Mamma Mia! A mint condition copy of Super Mario 64 fetched more than $1.5 million, making it the most expensive video game sale in history.
Nintendo’s seminal platformer, responsible for revolutionising and inspiring the realm of 3D game, turned 25 this year. Having seen a re-release on Nintendo Switch last year, its popularity and legacy remains against a tide of other titles, including Mario’s subsequent adventures.
A sealed, rare version of The Legend of Zelda on NES earlier held the title, selling for $870,000 at auction and far beating an earlier sale of Super Mario Bros. Now, Super Mario 64 has dominated once again.
The sealed, mint condition copy – rated 9.8 A++ by game collectible firm WataGames, making it ‘like-new’ in near-perfect condition, an exceedingly rare feat – sold for $1.56 million at US auction house Heritage Auctions. It was a high-demand listing for its ‘historical significance, rarity and condition’, with less than five copies in the same condition in existence.
‘It seems impossible to overstate the importance of this title, not only to the history of Mario and Nintendo, but to video games as a whole. This is Mario’s debut appearance in a 3D world, and it was the most popular – bestselling – video game for the N64,’ Valarie McLeckie, a video games specialist for Heritage Auctions, said, as per The Guardian.
‘Considering this, and the fact that there are fewer than five sealed in this grade according to Wata, this copy is a true prize for any serious collector,’ she added.
Some commentators have expressed concerns over auction houses inflating the value of retro games without considering the number of available copies out there.
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