There’s no denying the world’s favorite red and blue plumber is worth a lot but a recent auction showed just how much. Nintendo’s Super Mario is an iconic character, to say the least, and has been around for a couple of generations. In an auction held in Dallas, a pristine copy, packaging and all, of the classic Super Mario 64 game was sold for an astounding $1.56 million.
Valarie McLeckie, Heritage Auctions’ video game specialist, says that even she was “a bit blindsided.”
“Mario has become such a cornerstone in our collective global culture,” McLeckie says. “He’s basically the Mickey Mouse of video games.”
More than the game itself, it was the condition of the cartridge and its packaging that’s responsible for its high value. McLeckie says that both the box and its sealed condition should be as perfect as the day it came out to receive this value. And the sold item was exactly that.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t Nintendo’s first high-value classic game. Before being sold for more than a million dollars, the record for the most expensive game sold was for a 1987 copy of Legend of Zelda that sold for $870,00. It was sold two days before this Super Mario 64 game cartridge sold for over a million dollars.
Apart from being in mint condition, what helped increase its value beyond titles like Legend of Zelda is the standing of Super Mario 64 in video game history. To that effect, it was the first Mario game that was made in 3D. This version of the game was no longer a sidescroller like the ones before it and instead allowed players to immerse themselves in a bigger environment, effectively cementing it as an iconic game.