Saturday, March 15, 2008

How To Make Money Collecting PS2 Games

The Playstation 2 will have been on the market for 8 years this October. Two of those years the PS2 has shared the market with the Playstation 3 and though the Playstation 2 is selling fairly well now, it is approaching its final years. Developer support is already drying up. In 2007, 153 games were released and so far about 90 games are announced or rumored to be released in 2008. So now is the time to buy Playstation 2 games and potentially make some money.

Let me explain what I mean. The later in a console's life cycle a game is released, the more likely it is to become rare and very expensive. Of the 60 most expensive NES, SNES, and N64 games, 32 of them were released in the last two years of the console, 53%. This is even more amazing when you consider there are not many games published in the last two years of a console. The NES, SNES, and N64 had a total of 1,947 games. 20% of them, 388 games, came out in the last two years. So the last two years of a console represent 20% of the total games, but 53% of the most expensive games.

Games Released in Last Two Years: Expensive Games vs All Games

SystemTotal GamesLast 2 Years% of Games

You see the trend and now you want to know how much some of those expensive games are actually worth. Many of them sell for about $30-40 used which is less than the original price. But when kept sealed some of the games are worth a ton. Chrono Trigger recently sold for $1,217, Zelda II for NES (not a rare game) sold for $799, and Super Mario RPG sold for $315. Even easy to find NES games are expensive if they are sealed. This ad shows a company is willing to pay $250 for Zelda and $200 for Excitebike.

So which Playstation 2 Games should you buy if you want to increase the chance they will be collector's items? RPG and Fighting games keep their value longer than other genres' so buying RPG and Fighting games gives you the best odds of buying the next Chrono Trigger. Here are my recommendations for some games that I think might be good choices:

Mana Khemia Alchemists of Al-Revis Cover ArtMana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis

This is a niche RPG published by NIS America. They are also the developers of Disgaea Hour of Darkness, one of the more expensive PS2 games already released.

Arcana Heart Cover ArtArcana Heart

A 2D Fighter developed by Atlus. 2D Fighting games are not as popular as they used to be back in the Street Fighter heyday so don't look for this one to sell many copies. Plus, Atlus is notorious for small printings of their games.

Baroque Cover ArtBaroque

Baroque is another Atlus game, this time an RPG though. As a publisher, Atlus games keep their value better than any other publisher. Buying their games is just another way of increasing the odds a game becomes valuable.

Persona 3 FES Cover ArtShin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES

The last Atlus game on the list. I hope I'm not putting too many of my eggs in one basket but Atlus is the publisher of the Ogre Battle series which places a game in the most expensive list for N64, SNES, and PS1. And the other games in the Persona series are expensive too.

Chaos Wars Cover ArtChaos Wars

Chaos Wars is a fantasy, turn based strategy game. That is about as niche as you can get. The game is developed by Idea Factory who has released games only in Japan up to this point. They are virtually an unknown in the US.

King of Fighters Collection Cover ArtKing of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga

A collection of the SNK King of Fighters games. It is a 2D fighting series with a decent following, but will probably not sell that well. Compilation games can be worth quite a bit too. The Spyro and GTA Trilogy collections prove this.

Samurai Shodown Anthology ScreenshotSamurai Shodown Anthology

Another collection of 2D fighting games, this time from the Samurai Shodown series. Not as popular as the King of Fighters series, but some of the games so far have kept their value well.

Keep in mind many of the PS2 games coming out in the next two years have not even been announced so this list is in no way conclusive. And I could be completely wrong about them too. The above games might be worthless in a couple of years but based upon this information; I'm going to pre-order a few of these, set them aside, and wait.

Below is the table of the most expensive games on each console and the year they were released. The bolded titles are the ones released in the last two years.

Expensive Nintendo NES GamesRelease Year
Bubble Bobble Part 21993
Little Samson1992
Dragon Warrior IV1992
Snow Brothers1991
Fire 'N Ice1993
Dusty Diamond All-Star Softball1990
California Raisins1991
Bandit Kings of Ancient China1989
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters1993
Duck Tales 21993
Bonk's Adventure1993
Contra Force1992
RC Pro-AM II1992
Mario Time Machine1993
Ultima Warriors of Destiny1993
Bomberman II1991
Dragon Warrior III1988
Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom1988

Expensive Super Nintendo GamesRelease Year
Ogre Battle The March of the Black Queen1994
Ninja Gaiden Trilogy1995
Castlevania Dracula X1995
Harvest Moon1996
EVO the Search for Eden1993
Chrono Trigger1995
Mega Man X1993
Aero Fighters1993
Super Mario RPG1996
Lufia and the Fortress of Doom1993
Lufia and The Rise of Sinistrals1996
Secret of Mana1993
Metal Marines1993
Final Fantasy III1994
Final Fight 31995
Metal Warriors1995
Mega Man 71995
Uncharted Waters: New Horizons1994
Boogerman A Pick and Flick Adventure1995

Expensive Nintendo 64 GamesRelease Year
Worms Armageddon2000
Clay Fighter 63 1/3 Sculptor's Cut1998
Ogre Battle1999
Harvest Moon1999
Mario Party 32000
Bomberman 64 The Second Attack2000
Conker's Bad Fur Day2001
Super Smash Bros.1999
Super Bowling2000
Castlevania Legacy of Darkness1999
Mario Kart 641996
Mario Party 21999
Mario Party1998
Space Station Silicon Valley1998
Ms. PacMan Maze Madness2000
Dr. Mario2001
Paper Mario2000
Tom and Jerry2000
Beast Wars2000

All release dates information provided by digitpress and mobygames

Nintendo 64 Prices | Xbox 360 Game Prices | PS3 Game Prices


Anonymous said...

hey dummy, by telling people to save these titles you are effectively making them worth less because more people will have them....sigh

Anonymous said...

