RANKED! The 5 Most Memorable Video Game Currencies

Image: Irina_Strelnikova (Getty Images)

Before the cryptocurrency craze, the only virtual money that really mattered was video game currency. Many games now have their own money system used to obtain new powers, skills, weapons, or just improve the character’s appearance. We decided to take a look at some of the most memorable video game currencies from the early days and honor the great games that utilized them. See if this will pull some nostalgic threads in your mind or perhaps make your eyes water just a little bit.

5. Credits (Any Futuristic Game)

The fifth place on our list of video game currencies belongs to the inevitable credits. This currency was used in so many games that we’ve really lost count. Most of the time, those are games set in a futuristic environment and the money being used is in electronic form. One of the most famous franchises to utilize it (although not so old as some other games on this list) is the epic Mass Effect. In case you’ve never player this game (shame on you), it’s a space adventure with spaceship explorations, morality choices, and some tremendous battles. However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to grabbing as much credit as possible and turning yourself into a merciless war machine.

4. Gil (Final Fantasy)

Anyone who has ever player Final Fantasy knows of the franchise’s weirdly named currency, Gil. Apparently, it got its name from one of the characters in the game called Edward Chris von Muir. Gil is a nod to his original name Gilbart that had to be changed because of localization. The weird thing about Gil is that it’s almost never actually seen in-game. Characters obtain it, use it, but the only instance when it’s really shown is during a Gil toss move, where characters can improve their attack at the cost of some Gils. How cool is that?

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3. Rupees (The Legend of Zelda)

For many people, The Legend of Zelda is one of the most rewarding, heartfelt franchises in gaming history. The first game, which was a brainchild of the almighty Miyamoto (who also happened to create Mario as well), was released back in 1986 and has since spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs. You play as Link, a small, blonde adventurer with a funny green hat and a heart of gold. The main currency in Zelda games are the rupees, hexagonal gem stones that come in various colors and sizes. The name is quite possibly inspired by similarly shaped rubies although in the original game there were only yellow and blue varieties.

2. Bottle Caps (Fallout)

Most of the video game currencies so far make sense one way or another, but this one is a bit perplexing. In the Fallout series, the main video game currency is actually an old bottle cap. Sounds weird? Well, once you hear the explanation, you’ll realize that it actually makes quite a lot of sense. The games are set in a distant, dystopian world where the cities, states, and governments have collapsed along with standard currencies like dollars. So some witty merchants came up with an idea of using bottle caps because they’re difficult to counterfeit in a decaying society, there’s a limited number of them, and they’re useful considering the scarcity of water and bottles in the world. Cool, right?

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1. Gold Coins (Super Mario)

The first place on our list goes to Super Mario‘s gold coins. Why? Just because they’re simple, logical, and make a wonderful sound once they’re collected. Truth be told, in the original Super Mario, you couldn’t spend these coins on anything. All you got was some high-score and the feeling of achievement when you managed to collect all of them. If that sensation wasn’t enough, you also got one extra life after collecting 100 gold coins, which is quite valuable. These coins made the never-ending chase for the ungrateful princess that much more exciting.