There have been thousands of games released on PlayStation consoles over the past two decades – but not every game is born equal.
While most games are released at full price then slowly lose their value over time, there are some that – for a number of different reasons – actually end up worth a small fortune years down the line.
Sometimes it's because hardly any copies were released, other times it's because they were quite pricey in the first place.
Here are eight of the rarest PlayStation games ever:
- LSD: Dream Emulator
- Rule of Rose
- Tintin: Destination Adventure
- Fallout 3 – Survival Edition
- The Last Of Us – Post-Pandemic Edition
- Elemental Gearbolt – Assassin Case
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Fortune Hunter Edition
- NBA Elite 11
Discover why they're so rare and how much it'll cost to buy them below.
1. LSD: Dream Emulator
There are countless PlayStation games that were released in Japan but never saw the light of day in the West. Despite all the exotic mystery of them never making it to our shores, the vast majority of Japan-only games are barely worth anything because they aren't actually rare, just foreign. One of the big exceptions is LSD: Dream Emulator, an absolutely bizarre PSone adventure game that's based on a developer's dream journal. If you dare to take on this surreal dream-exploring game, good luck: it's extremely difficult to find and will cost you around US$300.
2. Rule Of Rose
This PS2 survival horror game was met with a lot of criticism when it was released in the West, due to claims that the content was too explicit. Although a lot of these claims were wrong – an EU justice minister said it had a bit where you buried children underground, but it actually didn't – the damage was done and Rule Of Rose's release was cancelled in a number of countries. This made it hard to find, and you can expect to pay up to US$350 for a copy these days.
3. Tintin: Destination Adventure
Often games are popular among collectors because they were released in smaller numbers near the end of a system's life, usually as budget titles for younger gamers. Tintin: Destination Adventure is a good example of this, as it was released for the original PlayStation a year after the PS2 came out. It was released in a number of European countries, but collectors are a picky bunch – even though every country got the same multi-lingual disc, only a very limited number were sent to the UK. Because of this, a French copy with Tintin: Objectif Adventure written on the box is only worth around US$60, but an English one, sub-titled "Destination Adventure" could cost you US$500-$600+.
4. Fallout 3 – Survival Edition
When Fallout 3 launched back in 2008, it came in two flavours: the normal version and a fancy Collector's Edition, which came with a metal lunchbox, a Vault-Boy bobblehead figure, an art book and a making-of DVD.
The Collector's Edition hasn't actually gained much in value over the years, and you can still find it for around £50 fairly easily. The same can't be said for the Survival Edition, which was only released in the US as an Amazon exclusive. It had everything the Collector's Edition did, plus a model of the PIP-Boy 3000, which you could use as a digital clock. Only a few of these are resold per year and they'll set you back up to US$500.
5. The Last Of Us – Post-Pandemic Edition
The Fallout 3: Survival Edition was a perfect example of the 'popular game plus special version limited to one shop' formula that leads to prices shooting up over the years. An even more expensive example is The Last Of Us, which was released as a standard game and a Survival Edition with an art book and comic. However, it also got a fancy Post-Pandemic Edition, which was only available in the US and could only be ordered at GameStop. This came with a fantastic statue of Joel and Ellie, and at US$159.99 was already quite pricey at launch. But because it was only sold in the US, coupled with the fact that PS3 games are region-free, means that there's still a lot of demand for it worldwide. It'll set you back around US$799 now.
6. Elemental Gearbolt – Assassin Case
In the late 1990s, American publisher Working Designs released an English-language port of Elemental Gunbolt, a Japanese light gun shooter. To promote the game, they ran contests at gaming conventions, with the winners given a special edition of the game that came in a briefcase and included a copy of the game, a red memory card and a gold-plated GunCon light gun. You're easily talking around US$2,500 if you want to get your hands on one of these, but amazingly there is an even a rarer version: a couple of the cases also included a gold-plated memory card, before Working Designs decided that was a bit much and switched to cheaper red ones instead.
7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Fortune Hunter Edition
Uncharted 2 is a good example of game that is widely available and relatively cheap – but it has a special edition which is the complete opposite. The Fortune Hunter edition, which included a replica of the Phurba Dagger Artefact, was only available through official Sony competitions. Only 200 of them exist, and since Uncharted has an army of devoted fans, this means that on the rare occasion that one goes up for sale, it can fetch up to US$4,000 on eBay.
8. NBA Elite 11
EA had been struggling with its NBA Live basketball series for years, with fans and critics saying it was rubbish compared to 2K Sports' far better NBA2K games. After NBA Live 10 was a failure, EA decided enough was enough and completely revamped the series as NBA Elite, promising an entirely new control system and game modes.
When a demo for the game was released, people mocked it for being glitchy and bug-riddled, and after having an internal review, EA decided NBA Elite wasn't good enough and cancelled the game at the last minute. The problem was, it was so last-minute that a single box of copies had already left EA's warehouse, meaning 15 known copies of the game exist. This makes it the rarest US PlayStation game ever, meaning any American who wants to collect every PS3 game is in for a bidding war. Earlier this year, a copy sold for a ridiculous US$9,515.35.