A copy of Super Mario 64 has become the most expensive video game ever sold.
A copy of Super Mario 64 has broken all sales records (via Polygon). At Heritage Auctions, a copy of the Nintendo 64 title sold for over $1.5 million, becoming the most that has ever been spent on a video game at an auction. The sealed copy of Super Mario 64 beat the record that was set last week by a copy of The Legend of Zelda that sold for $870,000.
The copy of Super Mario 64 was graded by Wata, a grading service specializing in retro video games, receiving a 9.8. Wata's scale goes up to 10, making 9.8 a very high score. Games that receive a score of 10 are incredibly rare, with only a small handful of games receiving the score. In order to get a perfect score, a game must be in immaculate condition and must be manufactured perfectly. This makes a 9.8 the highest reasonably achievable grade for a game.
The copy of Super Mario 64 that sold form $1.5 million is miles above previous sales points of past copies of the game that have gone to auction. This past January, a copy of the game graded at 9.4 sold for $38,400. Plenty of other copies of the game with lower grades from Wata have been sold this past year as well. These copies ranged from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
The record selling copy of Super Mario 64 seems to be a part of a recent boom of products that represent a time period that people look back on nostalgically. The value of items such as Pokémon cards, comic books, and other trading card games have been steadily increasing. The value of video games have also been increasing over the past year. A sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. that received a grade of 9.4 by Wata sold for $114,000 in 2020. A year later, a copy of the same game graded at 9.6 sold for $660,000, setting a record at the time.