Join us as we delve into the mysterious and expensive world of rare N64 games!
No, this isn’t a list of games made by RARE, although there are a few of those included further down. This is a list of the rarest and most costly titles for the N64, the unloved games turned collectors items and classic carts that have grown more expensive with age.
The trouble with N64 games is that they all seem to cost a lot of money these days. While most have at least held their value over the years, others now cost around two to three times their original price tag!
Games that might not seem rare such as Mario Party 2 can sell for thousands if in a sealed condition, and even some cartridge-only sales reach high prices.
It just goes to show that even in 2021, people still love this iconic retro console. It’s the retro console, and game boxes still make me excited to this day.
But which are the rarest game boxes and most expensive games? How much do the classics cost now, and are there any bargains to be had?
Find out below!
Clay Fighter: Sculptor’s Cut kickstarts this list of rare N64 games in style. Some readers may have played Clay Fighter 63 1/3, but the Sculptor’s Cut edition is one of the most elusive and expensive games for the console.
Sculptor’s Cut was a Blockbuster video rental store exclusive title, which meant that they were pretty hard to get hold of in the first place. It’s such an interesting title because the style is unlike pretty much every other N64 game, and it’s the most unique fighting title ever.
Clay Fighter: Sculptors Cut boasts extraordinary visuals thanks to the use of stop motion animation and claymation.
Everything is made of clay. We’re talking the backgrounds, characters, everything.
Speaking of characters, they’re what makes this game such an exciting title. Play as the Statue of Liberty come to life, or a nasty snowman turned good. Earthworm Jim even makes a cameo.
The updated Sculptors’s Cut boasts new features including fresh moves, a better main menu, slicker fighting system, new cutscenes and stories, and extra characters. It’s the definitive edition of a great game, which is why it costs so much!
Prices start at around $650 for the cartridge alone, with complete boxed copies selling for $5000. A sealed copy is currently selling on eBay for $199,999.99!
I’m paid to be honest, and I honestly didn’t know that this N64 Test Cartridge existed until I started writing this article. It’s no surprise, as this cartridge was made for repair shops to use when testing faulty N64 units back in the day.
Various sources claim that Nintendo requested these cartridges back once third-party repair shops were no longer needed, though many shops found it impossible to send them back.
As such, these rare carts surface from time to time on the internet for insane prices.
I know this isn’t a game, but it’s an important piece of Nintendo history and a cool collectors item if you have the money. It’s also a cool piece of kit for the budding modder or game’s console builder to learn what makes a console tick!
One report shows a cart selling in a shop for $3,000, while eBay reports a sale that reached a whopping $7,500!
Yoshi’s Story International Release fetches a pretty penny due to its ‘not for resale’ logo on the front of the cartridge.
It might seem trivial, but small features like this really make a difference when separating rare N64 games from mass produced copies. In this case, the artwork on the label resembles the logo on the box used for NTSC and PAL releases.
The international release cart shipped to stores as a kiosk demo to show off the game. This means there weren’t that many in production, making it a sure fire hit for collectors.
Yoshi’s Story International Release only works on NTSC N64 units, though the text in the menus and story snippets is all in Japanese. The gameplay itself is pretty much the same as the Japanese release.
Control coloured Yoshi’s while gobbling down fruit and saving the Super Happy Tree from Baby Bowser’ spell. Why can’t Bowser’s family stop meddling in people’s affairs!
A normal copy of Yoshi’s story costs around $15-50 dollars, but the international copy sells for around $2500. We say around because that’s what the last one sold for. The only other copy at the time of writing is priced at $24,999.99!
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Collector’s Edition takes the 4th spot in this list of top rare N64 games.
Slapping collectors edition tends to make the price go up on anything, especially when the greatest game of all time is concerned!
When Ocarina dropped in 2008, the Collector’s Edition version provided fans with a shiny box and a gold cartridge. This differed from the standard black box and grey cartridge combo that I played to death and still do.
Because the collectors edition only stayed around for a short time and was snapped up quickly, these copies are harder to find.
And when you do find one, the price is usually pretty huge!
Copies sell for anywhere between $149 and $4,999 depending on their condition and whether they come boxed. A brand new, sealed and graded copy is currently sitting at $20,000 on eBay!
I love Zelda more than anyone, but $20,000 is an insane amount of money to spend. Still, if you’ve got it and want a centre piece for your gaming collection, then why not!
Stunt Racer 64 was doomed to make this list of the top rare N64 games before it even hit shelves.
Not only did it have to compete with the mighty Mario Kart 64, one of the best N64 games of all time, but Blockbusters also had exclusivity of the title. That’s rental and retail copies, and the game remains exclusive to NTSC consoles.
Competing with the best racing game for the console and only sold in one chain? Sound’s like a great recipe for success to me!
Those old enough to remember rental game copies know how battered the boxes became at the hands of savage gamers. As such, finding a copy in decent condition is tough enough, and finding a copy with a box and manual will cost a small fortune.
Cartridges sell for around $213, while boxed versions can fetch anything up to $4500. Still, the game itself is a cracking title to play if you have an NTSC N64.
