Armored Core 6 has a whole new generation of FromSoftware fans eager to become mech aficionados, and judging by the prices old entries in the series are now commanding on eBay, it seems they're going to retro games to get their fix.
Take the original Armored Core on PS1 for example. This game had been a bit pricey for years, commanding sales around the $80 mark as of late 2022. After the new entry in the series was revealed in December, those prices skyrocketed, and by January reached a staggering average of over $220. Prices have settled down a bit - you can probably grab a copy for 'only' $130 at this point - but it's clear that the AC6 hype is real.
what the fuck happened to the physical price of armored core games lmao, I am not after a physical copy of any of these anyway but this is so insane to me pic.twitter.com/EyE95B5rc0May 5, 2023
The effects of increased demand are even more apparent on the more common games. Where a copy of Armored Core 3 on PS2 once cost $25, you can now expect to pay closer to $75. Where Armored Core 4 on Xbox 360 once cost around $12, the average is now over $35. As with the original Armored Core, each of these games had an even bigger spike in January to about 400% of their pre-AC6 prices, and have since settled down to around 300% of the old prices.
I've been trying to think of a similar case of a new series entry so clearly and dramatically raising the prices of its retro counterparts, and even as I browse PriceCharting for old Zelda, Resident Evil 4, and Dead Space listings it's looking like nothing quite matches what we're seeing with Armored Core. The one other example I've come up with is King's Field, which had a big price spike as Elden Ring fever took hold. FromSoftware fans are clearly a different breed.
If you're looking to play old Armored Core games without resorting to piracy, shelling out for retro hardware and software is pretty much your only option. You can grab AC1 for $6 digitally on the PS3, but that's a retro console in itself at this point. Similarly, some PSP ports of other AC games are available on Vita.
If you do decide to revisit the old games, just remember: you don't actually have to use the Armored Core controller grip.
There are plenty of sequels among the new games for 2023 if you want an excuse to build out your retro collection.