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25 rarest Nintendo games ever

Time to rifle through those old boxes in the loft...

David Dickinson, eat your heart out. We've all heard about rare paintings, jewellery or ancient artefacts turning up at the local church jumble sale, but what about silicon-based entertainment?

Fact is, those old games your mum keeps telling you to chuck out could be worth a small fortune, and because Nintendo's been in the business since the year dot, it's your NES, SNES and import games that are most likely to be worth eBay gold.

We could've filled the entire list with antique Game & Watch titles alone (they're manna from heaven for collectors), but for the sake of balance here's a list of some of the most valuable games across Nintendo's entire portfolio.

So before you throw out any 'junk' boxes from the loft, best check they don't contain any of these 25 rare classics.

Harvest Moon (SNES, US) - £60

The SNES version of Harvest Moon is still considered the best among fans of the whimsy-heavy farming/courting sim. It doesn't come up very often on eBay, and when it does you can expect to pay at least £60 for a good boxed copy. The N64 version was released soon after, accounting for the SNES game's initial lack of popularity.

Banjo-Tooie (N64, PAL) - £60

Rare's first Banjo-Kazooie game was extremely popular, but Banjo 2 got stuck in development and ended up coming out towards the end of the N64's lifespan. Although you may be able to pick up a copy cheaper, a good boxed version will set you back at least £50, and sealed copies have been known to go for as much as £100. You'll probably see these prices rise when more news of Banjo-Kazooie 3 on Xbox 360 emerges.

Dracula X (SNES, US) - £70

The final Castlevania game released on SNES wasn't as popular as previous iterations, but the series has gained great cachet with gamers more recently, especially since prices for Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night skyrocketed on PS1. Dracula X is unlikely to go down in value.

Sin & Punishment (N64, jpn) - £70

While the version released on Virtual Console has adversely affected the original's price, this N64 classic is still a jewel in the crown for any Nintendophile. This Treasure shooter was designed for the N64 analogue stick and is always best played on its host hardware. A good investment and a collectable game you'll actually bring out from time to time.

Naruto: Clash of Ninja (GameCube, PAL) - £75

Although it's worth very little in America and Japan, the PAL release of Naruto Clash Of Ninja didn't see wide distribution and it's been known to fetch up to £75 on eBay. Expect other GameCube titles such as Chibi-Robo and Baten Kaitos to increase in price because of their limited numbers.

Earthbound (SNES, US) - £80

This Japanese hit was released in the US but failed to make much of an impression. Now it's lauded for its RPG in-jokes and humorous take on American culture. Again, rumours abound that EarthBound is to be re-released on Virtual Console, which may bring the price down on this US import.

Paper Mario (N64, PAL) - £80

Another rare PAL gem. Though Paper Mario continues to be one of the most popular titles on Wii's Virtual Console, collectors will still fork out good money for this great mix of platforming and puzzling in its original guise. Until recently, copies of this SNES classic could still be found in many second-hand game stores.

Bakuretsu Muteki Bangaioh - (N64, jpn) - £80

If you thought the Dreamcast version of Bangai-O was good, you should check out the original N64 version with its sublime analogue controls. Only 10,000 copies were released in Japan and it's been going up in price ever since. Find a mint, boxed copy and you'll have collectors knocking your door down.

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