Great collecting tip, JJ. It really does make sense... I was reading in Video Game Collector #9 (a magazine I just recently discovered at Blockbuster) about how the most coveted Saturn games -- Shining Force III, Panzer Dragoon Saga, etc -- happen to be the last 5 titles released for the system, in 1998.

JJ Hendricks said...

Anonymous - I am flattered that you think my blog is popular enough to really make much of a difference in the market. You are right though if enough people read this, the games wouldn't be as valuable.

Alex Kraus - Thanks for that info. I didn't know that the last 5 games for the system are also most coveted.

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention these I had already planned on buying all of these for this very reason. Also is a good time to pick up some other titles like chulip which is in its cheap cycle right now but but a low production title.

Anonymous said...

The article mentioned that Mana Khemia has the same developer as Disgaea, which is incorrect as Mana Khemia is developed by Gust while Disgaea is developed by NIS and published by Atlus. It also failed to mentioned that Disagea got a reprint.

You also made another mistake about Chaos War being Idea Factory only game in the US when NISA already released 3 IF games on PSP. (Generation of Chaos, Spectral Souls, and Aedis Eclipse: Generation of Chaos)

Good article, but keep in mind PS2 user base is much bigger than SNES or N64. A better comparison would be to see numbers for PSOne games.

chaosbreaker said...

Interesting... The same applies for board games. If a popular game goes out of print, a sealed copy of board or card games can go for near $200. Before reprint, Hannibal an old Avalon Hill board game from the 90's used to go for above $100, more if it sealed, until it was reprinted last year. It is almost out of print again, may not get reprinted. Another classic Avalon Hill game, 1830, board game goes for around $200 on ebay auctions.

Anonymous said...

some PS1 games go for alot more than NES, N64 or SNES games. look at games like Valkyrie Profile, and Suikoden 2, they regularly go for $100+.

Anonymous said...

I remember buying Nocturne at a Game Crazy here in rockford for like $17 a year ago, but I didn't like it, so I promptly sold it, only to find it at Gamestop for $80 a week later....stupid, stupid, stupid.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. I was just wondering whether there would actually be a market (how easy/quick to sell) for these games once they reach high prices? Do they reach such prices due to demand (and hence my first question is obsolete)?

JJ Hendricks said...

Will - The games generally reach the higher prices due to demand being relatively high and supply being low. None of these games are sold very well so the supply will be pretty low.

They will be very easy to sell quickly. They all sell on ebay, amazon, and on a daily basis. You could sell them in 1 week without a problem at all.

Anonymous said...

if you don't like it keep your comment to your self noob

Prepharmacy Society said...

With the proliferation of the PSN, more old, rare titles are showing up for download. How do you think this would affect the values of the physical copies of the same game?

JJ Hendricks said...

Prepharmacy Society - I definitely think PSN and downloadable games can lower the prices for older hard to find titles if they are available to download. Marvel vs Capcom 2 is a great example of this.

Some games that were never very popular initially probably won't be released on PSN though because they aren't worth the effort. Even if they are valuable now they might not sell enough copies on PSN to be worth the development costs.

Anonymous said...

I recently spent $20 to softmod my PS2 so that I could play ICO without paying ridiculous sums of money for what people perceive as a "rare" game. Since it's "out of print" then the company doesn't care that it's being downloaded as they do not make money on the resale of used games. I'll just send them a $5 check for the value the game would be now if I could find it at a reasonable price "used" at a place like Gamestop. That way the money goes into the hands of developers that can make more games and not into the hands of game hoarders looking to make a few extra bucks.

JJ Hendricks said...

That is an interesting plan so you don't have to pay the full price for the game. What if the developer wants $50 for the game now? They think it is worth more than $5. Will you send them that?

You can't just decide how much the item is worth and then pay that. Maybe they are waiting to sell it on PSN.

The last known price they were willing to sell it for was $50 (when they sold it at retail). I personally think you are "stealing" from the developer unless you pay that much or they tell you how much they want for it now.

Davids said...

This article is interesting. Great collecting tips. N64 is cool. This console game is driving me insane lol :D

NCAA Football 11 Rosters

erros xbox 360 said...

Thank you for information! I will try it! Love old stuff

un55d7000 said...

Hmm..great idea. I have a lot of PS2 games. Maybe I should try keep them and see how much their value then.

Anonymous said...

just look at wanted ps1 titles then get the ps2 game like spyro for ps1 at £15 TO £20 THE PS2 spyros go less then a fiver like the ps1 did 6 years ago the ps2 will go up like ps1 because there not rare games but games people want to play
the list goes on crash games resident evil final fantasy there all go up in price for ps2 you just have to wait a few more years and your alway have retro gamers that want these games in mint condition people will not bin them so the price will be on the condition of the games
retro gamers want to play there game so they will not buy sealed games for 4 times the price they will buy mint condition games so they can play them,,,

goonie uk said...

hi yes your right ps2 games are slowly going up in price i could walk round a car boot sale and see 100s of ps2 games for 50p to a £1 now there hard to find good titles if you do find them there 3 or 4 £s each so they are going up just hold on to them for a few more years and you might get a good price for them great post good luck to people that have kept your classic games,,,

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