A copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES has recently sold for $100,150, making it (probably) the most expensive video game in history.
It far surpasses the $30k Super Mario Bros. that sold in 2017, absolutely shattering that record. What's the difference? The $100k Mario was a first-run game that was not, unlike its successors, shrink-wrapped in plastic. Instead, it was sealed with a black foil sticker bearing the Nintendo logo. These stickered games were only sold during the NES's initial American launch in 1985 and 1986.
The cartridge in question is the only known game that is still sealed with that sticker. It is also in nearly mint condition, making it a holy grail of video game collecting.
Three different buyers split the cost. It was purchased by Zac Gieg, game store owner, Rich Lecce, coin dealer and Jim Halperin, founder of Heritage Auctions. The game was authenticated by a group called Wata.
The seller, who remains anonymous, was reluctant to part with the game for less than $100k, though many people made him offers.
As exorbitant a price as it is, it might not be a dumb investment. Collectible video games are only increasing in value with time.