The Xbox brand has always been associated with green, but we don't think Microsoft had this kind of green in mind. The games on this list are the rarest of the rare; getting your hands on one will take a lot of moolah. However, all of them are also pieces of a generation that's long since ended, so perhaps the sentimental value will eliminate any buyer's remorse. Perhaps.
If you're lucky enough to already own one of these jewels, then you may want to think about the potential financial gain. The holidays are just around the corner, after all; nothing like a quick boost to the wallet to help buy your favorite person whatever he or she desires. Take a look and decide for yourself.
Crash of the Titans
Crash Bandicoot has it rough these days. After reaching near-official mascot levels of popularity on the original PlayStation, gamers all but forgot he existed during the subsequent console generations. Across the board, recent efforts starring the orange marsupial have crashed and burned--but somehow, the Xbox 360 version of this 2007 platformer managed to retain a shred of dignity through increased pricing. Maybe its the fact that you could hijack and ride on the backs of mighty beasts--or maybe its that, at the time, nobody thought to buy a 360 game starring a not-so-gracefully-aging platformer.
Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Unlike Crash, Spyro has seen great success as of late, with the Skylanders franchise a resounding hit amongst children and children-at-heart. But we have difficulty believing that demand alone could fuel the price increase of 2008s Dawn of the Dragon. A possible explanation for the inflated price would be the timing of its release: 2008 was also the year that publisher Sierra Entertainment shuttered, making this the last game they ever put out. Its too bad that the swan song for this legendary PC developer ended being an unexceptional platformer starring a PS1 hero.
Halo 3 Legendary Edition
Remember when everyone saw the Master Chief Mark VI helmet that came in this collector's edition and went bananas? Then you opened it up, realized that it would never fit on a human head, and threw it to the ground, cursing that it had no right to be a helmet. Despite being the source of so much bitter disappointment, this collector's edition is still worth a hefty sum. In addition to the faux headgear, you also get a fancy stand and a bonus DVD, with all the cinematics from the previous games linked into one mega-cutscene.
Dead Rising (Japanese Import)
Exxxxxxxxxcuse us? For a game that currently retails for $9.06 in the US, paying over $600 for an imported copy seems strange. Youd think the extravagant asking price would be caused by some scandalous content in the Japanese version, which was cut when the game made it to Western shores. But nope--the Japanese release is the one thats censored, with all traces of zombie limb dismemberment or decapitations being removed in this version. So unless we put a premium on censorship, what is it that makes this non-Platinum Edition version from overseas so freaking expensive? We honestly have no idea, and were not about to pay up to find out.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance Gold Edition
Normally a seven-year-old action game starring Marvel superheroes wouldn't be so valuable, but the Gold Edition of Marvel Ultimate Alliance holds a pretty valuable bonus: the game's only DLC characters are on-disc, and they have since been removed from the Xbox Live Marketplace due to licensing issues. If you haven't downloaded the characters already, this Gold Edition is the only way to do so. Now the $140 price tag makes sense. If you were a fan of the game and want to play through it again with new characters, perhaps the Gold Edition is worth some consideration.
Record of Agarest War Limited Edition
If you've ever wanted to make any of the female leads in this tactical JRPG into your new waifu, this collector's edition is probably your best bet. It starts with the packaging, which, straight-up, has two half-naked anime girls staring at you. Inside, you'll find the game, a pillowcase (not body pillow-sized, strangely) of heroine Ellis, the soundtrack, and a "Sensual 3D Vira-Lorr mouse pad." What does that mean? It means that every time youre at your computer, your wrist will be supported by soft, supple padding formed in the shape of Vira-Lorr's breasts. GamesRadar's own Henry Gilbert has one smack dab on his work desk, and swears it's the most comfortable mouse pad money can buy.
