The Most Valuable & Rarest Sega Master System Games

Most-Valuable-And-Rarest-Sega-Master-System-GamesAlthough the Master System may not attract as many retro gamers as its younger 16-bit sibling, its impressive library of exclusives, rarities and valuable titles are often the centre of bidding wars from the Sega die-hards. It’s time to get acquainted with these in-demand titles with RetroCollect’s definitive list of the rarest and most valuable Master System games around.

With nearly 300 different PAL Sega Master System titles making up the collection, there are so many stand-out releases worth picking up. To name but a few, the likes of the Sonic trilogy, Castle of Illusion, Ninja Gaiden, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Lucky Dime Caper, and Phantasy Star are all timeless classics - but which of these, if any, are valuable rarities?

Prepare to be amazed as we go through the ultimate list of Sega Master System rarities, valuable games and elusive titles - with the biggest question being, how many of these do you own?

Rarest PAL (European / Australian) Sega Master System Games

Smurfs-2-Master-System

Les Schtroumpfs Autour du Monde

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Extremely Rare

Understandably at the top of most Master System collector’s want lists is a title which was an unheard of and unknown entry - at least until the early 2000s. Les Schtroumpfs Autour Du Monde (aka The Smurfs Travel the World) was first discovered and documented when a Finnish tourist visiting the Czech Republic managed to uncover a small handful of copies of the game.

Online discussions about the title confused veteran Sega collectors, several of which went on to incorrectly suggest this lucky owner was instead confused with the first Smurfs title. Needless to say this extreme rarity has since become the holy grail of Master System collections - despite even more copies surfacing in recent years.

Link: Find Les Schtroumpfs Autour du Monde (Master System) on eBay


Power-Strike-II-Master-System

Power Strike II

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

While a lot of Master System games are identical to their Game Gear equivalents, Power Strike II was in fact rather different to its handheld outing. Very much like the first game - better known as Aleste in Japan - this sequel had just as much firepower on offer for the scrolling shooter fanatics. Unfortunately though, this late Master System release only seems to be available in small quantities making this 8-bit classic very desirable.

Link: Find Power Strike II (Master System) on eBay


Buggy-Run-Master-System

Buggy Run

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

By the mid-nineties, the isometric upgrade-your-vehicle genre of racing had well and truly been tried and tested. R.C. Pro-Am is usually the title from this genre which takes centre stage, along with the heavy metal outing Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing - but Sega also wanted a slice of the action in 1993.

Being an incredibly late release in the system’s life, a massive three years after the Mega Drive’s European arrival, Buggy Run sadly did not see the sales count it deserved. Being an impressive 8-bit racer, you’ll face tough competition getting your hands on Buggy Run but it’ll be a worthy purchase regardless.

Link: Find Buggy Run (Master System) on eBay


Masters-of-Combat-Master-System

Masters of Combat

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

Not to be mistaken as a rip off of Mortal Kombat, SIMS’s ambitious 2D fighter Masters of Combat was possibly the best release in the genre for the Sega Master System. Instead of attempting to replicate what more powerful consoles and arcade cabinets were offering, Masters of Combat played to the Master System’s merits and provided a fantastic brawler to 8-bit fanatics.

Despite its greatness, Masters of Combat too - like many of these Master System rarities - was a late release in 1993, a time when most games had moved on to experience blast processing.

Link: Find Masters of Combat (Master System) on eBay


Home-Alone-Master-System

Home Alone

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

As most retro gamers aiming to collect every title a console has to offer will know, rarity and value are no clear indication of how good a game is. While many rarities can be explained from their small prints runs or late releases, some are just difficult to find due to being pathetic offerings nobody bought.

If you haven’t already guessed what we’re trying to say, Home Alone is without a doubt one of the worst Master System games on offer - something can be said for just about every other console this quick cash-in landed on. That said, those still considering a full set of Master System games will have to take this one on the chin and reluctantly shove Macaulay Culkin’s face to the back of the collection shelves.

Link: Find Home Alone (Master System) on eBay


Assault-City-Master-System

Assault City: Light Phaser Version

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

Many Master System gamers will be familiar with the action packed Assault City, but its near-identical duplicate release is one they may have missed. Despite the 8-bit console proudly sporting a futuristic light phaser accessory, this first person arcade shooter’s release was not compatible with the peripheral. Sega quickly made amends for this glaringly obvious mistake and re-released the title sporting a massive red silhouette of the light gun on the cover.

Although this re-release was clearly a better offering, its rarity today suggests gamers of the 90s never returned their original purchase in exchange for the Light Phaser version of the game.

