Foreword: As an update to the WATA Crossover article by Jonas McCammon published in November 2019 and based on 335 crossover data points (mostly NES), we provided Jonas over 1,500 data points across all platforms to provide a much more statistically significant analysis of data. We’re thrilled with the result and thank Jonas for his contributions and work to put together this educational and resourceful, data-driven piece for the community. Please note that any opinions or statements in this article are not necessarily shared by WATA

WATA Crossovers by Jonas McCammon


Due to overwhelming demand and countless crossover inquires, the original WATA Crossover article has finally been updated with more data!  The original article was written in October 2019 based on 335 data points; this list is now based on 1,506 data points after normalization.  Thank you to WATA for preserving this data and allowing it to be analyzed further.

As expected, this data set is much more comprehensive, both in terms of systems covered and number of grades analyzed.  To simplify the aggregate data, platforms were classified into 3 categories, either Jewel Case (PS1, Saturn, Dreamcast), Clamshell (Genesis and later disc systems like PS2, Gamecube, etc.) and Cardboard (Nintendo platforms, Atari, etc.).  Here is a look at the total data set by type and by grade:


The data set is dominated by cardboard platforms, but there are plenty of data points in the 80 to 90+ grade for analyzing.  The data points outside of those grades are much sparser, but we will examine grades 75 through 95 for the topic of conversation.  Onto the analysis!

Raw Data

Working our way from lowest to highest, first up is the 75 grade.  Based on 48 observed data points, here is the table of crosses:

There is no definitive bullseye here, as lower grades have more room for variation.  You can have a bad box with nice seal or vice versa.  An average 75 is in the 7.5 B+ to 8.5 A range.  It is also worth noting that 55% of 75 grades have crossed to A or A+ seals, yet 45% have crossed to B or lower.  This shows that 75 grade seals have huge variation and there is no “typical” 75 seal.

The 75+ level is next with 30 data points observed. Here is the 75+ cross table:

Here the sweet spot is 7.5 A to 8.0 A.  However, there is still a huge amount of variation in grades.  It is interesting that that the average 75+ box grade appears lower than the average 75 box, but this is likely due to limited data.  On seal grades, 75+ seals are significantly better than 75 as 87% have crossed over to A or higher.

Next up is the 80 grade with 140 unique data points, much more than the prior two examples:

The 80 crossover grade has a sweet spot of 8.0 to 9.4 A. The 80 grade typically has some moderate seal and box issues.  The A seal rating is most prevalent with 56% of crosses mapping to an A seal and only 26% higher than A.

The 80+ data includes 191 data points as follows:

An 80+ box is a bit nicer on average than 80, ranging from 8.5 to 9.6 instead of 8.0 to 9.4 on 80 grade.  Seals are also significantly better on 80+.  51% of the data maps to an A seal but 42% of the data maps to seals higher than A.

The 85 data set is comprised of 419 data points:

At 85, seals continue to improve as 64% are A+ seals. The actual box range improves to 9.0 to 9.6 with 53% of the population mapping to 9.4 or higher.  Most 85s qualify for the WATA Deep Badge level, as 85% of the population is a 9.0 or higher grade.  These represent solid condition games.

Another large data set is the 85+ grade with 422 pieces of data:

The 85+ data set has a surprisingly consistent bullseye, about 9.4 to 9.6 box and A+ to A++ seal. The average 85+ box is nicer than 85 and seals have a 28% chance of A++.  The 85 and 85+ populations overlap a lot in terms of grades, but 85+ games are noticeably nicer in general. An 85+ grade yields and extremely high likelihood of a WATA deep badge eligible game, as 97% of the data maps to 9.0 and higher!

The 90 grade consists of 165 data points as shown:

The 90 grade is the first level where an A++ seal is expected on average, with 60% having A++ seals. A whopping 91% of the box grades map to the 9.4 to 9.8 range as well. As one further observation, 90 grades have an amazing 89% chance of mapping in the 9.4 A+ to 9.8 A++ range, a very consistent high grade range.

At 90+ the data points are reduced further to 64 as follows:

Now the bullseye is a tighter range at 9.6 A++ to 9.8 A++.  Seals appear marginally better at 69% A++ vs. 60% of A++ 90 grades, but more data points would be necessary to confirm the trend. The same trend of 91% of boxes in the 9.4 to 9.8 range continues, but 9.8s have the largest chance at 41%.

The last and smallest data set is the 95 grade with 26 samples:

The 95 data has a 50% chance of crossing to 9.8 A++ exactly, but this is based on a small data set with large variation.  The grades have ranged as low as 9.4 A+ to a high of 10.0 A++ with one perfect crossover achieved.   For retro based systems, these are some of the highest grades a collector could aspire to own!

Data Summary

To visualize the data better, you must map Box and Grade variables into one variable. In the last article this was done with notional “Grade Bands”.  For example, is a 9.8 A+ better than a 9.6 A++ or vice versa?  They are both only one step removed from 9.8 A++, one by seal and one by box.  The following table defines these notional band by classifications of Gem Mint, Mint, NM, etc.

By using this mapping it allows a better “apples-to-apples” comparison across both scales.  This is the total data summary:

This chart shows a clear trend of condition improving by grade.  The variation in grade also reduces significantly at higher grades. Ultimately higher grades are in better condition, but any one individual game could have a bit more wear than others.    The 95 grade provides an extremely high chance of a “Mint” game in both seal and box, but no crossover is guaranteed.


Each grade has variation and while a sweet spot may be the most frequently occurring point, one should not expect that in a crossover.  A collector must train their eye to predict crosses with more accuracy. Even then, a slabbed game can easily mask damage noticeable when raw (such as corner pokes, surface scuffing, etc.) and nothing is guaranteed. However, the best estimate of each grade is as follows:

75 Grade: 7.5 B+ to 8.5 A (37% of data)

75+ Grade: 7.5 A to 8.0 A (37% of data)

80 Grade: 8.0 A to 9.4 A (47% of data)

80+ Grade: – 8.5 A to 9.6 A+ (69% of data)

85 Grade:  9.0 A+ to 9.6 A+ (50% of data)

85+ Grade:  9.4 A+ to 9.6 A+ (41% of data)

90 Grade: 9.4 A++ to 9.8 A++ (58% of data)

90+ Grade: 9.6 A++ to 9.8 A++ (55% of data)

95 Grade: 9.8 A++ (50% of data)

Ultimately, the words of wisdom are to “buy the game not the grade”.  If you choose to crossover games this article should help you make more informed decisions.  Best of luck with collecting!