The Most Expensive Video Games in Tokyo

Japan is famed for it’s gaming culture, and love of retro tech. As such, Tokyo is packed full of rare and expensive video games, and I thought it was about time we took a look!

These may not be the most expensive games in Tokyo, but they’re certainly up there in price, and all from the famous Akihabara retro game store ‘Super Potato”.

We already know that Japanese games are usually the pick of most video game speed runs, but they also ranked very highly on any avid game collectors list for a few reasons.

Not Localized

If a game is only available in Japan, that scarcity makes it a collectors dream. As well find out later on in the article, some of the more obscure gaming systems may only have had a few hundred of each cartridge made.

Different content

In the case that a game was made available somewhere other than Japan, it’s often the case that it may have different levels or features to the original. This difference makes the game rarer, and therefore more desirable.

Not For Sale

Some games may have only been available through raffles, prize draws, or other competitions. By not allowing everyone to purchase a certain version of the game, the Japanese developer is able to increase the rarity of certain versions making them a sought after collectors piece.

Without further ado, lets take a look at the most expensive games Tokyo has to offer!

1. Dragon Unit

Price: ¥38,280 ($296.49)

System: Famicom

most expensive games in Tokyo

PC gaming in Japan suffered a blow in the early 80s, and this was the game part of that downfall. Dragon Unit, or ‘Castle of Dragon’ as it’s known internationally, is a hack-and-slash-style action game from 1989. After their peaceful kingdom was completely devastated by the terrifying dragon, Zuriv, who also kidnapped the princess, it’s up to you to rescue her. Expect to encounter monsters galore as you battle through the dragon’s castle and save the princess.

Why is it so expensive?

In Japan, it’s known as Dragon Unit (ド ラ ゴ ン ユ ニ ッ ト) but in America, it’s known as ‘Castle of Dragon’. The distinction is mainly in the cover art, but that’s enough for collectors to want to own it. Like most games on this list, it’s rare and in a pretty decent condition which also adds to its rarity.

This version in particular (the one I’ve photographed) has suffered from damage and discoloration to the box, so I would expensive a copy in pristine condition to fetch a much higher price tag.

2. Community POM

Price: ¥43,780 ($338.18)

System: Playstation 1

most expensive games in tokyo

In this cute action RPG game, you’ll take on the role of pigtailed protagonist Luru. Your job is to build a community for the Poms, a weird bunch of aliens or creatures that have fallen to earth.

Expect a lot of walking, giant kaiju-like watermelons, fairly basic combat systems, and a cute yet weird-as-anything storyline. Take a look at this review if you’re interested in learning more about the story and gameplay.

Why is it so expensive?

The game was originally released only in Japan but has since benefited from a fan translation bringing it to a mass of players for the very first time. Since then, it’s gained a small but loyal following, likely thanks to its cute mechanics, theme, and adorable storyline. As such, more and more people want to own the official game.

The game pictured is ‘Brand New Factory Sealed’, which is the reason for such a high price. I’ve seen others go for just over $100 though the condition is not too great.

3. Kage no Densetsu (Yamaki Mentsuyu Summer Present)

Price: ¥93,500 ($722.24)

System: Famicom/NES

most expensive games in Tokyo

The Legend of Kage, named Kage no Densetsu (影の伝説) in Japan is a hack-and-slash style video game. Players assume the role of Kage (a ninja) who’s on a mission to rescue a princess. Seems that kind of plot was pretty popular around this time! After you’ve rescued her for the third time (for some reason), you win the game. The arcade version was extremely popular in Japan, but the ports to the Commodore 64 and Famicom didn’t receive such a warm welcome.

Why is it so expensive?

Well, if it’s old and rare, and in good condition, it’s probably going to command a premium price tag. This version of Kage no Densetsu is all of those things. First off, this Japanese version was (believe it or not) only released in Japan – that’s the first reason it’s a sought-after collectible game.

The cover is the next thing that sets it apart, with only 10,000 copies being released as a Yamaki Mensuyu summer present many years ago. The only difference between this and the base game is the cover you’re given, and a small sticker on the cartridge to prove it’s a limited edition.

