Hunting for Value (9/14/2022)

Hunting for Value (9/14/2022)

Hunting for Value - A Guide to Hunting for Value in Graded Video Games

Hunting for Value (9/14/2022)

Staff writer Lauren Sisselman digs through the Standard Gaming inventory and highlights a handful of retro graded games that may be worth a deeper look.

Whether you're new to the hobby of graded video games or a seasoned veteran, everyone likes to get a good deal. Prices on games can vary widely depending on where you look and games on marketplaces like eBay are often listed without context. At Standard Gaming we have games for every type of collector, all available for immediate purchase. Below are a few titles that stand out, and may help you as you hunt for value in the graded video game market.


WATA Graded Banjo-Kazooie Nintendo 64

Banjo-Kazooie | Wata 8.5 CIB, $525

The first entry in the Banjo universe, Banjo-Kazooie for the Nintendo 64, was one of my most played games during the N64 era. Even today I play the game on my Nintendo Switch when I need to wind down for the evening. While this game is a ton of fun, it’s also a popular title with collectors, as fans still celebrate the first entry in this series to this day.

This WATA 8.5 complete in-box copy boasts an impressive box sub-grade of 9.2 that looks exceptional. A WATA 8.5 sealed copy sold for $9600 at auction in January of 2022. On eBay, an ungraded, factory-sealed copy could be had for $2400, while a sealed WATA 8.5 is currently for sale for $7499. Graded CIB games are slightly easier to come by, but can still be difficult to find. This affordable CIB offers excellent value and would make a great display piece of this classic N64 title!

WATA Graded Harvest Moon Nintendo 64

Harvest Moon | Wata 6.5 CIB, $350

Are you an Animal Crossing fan looking to get back to your roots? This WATA CIB 6.5 copy of Harvest Moon 64 is calling your name! While a mid-grade might deter some people, I love mid to lower grade collectibles. It means the item was well loved. And really, how could you not love Harvest Moon? After all, it gave us one of the best games (and lockdown boredom killer) Animal Crossing.

Ungraded copies of Harvest Moon 64 are plentiful and easy to find on eBay. The average price for ungraded, CIB copies is sitting comfortably between $325 - $375. With that in mind, our copy is an absolute steal – you won’t need to put out more money to have it graded. Plus, you have peace of mind knowing what the grade is without the guess work.

WATA Graded Nosferatu SNES

Nosferatu | Wata 7.5 A+ Sealed, $550

With Halloween around the corner, now is the time to get your spooky affairs in order. Nosferatu features a classic Dracula on the cover – so if you were hoping for the vampire from the silent film, you’re out of luck. Interestingly though, in the Japanese version, he is called Count Dracula in cut scenes. The artwork on the Super Famicom box is also strikingly beautiful, with Dracula and his victim – Erin — hovering above what appears to be burning corpses. Unfortunately on the US version, the artwork is cropped, but the full scene can be seen on the cover of the manual.

While normally I would compare other graded prices, in this case, our sealed WATA 7.5 copy is priced lower than many of the ungraded CIB games currently on eBay. Prices start at $600 and go all the way to $899, just for a complete in box copy! A loose cartridge is also listed on eBay for $185. If you’re a horror fan, or just enjoy good box art, this is truly a steal!

WATA Graded Super Mario 64 Nintendo 64

Super Mario 64 | Wata 8.0 CIB, $775

Super Mario for the Nintendo 64 is one of the best games made for the console and considered one of the greatest games of all time. This game got me through spine surgery when it came out, and 20+ years later I’m still playing the game – both on an N64 as well as the Nintendo Switch! This game is addictive, stood the test of time, and it’s just plain fun.

Graded copies of this game also tend to go for crazy money. Currently, on eBay, there is a CIB WATA 7.5 sitting at $2100. Sealed copies in WATA grade 9.0 and higher routinely sell for $20K and more at auction. This is one of the most sought-after video games in the collectors market. Even the Player's Choice version goes for similar numbers. If you’re looking for a solid Mario collector's item, this is it.


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.