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I've been going through my large collections of games lately, which numbers in the hundreds, deciding if I can pass any of them off to gamers who can actually appreciate them for what they are. Not only do I have tons of games, but for 95% of them, I also still have their original box and manual. This makes some of them rather valuable for the collector, and hopefully I can provide.
However, there are a few games which I simply can not give up, some are worth quite a bit, others... well, they're mostly just meaningful to me. Let's take a nostalgic walk through some of the rare, obscure, and classic games I own that I could never give up.
My favorite game of all time, I've owned Chrono Trigger since May of 1996. I still have the original box, manual, strategy guide, and maps/posters along with the cartridge, all in pretty good condition. While the collection could fetch me over $100 on Ebay, that's actually lower than what it was a few years ago, particularly before the subsequent PlayStation and Nintendo DS ports. It's against my moral law to sell one's favorite game, and is honestly one of the only games on the list that I absolutely would not give up under any condition.
I was traveling in Japan the summer of 2002 and stumbled across the original Japanese Chrono Trigger for the Super Famicom while shopping in Akihabara. This was an absolute glorious and surprising find. I nearly crapped my pants when I saw it on the shelf for under $20, new. I honestly have no idea what it was doing there, maybe it was a re-release or they simply made way too many originally and the market was flooded, either way, it's mine. I also bought a Super Famicom during the same purchase so I could play it... never really got around to it though. Someday...
Sitting next to Chrono Trigger in Akihabara, Japan, was the bright red box of Mother 2, more commonly known as EarthBound everywhere else. Brand new and about $10, no well-versed gamer could pass it up. EarthBound was one of my favorite game's growing up, though I never owned it myself. Too bad they didn't have the absolutely awesome EarthBound strategy guide Japanese equivalent.
Harvest Moon is probably the only game that spawned countless sequels and spinoffs but zero copycats. I assume that developing and selling RPG farm simulators is really quite tough, but I know of no other series like it. And that's the beauty of the original Harvest Moon: unique, quirky, and simply a joy to play. While newer games in the series have made some gameplay aspects quite complicated, everything has its roots in this one. I rented this game countless times and finally found a copy of it in stores in late 1997, and moments ago, I was about to sell it, seeing it would go for a solid $100. I was at the Submit screen... and just couldn't do it. That's when I decided that if I had any second thoughts, I simply wouldn't sell it, it's not like I need the money. It was also then that I decided to write this article.
Harvest Moon's first console sequel, Harvest Moon 64 was not only an excellent advancement in the series, it still stands as one of the best games in the Harvest Moon universe! I played this game even more than the original, as it was much deeper, more refined, better translated, and all around had a lot more polish. I didn't play a better Harvest Moon game until Friends of Mineral Town almost five years later, and that game would be on the list except I have a small inkling it might be a bootleg Game Boy Advance game.
Growing up and playing PC games, I was stuck mostly playing games like Oregon Trail, King's Quest IV, and Commander Keen. Good games in their own right, but nothing like Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge! I was given this game by a family friend and immediately fell in love with it. Monkey Island 2 challenged by logic skills and gave me my darned good sense of humor that I have today. I had actually played The Secret of Monkey Island beforehand a few times at my cousins', but I finally had a Guybrush Threepwood of my own. I still have the box, manual, floppy disks, and voodoo copy protection wheel of the game that would start my love affair with one of the best and funniest series ever.
September 9, 1999, the Dreamcast was released along with the sequel to one of the most popular role-playing games of all time. I tore through the 60 hour Final Fantasy VIII adventure in less than a month, and while it's not a perfect game, I remember it quite fondly. I'm actually on my second copy of the game, as I lost the four discs some time during my many moves. My second copy is still sealed, though I will open it one day, as I don't plan on ever selling it.
Simply one of the best and most fun platformers ever made, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers for the NES is awesome. There's not a lot to the game: run, jump, and avoid Fat Cat's minions, but the way you do it is still marvelous today. Objects thrown by Chip or Dale fly across the screen defying gravity, and playing two players simultaneously is insane! Players can pick each other up and even toss the other at enemies, it makes for some extremely hectic, blood boiling gameplay. During college, I made the most of my time and played a whole bunch of speed runs of Chip and Dale, getting my final time down to something like 11 or 13 minutes.
