Sealed, mint copies of games continue to top each other’s price at auctions, but this one might just take the cake. A copy of Super Mario 64 with a near-perfect Wata score sold at auction over the weekend for the eye-watering sum of $1.56 million.
The Heritage Auction page says of the game: “Well — we’re a bit speechless on this one. What can we even say that would do this copy the justice it deserves? The cultural significance of this title and its importance to the history of video games is paramount, and the condition of this copy is just so breathtaking that we’re really at a loss here. If you have had your heart set on obtaining the highest-graded copy of the single best-selling video game on the Nintendo 64 — the first 3D adventure of Nintendo’s mascot, Mario — we only have one piece of advice: this is not an opportunity to waste.”
A Wata score comes from Wata Games, and it’s a rating of how pristine a retro game is, which of course helps determine its value (as Mario 64 isn’t a particularly rare game, that’s not the source of its value in this case). With the highest possible Wata score being 10, this copy of Mario 64’s score is 9.8. For reference, the sealed copy of Legend of Zelda, the second most expensive game of all time, which sold only a few days before Mario 64 for $870,000, had a Wata score of 9.0. It also received a seal quality rating of A++, meaning it’s as close to perfect as we’re likely to see.
As for who bought the game, all Heritage would say is that they’re an independent citizen who doesn’t wish to be identified at this time. I also can’t find out, at the moment, who the original owner of the game was, but kudos to them for keeping it in such good condition.