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Super Mario 64 cartridge breaks the record for most expensive game ever

Super Mario 64
(Image credit: Nintendo)

A copy of Super Mario 64 has sold at auction for a record-breaking $1.5 million.

As spotted by Kotaku, the sealed copy of the N64 classic sold via Heritage Auctions yesterday for $1,560,000. That makes it the most expensive video game ever sold at auction, beating the record set earlier this month by an original copy of The Legend of Zelda which was listed for $110,000 eventually sold for almost eight times that at $870,000.

That price might seem blisteringly high, but there's a reason this copy has broken records. Super Mario 64's cultural significance is a major factor, of course, but there are a number of other details to consider. The Wata Scale, established by video game collectors to help grade the quality of their titles, gave this particular edition of the game a score of 9.8 out of 10, as well as an A++ seal rating that states it's in just as good a condition today as the day it left the factory back in 1996.

Altogether, Heritage Auctions says that this makes the listing one of the best in the world. The sellers describe the offering as "the highest-graded copy of the single best-selling video game on the Nintendo 64." Kotaku reports that this is one of fewer than five sealed copies of the game known to be in such good condition, which means that it's probably not worth trying to dig out your old N64 collection to make a quick buck.

Video games are becoming increasingly valuable collectors' items, and this new record might not stand for long as a result. The Legend of Zelda listing mentioned above held the title for just a few days after it sold on July 7, but the previous record has only stood since April, when a copy of the original Super Mario Bros went for $660,000. Before that, a copy of Super Mario Bros 3, selling for $156,000 back in November 2020, held the title. Given the speed at which new records have been set in recent months, it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, manages to dethrone Super Mario 64.

Want to kickstart your future Nintendo collection? Here are the best Switch games you can play right now.

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.