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The Rarest Nintendo DS Game Probably Isn't What You Expect

Not only is the Nintendo DS the handheld console that stands above the rest, but it's also Nintendo's best-selling console of all time. The dual-screened device was unlike anything else at launch, serving as Nintendo's cash cow for quite awhile before the 3DS and Nintendo Switch entered the scene.

According to Nintendo Life's extensive list of DS titles, well over 1,000 entries released for the console. With all of those options, it's natural to wonder about the rarest DS game years after the debut of the system. One way to determine the rarest DS offering is to look at resale costs. By determining the most expensive games on the market – specifically, those that cost a lot for an average (not mint) copy – you can get a good idea of what releases are the hardest to get a hold of. Based on this, the rarest Nintendo DS game may not be what you expect.

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter isn't easy to find

According to PriceCharting.com, the North American version of "Solatorobo: Red the Hunter" is the most expensive regular DS game. The action RPG did fairly well with critics, making it a bit of mystery as to why there aren't many cartridges floating around. Loose copies (no case) typically sell for around $150-$250, while complete in box (CIB) copies have gone for a range of $160-$700.

The scarcity of "Solatorobo: Red the Hunter" seems to have taken many by surprise. A decade ago, fans on a GameFAQs forum debated whether it would be rare or not, with many leaning towards the latter. Some theorized that the entry wouldn't be hard to come by in the future because they had faith that publisher Xseed would produce several runs of it. In contrast, others felt that there wouldn't be many copies available since it released right at the end of the life cycle of the DS. 

Despite predictions, "Solatorobo" has come to cost a pretty penny. According to theories from Reddit user Shonumi, this could be attributed to many factors, such as a lack of copies sold and the fact that the US version features all of the DLC. Additionally, the game serves a successor of sorts to PlayStation 1 cult classic "Tail Concerto," possibly contributing further to the high cost.