The average cost of Game Boy games has been steadily rising for years. If you look at the overall price growth, which has doubled within the last five years, then it should be pretty clear Game Boy game prices are following the trend of increasing retro video game prices.
Retro video games on systems like the N64 and Sega Dreamcast are going a little crazy right now. The same can be said for PS2 and PS3 games, though the latter system’s prices have fallen back from orbit to a more reasonable skyscraper level.
Each system has various factors driving the rise in prices, and the Game Boy games prices are no different. Using Pricecharting.com as a guide (seriously, it’s a great resource), we’re going to take a look at why Game Boy game prices are rising and which Game Boy games are worth money right now.
Why Are Game Boy Games So Expensive?
According to Pricecharting.com, the average Game Boy game prices have increased about 35% since this time last year. While it might be easy to chalk that up to the pandemic-driven retro game price boom of 2020, Game Boy games might be different.
Unlike other, newer systems that shot up in price last year, the prices of Game Boy titles have been slowly but surely rising for about a decade rather than growing all at once.
As for the reasons why Game Boy games are so expensive, they are basically the same as the other retro systems:
- Game Boy games are becoming increasingly scarce as time goes on. Not only are people losing or breaking copies, you have to think of how many games with save batteries were simply tossed out instead of the owner replacing the battery.
- Nostalgic collectors are now in the right age range to have disposable income where they can buy old video games.
- People have spent more time at home in the last year, and they want to play some old video games
Simple enough, right? No more copies of the most popular games are being made.
Will Game Boy Game Prices Continue to Rise?
That’s the real question: will Game Boy game prices go up? The short answer is yes.
Game Boy game prices have consistently risen for the last decade and retro games continue to grow in popularity and scarcity. I don’t see a single reason why they wouldn’t continue to rise.
But, I don’t think they’re going to rise as much. The pandemic bubble is gonna pop and there’s a rumor that the Nintendo Switch is adding Game Boy titles.
When that happens, the prices may stagnate some, but I would bet that the average price of Game Boy games, loose and CIB, will be higher next year than it is this year. There’s just something special about having a physical copy.
Will New Game Boy Games Affect the Market?
As a quick aside, and in case you didn’t already know, the Game Boy handheld is not dead. Indie developers are making and releasing real, physical copies. In fact, several recent games like Deadeus appeared on the Pricecharting.com listing for Game Boy game prices.
Being that these games are often selling for values higher than the retro games, it’s only fair to ask if games like Gelatinous: Humanity Lost will have an impact on the market.
Sure, the presence of these games might pump up the average value of Game Boy titles by a small amount overall, but it’s not guiding the market or anything.
With more of these games hitting the market, though….well, it’s something to watch.
What Game Boy Games Are Worth Money?
Now that I’ve given you ample reading material to read while bringing out your Game Boy game collection, let’s see which ones are worth some money.
I’m going to break this list down into two types of games: the Game Boy games worth a lot of money and the more popular ones that have an above-average price point.
Game Boy Games Worth Some Serious Money
If you have any of these games and you’re not sentimental, then you might want to consider selling. They’re all worth a decent amount of money loose, but they’re downright outrageous if they are CIB or New.
I couldn’t bring myself to care enough about this game to play it to figure out what the heck it is. From what I read, it’s a puzzle/platformer where the player takes the role of a potato. You do your best to guide it to the end of each level. Absolutely riveting.
Also, loose copies are selling on eBay for around $355 and has sold CIB for $1,745. Yeah, this one is worth something, probably because it’s rare.
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 5 wasn’t groundbreaking in its day, but it was a pretty entertaining platformer that is best-known for the way you acquire weapons by defeating bosses, along with the non-linear stage selection. For those who follow the story, this is Tango’s first appearance.
In terms of price, this game sells for $200 loose, so this one cartridge can net you a nice little chunk of change. If you have this sitting around in the box somewhere, you’re looking somewhere in the area of $1,400 bucks.
Toxie from the Toxic Crusaders appeared on the Game Boy as they continued their fight against pollution. The game wasn’t anything too special— just another beat ‘em up platformer game.
Was it fun? Sure, and it had a direct link to the moderately successful cartoon. I’d still bet that most people like the fact that the price tag is huge, with a loose game selling north of $300 and CIB over $450.
