If you aren’t already collecting PS2 games, it may be too late. They are getting expensive.
The Sony Playstation 2 is one of the best-selling consoles of all time, with one of the biggest games catalogs ever. So it’s no wonder retro gamers are scrambling to collect PS2 games in 2020, when so many bored gamers are quarantined at home.
By the way, big thanks to xsuicidesn0wmanx for the awesome cover image!
The result of this PS2-collecting madness has been a swelling (one might say bubbling) demand for Playstation 2 games, to the point of abject ridiculousness in some cases. You’re going to have to be rich or seriously dedicated to start collecting PS2 games in 2020.
Besides the pandemic, the generation of gamers that grew up with PS2 are adults now, just like the last console generation, they’re earning grown-up money, having kids, and ready to replay their childhood favorites and share them with their own kids. Or maybe that part’s just an excuse? Hmmm…
Whatever the case, the results are unarguable. The price of PS2 games is exploding before our very eyes, and if you want some of these games, you’d better get them now before they get any more expensive.
Will we continue to see PS2 games go up in value?
Almost definitely. Past trends are very clear that, once video game prices rise, they rarely go back down. And if they do, it isn’t much. And they continue to rise again after the correction.
So if you’re thinking you’ll just wait it out and scoop up Def Jam when the price comes back down, I’d urge you to think again. It just doesn’t seem to happen in the video games market.
Is the PS2 console going to be worth anything?
Yes, but console prices rise much more slowly than rare games. Because so many units were produced, PS2 console prices are likely to plateau soon, if they haven’t already.
But like most collectibles, Playstation 2 prices will still slowly continue to rise. Disc-based systems are far more likely to break down, too. So That slow-rise will likely speed up as time goes by and working PS2 systems become rarer.
That said, collectors of Playstation 2 seem to agree that the most viable model is the original “Fat Boy”, and the later Slim models are far more likely to break down. The disc readers (the laser gun or whatever. Hell, I don’t know.) inside the console seem particularly susceptible to aging and failing. You know… just like us retro gamers.
What PS2 games are worth money today?
Quite a few, actually. Rule of Rose has been one of the most expensive PS2 games for a long time, and Kuon is also extremely rare. Either game currently goes for a few hundred dollars or even a few thousand dollars for sealed copies.
Don’t believe me? Have a look at these eBay listings. Playstation 2 collecting has become quite a thing lately, and shows no sign of stopping.
Those games have been expensive since way before the pandemic, and that’s not really what this post is about. There are a handful of games that were a bit pricey a year ago, but have gone full-blown Conkers in 2020. I hope you picked those up when you could, because you’ve got to have some deep pockets to get them today.
Please keep in mind that there’s no way to keep this list consistently up to date. Prices change pretty much daily. For the sake of this post I’ll focus on the price-raise between January and July of 2020, which seems to be when a lot of these values spiked dramatically. You know… because of that whole pandemic thing.
To help you make your own reference, I’ve included eBay links that will take you directly to a search for the games being discussed. If you want to see how much the games have actually sold for, turn on the filter for Show Only > Sold Items. That way you’ll be looking at how much the games actually sold for, not just how much delusional sellers wish they could get for them. And yes, these are affiliate links. So if you make any purchases it will help this site.
Finally, let me say this list is based on Pricecharting.com and, while they do a good job of citing what listings they’re using to determine prices, I can’t really vouch for how accurate all these numbers are. I’ve done my best, though. And I hope you enjoy.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
This arcade classic has always been fairly hard to find. But with demand rising, the price has spiked from about $60 in January 2020, to about double that in July. For current prices, check out this eBay link to see recently sold copies. According to Pricecharting.com, the price for MVC2 is still rising sharply every day.
If you haven’t already got your copy, it may be too late to get it at a fair price. If my theory is wrong, and prices do come back down to earth after the pandemic, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy. That will be your last chance; this game is going to be highly collectable from here on out.
Silent Hill series
The Silent Hill series was a huge draw for Playstation. The visuals of Silent Hill 2 were jaw-dropping for the time, and many Nintendo fans were ready to come to Sony in search of more grown-up games.
Appropriately, Silent Hill 2 had plenty of copies made and seems to be rising less sharply. Recently though, Silent Hill 3 has more than doubled since January 2020 and was selling for around $150 USD on eBay in July 2020. You can check eBay for current pricing.
As for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories? You may not even want to know how expensive that one is. But I’m definitely kicking myself for not getting it a few years ago. Check it out if you dare. If you decide to pick it up, beware of counterfeit copies. The high price makes this one really popular for fakers.
