Ranking The Rarest & Most Valuable SNES Games (Expensive to Cheapest)

A selection of SNES game cases arranged on the Retro Dodo background

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Nintendo has always produced some incredible games for their consoles, but which ones do you think went on to become the rarest SNES games of all time?

The SNES was the king of side-scrolling action, with games such as Donkey Kong Country and Earthworm Jim taking over a large portion of my childhood. Everything about it was exciting and still is. The controller defined the ’90s and still gets retro gamers excited to this day.

But today, we’re only interested in that fabled breed of gamers who will stop at nothing to create the ultimate compendium – the collectors.

1. Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally / Speed Racer Combo Pack: $2,505 – $15,993

Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally / Speed Racer Combo Pack game box for the SNES
credit: Nintendo/Life Fitness

This could be one of the rarest game boxes that you’ll ever set your eyes on – we’re kicking this list off with a bang!

Both Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally and Speed Racer sell for a pretty penny on their own, but it’s the combo pack that really gets collector’s juices flowing, with a boxed copy fetching $15,993 back in November 2022.

It’s unsure as to whether this combo pack ever saw physical distribution in shops. It was designed to be used with the LifeFitness Bike Unit. Think of it as an early gimmick that probably jogged the idea for the Wii Fit in later years.

Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally / Speed Racer Combo Pack gameplay showing a car driving along a road with grass either side
credit: Nintendo/Life Fitness/Youtube

Most of the copies of this game that are available on the internet were found in Nintendo of America’s warehouse, making this an extremely rare find indeed!

But what’s so special about these games? What are they all about? Well, Mountain Bike Rally is a realistic-style mountain biking game, and speed racer is a Manga-inspired racer with cars that seem to take inspiration from F-Zero X.

If you can pick up a LifeFitness Bike and want a rare gem in your collection, then this would be a great place to start!

2. Hagane: The Final Conflict: $93 – $9,656

Hagane The Final Conflict game box
credit: Nintendo/Hudson Soft

Sometimes, information can be given out that isn’t entirely correct, and people instantly flock to make a purchase. Either way, It cemented this title as one of the best rare SNES games on the circuit.

Let me explain.

Hagane – The Final Conflict was a bit of a hidden gem before 2012. Angry Video Game Nerd posted to the world that this game was a Blockbuster-exclusive title (remember Blockbuster!), instantly rousing the interest of collectors.

Some Blockbuster managers stepped in to say that they had seen it on sale in other stores, but gamers minds were already reeling with the need to grab a copy of Hagane and keep it safe in their cupboards forever.

Hagane: The Final Conflict gameplay: Characters being blown backwards away from Hagane
credit: Nintendo/Hudson Soft

But what, or who, is Hagane anyway? If I had known about this Ninja Cyborg character back in the day (or have been old enough to know what one of those was), then I would have been all over this game!

Hagane – The Final Conflict combines traditional Ninja and Samurai techniques in a futuristic setting. You, as Hagane, must get revenge on another faction of Ninjas using lots of crazy attacks and moves.

Who cares about getting an expensive copy – this game sounds awesome no matter what the box looks like!

3. Donkey Kong Competition: $1,950 – $5,300

Donkey Kong Competition Blockbuster Championship II art (left) and game cartridge (right)
credit: Nintendo/Blockbuster

Remember when Blockbuster was a thing? If you’ve been watching the series on Netflix then you’ll probably know all about the famous video rental store, and maybe you can remember going to one back in the day.

The Donkey Kong Country Competition cartridge was a Blockbuster special. Back when both the SNES and the store were in their prime, 2500 of these competition carts were made for people to compete while playing in store.

Donkey Kong Competition gameplay - Diddy riding Enguarde the Swordfish while Donkey swims behind him
credit: Nintendo/Blockbuster

The game carts look identical in almost every way apart from the little ‘competition cartridge’ tear in the top-right corner.

Some of these ‘not for resale’ carts ended up being sold, while others were put in a ‘safe place’ by workers.

If you can get hold of one of the copies that came with a clamshell case too, then you’re looking at a price of upwards of $4,500!

