Super Mario 64 game fetches $1.5m at auction breaking record

By Sanj Atwal
Published
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An unopened copy of Super Mario 64 has sold for $1.56 million, breaking the record for the most expensive videogame sold at an online auction

Released in 1996 for the Nintendo 64, the game was Mario’s first 3D adventure. It went on to become the console’s best selling game ever, with nearly 12 million sales to date.

The copy sold at auction was the first game ever to sell for more than $1 million.

super mario 64 from the front and back

It is sealed and in near-perfect condition, scoring 9.8 A++ on the Wata Scale. It’s the only known copy in such condition in existence.

"This is effectively the highest feasible grade one could hope to receive from Wata," said Valarie McLeckie, Heritage Auctions Video Games Specialist.

The hefty sum smashed the previous record of $870,000 for a rare version of The Legend of Zelda, which was set only two days prior at the same auction.

"After the record-breaking sale of the first game in the Zelda series on Friday, the possibility of surpassing $1 million on a single video game seemed like a goal that would need to wait for another auction." - Valarie McLeckie

In the lead up to the auction, much attention was on the sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda. It’s a rare version that was manufactured for just a few months before the cartridge was updated to a new variant.

It scored 9.0 A on the Wata Scale and it’s widely believed that only one other unopened copy exists.

Another copy of Super Mario 64, with a rating of 9.6 A++, sold for $13,200 in the same auction.

1985 copy of Super Mario Bros that sold for $114,000 on 12 July 2020. Image credit: Heritage Auctions, HA.com

In April, Heritage Auctions sold a copy of Super Mario Bros for a then record $660,000. Bought originally in 1986, it had been forgotten in a desk drawer for decades. 

The million-dollar Mario game has reclaimed the record for its franchise, ending The Legend of Zelda’s brief stint as the world’s most expensive videogame sold at an online auction.

The Legend of Zelda is the only non Super Mario game to have held this record. 

The uptick in interest for Super Mario games and decades-old games in general could be reflective of a growing nostalgia among video game collectors.

Love retro games and systems? check out Linda Guillory’s record-breaking collection of gaming consoles.