In a sea of gold mines, Pokemon video game franchises are among Nintendo’s most golden. Despite not owning the rights directly, Big N profits from the skyrocketing sales figures of each new title in the monster-hunting adventure game series.
Over the years, support for the franchise has not declined and the games continue to hold their value. What’s more, as copies of older games become harder and harder to come by, factory sealed units have been known to fetch a pretty penny on auction sites.
Here we take a look at the most expensive games in the Pokemon franchise and how much they’re worth. All estimates in the title are for factory sealed copies obtained through PriceCharting, with individual notes per entry on how much they would fetch in various imperfect conditions.
Updated on June 29, 2023 by Andrew Scariati: With each passing year, new Pokemon games hit the market as the rarity and value of older titles increase. From rare packs to sought-after early releases, the most expensive Pokemon games and their values are always changing.
If you’ve managed to keep your old cartridges in pristine condition or have an unopened box, read on to see if you’re playing the most expensive Pokemon game ever.
11 Pokemon Snap ($500)
Estimated copies range from $500 to $2,000, with the upper limit rising if they are in mint condition.
“Not for Resale” demo copies can sell for between $250 and $700.
Fresh boxed copies sell for about $350.
Free copies of the game alone cost around $20.
Few would have predicted that Pokemon Snap would become an all-time favorite title among a wide variety of Pokemon games. This real-time photo-capturing adventure allows you to travel to different locations and document Pokemon in their natural habitats.
The original Nintendo 64 title became a cult classic that was later remade in April 2021 as New Pokemon Snap, reigniting interest and obsession with the classic. Since then, the original has worked its way into the upper echelon of expensive Pokemon games, rivaling Let’s Go Bundles in value.
10 Nintendo Switch Pokemon: Let’s Go Bundles ($750)
Let’s Go Pikachu tends to be better than Let’s Go Eevee, hovering around the $700 to $550 mark for Let’s Go Eevee.
The “distributed” switch packs don’t change the needle much and cost about $750.
Open field packages are held for around $400.
Free copies of any game are usually purchased for $25 or less.
For obvious reasons, most of these titles are much older Pokemon games than anything on the Nintendo Switch. So why do these Switch console bundles manage to hit the $700 mark?
It’s probably a combination of the attractive (well, subjectively speaking) Joy-Con design, the unique aesthetic of the Switch dock, and most of all, the fact that the entire Switch is inside. This one intersects with people collecting limited-time console bundles, so the interest is there, if not outrageously high.
9 Pokemon FireRed ($1100)
For an average of $320 you can get a game with box and manual in higher condition.
Bulk copies only cost around $80.
A Class 10 FireRed Sealed Pokemon will make any $4,500 seller happy.
Pokemon FireRed is still better than LeafGreen, as the red sometimes overshadowed the blue – FireRed’s resale value is several hundred higher. That means sealed copies of LeafGreen will fetch about as much as those Let’s Go bundles, but it’s Charizard’s timeless mug that’s begging for more.
Again, the bulk carts aren’t all that spectacular, but collectors will have to save up. Or being born into money, we guess. That works too.
8 Pokemon Gold and Silver ($1100)
Full (opened) copies of Pokemon Gold & Silver net about $275 USD.
Loose is the way to go for bargain hunters, $50. Beware that loose Game Boy knockoffs are almost as prevalent as DS knockoffs!
Collectors can expect to shell out upwards of $1,600 for graded copies.
There was a brief period in which some analysts predicted Pokemon would be a fad. A big fad, but a fad nonetheless.
The arrival of the second generation games, Gold & Silver, helped make this a lie. Although they didn’t sell quite as many copies – they don’t even have later titles! — they still burned up the sales charts. And for good reason, as their quality is excellent.
It should be noted that Gold’s companion game — Silver — does not tend to attract such a high sum. At least not in North America and Europe. The Japanese copies easily compete with Pokemon Gold here, but that’s another matter.
7 Pokemon Emerald with Pouch Bundle ($1800)
Oddly enough, you’ll be spending about $530 here. A carry bag is such a big deal.
You can drop a few hundred and spend around $1,150 on open units.
Sorting doesn’t change much for a commodity like this, as evidenced by the $1,900 price tag.
Tightly unopened copies of Pokemon Emerald sell for hundreds, but this limited-availability bundle, complete with a nice carrying case, is on another level. As we find out, loose ones are also expensive, because keeping a bag in excellent condition all these years is no easy task.
Emerald, as the successor to Ruby & Sapphire, inevitably sold fewer units. This is a much better iteration of the Hoenn region, given many fans and a worthy addition to the catalog. But maybe it’s just a game.
