Still Underestimating Retro Worth? Power Up with 10 ’80s Consoles Valued More Than You’d Ever Guess

The 1980s was an era that witnessed the birth and meteoric rise of the video game industry. It was a time when pixelated heroes graced our television screens. A mere mention of iconic consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Atari 2600 still stirs the hearts of gamers.

But beyond the reminiscence, these 80s video game consoles are experiencing a resurgence, with some becoming treasured collector’s items. Let’s explore ten of the 1980s video game consoles worth more than you might think.

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

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The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), a true legend of the 80s gaming scene, defined a generation of gamers. Released in 1985, it became an icon known for its gray and black design. Classic games such as Super Mario Bros., Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda etched their mark in gaming history on this 8-bit wonder.

NES introduced the world to side-scrolling adventures. Collectors covet rare editions and cartridges, like “Stadium Events,” which can sell for thousands.

The NES Classic Edition, a modern tribute, revived interest in NES titles, showcasing its timeless appeal.

Atari 2600

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The Atari 2600, an 80s gaming pioneer, holds a special place in gaming history. Launched in 1977 but flourishing during the 80s, it transformed living rooms into gaming arcades. The iconic wood-paneled design became synonymous with gaming.

The Atari 2600 boasts a vast game library, including classics like “Pac-Man” and “Space Invaders.” Collectors eagerly seek out rare cartridges, such as “Air Raid,” worth substantial sums.

Its joystick and single-button controller are legendary in their simplicity. The console’s contribution to the gaming industry is undeniable, and its retro charm endures.

Sega Master System

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The Sega Master System, a contender in the 80s console wars, captured the hearts of many gamers. Though it didn’t dethrone the NES, it had a dedicated following.

Released in 1985, the Master System featured notable titles such as “Alex Kidd in Miracle World” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Its 3D glasses accessory was revolutionary, providing a glimpse into immersive gaming.

Collectors prize rare titles and complete, boxed systems, showcasing the console’s enduring appeal.

Nintendo Game Boy

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The Nintendo Game Boy, a handheld marvel of the 80s, forever changed the gaming landscape. In 1989, it introduced portable gaming to the masses with its iconic gray brick design and monochromatic screen.

The Game Boy was a breeding ground for classics like “Tetris” and “Pokémon Red/Blue.” It also saw a rainbow of limited-edition consoles and a wealth of diverse game cartridges.

Collectors now hunt for original Game Boys, especially rare variants and unopened game cartridges, as their value soars.

Sega Genesis

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The Sega Genesis, also called the Mega Drive in some regions, was a standout 80s console that shaped a gaming generation. Released in 1988, it was Sega’s answer to the NES.

The Genesis became synonymous with Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s iconic mascot. The console featured a sleek, black design and a remarkable library of games. Collectors keep an eye out for special edition consoles, like the Sonic bundle, which can fetch premium prices.

Atari 5200

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The Atari 5200, a lesser-known gem from the 80s gaming era, holds a unique appeal for collectors. Released in 1982 as a successor to the iconic Atari 2600, it boasted advanced graphics and a more ergonomic controller.

While the 5200 didn’t achieve the same level of popularity as its predecessor, it’s precisely its rarity that makes it appealing to collectors. Finding a complete and well-preserved system can be a rewarding challenge, with the console itself and specific game cartridges becoming valuable artifacts of gaming history.

TurboGrafx-16

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The TurboGrafx-16, often overlooked in the 80s console landscape, is a hidden treasure for retro gaming enthusiasts. Released in 1987, it offered an alternative to the NES and Sega Genesis.

Boasting titles like “Bonk’s Adventure” and “Splatterhouse,” the TurboGrafx-16 featured unique gameplay experiences. Its compact design and sleek TurboPad controller were ahead of their time.

For collectors, this console presents an opportunity to uncover underrated classics. Its relative obscurity adds to its appeal, with rare games and special editions gaining value.

Commodore 64

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The Commodore 64, while primarily a home computer, holds a prominent spot in the pantheon of 80s gaming. Launched in 1982, it boasted impressive graphical capabilities and a vast library of games.

Titles like “The Bard’s Tale” and “California Games” pushed the boundaries of gaming on a personal computer. The iconic beige keyboard and brown casing became synonymous with computing in that era.

For collectors, original C64 systems and boxed game copies are cherished finds. Pristine units and rare editions can fetch substantial prices, making the Commodore 64 not only a gaming treasure but also a symbol of the 80s computing revolution.

Neo Geo

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The Neo Geo, a legendary 80s console, was revered for its arcade-quality gaming experience. Released in 1990, it was the dream machine for hardcore gamers.

The Neo Geo’s library featured classics like “Metal Slug” and “The King of Fighters.” Its cartridges were larger than life, and its joystick controllers were robust and arcade-authentic.

Collectors today covet the console and its games—popular titles, especially in original packaging, command high prices.

Intellivision

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The Intellivision, introduced by Mattel Electronics in 1979 but flourishing during the 80s, holds a unique place in gaming history. This console featured innovative and ergonomic controllers with numeric keypad overlays for diverse gameplay.

Games like “BurgerTime” and “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” showcased its versatility. Enthusiasts loved Intellivision’s distinct design and library.

Collectors value special editions and sealed games, making it a sought-after piece for retro gaming enthusiasts.

Conclusion

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When collecting retro video game consoles, several factors influence their value. Condition is paramount, with well-preserved systems and games commanding higher prices.

Rarity is another critical factor; limited edition consoles, sealed games, and unique variants are often more sought after. The nostalgia-driven resurgence of 80s video game consoles is a testament to the enduring appeal of these iconic gaming artifacts.

So, whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting, keep your eyes peeled for these treasures from the past; they might be worth more than you ever imagined.

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