Race vehicles with futuristic turbo technology while performing death-defying stunts along insane tracks. Rack up points, earn cash, and buy new gear. It’s a great premise, though an expensive play in 2021.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day is the first game in our list to be rare in both senses of the word. It’s one of our top rare N64 games made by RARE, the genius minds behind Banjo-Kazooie and Number 9 in our list too!
Conker is one vulgar dude. This game is definitely aimed at older audiences despite its similarities to Banjo. It contains drinking, swearing, sexual innuendos; basically all of the good stuff.
The game has lots of graphic violence in it too, though it’s softened by the fact that a furry tailed squirrel is the one doing the killing. The gameplay is superb and the story left me laughing all the way through.
Unfortunately, the price is pretty expensive these days as the game became so popular. It’s also one of the last titles released for the N64 before it was discontinued, a fact that only adds to the cost.
Expect to pay anywhere around $1,500 for a boxed copy in 2021, though cartridge only copies in varying condition sell for around $20.
Worms: Armageddon is a classic example of a title becoming more popular over time. This N64 game didn’t receive that much of an uptake when it first released, though collectors have gone mad for it in recent years.
Worms first rose to popularity on the PC. I remember pitting these little dudes against each other with my mates on Windows 98, thinking that the world couldn’t possibly get any better than those moments.
Players take turns to destroy enemy worms using insane weaponry on a number of interesting stages. The humour in this game is what makes it to fun to play. Twinned with the zany boards and vibrant graphics, and you’ve got one hell of a multiplayer battle on your hands.
The cartridge itself isn’t as rare as finding a boxed copy with manual intact. That’s where the real money is.
So, if you have a copy hidden away in your attic, you may well be sitting on a small gold mine!
StarCraft 64 takes the 8th place in this list of the top rare N64 games!
The Nintendo sold itself as a platforming machine with games that appealed to younger audiences. That’s a broad generalisation as I still love these games as an adult, but it’s mostly true.
Real time strategy games didn’t really fit into that bracket, and so StarCraft passed many original N64 users by.
Now, however, people want to go back and find out what they missed out on, which makes finding a copy pretty tough!
StarCraft 64 didn’t pass the critics by, however. It’s often hailed as being one of the most important fantasy strategy games ever made, paving the way for other titles in the same genre.
The storyline is pretty amazing too. Set in a fictitious part of the Milky Way, different species fight to control the universe. Expect insectoids battling humanoids and lots of powerful alien machines at every turn.
Copies sell for anything between $50 and $1300 now depending on overall condition. We urge you to give this game a go if you missed it first time around. We’ve done just that, and now we can’t get enough of it!
Banjo-Tooie is the second rare RARE game in our list and a title that always seems to have been hard to get hold of.
I remember asking my mum for this game back in the day and she had a real tough job trying to find a copy. She ended up getting one from eBay that took weeks to arrive, and I stupidly sold it for cash as a teenager.
I know, what an idiot!
Banjo-Tooie is the sequel to Banjo-Kazooie, one of my favourite ever N64 games. It follows the bird and bear duo as they try to stop Gruntilda’s sisters from resurrecting her.
Mumbo Jumbo returns, and with help from Humba Wumba, Banjo and Kazooie are transformed into lots of different animals and objects to help them with their quest.
Like the other games on this list, boxed copies cost a lot more than single cartridges, and finding a box in a nice condition is tricky. Expect to pay upwards of $1,450 for a quality version.
Bomberman 64: The Second Attack is another game that slipped me by the first time around. It’s the rarest home-console title in the series and a real classic game to play if you can get hold of a copy.
The problem with the Bomberman games is that Sega kind of overplayed the market with them. For years, we were fed different versions of the same game with very few changes.
So, when Bomberman dropped for the N64, a lot of gamers became tired with the format, even though Bomberman 64 was the best of the bunch.
In 1999, The Second Attack dropped after a poor reception of the first Bomberman 64 game. It included the original ‘+’ explosion pattern for destroying enemies and brought a new character into the fold.
But apart from that, the game is pretty much the same as Bomberman 64 with a Kirby-like character joining the fray, and it wasn’t enough to save the series.
Now, people want a slice of the pie. We always want what we can’t have, and now boxed copies of this game sell for anything up to $795!
How To Classify Rare N64 Games?
With only 393 games for the N64, it’s no surprise that a lot of them are now classed as being rare.
Like our other rare games listicles such as our article on the top rare NES games, there are a number of things that result in a title becoming a much sought after prize.
- Games experience a limited run of copies.
- They are recalled due to mistakes, label errors, or poor sales.
- Developers release them towards the end of a consoles lifespan.
- Poor marketing budget or released alongside a more dominant game.
- Specific to a certain region.
The more of these bullet points apply to a game, the more expensive it tends to become.
How Does This List Of Rare N64 Games Work?
Most of the titles in the list above show two prices. The first is the cost of a cartridge on its own, while the second shows the top price collectors can expect to pay for a boxed copy.
In some cases I’ve included the price for sealed, graded copies just to show how much some of these games can go for/are listed at.
The Yoshi’s Story International Release cart only has one price because it’s so rare!
Links to the official buying page for each item above can be found by clicking the title, pictures, buttons, or game name in each section. These games are out there, though stock levels continually fluctuate due to the nature of the second hand market.