A bit of an odd game to appear on the list, and I've never even played it! I only own MechAssault so I can softmod my Xboxes, selling it would mean I'd have to order another, kind of a pain if you ask me. I actually picked up another Xbox just today, so maybe I'll finally get around to playing it while the game is off the shelf.
Though I owned an NES, Link's Awakening for the Game Boy was my first Zelda game. I played this game for months and even wrote into Nintendo inquiring about the game's secret seashells (and yes, they wrote back!). I still love this game but my copy of it has been broken for more than a decade! One day, none of the backgrounds would show up, only the sprites such as Link and the enemies. I took it upon myself to beat the first dungeon, but couldn't go on after that in the game's dilapidated state. For my birthday in 1999, I was having a grand old party and my parents came up to me shortly before it started and offered me one of two games to have that moment: Link's Awakening DX for the Game Boy Color (colorized port) and Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. Of course I chose Super Smash Bros. and we had the most triumphant of parties. While a broken Game Boy game is probably worth next to nothing, I still wouldn't part with it.
Speaking of Super Smash Bros., while that game was great, the sequel for the Nintendo GameCube was magnificant. I have never put more time into a game than this one, logging in over 1000 hours in my copy of the game alone, and probably triple that count across all my friends' copies. In my opinion, it's the best multiplayer game ever made, and selling it would mean selling way too many memories.
November 23, 1998, one of the most anticipated games of all time was released. Ocarina of Time lived up to the hype. I can still remember walking out of EB Games that afternoon, with the Limited Edition gold cartridge in my special Zelda gold bag. The clerk even warned me not to carry that bag out in the open because it may be stolen! While I acknowledge that it's a great game, I don't even think it is the best Zelda game, but the antipation I had for this game before it was released was unprecedented. Except for maybe...
Six years after LeChuck's Revenge, the beautifully drawn, superbly acted Curse of Monkey Island was released. I had a countdown on my bedroom door to it, and was extremely disappointed when I found it wouldn't run on our computer. Well, actually, it would, but something happened with the DirectX install that got corrupted and basically took down the entire Windows 95 machine. We had to call on the help of the same man who gave me Monkey Island 2 to help fix it. Curse of Monkey Island is a classic, and will never leave my collection.
Declared one of the worst games of all time, Big Rigs was a running joke between my friends throughout college and one of them gave the game to me as a wedding present! I've never played it, but it stands proudly on my desk at work next to Deadly Towers, Shaq-Fu, and E.T. for the Atari 2600 in my Bad Games Collection.
One of my favorite games in the last decade and the best game I've played on this generation of consoles, Mass Effect blew me away when I first played it, and the next time, and the next three times after that. Heck, I beat this game four times in one month earlier this year. It might be a little too early to say I would never sell it, but the game is that good, and affected me in such a way that it made the list.
As the real sequel to Civilization II, Alpha Centauri reigns in my opinion as the best turn-based strategy game ever made. Sid Meier outdid himself ten fold with this gem and I can remember the day I picked it up at CostCo like it was yesterday. If you're looking for deep strategy, just pry this out of my cold, dead hands.
My favorite Nintendo DS game and one of the best music games I've ever played, I pretty much carry Elite Beat Agents around with my DS at all times. I borrowed this game from a friend and then pretty much just handed him whatever cash he wanted so I could keep it. My copy of the game has been thorougly conquered, beating it on super hard with all the cast unlocked. Now if only I could get some more "S" scores...
In my opinion, the best role-playing game ever made, Suikoden II used prices typically start at over $100 for just the discs! I had the honor to play my friend's copy of the game during college and instantly fell in love with its story and battle system. Even though it sells for a ton, I don't think I'd be able to part with such a classic, and that's probably why I'll never be able to own a copy without selling my kid.
I played this sequel to EarthBound last year and declared it my Game of the Year of 2008. It's one of the best portable games I've ever played and I think I may pick it up for real someday. While it may never be translated into English, this is a must play game, and a must own.
I thought I actually owned Star Ocean 2, but I can't find it anywhere in my collection so chances are I was just imagining things. I've played through it a few times and love the old-school action RPG flavor it delivers. I remember seeing this game in a Sam Goody store back during high school and regret never picking it up.