Many of the great classic games, we played on the great classic consoles of the time. Looking back, we may have forgotten that some of our favorite releases actually made it onto other platforms – at the time of their release, or as a more recent port/remaster.
So here are five expensive games and game series that actually have more affordable ports.
Mega Man series (1 – 3) - NES
The first three Mega Man games originally came out on NES, with loose copies currently going around for 30-70 USD (let’s not bring up the CIB prices). Funny story: the first three Mega Man games made it on a compilation cartridge known as Mega Man: The Wily Wars, and was released for Sega Mega Drive (Genesis for Americans) in Japan and Europe. It was never released in the US, up until a few months ago.
Retro-Bit received a license from Capcom to re-release Mega Man: The Wily Wars for both Sega Mega Drive and Genesis as a special collector’s edition. It can be purchased at local retailers, with prices ranging between 50-70 USD. So, for the price of a single NES Mega Man game, you can get a collector’s edition containing the first three games.
You’ll have to be quick, as only 20,000 copies have been produced.
If I was handing out the awards, I’d award ‘Most Overpriced Game Series’ to the Castlevania series (300 USD for Super Castlevania IV, what!?). Luckily, a compilation containing eight of the series’ classics came out in 2019 for both Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC. Castlevania Anniversary Collection might not fully provide that ‘retro experience’ you were hoping for, but I’d say it’s a pretty sweet deal if you want to play the classics without reaching for ROMs.
You can get the anniversary collection for a retail price ranging between 50-70 USD, with Steam selling the game for as cheap as 4 USD.
Tales of Destiny II (aka Tales of Eternia)
A complete in box version of this PS1 classic can barely be found for under 250 USD (yikes!). Tales of Destiny II (called Tales of Eternia in Japan and Europe), originally launched in 2001 for PS1, and was later re-released on PSP. The PSP version, however, can be found floating around eBay for a mere 20 USD. Wait, what? Yep. 20 USD. Have fun!
Chrono Trigger - SNES
If you ask folks about their favorite RPGs, you’re likely to find Chrono Trigger listed in their top five, yours truly included.
To familiarize PlayStation owners with the Chrono series, pending the release of Chrono Cross, Square released a compilation for PS1 called Final Fantasy Chronicles, which contained both Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger. The PS1 version came with bonus content and anime scenes that were not in the original SNES release.
Surprisingly, thirteen years after its original release date, Chrono Trigger received another port; this time for Nintendo DS, including the PS1 improvements and a revamped user interface to support the DS’s dual screen. Various digital ports, including PC, iOS and Android, came out in the following years.
You’re not going to be very lucky pricewise if you’re looking for the original SNES release (unless you can read Japanese). A CIB version of the DS release, unfortunately, also sells at a steep price, with listings starting at a 100 USD – which I suspect is a response to the original SNES version being as expensive as it is.
PS1’s Final Fantasy Chronicles version, however, can be purchased for a very reasonable 25 USD. If you don’t mind the disc sharing space with Final Fantasy IV, I’d reckon you’re getting pretty close to the retro gaming experience with this one.
Mighty Final Fight - NES
Mighty Final Fight for NES is a spin-off of the Final Fight series, and also one of the rarest and most expensive games available to the system. With a whopping 300 USD for loose cartridges and a 1000 USD if you want a complete in box version.
Legend has it, however, that Mighty Final Fight is part of a 3-game compilation release for Game Boy Advance known as the Capcom Classics Mini Mix, with CIB prices starting at 40 USD.
For collectors, buying a compilation release might be too much of a sacrifice, but for anyone who wants to just own a physical release, any physical release, this is a great opportunity to own and play a really rare and otherwise expensive game.