Super Mario 64 copy sells for record-breaking $1.56 million

Mario gets more valuable with age.

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Super Mario 64 in all of its unsealed glory. 

Heritage Auctions

The nonfungible-token craze saw digital art sell for eye-watering prices, but here's a reminder that people dropping exorbitant sums on collectables didn't start with NFTs. A sealed copy of Super Mario 64 has sold at Heritage Auction for $1.56 million. That makes it the most expensive video game ever sold.

Super Mario 64 is a legendary release in gaming's history. It was the only game to launch alongside Nintendo's N64 console and was the first title to pluck Mario out of 2D and place him in a 3D world. And where Mario goes, so does the industry: Super Mario 64 is considered one of the most influential games of all time. It inspired developers of franchises as eclectic as Grand Theft Auto and Kingdom Hearts.

"The cultural significance of this title and its importance to the history of video games is paramount, and the condition of this copy is just so breathtaking that we're really at a loss here," reads the game's extremely keen description on Heritage Auctions. "If you have had your heart set on obtaining the highest graded copy of the single best-selling video game on the Nintendo 64 -- the first 3D adventure of Nintendo's mascot, Mario -- we only have one piece of advice: this is not an opportunity to waste."

Just two days prior, an 1987 copy of The Legend of Zelda -- a similarly revered game -- sold for $870,000. In April, a sealed copy of the original Super Mario Bros. sold for $660,000