A Super Mario 64 game cartridge recently sold at Heritage Auctions for more than $1.5 million. It is the highest price ever paid for a video game cartridge. The item, sealed and in nearly perfect condition, was part of the Nintendo 64 console game launch in 1996.
According to the Dallas based auction company, this copy was rare because it belonged to an early production run, and there were fewer than five copies in such good condition.
Super Mario 64 was the best-selling game for the Nintendo 64 system and is seen as revolutionary in the development of video game technology. It was one of the first games to offer a three-dimensional view.
Vintage, unopened game cartridges are valued like trading cards. The good ones are often slabbed and graded. A slight change of rating can mean a big change in value. The record breaking Super Mario 64 cartridge (pictured above) was rated by video grading company Wata at a 9.8 A++ rating. Another copy of Super Mario 64 with a 9.6 A++ rating sold at the same auction for $13,200.
Vintage video game cartridges have routinely sold at auction for over $350,000.
Just two days prior to the Super Mario 64 sale, an original Legend of Zelda game cartridge, as part of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), sold for $870,000 at Heritage Auctions.
There have been some big sales closer to home too. A Hanover, Pennsylvania based Goodwill recently sold 27 vintage Nintendo game cartridges for over $30,000 online.