Hunting For Value (1/18/23) - Recently Reduced Gems

Hunting For Value (1/18/23) - Recently Reduced Gems

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

Hunting for Value (1/18/2023) - Recently Reduced Gems

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.


Quake II for N64

Quake II ($190)

Quake II is a first-person shooter that originated as a computer game but was ported to home consoles, including the Nintendo 64. While the core game is mostly similar, the N64 port has an entirely new storyline and includes features such as new levels, a split screen for multiplayer, and a new soundtrack. Quake II was largely well received, with many players and reviewers happy with the changes from the PC version. Over a million units across all platforms had sold by 2002, making this one must-have N64 game. 

This sealed 6.5 B+ WATA-graded copy is an exceptional copy at an exceptional price. By comparison, a sealed 9.6 WATA-graded copy has a one-year average of $810. This copy is ideal for cross-platform collectors, first-person shooter collectors, Quake collectors, and Nintendo collectors.

WATA Graded Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back for NES

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back ($280)

Star Wars is one of the most recognizable entertainment franchises of all time, so naturally, video game tie-ins are just as popular. Published by JVC in 1992, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, is a follow-up to the original Star Wars game. There is an Empire Strikes Back game for the Atari 2600, which came out 10 years prior, as well as a Super Nintendo version. Unfortunately, a Return of the Jedi game never made it to the Nintendo Entertainment System, as the developers were busy with Super Star Wars for the SNES. This game was overall well received, and even won the Nintendo Power Award 1992 for Best Overall Game. 

This complete-in-box 8.5 WATA-graded copy is great, with the grade breakdown as the following: a box grade of 8.0, a cartridge grade of 9.4, and a manual grade of 9.4. This is also an exceptional price for a copy of this game. By comparison, a sealed 9.6 copy last sold for $1,440. Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back is ideal for science fiction collectors, Star Wars collectors, franchise collectors, and Nintendo collectors.

WATA Graded Super Mario Brothers 3 for NES

Super Mario Brothers 3 ($400)

Nintendo's iconic ambassador Mario has had a number of excellent games under his name, but almost none can compare to Super Mario Bros 3 for the Nintendo.  As with most core Mario games, the goal is to save Princess Peach from the nefarious Bowser. This game introduced the ability to fly, as well as the ability to slide down slopes. This game has been re-released several times since its initial 1990 release, with the most recent release on the Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Bros 3 is hailed as one of the best Nintendo games of all time, and by 2000 over 17 million copies of the game had sold worldwide. 

This complete-in-box 7.5 WATA-graded copy is an amazing mid-grade copy. The grade breaks down further with a box grade of 7.5, a cartridge grade of 8.0, and a manual grade of 7.5. The iconic yellow box with Mario in the center is still bright and bold, and would look great in a number of collections! If you collect Super Mario games, Nintendo games, or franchise games, look no further. This is also a great opportunity for new collectors to dip their toes in the hobby.

WATA Graded Jurassic Park for GameBoy

Jurassic Park ($250)

Jurassic Park took the world by storm in 1993. Based on a novel by Michael Crichton, the franchise has endured for 30 years with no sign of slowing down. The Game Boy game, Jurassic Park, puts players in the park where they must survive as the character Alan Grant. Jurassic Park was received well by critics, who noted that the graphics were especially good. Seldom do movie adaptations do well, but this game is an exception. 

This complete-in-box 8.5 WATA-graded copy is a sight to behold. The grade breaks down further with a box grade of 8.0, a cartridge grade of 8.5, and a manual grade of 9.6. Not many of these games have been graded per WATA’s population report, and this game also doesn’t come up for sale too often. This will surely be a conversation piece for the right collectors. Jurassic Park for the Game Boy is great for Jurassic Park collectors, dinosaur collectors, cross-console collectors, and Nintendo collectors.

WATA Graded Madden NFL 97 for SNES

Madden NFL 97 ($300)

When you think of NFL games, chances are you think of the Madden series. The Madden NFL game series has been around since the 1980s but truly took off in the 1990s. Madden NFL 97 was the first one to be released for multiple 32-bit platforms as well as 16-bit platforms. Madden 97 was also the first Madden to include the Baltimore Ravens, who had just joined the NFL. Madden 97 went on to be the best-selling PlayStation game in 1996. 

This sealed 8.5 A+ WATA-graded Super Nintendo installment should not be overlooked. By comparison, the one-year average for a sealed 9.6 copy is $1,200. This is an attractive price for a great game. Madden NFL 97 is perfect for NFL collectors, specific team collectors, cross-platform collectors, and sports 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.