What makes a WATA 10 


What does the big 1-0 even mean?

Everyone strives for that perfect WATA 10. It’s the most prestigious grade we offer, representing a video game that is virtually flawless in both its box and seal. Our official 10 rating conveys that both during the manufacturing process and over time, this game has been cared for in near-perfect condition. However, the aspiration becomes exceptionally difficult as time goes on — since, even within a factory-sealed case pack, seal damage can occur from microscuffing caused by any slight movement. 

All factory-sealed WATA 10s have two grades in common: a 10 for the box/case and an A++ for the seal rating. In order to illustrate just how immaculate each graded example is, we decided to make A++ a requirement for our 10s; a 10 should be backed by full confidence in the impeccable condition of both the box and seal. (For items that don’t achieve that 10 rating, instead receiving a 9.8 A++, it’s almost always because of the condition of the seal rather than the box.)


Two examples of pregraded images for 10s. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch and Wolverine for NES.


Three examples of postgraded 10s in WATA cases. Altered Beast for Genesis, The Last of Us for PS3, and Pokémon Violet for Switch.


Is a 10 possible for me?

Your best chances of sourcing a game that could receive a WATA 10 is always going to be from a manufacturer’s factory case pack — as it limits all possible damage. WATA 10s are exceptionally rare on retro platforms as there are far fewer case packs available these days for older platforms; that’s why we award significantly more 10s in more modern platforms.

Just remember: not all case packs are created equally. Even at the manufacturing level, a game can have significant differences in manufacturing quality that disqualifies it from receiving a 10. 

When trying to determine if a game stands a chance of receiving a 10, you should begin to survey the item for microscuffing, abrasions, or corner pokes. If any of these flaws are visible, even under magnification, your item won’t receive a 10.


What more can I learn to find a 10?

Although this article works as an introduction to our highest video game grade, there’s still much more to consider on a case-by-case basis. We’re also putting together a guide that delves into  what does and doesn’t disqualify your game from receiving a 10 based on the type of box, to help you better understand our grading process.