Last but by no means least is the condition of the game, and more often than not it’s going to be very good in Japan. Especially if it’s checked over by super potato, but that’s also likely to add an extra fee to an otherwise already expensive game.

4. Adventure Island IV (高橋名人の冒険島IV)

Price: ¥100,000 ($772.45)

System: Famicom

most expensive japanese games tokyo

Out of all the games on this list, Adventure Island 4 has my favorite storyline. After Master Higgins’ creatures and girlfriend are kidnapped by an evil eggplant wizard he must start an adventure to rescue them and stop the wizard for good. With a story like that, who wouldn’t want to collect it?!

Why is it so expensive?

Other than the fantastic cover (not actually sure that’s a reason why it’s so expensive, but it should be!), there are a couple of reasons why the game demands such a high price.

The first is that Adventure Island IV has the lowest production rate out of the entire series. As I’m sure you know, a game that has fewer copies printed means it will likely have a higher price. That’s especially true when you find games in great condition, much like this one.

However, the most prominent reason why this is such an expensive game is that it’s the very last official one made for the Famicom and only ever released in Japan. The last (or first) of anything would likely put it on any game collector’s radar, and this is no different.


Price: ¥107,800 ($832.70)

System: PS2

most expensive game in Tokyo

Victorious Boxers mirrors many of the fights seen in the manga, Hajime no Ippo, that it is based on. In the beginning, you’ll follow Ippo Makunouchi’s journey to the top of the featherweight championship, and that will later switch to his gym buddies career. As is the case with a lot of the games on this list, it did really well in Japan, but not nearly as well in North America. Perhaps that’s because of the lack of Manga readers, or just different expectations.

Why is it so expensive?

I’ve spent hours trawling through strange Japanese websites, Twitter accounts, and forums, and can’t quite figure all the details of this one out. Be sure to let me know if you have any more information about its origin in the comments below.

What I did manage to find out is the following:


Jironosuke who calls himself the “Otaku Husband” has made it his mission to be Japan’s number one not-for-sale game collector. What that means is any game he collects is technically not available to the majority of the public to buy unless they’ve acquired it through a competition or raffle etc. If you look at the bottom left-hand side of the picture above, you can see this is one such game.

Low Production Count

Jironosuke also mentions this premium disc version of はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! VICTORIOUS BOXERS, in a tweet from 2019. He states that the exact number of Hajime no Ippo premium discs is unknown, though it seems to be relatively small.

In any case, I don’t know if the premium disc version gives you anything extra in the game or whether it’s simply one for the collectors. Either way, this mint condition copy is selling for a huge amount of money!

6. キャプテンセイバー Captain Saver

Price: ¥129,800 ($1,002.63)


expensive Akihabara games

キャプテンセイバ, or “Power Blade 2” as it’s known in North America takes place in 2200 and follows the protagonist, NOVA, from the first game on his journey to destroy the delta foundation and its new cyborg. With a pretty large amount of weapons to choose from, power-ups, stage selection, and more, it’s definitely one of the more advanced games for the Famicom.

Why is it so expensive?

It was released in Japan in 1992 meaning it’s very late in the life cycle of the system. That makes it incredibly difficult to find. A relatively uncommon game, a recent increase of collectorssearching for it online, and great condition contribute to its high price. It still seems a bit steep compared to what I’ve seen it for online, but perhaps that’s the price you have to pay to have it fully checked out by a reputable place like Super Potato.

7. バブルボブル2 (Bubble Bobble 2) –

Price: ¥217, 800 ($1,682.39)

System: Famicom

expensive japanese video games

Bub, the protagonist of Bubble Bobble 2, sets out to rescue his girlfriend Judy after the Skull Brothers capture her in a bubble. If that’s not the most adorable start to a video game you’ve ever read, I don’t know what is!

Why is it so expensive?

It’s one of the last three games released by Tatio which means far fewer copies were made. Therefore any copy that’s in great condition and boxed like the one above is going to fetch a much higher price.

The game was released on NES as well as Game Boy, and the NES features three bonus games and an alternate story line. That addition to the base game makes it a highly sought after item.

