...So often on eBay and in other arenas you'll see "RARE" tagged onto the end of an item description. It's my experience that 90% of the time it simply isn't accurate. I'm guilty of it, calling Super Mario 3 "RARE", but the fact is, it's just scarce, and even then not very. When companies signed 3rd party licenses with Nintendo, they were obligated to make so many copies but limited to a maximum. Some companies, the smaller ones, simply didn't print as many, and these games are "RARE"
...In reality, the only really RARE NES games are the ones they made at the end of the run in 1994, and a few select titles going back through its 10 year history. The reason Flintstones 2 sells for hundreds of dollars isn't because it's a GREAT GAME, it's because nobody bought it, they shortprinted it, and even most Blockbusters had stopped carrying Nintendo games by the time of it's release. Conversely, this is why Contra will sell for twenty dollars; they made a billion copies of it, but everyone loves it.
...so next time someone tells you they have a 'rare' Nintendo game for sale, take a critical look at the title...when was it made, what's the condition, does it have instructions or its box? Some instruction books are as rare or rarer than most of the games. It would be like paying ANY amount of money for a copy of E.T. for the atari, just because it's not available everywhere right now. They made too many, the game is crap, and no one wants it. Scarce or not, it CERTAINLY doesn't qualify as rare....
Here's a list of games I see often times listed as RARE, that actually aren't....
RARE games are the ones you've never even seen, like Color a Dinosaur, Dragon Warrior IV, and Solitaire...chances are if you or someone in your neighborhood had it, it simply isn't rare....