What just happened? Just days after a sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda for the NES became the most expensive video game ever sold, the record has been smashed again. The new titleholder is a sealed copy of the Nintendo 64 classic Super Mario 64, which was bought for a jaw-dropping $1.56 million.
Heritage Auctions sold a rare copy of The Legend of Zelda on July 9 for $870,000, moving ever closer to the one-million-dollar milestone and beating the previous record-holder—an NES copy of Super Mario Bros.—by $210,000.
But Zelda only stayed on top for two days. Heritage Auctions sold a copy of Super Mario 64 yesterday that almost doubled the recent record, reaching $1.56 million. It started at $100,000, so a high final price was expected.
🎉#HERITAGELIVE #WORLDRECORD!! Super Mario 64 - Wata 9.8 A++ Sealed, N64 Nintendo 1996 USA just sold for $1,560,000 at #HeritageAuctions, smashing previous mark of $870K, set Friday at Heritage for The Legend of Zelda! https://t.co/SUgiijkkzL#SuperMario #Nintendo #N64 #WATA pic.twitter.com/rHpTuZl95l— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) July 11, 2021
Super Mario 64 proved so valuable thanks to a Wata 9.8 A++ rating, confirming that the seal is in new or very near to perfect condition—as it was when it left the factory. Heritage Auctions says the game is just one of fewer than five known sealed copies in this condition.
“Well – we’re a bit speechless on this one,” Heritage Auctions wrote. “What can we even say that would do this copy the justice it deserves? The cultural significance of this title and its importance to the history of video games is paramount, and the condition of this copy is just so breathtaking that we’re really at a loss here. If you have had your heart set on obtaining the highest-graded copy of the single best-selling video game on the Nintendo 64 – the first 3D adventure of Nintendo’s mascot, Mario – we only have one piece of advice: this is not an opportunity to waste.”
Many collectibles have seen their value rocket in recent months; demand for Pokémon and sporting cards became so extreme that Target stopped selling them out of “an abundance of caution.”