With nearly 2,000 games in its arsenal, the PlayStation has one of the largest libraries in gaming history.
This is even more impressive when you consider its main rival, the Nintendo 64, didn’t even produce 300. And while not every PlayStation title is a classic, or even worth owning, there are a select few that collectors consider the rarest in the world.
As any game collector knows, the value of a retro title is all about demand. The prices used throughout this article are all based on those provided by price aggregator site Video Game Price Charts, and represent the average spent in online auctions for games that have already been opened (by may still be complete). Who knows, maybe you’ll even see a game or two from your own collection.
Well, probably not this first one.
Estimated Value: $2360-$3000
Background: While it’s not surprising that a limited edition bundle made the top of the PlayStation collectors list, it’s important to point out just how limited the Elemental Gearbolt Assassin’s Case is. The briefcase-bundled set could only be won at an Elemental Gearbolt competition, which was held at E3 in 1998. Only 40 lucky victors walked away with the case, which included the game, a gold memory card, a “GoldCon” light gun (obviously gold) and a letter from developer Working Designs. It helps that Elemental Gearbolt was a very well received title, coupling classic light gun gameplay with a science fantasy aesthetic and RPG elements. The game alone usually sells for $60 to $80 and the case has become the ultimate collector’s item for many Sony fans.
Estimated Value: $145-$230
Background: Back in the days before Capcom got all weird about Mega Man they actually enjoyed creating titles about the Blue Bomber. Mega Man Legends, the first fully 3D Mega Man was such a hit that the producers of the title decided to put out a prequel before debuting the official sequel. Enter The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, a game focused on the titular sky pirate anti-hero. Tron and her band of loyal henchmen, known as Servbots, are tasked with everything from solving puzzles to robbing banks. The game has acquired a cult following since its release and a limited production run has caused it to raise in price over the years. Though Tron hasn’t starred in a title since Misadventures appeared, she has been featured as a fighter in the Marvel vs Capcom series and Project X Zone.
Estimated Value: $125-$167
Background: Launched late in the original PlayStation life cycle, R-Type Delta was another title with a somewhat limited production run. While the R-Type games started their life as an arcade classic, Delta was the first in the series to feature “full 3D graphics.” Delta was also the first R-Type title to let players choose from multiple different ships, each with its own special attack. The game was well received, but with the PlayStation 2 looming on the horizon R-Type Delta didn’t have quite the audience it should have. Luckily it was rereleased on the PlayStation 3 in 2009 as a downloadable PlayStation Classic.
Estimated Value: $107-$130
Background: Despite releasing even closer to the launch of the PlayStation 2 then R-Type Delta, Valkyrie Profile managed to sell over 700,000 copies worldwide and establish itself as one of the PlayStation’s best turn-based RPG series. Based on Norse mythology, the game follows Lenneth, a valkyrie who has the cheerful job of choosing fallen warriors to take back to Valhalla. It may seem odd that a game that sold so well could be considered so rare, but with so many RPG nuts out there it’s not too surprising that none of them want to let this gem go. Thus, most players have to pay through the nose if they want to experience Valkyrie Profile in its original glory. Praise Odin!
Estimated Value: $95-$125
Background: Hey look! Another RPG released near the PlayStation’s end. I’m sensing a theme. Tales of Eternia is the third entry in the Namco-created Tales series. Originally released as Tales of Destiny II in North America, the game is often confused for the similarly titled Tales of Destiny 2 for the Playstation 2. Yes, you read that right. Tales of Destiny 2 is the sequel to… Tales of Destiny II. Someone at Namco isn’t very good at counting, or maybe they just weren’t a fan of Roman numerals. Despite this bizarre naming mishap, an enhanced version of the the game was re-released on PSP as Tales of Eternia, where it managed to gain and even stronger following.
Estimated Value: $94-$125
Background: If the gamers of the world ever crowned a cult RPG king, Suikoden II would certainly be in the running. In fact, Kotaku’s own RPG guru Jason Schreier even dubbed it his favorite game of all time. Even though it’s now hailed as one of the best RPG titles of any era by many, the initial lukewarm reception by critics and its poorly planned launch (which fell right after the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VIII) led to low sales. So low in fact that the game was never greenlit for a second printing. Once it was established that Suikoden II was a must-play for the RPG crowd, the game become one of the best selling PlayStation Classics on PSN. You may be hard up finding it for under $100, but most players would say it’s worth the pricetag.
Estimated Value: $249-$300
Background: Japan is infamous for putting out some seriously bizarre titles and LSD: Dream Emulator does not disappoint. Despite sharing a name with a well-known psychotic drug, the game’s creator claims LSD stands for “Lovely Sweet Dream” and has no connection to the hallucinogen. Based on the dream journal of Asmik Ace Entertainment artist Hiroko Nishikawa, LSD is a game where players must wander about inside different dreams, interacting with the strange terrain and inhabitants. Players can even jump off cliffs to immediately wake themselves from the dreams. Needless to say it’s a game like no other, and has gained a cult following both in Japan and overseas.
Estimated Value: $90-$135
Background: Roughly translated as “Scribble Showdown”, this Enix-published brawler was just a bit too outrageous to earn localization outside of Japan. Famed developer Treasure wanted to make a title with a visual style that represented that of doodles comes to life, and make it they did. Much like series such as Super Smash Bros. and Power Stone, players in Rakugaki battle in an arena to see who will become the overall champion. Aside from hand to hand combat, characters can also pick up and toss various items across the playing field to damage their opponents. Rumor has it legal issues between Treasure and Enix caused the titles low print rate, causing the price to skyrocket in recent times.
Obviously there are plenty of other collectable PlayStation games out there, and many that hold more emotional value than monetary worth. Which PlayStation titles do you hold in the highest esteem? If you’re interested in game collecting you should definitely check out my handy beginner’s guide and my original article about valuable N64 titles.