Def Jam: Fight for New York
This one is no surprise. The value of Def Jam has been rising for years, and the pandemic set the price on fire.
This is another one that has doubled in price between January and July of 2020. It’s still rising, so you’ll have to check eBay for current pricing.
Def Jam: Fight for New York is a cult classic that didn’t sell particularly well when it was released. Fighting game fans had mixed reviews for it and, despite some deep customization and an awesome soundtrack, they overlooked this.
Based on my personal experience, rap fans were much more excited about the game than fighting game fans. Def Jam offered something really unique for the PS2, rather than another MK or SF clone. It’s no wonder collectors are trying to get their hands on this and give it another look.
Predator – Concrete Jungle
This one snuck in from nowhere to be Pricecharting’s fastest-rising PS2 game. While fans have always appreciated the impressive graphics and gameplay of Predator – Concrete Jungle, it started rising dramatically in value in 2020. )
For a complete copy of Predator – Concrete Jungle, you’re looking at close to $90 or $100 in July 2020. (Look at eBay, as usual for current prices.)
Clock Tower 3
The survival horror genre seems to be doing quite well for itself. Was this genre less popular back in the PS2 days? That would explain why demand for old Resident Evil games, Silent Hill, and Clock Tower games are all trading quite high these days. Perhaps the Five Nights at Freddy’s generation is starting to look back on the older horror games they missed out on.
Regardless, Clock Tower 3 has more than doubled in price between January and July of 2020. Go ahead and have a look.
This is just a small handful of games that are going nuts under quarantine. We could discuss this all day, but I’d rather talk about the situation itself, rather than making this post a long list of PS2 games getting expensive during a pandemic.
Besides, while a complete list of expensive PS2 games would be easy to write, prices are changing all the time. With PS2 games getting expensive super quick, any article would be outdated within a few weeks. Suffice to say that PS2 game prices are coming up fast and may already have plateaued. If there are any games you were thinking about picking up, but haven’t yet, this might be your last chance.
Other retro game prices are going up, too.
This article has focused on PS2, but it is far from being the only retro console that whose games are increasing in price.
Every retro console is feeling the squeeze, but Gamecube and Nintendo 64 games seem to be hit particularly hard by the steep rise. Even the Wii is getting crazy.
Nintendo and Super Nintendo games were just starting to see a modest drop in price before the pandemic shook up the market.
If you’re a retro collector who’s just starting out, this will be a tough time for you. But I did put together a list of still-cheap SNES games that still seems to stand up alright, as well as a Ghetto Guide to Collecting Retro Games to help you navigate the always-increasing price of this hobby.
If you’re an established collector, then congrats. If you’ve been thinking about parting with some of your games, it is definitely a sellers’ market out there now. Big time!
So what’s next for PS2 collecting?
Obviously, it’s PS3 collecting!
While it’s impossible to know the future, we can make a few assumptions about the future of games pricing. As previously discussed, it seems that each generation of gamer gets older, starts making money, stops partying, has kids, and starts revisiting their gaming past. Not necessarily in that order.
The point is, each console generation has a gamer generation to go with it. The available data is limited, but it certainly looks like game prices for each retro console are lowest around 10 or 12 years after the console was released, then hit peak pricing in another 10 to 12 years (give or take, these are projections, I’m not a data scientist, don’t @ me.) Which aligns perfectly with all those 10-year-old gamers finally getting real jobs and grown-up money, and seeking to collect all the games their parents wouldn’t buy for them.
Maybe I’m projecting a bit, as this is my exact experience with retro gaming. If you think I’m right, leave a comment or find me on Twitter.
Back to the point. If my data and assumptions bear out, that mean Playstation 3 games are at their lowest average prices right now. That means it’s the best time to shift our attention away from the lost cause of PS2 collecting, and start building up that collection of Playstation 3 games.
If Pricecharting is to be trusted (and granted, I’m putting an awful lot of faith in them,) it certainly looks like PS3 games have been slowing their decline for years and are ready to start their journey back upward.
Besides the natural market process, Playstation collectors like us are going to continue moving to PS3 ans PS2 games continue to get prohibitively expensive, causing prices to rise even faster.
Another major consideration that will impact the market is the dramatic shift away from physical games that snowballed during the PS3’s reign. Even though more “units” of games were being sold, online digital sales took a big bite out of the number of physical copies that were actually manufactured.
If you’re thinking about starting to collect Playstation 3 games, you’ll definitely want to keep that in mind. In another 15 years, PS3 games may be even rarer and more valuable than any previous console generation.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely won’t repeat the collecting mistakes I made over the previous console generations.
Happy collecting, and good luck!