Moving ahead from the age of esteemed NES cartridge-based rarities finds us settled at the feet of a towering behemoth of a console: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a unit whose reputation needs no introduction. Recently re-released in a miniature form factor to a public found cowering beneath its pixelated awesomeness, much like Odin in American Gods, this console has gone by many names (SNES, Super NES, Super Famicom or Super Comboy) and still works as mysteriously as it did 25 years ago when it fully converted us Nintendo-heads into SNES cartridge fiends.
We know of its peripherals, we know of its most famous video game releases, but what of the rarest games to ever hold the title of Being Released On SNES? An accolade which seemed to be as esteemed as having your mug slapped onto the front of Time Magazine.
Well, just for you, collector, here is a rundown of…
5 Of The Rarest SNES Cartridges Around
And oh, my are you gonna dig this list! Let’s start with-
Nintendo PowerFest ‘94
Rarity – Never released commercially
Price – $10,998
Now this ugly-ass cartridge is hallmarked as one of the rarest and most valuable games ever created. Nintendo PowerFest ’94 was a Nintendo-promoted competition, much like the Nintendo World Championships, that pitted gamers against each other on custom built circuit boards. The cartridge contained three different titles: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Kart and Ken Griffey. Jnr Presents Major League Baseball. After the competition was over, all 33 of the boards made were meant to be sent back to Nintendo to be used as parts, or destroyed. But, thankfully for us, two managed to remain in the wild, with one cart selling for a little over $11k to collector J.J. Hendricks.
Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992
Rarity – Never sold commercially
Price – $4,000
Campus Challenge ’92 was the SNES’ very first competition cart. Similar to its NES-counterpart, SNES Campus Challenge was focussed on the fledgling console’s three launch titles: Super Mario World, Pilot Wings and F-Zero. In SMW, competitors had to gain 50 coins to progress to the next round. in F-Zero, racers had to complete at least two full laps and in Pilot Wings, pilots had to land on two targets. Only two Campus Challenge carts are said to exist in the wild. One, owned by collector Rick Bruns and the other by a former employee of a company Nintendo worked with, who just happened to come across one in their attic. Well, lucky for some. My attic is filled with spiders and general unease at being near to said arachnids.
Rarity – Limited print run
Price – $7,000
An unremarkable but rather rare title comes in the form of 1992’s Aero Fighters (or Sonic Fighters), an arcade port in which you took to the air in various vehicles of death and blew stuff up in the name of justice and liberty. Even though there were a ton of games of this ilk released over early generations of video games, this one sticks to collectors’ collective minds due to its very small print run, which has singlehandedly elevated it to the lofty heights of extremely rare. Apologies for the puns.
Mega Man X3
Rarity – Readily available upon release
Price – $5,999
The rise to rare and valuable status for this beauty of a game was slightly odd, especially with its re-release on Wii U, 3DS and Android and Apple mobile devices. But the SNES version of this particular Mega Man adventure had one thing going for it: the Cx4 math coprocessor chip. The chip was instrumental in transforming wireframes, sprite positioning and rotation in Capcom’s two Mega Man X titles, which in turn afforded Mega Man X3 the ability to rotate, enlarge and shrink 3D wireframe objects. A real feat for its day. The game also suffered from lack of stock in North America due to Capcom reducing stock and raising the prices of said stock due to supply and demand.
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
Rarity – Limited distribution in NA
Price – $4,999
This Enix-published, classic real-time tactical RPG is lauded as one of the finest and most demanding titles to emerge on the SNES, acclaiming its graphics, its music and much more. The only issue with Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen is that there simply weren’t enough copies to go around the entirety of North America. Enix shipped a mere 25,000 copies to NA, rendering The March of the Black Queen one of the rarest critically acclaimed titles ever to release.
Have I missed out on any games you think deserve a place on this here wall of delights? Then let us know in the comments below! Or just get talking. Or something…?
Former content manager and editor for Movie Pilot Inc & Now Loading