It’s been five years since I last wrote about my NES collection. That’s a long time when considering how prices of games for this classic console still haven’t peaked and continue to be as collectible as they ever were. I was shocked at the price differences in my collection from when I last checked them back in 2016 to my latest review in 2021. This difference was particularly noticeable when looking at the spike in value for both complete in box games and the iconic Black Box titles that I talked about a couple of years ago here and here.
The Black Box titles were my collecting focus for several years, and I completed this sub-set with a CIB purchase of Stack Up back in November of 2019. This game was the final piece of the puzzle; all were added to my collection with boxes and manuals except for Donkey Kong Jr. Math, for which I only have the cartridge. After completing this sub-set, I lost a bit of my drive to continue to pay high prices for subsequent NES titles, and I haven’t bought a NES game in over two years.
Additional game pick-ups between 2017-2019 were Gauntlet, Cobra Triangle, Wrestlemania, Pac-Man, Galaga, Burger Time, Journey to Silius, Kid Nikki, Shatterhand, Clash at Demonhead, Rad Racer 2, Adventures of Lolo, Ring King, Golgo 13, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project & Strider. In 2018, I also focused on completing some key non-Black Box titles that I either considered classics or had particular meaning to me. These are games that I’ve owned loose carts of for many years, but I decided I didn’t want to wait to buy boxes and manuals, knowing how the value of these would continue to increase. I managed to find boxes and manuals for the silver-labeled version of Metroid, Whomp ‘Em, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Super Mario Bros 3, Rad Racer, Kid Icarus, and Mega Man 6. The value of these has already gone up almost 50% in the four years since I’ve bought them. It sounds like my intuition was correct.
Another key addition to my collection in 2018 was an in-box Deluxe Set with the zapper and, more importantly, a complete R.O.B. I highlighted R.O.B. as the missing piece, the holy grail, if you will, of my collection back in 2016. It’s still a pretty useless piece of nostalgia, but I like keeping him in my bookcase/retro T.V. stand anyway.
With 176 games in my NES library, finding the ones I want to play is not always easy. I guess you could call it analysis paralysis to some extent. A while back, I selected a few games I wanted to spend more time with whenever I’d get back to playing my NES. Those games were River City Ransom, Mega Man 3, and Ninja Gaiden 2. I spent some time with all of them, and I’m in the process of working on completing Mega Man 3 – the goal is to beat it before the end of the year, so I can finally say I’ve completed two Mega Man games (I beat Mega Man 2 back in the day, probably sometime in 1990).
I still haven’t pulled the trigger to buy any games for my NES. There are plenty of titles I’d love to add to my collection – games such as Ninja Gaiden 3, Dragon Warrior 3 and 4, Bucky O’Hare, Vice Project Doom, and Metal Storm. All of these games demand a high price, so I’m in no rush. I have plenty of other NES titles to spend some quality holiday time with.