Here’s Toxic Crusaders on eBay
Here we go back to potatoes. Spud’s Adventure is a puzzle game with the barest bits of RPG elements included. Needless to say, it didn’t make my list of Game Boy RPGs, but the premise is cool enough.
The game isn’t the kind that you rush home to play. Still, I’d rush to find it if I had a collector lined up to pay for the game. Loose, the game is worth about $350. If you have this CIB somewhere, then congratulations: you’re looking at $2,000 and then some.
If Castlevania is too scary for you, then Kid Dracula is right up your alley. In this platformer, you align with dark forces to take down “Garamoth.”
The only thing more fun than playing this game is seeing that it sells for $150 for a random copy with the CIB going over $1,300.
You can keep these games and wait for them to gain value, or you can flip these bad boys for profit right now. You might make enough money to pay a scalper for a PS5! No, I’m not bitter.
Here’s Kid Dracula on eBay
Popular Game Boy Games with Above-Average Value
Okay, now it’s time to look at games you might actually have somewhere. These games are expensive because they were popular in their day and the number of copies is beginning to dwindle but the demand is coming back again.
While I doubt we’re going to run out of some of these titles anytime soon, the pricing makes it clear that physical copies of some of these games might not be easily obtainable in the near future.
Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow
Big surprise here, right? These games need no introduction. Pokémon games are some of the most popular on the Game Boy. Loose copies of Blue and Yellow are hovering in the mid-$30 range, but Red is going for $45 for some reason.
That’s above the average Game Boy game prices by a fair amount. If you manage to have a CIB, you’re looking at about $250-300 a copy. Anyone with a New copy can get several thousand bucks.
You can find them on eBay, but beware of counterfeiters.
Zelda: Link’s Awakening
I’m not even much of a Zelda fan, but I loved this game. It was recently remade, too, but some people are bound to crave the original. Collectors gonna collect, right?
A loose copy is going for about $30, but a CIB is going for $150-190 according to our friends at Pricecharting. Not too shabby, but I’m hanging onto my copy until I decide to break down and buy Diablo II: Resurrected.
Here’s Link’s Awakening on eBay
Final Fantasy Adventure
Final Fantasy Adventure is another personal favorite that had the Final Fantasy name that I was always looking for as a young gamer and the Mana series combat that changed the way I thought of RPGs forever.
Anyway, brass tacks. You’re looking at $32 loose, $120 CIB. The game isn’t as popular or rare as others, but its price holds up.
Here it is on eBay
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III Radical Rescue
TMNT was all the rage in the early 1990s, and people were doing anything they could to avoid playing the NES TMNT.
This game was popular for reasons other than being a part of the TMNT franchise including the fact that it was a Metroidvania-style game and each of the turtles came with an individual power. You started as Michelangelo and then went on a mission to recover the others.
This game starts in the mid-$90 range for a loose game, but it creeps up over $450 when you find it CIB.
Here’s Radical Rescue on eBay
F1 Pole Position
Featuring multiple game modes, this racing game captured the interest of Formula One lovers that wanted a handheld way to race.
Starting at $170, you’ll let this game go faster than your best lap around the track if someone offers you the CIB price, $600.
You can find it on eBay.
These more popular but less expensive games might just be in your collection!
Is the Game Boy Console Worth Anything?
Nope, and you should send your console to me immediately.
Just kidding. Let’s do a quick rundown of the various Game Boy consoles and their loose prices. Let’s face it, if you have a CIB, you’re not giving it up.
- Original Game Boy $48
- Black Game Boy Pocket $48
- Blue Game Boy Pocket $36
- Green Game Boy Pocket $47
- Silver Game Boy Pocket $36
- Clear Game Boy Pocket $70
- Ice Blue Game Boy Pocket $58
- Red Game Boy Pocket $31
- Yellow Game Boy Pocket $24
Each different console is a little different in price, but you can get one and gain access to a lot of great games for a rather low price (as far as retro consoles go).
Of course, I would always recommend checking used game stores and “buy and sell” places before buying a Game Boy console online. Still, if you do have one and you’re looking to sell, it’s not a bad time if you have the right one.
The takeaway here should be that Game Boy game prices are still going up, so it’s not a bad idea to make some purchases or sales, depending on your situation. Take a look at your collection and see if you’ve been sitting on a goldmine!