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.
Bowling might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Super Bowling has somehow become one of the rarest and most sought after N64 games on the planet.
The premise is simple; it’s all the family friendly entertainment of the bowling alley but in your front room instead!
Players pick a character and bowl like their life depends on it. Don some super swish shoes, head out on the court, and knock down some pins. And don’t worry, there’s a practice mode where you can try lots of different styles of shot and pin placement scenarios.
Bowling isn’t a glitzy sport, but when played on an ice pond or in front of a Chinese temple, it suddenly becomes pretty wild.
Compete against family members or the AI as you fight (or bowl…) to get the best score. There’s a golf mode that you can use to give yourself par points, but the normal mode is by far the easiest to understand and the most enjoyable to play.
As this game came out towards the end of the N64s life and only had a short production run, it’s now extremely rare. Long Dev copies (tall developer carts) sell for anywhere up to $1,545!
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!
Harvest Moon 64 takes the 12th spot in this list of rare N64 games. It’s not the most expensive title in this list by far, but demand for this game still runs high compared to how few copies are currently around.
And for good reason; everyone has proved how much they like life sims with the arrival of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, so why not try a farm sim as well!
For those who don’t know what Harvest Moon is, it’s a game where you bring a rundown farm back into agricultural glory. We’re talking working machines, feeding cattle, and enjoying a pint down the local pub.
In many ways, it’s like Animal Crossing if all you did was farming. Marry, start a family, go to work, come home from work, go to the races, go back to feed the chickens…
… ok, if you’re a farmer, then this probably won’t be any fun whatsoever as that’s already your daily routine. Still, for people like me that have never even driven a tractor, this game is pretty fun!
$285 will get you a boxed copy of this game complete with instruction booklet for those authentic N64 feels. It’s worth it for the experience, and you never know; you might learn something along the way!
The Pokemon Snap (Not For Resale) cart is the first of two ‘not for resale’ carts that, despite their blatant request on the front label, now resell for a pretty impressive figure.
Not for resale cartridges are games that were on show as demo carts in games shops and video rental stores. They’re meant to showcase a game so that people buy the actual version. As such, there aren’t that many around, which means they cost significantly more than standard copies.
Anyone who’s just come to this series via the new Pokemon snap game should definitely consider adding a bit of Pokemon history to their collection. This original foray into snapping instead of battling and catching Pokemon was a huge success and became an instant fan-favourite with pokemaniacs the world over.
Players travel in a Jurassic Park-style safari vehicle while snapping Pokemon through different levels on Pokemon Island. It’s a chance to see the little (and big) critters in their natural habitat, catching them up to all sorts of mischief along the way.
Professor Oak awards you points for getting great pictures of the pocket monsters in your Photodex. Throw food and toys to grab their attention, but save your shots. You only get 60 photos per level so chose them wisely.
Grab a Poke flute, play the same level 100 times, and try your best to catch photos of your favourite characters. Can you snap ’em all?
Majora’s Mask (Not For Resale) takes the 14th spot in this list of rare N64 games, a Zelda title that while not as expensive as the Ocarina of Time collectors edition, still has a pretty big markup from its original price.
Most people have gold copies of Majora’s Mask. Gold is usually associated with expensive objects, but it’s the grey cart that’s wort more in this case. To get a slice of non-resellable Clock Town action, you’re going to need to fork over up to 400 Zeldinian rupees…
… or dollars if you live in the real world.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the constant mask changing in this game, although getting to play as a Zora was pretty cool, and the Goron Bongos were fantastic.
The fact that characters from Ocarina make an appearance such as the quirky Kakariko builders adds a few Easter eggs for fans to find. Still, this game just didn’t have the same oomph for me as Ocarina did, and that falling moon freaked me out big style!
Still, it’s a Zelda game, which means it has my utmost respect and also still has some clout in the second-hand market. It also proves just how much you can get done in three days if a moon is about to fall on your head.
Finally, it’s time to look at Goemon’s Great Adventure. This guy made me want to have hair like a pineapple as a kid, and Ebisumaru’s funny faces still make me laugh to this day.
It’s ghost busting action from the very beginning in this sequel to Mystical Ninja. Weirdly enough, Ebisumaru is trying to contact his ancestor James Dean using a ghost recreating machine.
Yeah; the James Dean… I don’t see a family resemblance.
Anyway, the machine is stolen, and Goemon and his friends have to get it back and squash some ghouls along the way.
Unlike Mystical Ninja, Great Adventure is a side-scrolling game. The big robot version of Goemon still makes an appearance for 1st-person fights, but it’s mostly firing coins left and right as you traverse mountains and work with your teammates of justice.
Speaking of teammates, you can play two-player too! Join forces with a friend and tackle the story mode.
Maybe they could split the $1,250 it costs to buy a sealed copy?
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.
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.