When you think of video games, what’s the first to come to mind? For me, it’s Super Mario Bros for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. That game was the very first video game I ever played, and it’s a game I seek out when new games don’t excite me. The single-player side-scrolling platform game is just as exciting as it was in the 1980s and helped make Mario the character he is today.
Mario made his debut in the arcade game, Donkey Kong, in the summer of 1981. That game would go on to be ported to several consoles — though at the time, Nintendo wouldn’t have an in-home console until two years after Donkey Kong’s release. The spunky plumber from the game won over the hearts and imaginations of players and developers.
Mario and his brother, Luigi, would then appear in their own arcade game Mario Bros in 1983. This game introduced Luigi, who at the time looked exactly like Mario.
Both Donkey Kong and Mario Bros introduced characters, levels, and concepts that would be refined in the Super Mario Bros game in 1985.
This game was an instant hit and sold over 40 million copies worldwide. It is considered to be the best-selling game of all time, and can still be played on the Nintendo Switch. By all accounts, this is a key video game for collectors and players alike. The game inspired an entire generation of video game creators and fans, with some players finding new ways to enjoy the game via speed runs.
Both graded and ungraded copies can fetch serious money, regardless of grade or condition. Many third-party grades have graded several copies of this game, but even with similar grades prices can be all over. For example, a sealed 9.4 WATA-graded copy has a one-year average of $40,500.
A sealed 9.4 CGC blue label has a one-year average of $18,000. However, if you have the five-screw variant, a sealed 9.4 WATA-graded copy last sold for $492,000 in October of 2021. By comparison, a sealed 9.6 WATA-graded copy sold for $660,000 in April of 2021.
Lower-graded copies are more affordable, but can still set you back a few thousand.
A sealed 7.5 WATA-graded copy has a one-year average of $4,980. However, VGA 75 has a one-year average of $8,700. If you’re looking to collect, it can seem very disheartening to see realized prices for graded copies end with huge discrepancies between them. While I personally buy my collectibles pre-graded, in instances like this it may be best to buy ungraded copies.
The following examples are for opened complete in-box games. In April of 2023, a complete box five screw Super Mario sold for $220.50 on eBay. The box has clear wear on it, but this is still a beautiful black box example. That same month, a European/PAL version sold for $212.50 and appears to be in Very Good shape. Many complete in-copy sets sell routinely on eBay in mostly VG condition for under $300. There are exceptions, but if you want this game for your collection, eBay will be your best option.
If you’re interested in collecting Mario games because of the new movie, welcome to the club! Mario is a pop culture icon, and no matter how you found him, there’s always a place for you in Super Mario World.
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.