Video games have become more valuable over time, especially with the emergence of the video game industry. Today, video games are big business, with the top-selling franchises raking in billions of dollars annually. However, even more impressive than the amount of money these games collect is the high value some rare video games have acquired over time.

1. Stadium Events: This game is widely considered one of the rarest and most valuable video games in existence. It was developed by Bandai for the now-defunct NES platform. Only a few copies were ever sold before Nintendo discontinued production and rebranded the game as World Class Track Meet. In 2015, a copy of Stadium Events sold for $41,000.

2. Gamma Attack: Gamma Attack is an Atari 2600 game that was developed by Gammation and intended for release by CommaVid. However, the game never officially made it to market, making it one of the most sought-after Atari games among collectors.

3. Air Raid: Air Raid was produced by Men-A-Vision and released for the Atari 2600 in 1982. According to legend, the game’s manufacturer only produced a small number of cartridges, making it incredibly rare and highly valuable. Today, only a handful of copies are known to exist. In 2010, a copy sold for $31,600.

4. Nintendo World Championships: Nintendo World Championships was initially released in 1990 in conjunction with a video game tournament of the same name. The game features six timed challenges pulled from popular NES titles like Super Mario Bros. and Tetris.

5. Red Sea Crossing: Red Sea Crossing is an Atari 2600 game created by Steve Stack for Inspirational Video Concepts in 1983. The game is based on the Bible story of Moses parting the Red Sea. However, the appeal of the game largely comes from its rarity.

6. Atlantis II: Atlantis II is a game released by Imagic in 1982 for the Atari 2600. The game is highly valuable today due in part to its fantastic gameplay and graphics. The game is also considered to be one of the most complicated and challenging games of the era.

7. Pepsi Invaders: Pepsi Invaders was a hack of the popular game Space Invaders developed by Coca-Cola as a gift to the employees of Pepsi. Only 125 copies were reportedly made, with most distributed to Pepsi employees.

8. Cheetahmen II: Cheetahmen II was a game created by Active Enterprises for the NES. Though the original game was terrible and failed to gain a following, a handful of functioning copies of the sequel exist and are highly coveted by collectors.

9. Kizuna Encounter: Kizuna Encounter was a fighting game created by SNK for the Neo Geo system. The game saw a limited release in Japan and never made it to the United States. As a result, the game has become highly valuable, with some copies selling for more than $10,000.

10. Super Mario Bros. 3: Super Mario Bros. 3 is not an especially rare game, but it is considered by many collectors to be one of the most valuable games in circulation. The game was produced in large numbers, but many copies were destroyed or lost over time.

In conclusion, while the video game industry is constantly evolving, some games remain iconic and highly coveted due to their rarity and unique background stories. These top 10 rare video games can fetch quite a fortune, with some fetching upwards of tens of thousands of dollars at auction. For collectors, these rare finds are a must-have item, while for a casual gamer, this list could make for quite a fascinating read.