This article got a little bit out of hand. Besides the length of the list itself, I also have a lot of opinions on the current state of retro collecting. To skip all my nonsense and go straight to the content, use the table of contents here.
Also, if you are thinking of buying any of these, please consider using the affiliate links at the end of each entry. Every purchase earns me a tiny commission and helps keep this site alive. Thank you!
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|SNES Games Under $20|
|SNES Games Between $20 and $30|
|SNES Games Over $30 (But Not Too Much!)|
If you found this article because you’re new to retro game collecting and trying to start a collection, then welcome!
…and I’m sorry.
I wrote the original edition of this list (The 52 Best SNES Games that are Still Cheap) back in the Spring of 2020 with the intention of helping make retro game collecting possible for everyone on any budget. Of course, back then I was still hoping COVID would run its course in time for my summer plans. Clearly that didn’t pan out.
And since that time, retro game prices have gone completely bonkers.
It was kind of heartbreaking to write this updated article. I had to move 10 of the games off the Under $20 list. (That’s about 20% of the entire list, you know.) And a few games had to be crossed out entirely as they no longer have any business being on a “Cheap Games” list.
But even before the current market crisis, Super NES game prices seemed significantly higher than other retro consoles. This despite Nintendo having sold a very impressive number of consoles with an extensive library. (SNES games list on Wikipedia.) In other words, most of these games are not rare or hard to find.
Why are SNES Games so Expensive?
Before the pandemic, SNES prices were already high. Part of the reason may be that so many of the best SNES games were JRPGs. And in the 90s in the United States, JRPGs hadn’t quite come into the popularity they would reach in the next console generation.
Games like Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III and Secret of Mana were pretty popular in the US, but nowhere near as much as platformers and action/adventure games. So fewer RPGs were made and distributed to the US.
As 90s gamers have matured, there’s been a renewed appreciation for those high-quality RPGs. The limited supply and increasing demand has put the hurts on pricing. Today, some of the most expensive SNES games are the RPGs that came out late in the 16-bit era and sold poorly.
And of course, when the most sought-after games on a console are the most expensive, it drives up the average price of the games and affects the entire market.
So if you’re wondering why there are so few RPGs on this list… that’s why. They are simply, on average, more expensive than other SNES games. There are still a few good, cheap SNES RPGs, though. And you’ll find several on this list. But who knows how long the current pricing will last?
Is it worth buying SNES games in 2022?
If you’re nostalgic for the 16-bit era, then yes! Even with prices continuing to climb, there are still plenty of affordable SNES games to start or grow your collection.
Of course, emulation is an attractive alternative to buying retro games, especially with prices continuing to climb. But there’s something special about owning a physical game! And I don’t care what anyone says; emulation will never feel quite as good as original hardware.
Besides, building a retro game collection is immensely satisfying in its own right. Half of the fun of building a collection (probably more than half) is hunting down good deals, sniping eBay auctions, uncovering hidden troves of classic games at your local thrift… Retro collectors thrive on this kind of stuff.
How much are SNES games worth in 2022?
The cheapest Super Nintendo games are under $10, while the most valuable ones can cost upward to $1,000 for a loose cartridge. There are a handful of Mythic Rare variants (The Nintendo Powerfest 1994 cartridge is listed at $17,500), but the median price for SNES games is reported to be around $17. (Pricecharting.com)
I’ll just make a few more points about the pricing crisis and then we can start the list. If you’re still with me, thanks for sticking around. I promise I’ll shut up soon.
SNES games started out expensive, but over the last 2 years, prices for all retro games have exploded. There are several reasons for that, and I’ll briefly (promise!) cover a few of them.
COVID, Heritage Auctions and the much-reviled Wata Games have each taken a heavy toll on the games market, and I’ve written plenty about their manipulations.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll stay off my soapbox. But if you want to know the whole conspiracy, you should definitely check it out. I’ll drop a few links here for further reading.
Yes, it is much harder to start a retro collection in 2022 than it was in 2017, but it’s still possible! You’ll see there are still quite a few SNES games that are fun and affordable.
Read on to learn all about the best SNES games that are still cheap in 2022, pandemic be damned!