When it comes to buying and selling retro video games, it is paramount to know what the titles are actually worth. That being said, with various retailers and listings online all featuring drastically different prices, it can be pretty difficult to know exactly what the value of retro video games actually are today. That especially applies to classics for the NES like The Legend of Zelda.
How much is The Legend of Zelda worth today? The Legend of Zelda for the NES sells for $29 on average for just the game cartridge, based on several previous months of sold eBay listings. If sold with the original box, manuals, and inserts, the game is valued at $215 on average. However, these prices can vary drastically depending on the game’s condition as well as its authenticity.
|Game||eBay (game only average sold price)||eBay (complete-in-box average sold price)||Amazon (lowest price)|
|The Legend of Zelda||$29||$215||$56|
Thanks to the franchise’s continued success and the increased interest in retro video game collecting in general, The Legend of Zelda is a highly sought-after retro video game. Additionally, complete-in-box units are much rarer than loose (game-only) copies, causing them to be even more expensive. Depending on how well the original packaging was cared for and what shape the game itself is currently in, the value of The Legend of Zelda copies can differ by as much as hundreds of dollars.
Seeing as the game has been discontinued for decades at this point, there isn’t a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for The Legend of Zelda today. That being said, by calculating recent months of sales data, we can get a good idea of the price range Legend of Zelda copies are selling for brand new.
(Please note: Prices and information below are accurate as of February 24, 2023. This article has been and will continue to be updated to reflect current rates, but prices can fluctuate. Additionally, the information provided is based on the games released and sold in the United States. Titles released and sold in other regions may differ from the prices shown below.)
How Much Is The Original Legend of Zelda Worth?
- Game Only: $16-$46
- Complete-In-Box: $51-$840
- New: ~$800+
Pricing At Popular Retailers:
- eBay (game only average price sold): $29
- Lowest price sold: $16 (good condition)
- Highest price sold: $46 (good condition with instruction manual)
- eBay (complete-in-box average price sold): $215
- Lowest price sold: $51 (with case, manual, and maps, but no box)
- Highest price sold: $840 (mint condition)
- Amazon (third-party sellers’ asking prices): $56+
The eBay prices above are calculated using the retailer’s data of units sold within one month previous to when this article was last updated (February 24, 2023).
Where Can You Buy And Sell The Legend of Zelda Today?
When it comes to shopping for retro games and consoles online, eBay comes highly recommended as a marketplace due to its convenience and availability. Essentially, eBay sellers can have retro games and consoles in all sorts of various conditions from cartridge or disc-only, to complete-in-box, and even brand new in some cases. And with sellers all over the world, the selection is second to none.
Used game stores may be difficult to come by in more rural areas, but they are also great places to buy and sell if you’re willing to do some looking, calling, and driving. These locations are limited to the availability in-store, but many stores will allow you to see and even try games before buying.
GameStop is a widely available chain that features used video games, but, unfortunately, their retro selection isn’t all that robust. The store is generally good for buying and selling current generations of games and consoles, but anything older than last-generation technology isn’t easy to come by or even accepted by the retailer in many cases.
Flea markets and Goodwill stores are also good places to check, but, like mom-and-pop used game stores, this is still more recommended for bargain hunters who are most likely going to have to check multiple locations to find what they’re looking for (if they find it at all). The best deals can be found this way, but it will likely require the most work as well.
Additionally, for those looking to merely play The Legend of Zelda (and dozens of other classic Nintendo games), the Nintendo Switch offers this capability through their subscription service for the console, Nintendo Switch Online. Through Nintendo Switch Online, subscribers are able to play dozens of classic games from Nintendo's NES, SNES, and Game Boy libraries. Franchises like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and much more are available for a low monthly (or yearly) fee.
For a slightly higher fee, Nintendo also adds additional support through their Expansion Pack. This offers the ability to play Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Advance titles along with DLC for popular current games like Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, and Splatoon.
Is The Legend of Zelda On NES Worth Buying Today?
The Legend of Zelda is mostly seen as a collector’s item these days. Yes, there are plenty of nostalgic gamers looking to get their hands on this retro classic, but the franchise is still alive and well today, releasing new games every few years.
For many gamers, there is nothing like reliving those childhood memories by playing the titles on the console they were built for – this obviously applies to retro purists and collectors, too. That being said, Nintendo does offer very good options to experience classic titles like The Legend of Zelda on more modern devices. Currently, that platform is Nintendo Switch Online. Sure, that might require you to purchase a Nintendo Switch console if you don't already own one, but with the rising costs of retro games and consoles these days, that might not be such a steep asking price.
As an experience all its own, The Legend of Zelda on the NES is a dated, but still enjoyable game. Replaying it feels like returning to a difficult arcade title. There is an almost overwhelming abundance of secrets to discover, and a guide is almost a necessity at this point, but it is a classic for a reason. Newer entries in the franchise are seen as some of the best games of all time, but there is still something incredibly satisfying about completing a playthrough of this relentless classic that started one of the best series in all of gaming.