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What just happened? The record for the most expensive video game ever sold has been broken once again. As was the case with the previous record holder, the title in question is a Mario title for the Nintendo Entertainment System, though on this occasion it was Super Mario Bros. 3 that sold for $156,000, beating a copy of Super Mario Bros that sold for $114,000 in July.
Heritage Auctions writes that the opening bid for the 1990 sealed game was $62,500, setting it up straight away for a high final price. Twenty bidders took part, pushing the final amount to a record-breaking $156,000, beating the previous title holder by $42,000.
There are a few factors that make this copy so valuable. For a start, the box design is quite rare as the word “Bros.” appears on the left side, slightly covering Mario’s white glove; the word was moved to the center-right in later versions. The Verge does note, however, that another game with the same cover sold in July for a much lower $38,400.
The primary reason Super Mario Bros. 3 brought such a high price is likely its condition. The game received a Wata 9.2 A+ score, which rates the quality of the box and the seal. The 30-year-old item’s seal is described as being in exceptional condition, with “a few small flaws that are not very distracting. Can have light scuffs or other small detracting marks, but no holes.”
Another record was broken during Friday’s auction: the most expensive Pokémon game ever sold. A sealed copy of Pokémon Red fetched $84,000. It had a Wata 9.8 A++ rating, which rates its seal quality as “Like new.”