Just two days after a copy of NES classic The Legend of Zelda sold for nearly $900k dollars, an original N64 Super Mario 64 cartridge was auctioned off for $1.56 million dollars, cementing itself as the most expensive video game ever sold.
A fond trip down memory lane for many video game enthusiasts, NES and N64 titles are often hailed as some of the most timeless video games ever made, even despite their old age.
Whether they’re bought to play, or to show off as display pieces, copies of older titles like the first few Zelda and Mario games can fetch incredible prices when they hit the market, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now, just two days after a copy of The Legend of Zelda set the record on July 9, a sealed Super Mario 64 cartridge stole the title of the most expensive video game ever sold at auction with an eye-watering price tag of $1.56 million dollars.
On July 11, Heritage Auctions — the online auction house where the sale took place — shared on Twitter that the copy of Super Mario 64 in question had sold for a jaw-dropping final price of $1,560,000 dollars, nearly doubling the previous record of $870,000.
The copy in question was graded by Wata — a well-known and respected video game grading service — as 9.8 A++ (the highest possible rating the service hands out) which certainly boosted the piece’s value substantially.
🎉#HERITAGELIVE #WORLDRECORD!! Super Mario 64 – Wata 9.8 A++ Sealed, N64 Nintendo 1996 USA just sold for $1,560,000 at #HeritageAuctions, smashing previous mark of $870K, set Friday at Heritage for The Legend of Zelda! https://t.co/SUgiijkkzL#SuperMario #Nintendo #N64 #WATA pic.twitter.com/rHpTuZl95l
— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) July 11, 2021
In addition to sharing the result of the auction on Twitter, Heritage also pointed out the significance of the piece in their listing, calling it “the highest graded copy of the single best-selling video game on the Nintendo 64 — the first 3D adventure of Nintendo’s mascot, Mario.”
“The cultural significance of this title and its importance to the history of video games is paramount,” they continued, and went on to confirm that even their staff were blown away by the piece: “the condition of this copy is just so breathtaking that we’re really at a loss here.”
While some might question the lofty price tag, the praise from Heritage and the impressive grading from Wata certainly justified the cartridge’s price tag to someone — and that someone is now in possession of what might be the most pristine copy of Super Mario 64 ever seen.