4. Rendering Ranger R2: $699 – $2,726

Rendering Ranger R2 game case for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
credit: Nintendo/Virgin Interactive

Fans of Turrican, R-Type, and other run-and-gun titles with more explosions than a lit match in a firework factory will be all over Rendering Ranger R2.

When this game first drop in Japan, there were only 10,000 copies available. Now, everyone is after the original, and the price has soared sky-high.

Rendering Ranger R2 gameplay with a soldier holding a gun running towards a fighter craft
credit: Nintendo/Virgin Interactive

One of the interesting things about this game is the visuals – everything is hand drawn. That just seems so bizarre in today’s gaming world, doesn’t it?

And if anything, I think that’s why this game ended up not doing as well as the devs hoped. Things were moving fast in the gaming industry, and this game was, if anything, a little behind the times.

A new version of Rendering Ranger R2 dropped recently, but it will never bring as much money as the original Japanese cart!

5. Star Fox Super Weekend Competition – $1,577 – $2,550 (Unboxed)

Star Fox Super Weekend Competition game cartridge
credit: Nintendo

Let’s keep on the competition theme with another Blockbuster special.

Much in the same vain as the Donkey Kong Country competition Blockbuster held, players could congregate inshore to test their mettle with the Star Fox crew.

Gameplay for Star Fox Super Weekend Competition, viewed from the cockpit of an Arwing
credit: Nintendo

This cart holds a pretty hefty price even without a box too, of which it was widely believed there aren’t any in circulation.

Nintendo Power and Blockbuster seem to have sold these carts on after the competition, with a rumoured 2,000 being in circulation across the globe.

$3,050 seems like a mad amount of money to spend on a SNES game, but if you currently have one of these games, then it’s a tidy amount of cash to put in the bank if you feel like parting with your copy!

6. Earthbound (Big Box): $1,400 – $2,399

Earthbound Big Box variant for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
credit: Nintendo

Many modern gamers will recognise this shiny robot and the baseball-bat-wielding Ness from the Super Smash Bros series, but Earthbound is where it all began.

You can pick up cart only copies of Earthbound for pretty cheap, but the ‘Big Box’ is where it’s at if you’re looking to bag a rare prize. It came with a full players guide inside and, in some cases, some crazy ‘scratch and sniff’ cards to help you to understand Ness’ world.

Gameplay shot of Earthbound, with NES standing in the centre of a group of characters in a field. There is a small pond nearby.
credit: Nintendo

Earthbound is still a bit of a confusing title to many people, but I’ll try to give you an overview of what this game is without blowing your mind.

This Ness Adventure isn’t your typical everyday RPG. It takes place in suburbia, and instead of using swords or magical staffs, you and your party of four use everyday household objects to knock back bad guys and save the day.

Earthbound is described by many as being one of the best RPGs on the planet. It’s colourful and fun to play, and the different gameplay style will leave many wielding a mop on their next trip to the park.

7. Harvest Moon: $198 – $2,300

SNES game box for Harvest Moon
credit: Nintendo/Natsume

Our next entry in our list of rare SNES games is one that many of you may have played before on the virtual console or on a handheld device. Who would have thought that farming would have gone on to become a gaming sensation!

This game fell a little by the wayside as it came out at the same time as the N64. Many people left the SNES to check out some of the best N64 games, but now collectors are once again going mad for some farming frolics.

For many collectors, having the cartridge that started off such a successful series is just what their ultimate collection needs. Coincidentally, we’ve seen some pricey copied of Harvest Moon 64 too while trawling the internet.

Harvest Moon gameplay showing a character fishing next to a tent while their companion sits looking out at a field.
credit: Nintendo/Natsume

For those of you that don’t know, Harvest Moon is a farming-simulator where you must look after a farm that the main character inherits from his grandad. You have to water plants, feed cattle, avoid sickness, and generally keep things in good nick.

The game has a time system, so plants will grow over a series of days. If you don’t fancy buying the original copy, then you can always grab a copy on the Wii U to get your agricultural action fix.

