Beating the COVID price bump

So we all know the last few months have seen skyrocketing game prices. The best-of GameCube games are at levels I never expected to see them, some DS games have gone bananas, and beyond that it seems like an across the board jump in prices. Whether it’s a bubble or the new reality, I don’t know but it’s what we’re living today.

Have you found any clever ways around the price fever?

I wanted to share a couple that I have.

NES games

Yeah. NES. The platform that went nuts ages ago.

Guess what? Compared to the GameCube right now, NES games look cheap! I know, I know you looked up Little Samson and Gimmick and you’re nope-ing away. Well look further.

Games on NES peaked around 2016 with the release of the NES classic mini & Analogue NT mini. Since then, most stuff has plateaued and aren’t generally going up in price any more. Where on GC the top 10 games are all crazy expensive you could put together a set of all time best NES games for reasonable money.

Reasonable money. It’s not usually cheap, it’s not the days of $1 a cart finds at yard sales, but it seems like most NES collectors have already filled out their library, and there’s still a lot of not expensive games you can pick up, genuinely some of the best games of all time. Just avoid those mid-90s low print run games.

PC CD-ROM, jewel case only

Not the platform for everyone, I get that. But if you’re looking for one where you can find new-old stock best-of games for $5 to $20, used great condition stuff for a song, this is it.

I’ll stress, jewel case only. The PC collectors want BIG box games – those tend to cost a premium. But stick to games that have been taken out of their boxes, or print runs that never had a big box, and there’s a ton of good options for low priced fun. I got those GTA and Myst series games above, ones that were reprinted for a long time, new for very cheap.

Please share some more ideas!

I want to keep buying games and seeing million sellers like Pokemon Black 2 going for $150 Canadian is just sad!


But I want the huge boxes :frowning:


The best way to beat it is to join it. I’ve been selling stuff I don’t plan on keeping in my collection or replaying. I flipped SMTIV recently for easy money on eBay. Especially as a Canadian myself it helps even more. Typically the market here is driven by US prices because the US has more game sales done that are visible here. Our dollar is weaker than ever so it helps a bit more to flip stuff you don’t need now cause you get a bit more off the conversion


I’ve still managed to find Wii games for reasonable prices. Picked up ghost squad and Trauma Center for less than $10 each this week. The few notable RPGs are crazy expensive though.

I’ve also been picking up PS2 games. Still plenty of deals to be found, but I’m more snatching them up now because the prices are climbing.


I’ve found there are still really good deals out there. You just have to be patient, and keep looking. So far I’ve managed to get DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou for about 1/3 its usual rate, and have a copy of Salamander Collection for PSP coming to me that I snagged for like 60 bucks.

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Yeah I’m still getting some good deals. Re-grabbing some third party Gamecube games I ditched ages ago because they were PAL, now that I can rip and force all PAL games to 480p (shortsighted decisions…).

I just have a billion saves searched on ebay, always something to grab! Also got into some other collecting (VHS, vintage computing) so plenty to spend my meagre allowances on!

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Been thinking about selling some of my less-favored stuff as well and rolling that money into a few games I would like own more.

Agree about NES games. They have plateaued and stayed more steady than others. I decided recently I wanted to start DS collecting but it looks like I’m a bit late to that party … I’m floored. Have to wonder if the pandemic economy reveals its true self and the US govt still does not extend the generous benefits we say earlier, if people will start to sell. I’m convinced a lot of nerds have used their checks to buy fun stuff. I keep saying it can’t last, but we keep seeing prices stay steady or even increase. I was just looking at my GameValueNow estimates again last night and while I wish I would have bought SO MANY more NES games (my main collecting focus) back when I started on eBay in the mid-2000s, I am thankful I got what I did, when I did.

Anyway, back on topic - people who pay top dollar are picky, so look for scuffed labels. If you’re into NES, you can find cars with really messed up rear enclosures and just swap them out from a much cheaper cart.

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DS is hit or miss. There are some games that are just beyond purchasing, realistically, but there were new print runs done of DS games as late as 2017. Full list has a lot of the shovelware so I selected just RPGs here, but VideoGamesPlus still has a good number of DS games brand new for $40 CAD, which is how I filled out most of my DS library a couple years ago.

Speaking of handhelds, PSP’s still cheap. :sunglasses: Even with a price bump they were starting at nearly worthless, except for genuinely rare physical games.


Had an itch to start playing the SMT games so I started over on SMT4 which I originally only got a couple hours into. This was before I started buying carts so I got it in an eShop sale.

Annoyed with myself now because I thought I’d obtained physical copies of all the other SMT games on 3DS in 2019 but I forgot about two: Devil Survivor Overclocked and Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. These were $20-25 CIB games last year. Now they’re five to seven times that amount. If their prices don’t come back down I’ll just get them on the next eShop sale for $10. I wanted physical copies but can’t justify paying what they’re going for now.

In the meantime I picked up $20 reprints of the games on PS2: Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2, Persona 3 FES. I ruled out P4 because I have P4G on Vita and for big screen I’d rather get the new PC port. And I’m on the fence about SM3 Nocturne because of the Switch remaster coming out next spring.

For DS, GameCube and Wii, fortunately already got pretty much everything I wanted on those systems a few years back. My physical libraries for these would have been much smaller if I had to put up with the current insane prices.

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I looked at GameValueNow and my collection has gone up by one-third in the last year.

Dang it. The Devil Survivor ports/remasters on 3ds are 2 games I was missing for the system. Lets see, other then them all I wanted to pick up still were some Professor Layton games, some Kirby games, Cave Story 3d, and get my own full copy of Kid Icarus. Time to see how dumb I was for waiting.

I got some 3DS games in 2018-2019 but I kind of avoided going too deep into the library because I dislike the flimsy cases and lack of manuals. Those reasons plus the existence of the eshop led me to always believe 3DS prices would never get to DS levels. Yet here we are :neutral_face:

The Devil Survivor games on DS are still reasonably priced, though I know you’d miss out on some extras.

I couldn’t get into Prof Layton or Etrian Odyssey on DS so I haven’t bothered looking into the sequels on DS and 3DS.

3DS cases are so flimsy, they feel worse than late budget PS2 game cases.

Atlas was very good about reprinting PS2 and DS games so with any luck they may do another run of the increasingly expensive 3DS titles.

Did they do something similar to the European DS games where different regions got different cases? I don’t have any North American 3DS games, but I noticed the Japanese cases have a thinner profile than my European ones. But otherwise have the same plastics.

PAL Wii and DS cases never got those massive cut-outs behind the manual side toward the end of the generation, and Wii U games never had it either.

I forgot about the DS reprints that happened before the game card factory closed! Radiant Historia and Etrian Odyssey III fell in value after then, I picked up Etrian Odyssey III and it must have been late print since the case had the holes in it. Which is reminiscent of those late PS2 games where they cheaped out on plastic quality while simultaneously removing the memory card slot.

I’m curious as to what will happen when 3DS game card manufacturing ceases, I think like with DS games European copies of games that were hard to find won’t be reprinted. NIS America and Deep Silver published Atlus games over here under license, and those licenses will expire soon it seems.

I’m so happy I bought all of the Shin Megami Tensei 3DS games around the time they were released over here.

I never noticed the flimsy 3DS cases, but I don’t own US games. Besides my PAL copies I do own two Japanese games (Puyo Puyo Tetris, EX Troopers!) and I never noticed those cases being more flimsy either.