Link: Find Assault City: Light Phaser Version (Master System) on eBay


Asterix-and-the-Great-Rescue-Master-System

Astérix and the Great Rescue

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

René Goscinny’s famous cartoon creation Asterix had a prominent and much loved presence on the Master System which spanned a trio of releases. Unlike those before it though, the development of the third entry in this series was not done by Sega, but instead gifted to Core Design to produce.

Although Core Design are known for creating fantastic platformers with stunning visuals, Astérix and the Great Rescue was not up to par with Sega’s previous efforts. With a Mega Drive offering also available at the same time, the rarity of this Master System title is somewhat understanding - albeit frustrating for 8-bit Sega fans.

Link: Find Astérix and the Great Rescue (Master System) on eBay


Championship-Hockey-Master-System

Championship Hockey

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

Prior to Championship Hockey skating onto Sega’s 8-bit system, fans of Ice Hockey simulators had been enjoying the smooth gliding matches Slap Shot had to offer. Despite having several years to build a better experience, Electronic Arts’ laughable attempt instead featured ropey visuals, glitchy sprite flickering and woeful AI.

Link: Find Championship Hockey (Master System) on eBay


Sonic-Spinball-Master-System

Sonic Spinball

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

As great as it was that Sega made sure each of their consoles had access to their top releases, there are occasionally some titles which are better left to the more powerful hardware on offer. Sonic Spinball’s 8-bit outing sadly suffered at the hands of the Master System’s age, leaving the pinball-paced gameplay to stutter and struggle.

Unfortunately this will be one of the most expensive Sonic The Hedgehog titles you’ll ever encounter, and one of the few which doesn’t do the blue critter proud.

Link: Sonic Spinball (Master System) on eBay


Ultimate-Soccer-Master-System

Ultimate Soccer

RetroCollect Game Database Rarity: Very Rare

Despite many years on the market before Ultimate Soccer arrived, Sega’s classic console had very little to offer in terms of the beautiful game. The iconic Sensible Soccer had a pathetic port to the Master System and just about every other attempt left fans wanting more.

British software powerhouse Rare came to the rescue eventually, but it’s safe to say their efforts were too late into injury time. Ultimate Soccer, the same game as released on the Mega Drive, was an impressive re-telling of the sport, but unfortunately too late into the console’s life to leave a mark.

Link: Find Ultimate Soccer (Master System) on eBay


Other notable PAL Master System valuables and rarities


Rarest and Most Valuable Import (US) Master System Games

As the Sega Master System was more popular in Europe than other regions, very few rarities or standout valuable titles exist abroad. What often comes as a real surprise to Master System collectors is which American imports are actually considered rare - usually common titles from the European library which can be found for mere pennies.

Sonic-The-Hedgehog-US-Version-Master-System

Sonic The Hedgehog (US Version)

Surprisingly enough one of the rarest North American Sega Master System items is one you’d never expect - Sonic The Hedgehog. Appearing to be no different from the European release at a quick glance, the two region’s releases of the same game are separated by one tiny detail. An additional UPC barcode sticker on the back of the game’s case is present covering up the European barcode. Given that this tiny sticker is the only detail, locating this import is incredibly difficult for a number of reasons: not only do buyers need to contact sellers to photograph the reverse of this game box, but also live in hope that this said sticker hasn’t been peeled off.

Crazy or a challenge - that’s up to you!

Link: Find Sonic The Hedgehog (Master System) on eBay US


Kings-Quest-Master-System

King's Quest - Quest for the Crown

Although there were very few adventures on offer for North American Master System gamers, they did somehow manage to secure a port of a PC classic which the rest of the world missed out on. Sierra’s first title in the King’s Quest series was surprisingly playable on a control pad, featuring more impressive visuals than its home computer counterpart, and most importantly did away with its cryptic command system.

Link: Find King's Quest - Quest for the Crown (Master System) on eBay


Alf-Master-System

Alf

Every console has one - you know, an abysmal and laughable excuse for a video game. While Home Alone comes close to being the equivalent of this for the Master System, another theatrical adaptation instead jumps into way out in front of the movie tie-in. Alf, based upon the TV series of the same name is a platforming adventure bearing little resemblance to its material, featuring woeful gameplay and MS Paint visuals.