8. Aero Fighters: $759 – $1,599

SNES Game Box for Aero Fighters
Credit: Nintendo

A lot of our favourite early SNES games are the ones that started out in arcades, and Aero Fighters is no exception.

Aero Fighters is one of those games that has always had an underlying interest, with copies trading back and forth across auction sites and sellers slowly bumping the price up every time. Now, you can expect to pay anything from $710 for the cartridge alone, making it a worthy entry in our rare SNES games list.

What is it about shoot ’em ups always featuring in our ‘rare games’ lists? Maybe it’s because they’re timeless, or perhaps they were ahead of their time? Deep, right?

Aero Fighters gameplay showing a red craft flying towards a large ship while firing missiles
Credit: Nintendo/Youtube

Aero Fighters follows the same style of gameplay as other titles in its style. Pilots can use standard weapons or powerful blasts, collecting upgrades and special items along the way.

The game has tonnes of characters, which wasn’t something that you tended to see back in the early ’90s. You play as one of four nations, one of which is strangely Sweden, assumedly for the Viking touch.

9. Metal Warriors: $223 – $1,500

Metal Warriors SNES box
Credit: Nintendo/Konami

A side-scrolling platformer published by Konami but developed by Lucas Arts. What more do you need to know?

Some of you might have played the game ‘Zombies Ate My Neighbours’ and might be interested to know that these two games were built on the same engine. You wouldn’t think it as they’re both so different, but that’s the truth!

The game has a strong Pacific Rim feel to it, or maybe that should be the other way round. Either way, controlling tanked-up robot fighters is a win in my book any day.

Metal Warriors gameplay showing a red mech warrior with a shield moving through a factory setting
Credit: Nintendo/Konami/Youtube

Players take control of Lieutenant Stone and must overthrow an evil warlord and save the earth. There are six different types of suit that you can use in the game and lots of powerups to collect along the way.

Cartridge only copies can be bought for under $200, and the price of a boxed version varies depending on whether it has an intact instruction manual.

10. Chrono Trigger: $115 – $1,499

Chrono Trigger game box for the Super Nintendo
Credit: Nintendo/Squaresoft

Chrono Trigger wins the prize for the coolest name and box art of all the titles in our rare SNES games list, and you can actually pick up a copy without having to spend all of your life savings.

This is one of the first examples I’ve written about on these lists where the game is pricey not because there are only a few left, but because it’s considered such a great game and worthy of the price.

Chrono Trigger is, by popular vote, one of the best and lost loved RPG series ever made, more than holding its own with the Final Fantasy series. Square really excelled themselves with this game, and the all-star developer cast used all of their combined knowledge to make Chrono Trigger withstand the harsh test of time.

Chrono Trigger gameplay showing multiple characters standing in a sunny courtyard surrounded by trees
Credit: Nintendo/Squaresoft

When I tell you that the team behind Chrono Trigger included the creator of the FF series, the creator of the Dragon Quest series, and a famous Manga artist known for his work on DragonBall Z, then you start to realise how epic this quest is going to be right from the off.

With its multiple endings, exciting side-quests, memorable characters, and tasty RPG action, Chrono Trigger more than deserves the multiple accolades of ‘Best Game Of All Time’ that it has received since release.

If you buy any title from this list, then this should definitely be the one you plump for!

11. Final Fight Guy: $237 – $1,099

Final Fight Guy game cover for the SNES
Credit: Nintendo/Capcom

Final Fight Guy is almost as impressive a name as Keith Courage, but this game will definitely bring you more cash than Keith’s outing.

Again, it’s the curse of the limited run that has meant this adapted version of Final Fight 1 never got the credit it deserved back in the day.

Final Fight Guy gameplay, with Guy dressed in an orange karate outfit while fighting
Credit: Nintendo/Capcom/Youtube

And why was it a limited run? Well, it’s because you could only get it from Blockbusters. And like Blockbusters, this game is now a relic.

The difference is that Final Fight Guy is actually worth something!

I would have loved to have worked at Blockbusters back in the day and ‘put aside’ all of these special carts with the hope that they’d one day make money. I could be probably writing this article from the South of France instead of the U.K!

12. Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus: $350 – $813

bronkie the bronchiasaurus game box SNES
Credit: Nintendo/Rayasystems

Yes, you did see that correctly. This next game features a Bronchiasaurus called Bronkie that appears to have bronchitis.

This game was originally designed to teach children about asthma and how to deal with it. You’ve got to admit that it’s much cooler than reading a text book or listening to a teacher drone on! A dinosaur with an inhaler – could it get any cuter?

Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus gameplay, with a red dinosaur jumping to a tree branch and a blue dinosaur standing below
Credit: Nintendo/Rayasystems

The game itself isn’t ever going topple Mario as the king of the 2D side-scrolling world, but it is a fun little title that doesn’t take much thinking about while playing.

While the game has that classic ‘Lion King’ feel about it (I still hate those giraffes), it’s clear that it isn’t going to take you hours to complete.

It’s cheaply made but serves a good purpose. Perhaps, if you’re homeschooling and want to impart your love of games to your children, then this could be a good one to teach them about breathing diseases.

13. Mega Man 7: $174 – $810

Mega Man 7 game box for the SNES
Credit: Nintendo/Capcom

Everyone love Mega Man. That’s probably the reason why all of the copies of this game have been snapped up and are now fetching a high price.

MM7 has all the feels of Sonic with a Samus Aran twist. The worlds are vibrant, the bad guys are BIG, and all-in-all, it’s one hell of a game!

This entry in the MM series is the first to use 16-bit, which is probably why it looks so nice! The eight robot bosses were all designed by fans who won a competition too – I wanna meat the person who designed the one below!

Mega Man 7 gameplay, with Mega Man squaring up against a large purple robot with a huge roller for a front wheel.
Credit: Nintendo/Capcom/Youtube

While MM7 didn’t really add anything new to the franchise, it’s still a great game and one that we’re lucky enough to have played in the past.

We’ve seen a number of Mega Man titles grow in price over the years, and now you’ll need to pay way over $100 to get a decent cartridge alone. The game itself follows on from MM6 and sees our blue-crusader fending of Dr Wily (he sounds like a bit of a … well, you get the idea).

14. Wild Guns: $118 – $410

SNES Wild guns game box art
Credit: Nintendo/Natsume

Cowboys fighting robotic overlords – let’s hope that this is better than ‘Wild Wild West’ featuring Will Smith!

Wild Guns was a SNES exclusive, which goes some way to accounting for its rare status. Wild West games are pretty rare too, let alone ones where you attack MASSIVE robot monsters with guns and lassos.

You might think that space-age, steam-punk, and Wild West themes are too different to work together, but you’d be wrong. This game hits the mark perfectly, with incredible music, gameplay, and characters. I reckon Woody and Buzz would be proud!

Wild Guns gameplay, with two characters aiming at a huge robot holding a machine gun in one hand
Credit: Nintendo/Natsume/Youtube

We love an underdog story, which is why Wild Guns is so interesting. This game had a development time of just five months. The budget was tiny, and it was created by a team of just three full-time members and two support staff workers. That’s good going!

If you’re into shooting-gallery games with a difference and have around $900 to spare, then you could grab a sealed copy of Wild Guns and sit it up on your shelf with pride. It might not be Links Awakening, but it’s still a fun title to play.

15. Sunset Riders: $60 – $400

Sunset Riders SNES game box
Credit: Nintendo/Konami

Sunset Riders combines a feel of Streets of Rage action with Wild West gameplay. Imagine if that film with Will Smith was actually good, and it would have a similar feel to it.

When we think of Wild West games we primarily go to Red Dead Redemption, and while this game isn’t as technically impressive, it’s still a beast to play if you can get hold of a cheap copy.

Sunset Riders gameplay, with characters holding guns standing in windows on an upper landing of a saloon. There is a character with two guns on the road outside.
CREDIT: NINTENDO/Konami/Youtube

Take part in side-scrolling gameplay as you play as a bounty hunter searching for criminals evading the law.

Boxed copies can fetch around $610, an investment that we’re predicting will only go up as the years go on!

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