I waited for the inevitable fallout. Now that it's done let me explain why I was right.
NES games started at 30 bucks. They could go as high as 70-80. Final Fantasy III, I distinctly remember being 70 bucks retail. I think Metroid, the first game that I ever bought, was around 40-45. That was the normal going rate in most areas. if it was different where you lived I'm glad for you, but I can only go by what I paid for them retail. That is before it's adjusted for inflation btw. I'm not referring to bargain bin titles either, you had those with every generation. When you got to the 16 bit era, the going rate was more around 70-80. Street Fighter II Turbo was 75 if I remember correctly.
Rental chains didn't catch on, in rural areas like I live in at least, until the 2nd or 3rd year of the nes's nationwide release. Even when they did, it was still a shot in the dark if you would rent a good game.
The internet didn't exist yet (can we at least agree on that?) and the only game mag with getting, at least initially, was Nintendo Power. They rarely gave a game a bad review because it would be hurting their own product. We didn't know that as kids though.
So with the internet and every schmo with a video camera doing reviews of games these days we are spoiled. You can pick apart details all you like, but my point still holds.