A mint condition original copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES has sold for a whopping $100,150 at an auction, making it one of the most expensive games ever sold.
According to Heritage Auctions (which ran the auction), the NES game “set a world record for a graded game,” so it may not be the outright most expensive ever — just the most expensive copy that’s had its condition professionally graded and certified. That outsized price tag also is the reason that the copy was bought by a group of collectors, who’ll share ownership of the game.
Almost as interesting as the price is the actual game, though, which looks practically preserved in amber from when it was released in 1985. The particularly copy is a notably rare one from Nintendo’s early test launch of the NES in New York and Los Angeles, which combined with its nearly flawless condition is what made it so valuable. (Sadly, those two factors also mean that your own NES copy of Super Mario Bros. likely isn’t a hidden gold mine.)
It’s not the first time an NES game has sold for this much cash — back in 2014, a copy of the ultra-rare Nintendo World Championships cartridge sold for $100,088 on eBay — but the Super Mario Bros. copy is all the more impressive for how such a commonplace game can be so valuable when the right factors align.