Ten Amusingly Expensive JRPGs (plus one WRPG)
I sort of understand collecting; in high school and my freshman year of college I bought DVDs obsessively, and my collection grew to about 400 in only a couple years. Then I was paying my own bills and realized I only ever watched a few of the movies I owned more than once, and so all these purchases were silly. Now that I’m working in games and have enough disposable income to buy things other than booze, that collecting itch has returned, but I still usually stick to deal-shopping when I buy games.
Earlier this week, one of my bosses, Mark Burnham, told me about how he recently discovered that he had lost the third disc of his copy of Final Fantasy VII, and so he went to a mom and pop game shop to pick up a replacement copy of the game. He said he expected to lay down ten or fifteen buck for it, but ended up spending $90. “That’s ridiculous!” I screamed, noting that the game is available as a download from PSN for $9.99.
But that’s what collector’s do, and that’s why something dumb like this will cost you $10,000 today. There are a number of old JRPGs that’ll run you a pretty penny now, especially if we’re talking about a sealed, non-Greatest Hits copy. Used copies don’t tend to cost so terribly much if you shop around because online stores like the Amazon Marketplace help to drive down costs. So here’s a list of JRPGs that’ll set you back a bit, ranked arbitrarily in ascending order. Thanks to Video Game Price Charts for some of the numbers. The dollar amounts are rough averages/eyeballs. Note: All PS1 games are the black label versions, as green labels are worthless.
10. Phantasy Star Online Plus (GameCube)
Used – $80
New – $200
Max current price – $350
This was kind of a patched version of PSO, and naturally nobody bought it because anybody who wanted the game already had it. Very few people played online on the GC anyway.
9. Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (PS1)
Used – $75
New – $300
Max current price – $1,000
This one seems to go for slightly more than the SNES version, and the N64 sequel is also worth a bunch. That’s unusual.
8. Terranigma (SNES) (PAL)
Used – Over $100
New – None that I could find
Max current price – $250
The Japanese version of the game will net you around $30, but the PAL version is a lot more expensive. Most copies go for at least $100, and a boxed copy will get you near $200.
7. Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena (Playstation)
Used – $80
New – $350
Max current price -$600
Atlus usually does small print runs, and yada yada yada demand is greater than supply.
6. Mother 1+ 2 (GBA import)
Used – $110 (ball park)
new – none that I found
Max current price – $300
This GBA compilation includes Mother, an NES title, and Mother 2, also known as Earthbound (also on this list by itself), an SNES game.
5. Suikoden II (Playstation)
Used – $100
New – $325
Max current price – $476
This is the most expensive non-special edition release for the original Playstation, because it’s rare; it had a small initial run, didn’t sell well and then never had any more copies made. The price went up due to interest in Suikoden III.
4. Earthbound (SNES)
Used – $140
New – none!
Max current price – $450
This one isn’t rare, so I don’t really know why it’s expensive. I guess it’s probably because it wasn’t a huge hit initially, and now that it has a cult following a lot of folks want it. That it’s not rare means you can get it pretty cheap — far below that used average — if you look hard enough.
3. Valkyrie Profile (PS1)
Used – $150
New – $250
Max current price – $1,000
I don’t think prices for this on are normally this high (Racket Boy indicates a much lower norm for it). This is another one of those that developed a following after it went out of print, and so the demand was higher than the supply, even though the supply wasn’t unreasonably small.
2. Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
Used – $45-375
New – $100-$3,000
Where the hell am I supposed to rank this with price ranges like that? It would take me hours to compile proper averages, because there are soooooo many copies out there; it sold 10 million new copies upon release.
1. Chrono Trigger (US release) (SNES)
Used – $40-300
New – $260-4,000
Barely edges out FFVII for one reason: It’s rare that anyone ever bites on the the high-end prices, but someone did actually pay $1,200 for a copy of Chrono Trigger on eBay last year.
Embarrassingly for all JRPGs everywhere, the single most expensive RPG right now is World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition. Sealed copies of that go for, minimum, $1000, and that’s the bargain basement price. Most of these sell for more than $2,000. Chirrrrrrst.