Mass Effect Limited Edition
Well, that's quite a pretty penny to be paying for a game that you can buy for a few measly dollars. At the ripe age of eight years old, this is still the most valuable Mass Effect limited edition out there, with the pitiable Mass Effect 3 collector's edition currently hovering just above the standard launch price. The original's limited edition came with a DVD full of behind-the-scenes featurettes, an art book, and a supplementary lore booklet that acted as a Galactic Codex handbook. At your discretion, please insert obligatory "Collectors" joke here.
BioShock Limited Edition
Somewhere, beyond the sea, an auctioneer stands in golden sands, gleeful at the exorbitant prices he or she can charge you for this 2007 rarity. By the time it came out, the BioShock hype train had built up full steam, and this limited edition gave collectors exactly what they wanted: a hefty, hand-finished Big Daddy figurine. Once you were done gawking at the resin behemoth, you could also enjoy a making-of DVD and a three-track, 1950s-meets-Moby-remixes EP. Make sure you do your research before you buy - there seem to be quite a few special edition BioShock bundles floating around, each with slightly different content. Alternatively, you could just buy one of the similarly pricey NECA toys and call it a day.
Tales of Vesperia: Special Edition
Curious what wonders await you in the Tales of Vesperia Special Edition, in exchange for your precious mountain of dollars? The game, its soundtrack, andthat's about it. This is about as sparse as collector's editions get--though admittedly, we're glossing over the steel case and the fact that there's art in the manual. But those aren't really things you can proudly flaunt to the world in a righteous display of fandom. Given that the standard 360 version goes for a mere $25, it's probably a wiser use of your money to join the plastic-cased, soundtrack-less lower class of Tales of Vesperia owners.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition
This is one of the most recognizable collector's editions out there, thanks in part to the pro bono modeling work done by rapper Ice-T. The Prestige Edition's headliner is a pair of fully functional night vision goggles, as well as a creepy plastic mannequin head to mount them on (dubbed "the collector's stand"). You'll also get the game in a steel case, an art book, and a download code for the very first Call of Duty, for some reason.
Assassin's Creed 2 Master Assassin Edition
Renaissance Italy receives a suitably opulent price tag. Another of the "golden age" of 360 pack-ins (alongside those night vision goggles), Ezio's celebratory box set includes an artbook, a behind the scenes DVD, the game's soundtrack, two in-game maps and, of course, a sculpture of Ezio. Unfortunately, 8.5 inch vinyl statuettes wouldn't quite have been a part of the 12th Century zeitgeist, so this is inauthentic at best.
Bayonetta Climax Edition
Do us a favor. Fly us to the moon and let us play among the stars, if that's not too much to ask. In typical Bayonetta fashion, this collector's edition goes straight for the innuendo, befitting of the potty-mouthed leading witch. The extras here are undoubtedly attractive: chief among them a replica of one of Bayonetta's Scarborough Fair pistols (even if the paintjob is reportedly subpar). The other pack-ins include an art book and the soundtrack, with a magical lock of jet black hair sadly omitted. Versions with the prop pistol were only available in Australia and New Zealand, essentially making them the collector's edition of a collector's edition.
Destiny Ghost Edition
How did this make it so far up the list? Not only is this the newest entry on the list, it's also from a format that was quickly and strategically forgotten about. And yet here it is, a gargantuan collection of gorgeous tat, stuffed into a recreation of one of the game's loot crates. So, what do you get? Deep breath: a SteelBook Case, a Ghost replica, a Letter of Introduction, Golden Age Relics, a Guardian Folio, an Arms and Armament Field Guide, Postcards from the Golden Age, an Antique Star Chart, plus Expansion Pass and Digital Content. Phew.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Slimer Edition
This is one of those dangerous outliers. Sealed copies of the standard edition of the Ghostbusters game go for as low as $10. And yet, for $430 more, this Amazon exclusive offers you a toy ECTO-1 keychain, a Slimer statue (modelled by Slimer's original artist, screams the blurb) and some puffy stickers. Get in.
