Unopened Copy of Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario 64’ from 1996 Sells for Staggering Price at Auction

by Chris Haney
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On Sunday, an unopened copy of Nintendo’s 1996 game “Super Mario 64” sold at auction to the highest bidder at an astounding $1.56 million.

The flagship Super Mario game was the first of its kind for the Nintendo 64 console. The game released that same year and launched at the same time as the console. In addition, it was the first in the famous video game series’ history to feature 3D gameplay. The game helped build a foundation for the future of 3D video games, which made Super Mario 64 a big deal upon its initial release. In fact, it’s still the best-selling game on the Nintendo 64 console.

The pristine copy of “Super Mario 64” went to auction over the weekend in Dallas, Texas. Heritage Auctions stated that the $1.56 million price broke their previous record for a single video game auction. It is also the first video game to ever sell for more than $1 million. The buyer’s identity has not been revealed as of yet.

Furthermore, the video game auction smashed the previous record that was set only two days prior. Another game for the Nintendo systems, “The Legend of Zelda,” sold for $870,000 through the same auction house. Heritage Auction’s video game specialist Valarie McLeckie admitted they were stunned by the auction. No one expected it to break the record once again just a couple days later.

Rare Copy of ‘The Legend of Zelda’ Breaks Auction Record, is Broken Two Days Later

On Friday, Heritage Auctions had another record-setting day at auction with a rare copy of Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda.” The game is from the NES system, which was Nintendo’s first console to be widely released across the world in 1985.

The copy of the unopened Zelda game came from an early limited edition version of the NES game. Professional video game grading company WataGames gave the copy a 9.0 (A) grade out of 10.

“Truly, the term ‘grail’ only begins to scratch the surface of describing this game,” Heritage Auctions wrote on their website. “[It] is no doubt the apotheosis of rarity, cultural significance, and collection centerpieces. A proverbial trifecta of collector perfection that only one will receive the honor of calling their own.”

McLeckie also commented on the auction and how the results exceeded Heritage Auctions’ expectations.

“I had a lot of confidence in this game. And yet, I still feel like the reality of today’s bidding exceeded my vision of how it would play out,” McLeckie said, according to CNN. “Making history is never an easy thing.”

The Zelda game went for $870,000 at auction, which included a 20% buyer’s fee. The market for collectible video games seems to be at an all-time high. Not only was the record for a single sale broken twice in two days, but the Zelda game broke another record set in April.

A few months ago, a sealed copy of “Super Mario Bros” – the first NES Super Mario game – sold for a record-setting $660,000. The owner bought the copy in 1986 and forgot about it after leaving it in the bottom of a desk drawer for decades. WataGames graded the forgotten game at a 9.6 (A+) before it hit auction.

Outsider.com