wouldn't pass up a Clayfighter Sculptor's Cut or a Worms Armageddon over this, but you should pick it up if you ever find it somewhere.
NCAA College Basketball 2K3 (GameCube)
General Value: $70
The GameCube isn't known for its sports lineup. It isn't known for much besides having a handle, being purple, and having a funky controller that was only good for games developed by Nintendo, but whatever. It's definitely not known for sports. That was PlayStation 2 and Xbox's department.
However, it did have sports representation on it. The GameCube version of NCAA College Basketball 2K3 was actually available for a bit before Sega stopped putting their 2K series of games on the GameCube due to the aforementioned "there are sports games on GameCube?" mentality most owners had. I suppose Sega would know best as to whether or not their games were selling on certain consoles, so they ended production of the title very soon after it began, making this one a true rarity that you do actually have a chance of stumbling upon in the wild. It helps your chances that people typically gloss over sports games when they're looking for rarities, especially for the GameCube where everyone is after the Nintendo heavy hitters. NCAA College Basketball 2K3 might as well be invisible next to a copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee.
NCAA College Basketball 2K3 is also available for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, but neither of those are worth more than any other dime a dozen sports title. The GameCube one is the one to look out for!
Pro Sport Hockey (NES)
General Value: $60
Here's one that might slip through the cracks. Might. Pro Sport Hockey is certainly no Stadium Events or late release Taito game, but it is worth a surprising amount considering it's a sports game.
It did come out the year before the Nintendo Entertainment System was put out to pasture, so it is a game that everyone was ignoring in favor of the shiny new Super Nintendo. In fact, there is a version of this game for the SNES that, surprise surprise, is worth next to nothing. That's the one that hockey fans were after. That's the one that had the excitement behind it. This one? The obscure hockey game on the tired old NES? No one bought this. Doesn't mean it's a bad game, though. I really have no idea.
Mutant League Hockey (Genesis)
General Value: $50
The Mutant League series was developed by Electronic Arts and was a very different take on football. Even my friends who were not sports fans enjoyed the Mutant League games. Mutant League Football in particular was quite popular. I think it actually taught my friends the rules of football. Personally, I skipped it. Because... even gore and exploding mutants couldn't get me to care about football.
In addition to Mutant League Football, there is Mutant League Hockey here, which is the same idea except with hockey. It isn't worth a ton (as I mentioned before, not a lot on the Genesis is) but it is one of the most valuable games on the system. I myself have only encountered it once in the wild, so it's also not all that common, either. You'll have to dig through all those big EA Genesis carts to find it, but since everyone pretty much ignores those when looking at Genesis games, you actually have a chance to find it.
And there you go! Ten sports games that you might have overlooked when rummaging through bins of carts or walls of games. By the way, almost all of the images from this feature came from different sources because, well... I'm not one to own many sports games. In any case, the following images came from the following sources:
- The Stadium Events cart scan is from NintendoAge.
- The cart scan and information on Punch-Out!! Special Edition was from Famicom World.
- The box art for NBA Elite 11, James Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing, Winning Post, World Series baseball '95 Starring Deion Sanders, and NCAA College Basketball 2K3 was from GameFAQs.
- The box art for Super Bowling was from Aladdin's Arcade.
- The box art for Mutant League Hockey was from Game Oldies.
- The cart scan of Pro Sport Hockey is from my own collection.