Battlestations: Pacific (Japanese Import)
At first glance, this one seems almost inexplicably expensive. A middling multi-vehicle arcade game, Battlestations: Pacific never quite set the world on fire, and didn't receive cult status. So why would its standard Japanese edition command the price of decent television? I have a (wholly unsubstantiated theory) - I'm not sure how much WWII history you're au fait with, but the Pacific conflict is not one looked back favourably by the nation of Japan. The fact that this game recreates it, and half of its campaign centres on the Japanese side, might have led to, let's say, scanty distribution in the country. And what's the final step of rarity? PROFIT. So here we are.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Japanese Premium Package
Now this Japan-only item makes a bit more sense. With an accessory-laden Big Boss action figure, a Peace Walker novelisation (which would subsequently become very useful when everyone had forgotten what happened earlier in the timeline when playing The Phantom Pain) and a fetching cardboard box underneath that shiny slip cover, it's a sweet little set. That said, the old (incorrect) cries of "$30 for 15 minutes of game?!" do gain some legitimacy when it's more than 10 times the price.
Band Hero Super Bundle
A lot of people didn't like Band Hero, but that hasn't stopped the price of its fully-stocked box bundle skyrocketing since release. All mod-cons but no frills, this gets you the game and one each of its instrument peripherals. That's it. Reports that the high price is entirely down to the incredible success of featured, playable artist Taylor Swift are unconfirmed. But probably correct.
The Beatles: Rock Band Limited Edition Premium Bundle
Like its poppy stablemate, this Beatles-themed bundle continues to accrue value. It's all in the branding: instead of the plain old plastic guitar, you get a Hfner bass modeled after the one famously used by Sir Paul McCartney, plus drums emblazoned with The Beatles logo on a fake kick drum. You also get a microphone (plus a stand) to facilitate vocal harmonies, plus some DLC. Hey, if you will idolise the band who wrote 'Money (That's What I Want)', expect to be scalped.
Fallout 3 Limited Edition
In your face, GameStop! Amazon gut-punched all those brick-and-mortar game stores with this exclusive bundle for Bethesda's apocalyptic open-world RPG. And, as collector's editions go, this was probably one of the most generous. Besides the game disc, you got an art booklet, a making-of DVD, a classy lunchbox to store your rations, and a bobblehead of Fallout's de facto mascot, Vault Boy. But the piece de resistance was a life-size Pip-Boy 3000, the arm-mounted computer that acts as your savior through much of the game. Only, in the pre-Fallout 4 era, it was a boring old alarm clock that won't fit comfortably on your arm. Dang.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Collector's Edition
The Kingdoms of Amalur Collector's Edition has two things going for it: first, only 700 were made total across all platforms, so owning it will put you in a specific club, and second there will never be a reprint or a reissue of this due to the total collapse of 38 Studios. We're not sure the original game will ever be re-released at all let alone this Collector's Edition, complete with tree-swinging troll. If you're one of the few who loved Amalur, want to remember it fondly, and you have a hillock of disposable money you won't miss, check this out.
Dead Space Ultra Limited Edition
For that kind of money, you'd expect a life-sized Necromorph statue to come with this Ultra Limited Edition II Turbo. But, given the box-set-sized package, you might be in for a disappointment. If you've always wanted a full view of Isaac Clarke's severed hand without all the clutter, this is the version of the original Dead Space for you. Packed in with the sci-fi survival horror game are a 160-page graphic novel, the Downfall animated movie on DVD, two signed lithographs, an art book, and a USG Ishimura patch that you can stitch onto your ratty laptop bag. With only 1,000 made, it's no wonder they'll cost you an arm and a limb - nor why used copies seem pretty much impossible to find.
Making that paper!
Own one of these gems? Let us know in the comments below and revel in your valued asset. Want to own one of them? Talk to whoever posts in the comments, perhaps a deal can be struck. Good luck!