6 Pokemon Red and Blue ($2000)
Complete but opened/used copies fetch around $250
Bulk copies will only set you back about $50
The Class 10 versions of Pokemon Red & Blue sell for as much as $2,600
Some trivia: In the past, Pokemon Red has commanded a much higher market value than Pokemon Blue. This despite the fact that several copies of the Order have been sold over the years; no doubt Charizard on the cover and the canon name of the Order’s protagonist had something to do with it.
For now, though, we’ve combined the two versions because of their relatively equal value. The order just isn’t hitting home runs like it used to, though that can (and in all likelihood will) change in the coming years.
In any case, you can buy original Pokemon games for cheap or spend big bucks on guaranteed authentic copies that are all nicely sealed.
5 Nintendo 64 Pokemon Stadium Battle Set ($2,400)*
Graded gets even wilder, at $3,600 or more.
Want it all but don’t mind buying used? You can save a ton and spend $1,050.
Based on the above, we don’t necessarily recommend buying just the Nintendo 64 console and the game separately, as it doesn’t save much. Currently, the average is $930.
This one gets the price due to the fact that it includes a Nintendo 64 console, but the price is still quite high for a “new in the box” version. In fact, the included Nintendo 64 isn’t a special edition at all and doesn’t feature any unique art.
This set included everything you need to run Pokemon Stadium, including a console with a standard controller, an additional Atomic Purple controller, an expansion pack, a trainer’s manual, and even a game print with a special holographic trading card. It is highly sought after by collectors and commands a high price.
4 Pokemon Crystal ($3000)
You still have to part with the sum of $640 for full open packs.
Graded copies push that up to $3,800, where it rivals the best sellers on our list.
Free copies cost about $120.
Pokemon Crystal, for the uninitiated, is Pokemon Gold & Silver, except cooler. For the first time in the series, you could choose a female identity. But more than that, many aspects of Joht’s original journey are meaningfully expanded upon.
It sold well, but like the Yellow, Emerald, Platinum, and Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, it was never going to get that many parents to split the coin because so many kids (and adults) already had the Gold & Silver. While yellow doesn’t reach the price tags of red and blue, it eclipses its forebears crystal clear.
3 Pokemon SoulSilver Lugia Figure Pack ($3100)
Most of us are drooling over the prospect of getting a copy of SoulSilver (or HeartGold) sealed with the Poke Walker accessory, but the figurine versions go even further.
Speaking of going the extra mile, if you’re already sharing that much money, maybe get a graded package if you can find one for $3300.
Complete copies are asking around $1,500, and bulk ones are asking $1,100.
Gold and Silver were great, balancing out a lot of the weirder aspects of Red and Blue (Psychic-types were basically gods, for example) while improving on them in almost every way.
The 2010 remakes, HeartGold & SoulSilver, had to climb the steep mountain of Mount Moon if they wanted to earn so much modern praise. They succeeded, and then some, and in the eyes of millions of Pokemon veterans, “HGSS” remains the pinnacle of the franchise.
This bundle not only contains the original Pokemon SoulSilver game for Nintendo DS, but also includes a Lugia figure and a special Poke Walker jacket. There’s no denying its astronomical price, but it lags far enough behind its peers to get a separate entry.
2 Pokemon HeartGold Ho-Oh Figure Pack ($3100)
Open copies are still around $2000.
Free ranges around $1150.
Rated? 4700 dollars. That is a lot.
Which legendary Johto is cooler, Ho-Oh or Lugia? Your answer is irrelevant to the merciless wheel of capitalism; in the Pokemon market, the answer used to be a Ho-Oh of $1,200 difference.
However, the price of both versions of Lugia and Ho-Oh has leveled off quite a bit since then.
If you’re deciding between this game and more practical purchases, remember that $3,100 could also pay for a few months’ rent in many parts of North America. Do with this knowledge what you will.
1 Pokemon Box Ruby & Sapphire ($5200)
Want to be rated? You will have to spend more than $7600. yes
Even open copies are asking $2,400.
Free copies can cost upwards of $1,150.
Back when Ruby & Sapphire were popular, Pokemon came in three ways. You could do what most of us have done by connecting two Game Boy Advances via a Link Cable, or instead buy a Game Boy Player add-on to connect to the GameCube.
Or, if you lived close enough to the New York City Pokemon Center here in North America (or grabbed a single-use GameCube package in PAL territories), you could buy the Pokemon Box Ruby & Sapphire, a charming little thing that echoed the Game Boy Player functionality with enhanced features.
Rarity, of course, has driven the price to truly wild levels over the past 20 years and counting. Now we’re clearly in “only if you’re rich” territory.
NEXT: Valuable Pokemon Card Mistakes