It was also very well receive at launch, despite the small amount of copies released, and it’s no wonder such a cute dinosaur face has a little cult following among game collectors!

8. Eigo de GO!

Price: ¥250,800 ($1,937.29)

System: 3DO

most expensive Japanese video game

Less of a game and more of an educational tool, Eigo de GO! is a tool made for the 3DO which helps Japanese people learn English. This is done through 4 activities: Typing on an English keyboard to learn object word pairs, listening to dictated object names, word puzzles, and other listening games.

Why is it so expensive?

Another one I couldn’t find too much information on, but as far as I’m aware it’s due to a late release in the console’s timeline. The 3DO had a relatively short existence as it is (1993-1996), and Eigo de GO! only came out in 1996. That means, once again, that fewer copies were made, and there likely wasn’t a huge buzz around the game at the time. As such, a brand-new factory-sealed product like the one above is bound to fetch a huge price.

9. Gimmick!

Price: ¥327,800 ($2,532.07)

System: Famicom

expensive japanese video games tokyo Akihabara

That cute green blob-like character on the front cover is called Yumetaro, a creature who is mistakenly gifted to a young girl. The young girls toys then come to life, kidnap her to another dimension, and it’s up to Yumetaro to safe her. Another exceptionally cute story line from one of these old games!

Why is it so expensive?

Once again, this is a game that’s released relatively late into Famicom’s life which we know from some of the examples above makes it expensive.

What sets this game apart from some of the others on the list is that it wasn’t received well at release. So, there really wasn’t too much desire to localise the game in other countries. North America, for example, decided that due to its quirky character design it wasn’t suitable for their market. In fact, the Scandinavian market was the only other one that released it, and even then in very small quantities. However, Japan is the only place it’s called ‘Gimmick!’ which makes this title exceptionally rare.

So a game that few copies were released, only in Japan. Add to that the fact it’s in a mint condition box, and you’ll start to understand its price.

10. マジカルドロップ2 – Magical Drop II

Price: ¥921,800 ($7,120.40)

System: Neo Geo

most expensive game in tokyo

Play as a variety of characters in this bubble blasting bonanza as you race against your opponent to clear the wall before they do. Unlike other bubble popping games where the next colour is given to you, Magical drop II allows you to grab a ball that’s already on the wall and move it to a more favourable position. This mechanic is just one of the reasons that the magical drop series is so popular.

Why is it so expensive?

Neo Geo had extremely expensive titles to begin with, costing an average of two hundred and fifty dollars each. When you consider inflation, that figure seems ridiculously high. Because of that cost, the market was incredibly limited and hardly any games were produced in the begining. In some cases, there may have been only a few hundred of each game.

Fast forward to today, and the world of Neo Geo Collecting is incredibly competitive. It can take collectors years to come across the next game on their hitlist, so understandably the prices can be extremely high. An article in the New Yorker (Linked above) tells us how someone sold 3 such cartridges for $45,000, and they weren’t even the most expensive of the 157 games officially released for the system.

Magical Drop II in the image above is in great condition, but lacks an insert “Postcard”. While it’s easily the most expensive game in Tokyo that I’ve come across, there are undoubtedly others in better condition that would blow this out of the water.

Trawling through retro game shops in Tokyo is something everyone has to experience, even if you’re not that interested in gaming. Understanding the scarcity of some of these titles and then seeing them in such fantastic condition really is an ode to Japan’s caring attitude towards collectibles.

Famicon is clearly the front-runner when it comes to the most frequently seen expensive video video games in Akihabara and Tokyo, but there’s obviously a whole host of games for all consoles that push the prices of game collecting

I’ll be updating this list as soon as I find something more expensive. It might be from another shop in Tokyo, but Super Potato always seems to have incredibly rare and expensive games in its collection. Seen anything more expensive in Tokyo? Snap a photo, shoot me over an email, and I’ll put it on the list!

Jonny Gleason

Jonny is the founder of A Day of Zen and has an unhealthy obsession with Japan. In 2022 he moved to Japan on a mission to give his audience the best possible information. He's helped over 300,000 plan their trip so far, and is eager to make that number much bigger!

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