The world changed forever on September 29, 1996, when Nintendo brought its Nintendo 64 to the North America region. The console sold nearly 33 million units worldwide before the switch to the disc-based Gamecube. Many of the N64 titles have become beloved classics, with nostalgic players grabbing any Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart copies they can. The iconic Super Mario 64 sold 11 million units before the N64 stopped production. While Super Mario was a great (greatest?) game, its widespread production makes finding a copy fairly easy. Which games of the N64 era went on to be collector’s items today?
Mario Party 3 followed its two predecessors in its game design, with a game board and minigames. While not selling quite as well as the first two, it was released at the end of the N64’s life. Used copies can go for upwards of $60 now, and this is mostly due to its popularity, rather than limited availability.
#4 Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Conker’s Bad Fur Day also suffered from being released late in the N64 life cycle (within a year of stopping production of the console). At the time, it was praised for its stunning graphics (for the system) and its gameplay. It was also notable for being an M-game on the N64 that included sexual themes, gore, and profanity. The game has steadily increased in popularity; standing the test of time with its gameplay along with well intentioned nostalgia. Used copies can go north of $100, with its price increasing given the resurgence in its popularity. However, the new Rare Replay includes Conker, so its value has taken a hit.
#3 Bomberman 64: The Second Attack
The original Bomberman 64 did not sell particularly well, so it comes as no surprise that its sequel The Second Attack, did not push a lot of units. Again, Second Attack suffered from a late release on the life of the console, but suffered further from rehashing much of the gameplay from the first game. While the first couple games still have strong gameplay, The Second Attack holds value due to its lack of widespread acclaim, and hence, harder to find cartridges.
#2 Worm’s Armageddon
A popular PC franchise, Worm’s Armageddon is another great party-based game on the greatest party system ever created. Worm’s is a turn based strategy game where you used various weaponry to defeat the other players. The game has been a mainstay on the PC, and was ported to various systems, including the N64 in 2000. The gameplay is solid, but the cartridge is very difficult to find, giving it a consistent >$100 price point.
#1 Clay Fighter: The Sculptor’s Cut
Clay Fighter may be the rarest and most valuable US N64 game. An update to Clay Fighter 64, the Sculptor’s Cut was a Blockbuster exclusive. The exclusive added an additional intro and some additional characters. The game itself was outclassed and overshadowed by the iconic Super Smash Brothers, but its monetary value is much higher. The game was only available for rent at Blockbusters, and the boxes/manuals were often tossed by the stores. Finding a boxed copy is extremely expensive (if you can find one), and the cartridge itself is also highly valued: $300 and up on Amazon.
There are some other games that often go for high collectible value in the N64 catalog including: Harvest Moon 64, Starcraft 64, Ogre Battle 64, and Snowboard Kids 2. These titles are often competing for that 5th slot above in price and rarity, and are often sought after due to their franchise popularity (Starcraft, Harvest Moon).