An unopened copy of Super Mario 64 sold for $US1.56 ($2) million on Sunday, breaking the world record for most expensive video game auction, according to Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. The previous record was held by The Legend of Zelda, when an unopened copy of the game for the original Nintendo sold for $US870,000 ($1,162,320) last Friday.
Super Mario 64 was released in 1996 for the Nintendo 64 game console, which was an enormous hit in the mid-90s. The game was billed as the first appearance of Mario in 3D, a huge deal at the time, as any millennial can probably tell you.
“It seems impossible to overstate the importance of this title, not only to the history of Mario and Nintendo, but to video games as a whole,” Heritage Auctions Video Games Specialist Valarie McLeckie said in a statement promoting the auction.
“This is Mario’s debut appearance in a 3D world, and it was the most popular — best-selling — video game for the N64,” McLeckie continued. “Considering this, and the fact that there are fewer than five sealed in this grade according to Wata, this copy is a true prize for any serious collector.”
Before last Friday’s record for a copy of The Legend of Zelda, the world record for most expensive video game was for an unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. for the original Nintendo gaming system. That copy sold for $US660,000 ($881,760) after it had been sitting in a desk drawer completely forgotten since 1986.
It’s unknown who purchased the vintage Super Mario 64 cartridge and Heritage Auctions hasn’t disclosed the identity of the seller.
If you want to relive the experience of playing Super Mario 64, or if you’ve never played it before and want a peak, there’s a complete gameplay video on YouTube.
Heritage Auctions doesn’t have another video game auction anytime soon, but there is a trading card auction on July 24-25 if that’s your cup of tea. Or, if you’re into worthless nonsense, Heritage has also gotten into the world of non-fungible tokens or NFTs, the digital equivalent of selling magic beans to the most gullible people alive.
But if you’ve got the money to spare, who are we to judge? Well, we’re going to judge a little. NFTs are dumb as hell. But if you can make money selling air to people with too much money lying around, go for it.