Are your Old Board Games Worth Money?

19 May 2024
Are these older board games gathering dust in your loft? Could you be sitting on a small goldmine – or at least a luxury dinner or two? Board games have a nostalgic history, and a number have not only stood the test of time, but have become highly sought after. Here are a few hidden gems that could be worth your time.

We’ve talked in the past about how Pokémon Cards are the holy grail of loft finds, everyone hopes that they’ll find their childhood collection discarded in the attic, praying to the Pikachu above that they’ll have some perfect condition first edition cards. Sure, they’ll have the highest value, but what are the games that can offer a slightly bigger wallet after you pop it through an auction?


Star Wars: The Queen’s Gambit

The second mention of this game this issue, the Queen’s Gambit was a Hasbro game that has an almost cult status. Published in 2000 by Avalon Hill as a direct tie in with The Phantom Menace, it recreates the ending of The Phantom Menace across four different game boards, simultaneously showing four different battles. It contains over 130 plastic models, and plays as a hobby game, rather than a film tie-in game as we often expect. The higher condition versions of the game can fetch a pretty penny, but even damaged ones can sell for parts for a decent amount. With the anniversary of the Phantom Menace this year, it’s not unlikely that copies could become suddenly more popular.

Recently sold for: £320-£470

Related article: A short history of the Force in Board Games

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Settlers of Catan 3D Collectors Edition

Catan, or Settlers of Catan, was the gateway game for so many gamers, and often is one of the few hobby games a non-hobby gamer may be able to quote. The 1995 winner of the Spiel Des Jahres has you trading for victory, and has a stream of expansions – including a recent two player Starfarers variant – expect a review soon. A collectors edition is unsurprisingly popular, and whilst there’s been a much more recent Catan 3D Edition, which utilised plastic pieces in a cardboard box, the popular previous Collectors Edition came in a wooden treasure chest. Whilst it probably wasn’t a fun one to lug up into the loft, it’ll be a great (and nicely dramatic) find if you’ve got one hidden away.

Recently sold for: £511-£680


Milton Bradley’s Fireball Island

First published by Milton Bradley in 1986 (you’ll see their name crop up again before this list ends), it was “the dimensional adventure game of pitfalls and perils”, where you play as treasure hunters on a tropical island. It’s up to you to avoid the fireballs, and takes a mixture of skill and luck to be successful. The game unsurprisingly got an updated release much more recently, where Restoration Games brough Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar to Kickstarter, where it raised a cool $2.5million for it and its expansions. That hasn’t cooled the appetite for it though, as the new version has held its value, and the original Milton Bradley version still goes for a lot more than you’ll have paid for it.

Recently sold for: £240-£260

Related article: Our Review of the newer Fireball Island: Curse of the Vul-Kar

Dark Tower

Dark Tower was a 1981 board game from Milton Bradley Company (Remember them?), where you have to amass an army, collect three keys to the tower, and defeat the evil within… It was an electronic game, one of the early attempts at what it called “electronic wizardry”, which had a battery-powered tower that illuminated the appropriate cells for the gameplay, accompanied by sounds. Rather impressive stuff for the time, but also the reason it’s worth so much now. It didn’t have a particularly long print run, owing to some lawsuits, and copies that do exist, were subject to fragile technology that didn’t offer much longevity. Those that still work fetch considerably higher than those that don’t. Much like the previous Milton Bradley game though, Restoration Games brought a new version to Kickstarter, this time raising $4 million, bringing Return to Dark Tower to life with an app-enabled tower.

Recently sold for: £100-£430


Space Hulk

It’s no surprise that a Games Workshop game is sought after, but this one was from 1989, where the Space Hulk is a mass of space junk like old space ships and asteroids. One player is an aggressive alien species who call the Space Hulk their home, the Tyranid Genestealers, and the other is a Space Marine Terminator sent to investigate the space hulk. The asymmetrical nature sees both parties with different goals and abilities, as well as attack styles. The format saw numerous video games released inspired by it, and then also a card game from Fantasy Flight Games. If you played Warhammer in the early days, this could be one you hoarded and forgot about…

Recently sold for: £100-£230



In a mixture of the above, Games Workshop worked with Milton Bradley to release HeroQuest in 1989. Many people talk of playing the game with family as an entryway into the hobby, and it merged popular ideas of board games and roleplaying games into one. The game was aimed at 10-12 year olds, was deliberately kept simple, and designed as cooperative. For those that enjoyed it and wanted more, there was then Advanced HeroQuest, with the same foundation but more complex rules. The license, after lapsing and being used for unrelated projects over the years, was sold back to Hasbro Gaming, for its subsidiary Avalon Hill to publish a remake, using its own crowdfunding platform. Much of the collectability of the game comes from the nostalgia, though admittedly the rerelease has caused its value to decrease somewhat.

Recently sold for: £55-150



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Posted by Laura Remy on Fri 31 May 14:56:49