Games We Love (2/8/23) -  CGC Madness

Games We Love (2/8/23) - CGC Madness

Games We Love - A Deep Dive Into Under-Appreciated Graded Video Games

Games We Love - CGC Madness

February 8th, 2023 - Staff writer Lauren Sisselman discusses a handful of graded games that tell a compelling story or conjure feelings of nostalgia. This week covers our favorite graded CGC games:

In early 2000 the Certified Guarantee Company, or CGC, started in New Jersey. The company would go on to become the gold standard when it comes to graded comic books. Now CGC is growing into a bold new territory – video games. With GCC's expert grading, they’re already elevating the graded video game market. At Standard Gaming, we have loads of new CGC-graded games from all eras just waiting to go home to your collection. Here are a few of our favorite games that just came in!

WATA Graded Inspector Gadget: Advance Mission for GBA

Inspector Gadget: Advance Mission

Inspector Gadget was one of my favorite cartoon shows as a kid. The theme song was catchy, and the plot was genuinely fun. As the show centered around a cyborg inspector who was a little clueless – this Gadget would routinely ask his prodigy niece, Penny, for help. Their dog Brain also frequently helped Gadget and Penny on missions. The show was a hit with kids, and naturally, video games followed. Inspector Gadget: Advance Mission came out almost 20 years after the show, but did come between the release of the first and second live-action films. 

This single-player action game was a ton of fun and featured graphics that mimicked the 1983 cartoon show. This sealed blue label CGC 9.4 is a beautiful copy, and still retains all the mirth and merriment the show had. This game is perfect for nostalgia collectors, vintage cartoon collectors, and of course Inspector Gadget collectors.

WATA Graded Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game for NES

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game

Ported from the popular Konami beat 'em up arcade game, Teenage Mutant Turtles II: The Arcade Game was my own introduction to tubular teenagers. This game was tough, but it was (and still is) a ton of fun. You could pick from any of the four main turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael. The turtle sprites looked the same, save for their weapons and color-coded masks. This game was wildly popular on its release, and still remains a popular game thanks to the Arcade 1-Up cabs and additional ports on newer consoles. 

This sealed blue label CGC 9.6 A is one of the best copies I’ve seen of this game. With a virtually flawless box this is a near-perfect copy. Interest in this game has exploded, especially for high-grade copies. If you’re a Turtles collector, a port collector, or a Nintendo collector, do not pass up on this copy!

WATA Graded Duck Hunt for NES

Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt was one of the first Nintendo games many of us played. The game was also an introduction to using other accessories other than a controller or keyboard for home consoles. This game often came packed with Super Mario Brothers when my parents bought my Nintendo, and I spent hours playing this game. Duck Hunt was one of the 16 games that could use the Nintendo Zapper or gun, and thanks to being packaged with Super Mario Bros in an NES Action Set, Duck Hunt was one of the best-selling NES games. The game is easy to get lost in as all you do is shoot sprites, so if you needed a break from reality, Duck Hunt provided that. 

This complete in box blue label CGC 8.5 is a great game, with the grade breaking down into the following:

CIB Box Grade: 8.5
CIB Cart Grade: 8.0
CIB Manual Grade: 8.0
Overall Grade: 8.5

Offered at the fraction of the price of a seal copy, this is a real collector's piece and is perfect for almost every type of collector including Nintendo collectors and vintage collectors.

WATA Graded The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for Nintendo Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

The Nintendo Switch is one of the fastest-selling consoles in the world, selling millions of consoles within its first year. Switch’s game library is also impressive, as players can download games from prior systems. The Switch library includes games from some of Nintendo’s most popular franchises, such as The Legend of Zelda. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a remake of the fourth Zelda game, and also acts as a direct sequel to Link’s Awakening. Within ten days of release, the game sold over 3 million copies – proving that Zelda is still as popular as ever. 

This blue-label sealed CGC 9.9 A++ is one of the best-graded copies a collector could own. While a 9.8 is a great high grade, 9.9’s are truly special. This game is as close to perfect as they come and would be great for all Zelda collectors, Nintendo collectors, and high-grade collectors.

WATA Graded Pokémon Gold Version for Gameboy Color

Pokémon Gold Version

The second installment in the Pokemon series – Pokemon Gold and Silver, was released for Nintendo’s Game Boy Color in North America in 2000. This game introduced Steel and Dark type Pokemon, such as Raikou, and the game also introduced new specialized Pokemon balls. This game is also interesting as it had a number of Pokemon that were cut from the game, which was discovered years later. Pokemon Gold and Silver were both well received on release and would go on to sell over 6 million units by the summer of 2000.

This sealed blue label CGC 9.2 A is a great copy to own. There will always be interest in the Pokemon series, especially the earlier games!

WATA Graded Outlander for SNES


Post-apocalyptic games have been a popular video game genre for decades. Outlander, released for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, was originally supposed to be a Mad Mex 2: The Road Warrior-based video game. However the license fell through, and thus players have this generic (yet eerily familiar) video game. Outlander has solid graphics and responded well to the SNES controller, and was generally a ton of fun to play. 

This sealed blue label CGC 9.8 is as good as it gets. With almost no noticeable flaws, this game presents well. Combined with GCC’s always clean logo, this would make for a great display piece. Outlander is perfect for Super Nintendo collectors, and post-apocalyptic media collectors!

WATA Graded Earthworm Jim for Sega Genesis

Earthworm Jim

If you grew up with a Sega Genesis, chances are you owned this game. This debut game introduced a number of us to the world of Earthworm Jim, a worm who fights the forces of evil with the help of a super suit. The character was a hit, and even got his own line of toys, a limited run Marvel comic book series, and a few sequels. In 2019 it was announced that Jim would come back again, but nothing has been released.

This sealed blue label CGC 8.5 is a great pickup. Genesis boxes always appealed to me more as they mimicked harder clamshell cases that home videos had in the 1990s. While there are some minor flaws in this box, the art is still striking and bold. This game is perfect for Earthworm Jim collectors, Sega Genesis collectors, vintage collectors, and video game collectors overall.

WATA Graded Mega Man Anniversary Collection for PS2

Mega Man Anniversary Collection

A fighting robot, Mega Man, has entertained fans of all ages since his first game in 1987. The game would go on to become one of the most popular video game series and is still enjoyed today. In 2004 the Mega Man Anniversary Collection was released in Japan – followed by its US release in 2005 – and it contains the first 10 Mega Man games. While the game doesn’t have a ton of extras, it’s still a ton of fun to play, both as a returning and new Mega Man fan!

This sealed blue label CGC 9.8 A++ is one of the best copies I’ve seen of this game. While it isn’t a perfect 10 – and truly most collectibles seldom get that 10 score – this game is as good as it gets. The Mega Man Anniversary Collection is great for franchise collectors, cross-platform collectors, PlayStation 2 completionists, and Mega Man collectors!

Check Out Our Current Inventory Under $500


Looking For More General Information on Graded Games?

· If any of the terminology used in this guide was confusing or new to you, please refer to our convenient glossary of terms here.
· Need more information about graded games in general? Check out this intro to the different types of certified video games here.