Total Nerd

The Most Valuable Board Games That Could Be Gathering Dust In A Closet  

Jonathan H. Kantor
4.4k views 15 items

We all played board games growing up, but unless you're a hardened collector, there are only a few of us who ever thought those fun and interesting means of passing the time were actually worth any real money. Think about it for a second: Everyone has board games, and people play them until they are missing pieces and falling apart - but therein lies the collector's market. There are a few hard-to-find old board games worth money, and they can fetch a ton of cash in an online auction.

The funny thing about those games is that you might be sitting on one and not even know it. In a box somewhere, perhaps in an attic, or maybe in your basement, there could be vintage board games worth money, such as a copy of Monopoly from way back. If it's in good condition and has all of its pieces, you could be sitting on a goldmine. The most valuable board games are also the games you'd least expect to earn anything off of, but it's time to dust off some boxes, because you might just have one or more of these rare board games worth money hidden in your closet.

Swift Meats Major League Baseball (1957)
Swift Meats Major League Baseb... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Valuable Board Games That Could Be Gathering Dust In A Closet
Photo:  eBay

How Much It's Worth: Up to $2,644

Why It's Worth So Much: Swift Meats Major Leage Baseball is one of the hardest games to find completely intact, and that has a lot to do with how it was made. Unlike a traditional board game, this one features 18 collectible perforated cards, which contain baseball players that can be punched out and pieced together. Players received the paper game board via the mail, which meant the only way to get this game was to collect all 18 player cards and send away for the "board" from the company.

All of these factors make this game considerably rare in complete condition. People regularly trade graded cards online for hundreds of dollars each, but the real money is in a full set. Those sell for thousands of dollars at auction, but even if you just have a card or two somewhere in your closet, you could still be sitting on several hundred dollars.

The Elvis Presley Game (1957)
The Elvis Presley Game (1957) is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Valuable Board Games That Could Be Gathering Dust In A Closet
Photo:  eBay

How Much It's Worth: Up to $2,150

Why It's Worth So Much: Finding a copy of The Elvis Presley Game isn't easy, but finding one with everything complete and in good condition is almost impossible. When a set does come onto the market, it trades from as low as $650 for a banged up version to $2,150 for a well-preserved copy.

This is one of those games that is hard to find due to the limited number of copies that were originally made. Finding one in any condition is tough enough, and they rarely pop up on eBay. In early 2019, a damaged game with missing pieces was listed at $650

Win-A-Card (1969)
Win-A-Card (1969) is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Valuable Board Games That Could Be Gathering Dust In A Closet
Photo:  eBay

How Much It's Worth: Up to $1,795

Why It's Worth So Much: Win-A-Card was released by Milton Bradley in 1969, and while the game is fairly simplistic, its value stems from the "generous supply" of Topps baseball cards released in 1968. Some football and non-sports cards were also thrown into the mix. The game came with the cards packed in clear cellophane, and given that these were cards from '68, but slightly different from the standard-issue Topps cards from that year, they are highly collectible.

This game is worth a ton of money to an entirely different collector market than board games. The people who want to buy copies of this game aren't looking to play it, they're hoping to score some valuable baseball cards. Some of the names on those cards could be Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Nolan Ryan.

The Shadow Game (1940)
The Shadow Game (1940) is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Valuable Board Games That Could Be Gathering Dust In A Closet
Photo:  eBay

How Much It's Worth: Up to $1,500

Why It's Worth So Much: Back in the '40s, The Shadow was one of the most popular radio shows around, which is why it should come as no surprise that The Shadow Game was made soon after the character's broadcast career began. This game is pretty old, and it is very rare and difficult to find.

If you happen to have one in crummy condition, you are still sitting on a ton of cash. Just listing it online could result in a ton of interest. A complete copy in decent condition sold for $1,500 recently, but those listings are few and far between.