How is it that a lot of “collector” games like Earthbound keep the resale value versus what just happened with Metroid Prime Trilogy? Over Christmas the game was going for over $100, and now you can buy the game for $40-$50 on eBay. I want to speculate that’s in the end the value of Metroid Prime was in the game itself, not the niche rarity, not the packaging. Knowing that you can play this game right now for $10-$20 will probably dissuade people who just want to play the game to spend $150. Why do you think Earthbound is still $200 (I’m personally not the biggest fan) and Metroid resale value plummeted?
16 bit era and earlier, no one bought video games as an investment that would grow in value. Today, they do. This is why Amiibos and other games won’t ‘go up in value forever’ like people think. Also, the earlier games hold greater value being on cartridges which is hardware that doesn’t fall apart as CDs or DVDs do.
Earthbound is part of Generation Four. Metroid Prime Trilogy is part of Generation Seven. Further back in time you go, the greater the rarity. Even non-sports NES games are getting fairly expensive. A decent NES game starts at $20, and they go up from there. $80 for some of the Mega Man games.
The 16-bit and N64 games tend to be very value specific. Smash Brothers and Mario Party will be very, very expensive. Generic third party games? No. I recently bought Yoshi’s Island for $30 which I thought was a great deal seeing how the SNES title hasn’t been easily duplicated in other avenues. But I suppose that is because the demand for the game isn’t that great. Contra 3 is like $50-$60! But it is a very fun game that people still want to play today.