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This Game Sale Could Be History In The Making

Gaming collectors are known to spend a pretty penny on rare finds, and this near-perfect condition Super Mario Bros. game could become the most expensive gaming collectible ever sold, according to expert Chris Kohler. On March 25, 2021, Kohler tweeted about a sealed Super Mario Bros. NES game that is currently listed on Heritage Auctions. The item sits at $310,000 with about a week to go before the auction ends, and could potentially surpass the price paid for an original Nintendo PlayStation prototype, which sold for $360,000. If that happens, this copy of Super Mario Bros. could, as Kohler put it, become "the highest-priced collectible game ever sold."

This wouldn't be the first time Super Mario Bros. shattered records, either. In mid-2020, a copy of the game sold for $114,000, which beat the previous best-selling game that was also Super Mario Bros.

Why could this latest copy of the game sell at such a higher price? At first glance, this game and the one sold last year look almost identical. They both feature the iconic cardboard tab that's become the mark of a vintage game, and they both have a WATA seal rating of A+ – the second-highest seal rating WATA Games hands out. Two differences in the listings are the WATA grades and the editions of the games.

While the seal ratings for the two games are the same, the most recent listing was given a 9.6 WATA grade compared to the previous game's 9.4 WATA grade. While a 0.2 difference in grading doesn't sound like a lot, it serves to make the most recent copy of Super Mario Bros. better than the last one sold. Additionally, it appears to make the most recent listing the highest graded Super Mario Bros. ever put up for auction. 

The edition of the game also comes into play. The 9.6 graded version of the game released within six months of the NES launch, evidenced by the lack of a NES-GP code. So not only is this version of Super Mario Bros. the most well-preserved out of all seen so far, it's also older than the copy sold in 2020. That's the kind of thing collectors care a lot about, and the bidding prices show that.

As mentioned, there are roughly seven days left before the auction comes to a close. While this copy of Super Mario Bros. hasn't surpassed the PlayStation prototype yet, there's a good chance it's already worth more than your car.