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These 40 NES games cost an American dentist over $1 million

(Image credit: Evan Amos)

An American dentist has spent $1.02 million (that's £788,000 for those of us on this side of the pond) on nearly 40 sealed and/or first-edition games retro video games in what's thought to be one of the most expensive video game hauls ever.

Though Eric Naierman used to collect baseball cards, he told The Washington Post (thanks, Kotaku) that "it took far too much money [...] to buy a single card and therefore switched to collecting "the titles he and friends grew up playing" with the intention of making "one of the best [collections] in the world".

Making the purchase with the help of a group called the Video Game Club, Naierman secured a number of highly rare "sticker-sealed, black-box copies" of Nintendo Entertainment System games, including Mario Bros. Arcade Classics Series, the only two known copies of Golf, the only known copy of Balloon Fight, and the only known copy of Gumshoe. All the games are factory sealed, and most are first-edition releases.

The Post didn't expand on who was selling the games nor why they'd decided to part with their incredibly rare treasures now, but it's thought the games came via three collectors who, combined, had been curating their wares for 52 years. “Some experts consider it to be one of the foremost collections in the world, both in terms of overall value and rarity," the Post added.

“Judging from everything I’ve seen in collecting over the years, there’s no reason that this shouldn’t develop into a hobby like baseball cards or comic books,” Naierman said. “I mean, comic books, you tell me what they have that a video game doesn’t. They have the box art. They have the same nostalgia. If comic books can sell for $1 million, there’s no reason a video game shouldn’t be able to do the same.”

“These are some of the holy grails and cream of the crop in terms of having this historic value,” added Deniz Kahn, president and chief executive of vintage game evaluator, Wata Games.

They might not cost you $1 million, but we think some Nintendo Switch experiences are priceless: check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch games here.

Vikki Blake
Part of GR+'s news crew, Vikki is a (jumpy) survival horror survivalist with a penchant for sci-fi, shooters, thrillers, and a strong cup of Yorkshire tea. A committed Guardian and Spartan, she's terrible at FPSs, but loves 'em all the same.