NES Collecting

Ultimate Guide to NES Collecting: Tips, Tricks, and Must-Know Facts

Blog Nintendo Retro

Let’s get that straight right off the bat: NES Collecting isn’t as cheap anymore. Since 2010, there has been a retro gaming boom in collecting, and the pandemic didn’t help either. However, with the right knowledge, you can save a few bucks here and there while building your NES collection!

Getting Started with NES Collecting

I’ve collected NES games and other systems for years, and recently, I’ve gotten back into it. If you’re new to NES collecting, the first thing you need is a console to play the games on. Some people collect for investment, but it’s not always a good idea since prices fluctuate constantly.

Essential Tips for NES Collecting

1. Choose the Right Console

For an authentic experience, stick with the original front-loading “toaster” model, which is the most familiar in the United States.

NES Collecting

2. Address Common NES Problems

The NES still has issues from the 80s and 90s. A simple fix for many problems is replacing the 72-pin connector. This can resolve issues like the blinking light and loose carts.

NES Collecting

Replacing things is a pain and it doesn’t always work, or as is the case with many of the 72-pin connectors, they don’t work exactly as the original did.

So stick with the cheap 72-connectors unless you want to spend $30+ for a better fix which is also a great solution, the arcade works BLW (Blinking Light Win.)

Exploring Other NES Models

Rare and Alternative NES Models

Look out for rare NES models like the smooth top NES and the Top Loader, which was released in 1993.

NES Collecting

The Top Loader

No need to change a connector, but it lacks A/V output without a MOD. The “Dog Bone” NES Controller is also a great find.

Playing NES Games on Modern TVs

NES Games on HDTV

Modern HDTVs usually have converters allowing you to play NES games without special equipment, though the quality isn’t great due to the resolution difference.


Dealing with Input Lag

CRT TVs are best for retro games due to no input lag. Avoid buying overpriced “retro Gaming CRTs” on eBay.

Best Practices for NES Collecting

Collecting NES Games

Start your NES collecting adventure with tools like Nintendo Security Bits.

Finding the Best Deals

Look for deals at flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, and online platforms like Facebook Sell Groups and Craigslist. Avoid chain stores for retro games.

Storing Your NES Collection

Display and Storage Tips

Invest in sturdy shelves to showcase your collection. There are 714 known licensed game titles for the NES, so you’ll need a lot of space.

The Rising Popularity of NES Collecting

mario nes

In recent years, NES collecting has experienced a surge in popularity, with more enthusiasts joining the community and seeking out retro games for their collections. The nostalgia factor, coupled with the desire to relive the golden era of gaming, has propelled the demand for NES games and related memorabilia.

One contributing factor to this growing interest is the rise of online communities and platforms dedicated to retro gaming. Social media groups, forums, and online marketplaces have provided a space for collectors to connect, share tips and experiences, and discover rare finds. These communities foster a sense of camaraderie among collectors and offer valuable insights into the world of NES collecting.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have played a role in boosting NES collecting. With more people spending time at home, there has been a renewed focus on hobbies and personal interests. NES collecting offers a form of escapism and a way to revisit cherished memories from the past.

Top 5 Tips for Successful NES Collecting

  1. Research and educate yourself: Before diving into NES collecting, take the time to research and learn about the various games, their rarity, and their market value. Familiarize yourself with reputable online resources, price guides, and collector communities to make informed purchasing decisions.
  2. Condition matters: When hunting for NES games, pay close attention to the condition of the cartridges and boxes. Mint-condition games with original packaging command higher prices and hold greater value for collectors. Look for games with minimal wear, no tears or creases, and intact labels.
  3. Expand your search beyond traditional outlets: While eBay and dedicated retro gaming stores can be good sources, consider exploring alternative avenues for finding NES games. Check out local thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and online classifieds to uncover hidden gems at lower prices.
  4. Networking and trading: Engage with other collectors and establish connections within the retro gaming community. Networking can lead to exciting opportunities for trading duplicates, acquiring hard-to-find titles, and accessing insider knowledge about upcoming sales or auctions.
  5. Preserve and display your collection: Once you’ve built a collection of NES games, it’s important to store and display them properly. Invest in sturdy, dust-free shelving units or display cases to showcase your prized possessions. Proper storage will help maintain the value and condition of your collection over time.

Remember, NES collecting is not just about amassing games; it’s a journey filled with nostalgia, passion, and a sense of preservation. So, embrace the adventure, connect with fellow collectors, and enjoy the thrill of adding rare and beloved NES games to your collection.


NES Collecting

It’s according to how you want to do your NES collecting. You can go for a full collection, games you actually like, complete in-box collections, and even new never opened.

For now, what I’m doing I’m searching for only loose games that I really like and would play. I eventually want to try to collect as close as I can to a full loose collection.

Now that you have all the knowledge, and knowledge is power, you are ready to conquer the world of NES Collecting.

This guide can also help with collecting for other Retro/Old school gaming systems. Apply some of the simliar concepts above. Maybe, I’ll write up specific guides for more in the future.

I really hope that this helped someone out there on the internet. Please leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter!

About Author