As new games get announced every week, most gamers rejoice when old school games from their youth are re-released on updated platforms so they can enjoy them all over again. However, there's one group that takes a deep breath as they read each and every game announcement, hoping not to see certain titles appear; classic games that they already own, and have invested in. This is the anxious life of a video game collector; a certain sect of gamers that value video games so much that they invest huge sums of money into amassing valuable games.
While their reasons may range from nostalgia to economical, one thing remains true; each time an old game gets re-released on a new, more readily available platform, the value of the original takes some kind of a hit. Below is a breakdown of some of the most famous games that have been re-released, and how their value has changed once their updates hit the market.
"Castlevania" games hold a special place in gamers' hearts, but back in the day many of the games were released in limited quantities, making it one of the hardest to find franchises on the market. Three titles in particular had seen relatively high-profile re-releases over the last couple of years, and, as one would expect, their originals have drastically dropped in value. Here's a quick breakdown of the Dracula's declining value.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Original Release: 1997 (PS1) Re-release 2007 (XBLA, PSN)
Three Year High: $50.75 (December '06)
Three Year Low: $19.99 (September '09)
Current Price: $27.12
Original Release: 2001 (PS1) Re-release 2008 (PSN)
Three Year High: $69.99 (April '07)
Three Year Low: $26.93 (August '09)
Current Price: $29.90
Castlevania Dracula X
Original Release: 1995 (SNES) Re-release 2007 (PSP)
Three Year High: $81.25 (July '07)
Three Year Low: $45.00 (October '07)
Current Price: $67.36
The day that the XBLA/PSN re-release of "Marvel vs. Capcom 2" was announced was one of my happiest and saddest days as a gamer. I'm a huge fan of the game itself, so much so that a few years ago I paid $75 for a PS2 copy of the game, and have also picked up the Dreamcast and Xbox versions as well for slightly less than that. However, as you can see, things have changed a little if you'd like to purchase an actual physical copy of the game.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Original Release: 2002 (PS2) - Re-release 2009 (XBLA/PSN)
Three Year High: $109.99 (February '09)
Three Year Low: $43.00 (October '09)
Current Price: $47.90
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Original Release: 2002 (Xbox) – Re-release 2009 (XBLA/PSN)
Three Year High: $91.99 (August '07)
Three Year Low: $30.00 (November '09)
Current Price: $34.22
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Original Release: 2000 (Dreamcast) – Re-release 2009 (XBLA/PSN)
21 Month High: $56.99 (January '09)
21 Month Low: $22.78 (December '09)
Current Price: $22.78
A true Taito classic, and, in the last couple of years, "Bubble Bobble" has seen at least four different rereleases on multiple platforms. The Wii, DS, PSP, and XBLA have all see the journey of Bub and Bob in one form or another, and while their quality can be disputed, the declining cost of the NES original can not be.
Original Release: 1988 (NES) – Re-release 2007 (Virtual Console)
13 Month High: $21.16 (January '08)
13 Month Low: $10.10 (June '09)
Current Price: $11.99
Niche titles will always have a home in the collector's market, and pretty much any time the word "Ogre" makes it into the title of a game, it's a niche title. Back before Enix merged with Square to create the RPG behemoth that is Square Enix, they used to release amazing, quirky RPG games on their own. While my personal favorite may be "E.V.O.: The Search for Eden," "Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen" was recently released on the Virtual Console, and its original value has changed quite a bit.
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
Original Release: 1993 (SNES) – Re-release 2009 (Wii Virtual Console)
Three Year High: $74.50 (June '07)
Three Year Low: $36.45 (June '08)
Current Price: $44.49
The "Shin Megami Tensei Persona" series has been around for almost 15 years, but the newfound fans of "Persona 3" and "P4" might not know that it got its start on the PS1, back in 1996, as a rather unique RPG. Since then the franchise has experienced an explosion of exposure, driving up the interest, and subsequently the value, of the original PS1 titles, that is, until two of them were re-released over the last year. The original "Persona" saw a proper PSP remake, whereas "Persona 2" was one of those rare titles that actually saw the publisher releasing more of the original into the wild (the same thing recently happened with Tecmo's "Fatal Frame"), which completely threw the value of the game for a loop.
Original Release: 1996 (PS1) – Re-release 2009 (PSP as "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona")
Three Year High: $97.00 (September '07)
Three Year Low: $37.50 (February '07)
Current Price: $54.98
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Original Release: 2000 (PS1) – Re-release 2008 (PS1)
Three Year High: $85.00 (July '08)
Three Year Low: $19.99 (June '07)
Current Price: $61.00
"Chrono Trigger" was a time traveling RPG masterpiece for the SNES that has barely dropped in value since the day it was released back in 1995… at least until it was rereleased for the Nintendo DS in 2008. RPG fans looking for a fix no longer needed to turn to eBay and empty their wallets, now all they need to do is fire up their DS.
Original Release: 1995 (SNES) – Re-release 2008 (Nintendo DS)
Three Year High: $59.00 (December '07)
Three Year Low: $38.37 (November '08)
Current Price: $44.90
These are just a few games whose prices have taken hits due to new iterations becoming available in different forms. There are numerous other titles that this same breakdown can be applied to, but these are just a choice few.
With all this data, it begs the question of whether or not game collecting is even worth it any more. That's really up to the collector. There are games that will, most likely, never be released that are safe to collect for now, but you never know what future technology holds.
In case you're still interested, here's a quick breakdown of some games that are currently "safe" to add to your collection:
Import games on all systems
Due to licensing issues many import games will never make their way to the States
Kojima's insane Sega CD game – currently valued at $81.69
"Bubble Bobble Part 2"
The NES follow up to the original which has been regularly overlooked by everyone but collectors – currently valued at $99.89
Capcom says it will never see a rerelease , so this could be a good game to pick up – currently valued at $24.02
Nintendo World Championship Gold Cart
If you can afford it, it's a sound investment – currently valued at $17,510
Virtual Boy games
I'm almost certain these games will never, ever see a re-release of any kind … ever
Also, it's worth noting that these prices not only reflect the market values of the games, but also the overall downturn of the economy. Since games are a luxury expense, it's reasonable to assume that people just aren't spending as much money on them as they were a few years ago.
For more info on how these prices were calculated, check out VideoGamePriceCharts.com, as they have a full breakdown of how each price was calculated. All of data included above are prices that the games were sold for, but we all know that if you're a big enough fan of a game, you can never really put a price on it.