Link: Find Alf (Master System) on eBay


Other notable US import valuables and rarities


TecToy-Exclusive-Master-System-Games

TecToy’s Brazilian Exclusive Blockbuster Hits

Although the Master System paved way for the Mega Drive early on, Brazil of all places was reluctant to let Sega’s early console die out. The Brazilian distributor TecToy brought a plethora of new releases to the 8-bit system which European, American and Japanese gamers never saw - including the likes of Street Fighter II, Baku Baku Animal and Dynamite Headdy.

Here’s a list of TecToy Sega Master System exclusives which are fantastic additions to any collection:

Ariel The Little Mermaid
Baku Baku Animal
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
Bonkers Wax Up!
Castelo Ra-Tim-Bum
Dynamite Headdy
Earthworm Jim
Ecco The Dolphin: Tides of Time
Férias Frustradas do Pica Pau
Fire & Ice
Legend of Illusion
Mickey's Ultimate Challenge
Mortal Kombat 3
Ren and Stimpy
Sitio do Picapau Amarelo
Sonic Blast
Street Fighter II
Taz in Escape From Mars
Virtua Fighter Animation
X-Men Mojo World

Also released were several hacks of original Master System games, each sporting replaced characters or graphical alterations:

As Aventuras da TV Colosso (Astérix hack)
Chapolim x Dracula - Um Duelo Assustador (Ghost House hack)
Geraldinho (Teddy Boy hack)
Monica no Castelo do Dragao (Wonder Boy in Monster Land hack)
Sapo Xule O Mestre do Kung Fu (Kung Fu Kid hack)
Sapo Xule S.O.S. Lagoa Poluida (Astro Warrior hack)
Sapo Xule vs Os Invasores do Brejo (Psycho Fox hack)
Turma da Monica em: O Resgate (Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap hack)


Other notable Sega Master System rarities and valuables

Lucky-Dime-Caper-Box-Set-Master-System

Lucky Dime Caper Boxed Set

Cast aside your hunt for Les Schtroumpfs Autour du Monde for one moment as there is a much more impressive collectable up for grabs.

In 1991 Disney teamed up with Sega to make a big impact for Donald Duck’s debut on a video game console. Their teamwork saw The Lucky Dime Caper released in an oversized box set not only containing the game, but also a limited edition t-shirt, Master System poster and cassette tape.

As the packaging used was somewhat awkward and probably considered pointless to keep (to some) once its contents were removed, this box set is incredibly tough to find today complete. Without a doubt this extreme rarity is often considered a Master System holy grail, with the few owning this item looking unlikely to part with it any time soon.

Link: Find Lucky Dime Caper Boxed Set (Master System) on eBay


Last Updated ( 11 January 2014 )  

Cauterize

Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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Comments 

(Link to this comment) MRCL 2014-01-13 06:00
Interesting read. I knew the Smurfs game is the rarest and holy grali-ish, but I didn't know its backstory.
+1 (Link to this comment) Retro 77 2014-01-13 12:04
Great stuff Cauterize. Whilst clicking the Ebay links I found this version of Buggy Run (Tec Toy). Is this a fake as I couldn't see it in the database?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/buggy-run-complete-sega-master-system-/271356831947?pt=US_Other_Video_Game_Accessories&hash=item3f2e20a8cb

Apologies if I have missed it.

I did pick up Kings Quest in a car boot sale last year though. I didn't know it was rare either. I just bought it because I hadn't seen it before.
(Link to this comment) peido 2014-06-06 19:12
Hi,

Quote:
I found this version of Buggy Run (Tec Toy). Is this a fake as I couldn't see it in the database?

TecToy's Buggy Run isn't fake, and it's usually very expensive.

Thanks for this list.
(Link to this comment) Gear For Games 2014-01-15 10:49
Beautiful! It's amazing what criteria makes a rare game, then then another to make it expensive! If your collecting you need the good , bad and the ugly!

Great read thank you!

I did notice that the link for Alf is the same link for Kings Quest
(Link to this comment) ZOMBIE MATT 2014-02-03 19:05
Great work
Love the master system
What about the card games that came out
(Link to this comment) spark_man86 2014-10-20 16:10
Kings Quest was released in Europe cos I have a legit PAL copy to prove it ,
(Link to this comment) Segatarian 2015-11-20 17:14
i got the great rescue, but asterix 1 is the most fun to play.
it's my favorite asterix.
megadrive don't got any good one's in my ies.
(Link to this comment) AIIIIIAIIIIIA 2018-05-30 02:42
Love The Guide! :lol: Here's A Suggestion For You, Mabey If It Is O.K. For Your Next Rare Retro Games Of All Time That You Can Try And Do The Rarest Game Boy Games Of All Time? I Would Love To See That!!! :-) :-) :-)
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