Video games are just a necessity in modern geek culture. Listed below are the four best-selling video game franchises of all time – the first three are Nintendo based. Go figure.
The official mascot of the Nintendo Company, Mario first made an appearance in the original Donkey Kong arcade game way back in 1981. Ever since then, Mario has been popping out of pipes, defeating Bowser, and rescuing Princess Peach in new forms and games every time we turn around. For the purposes of this article, the Super Mario franchise will be included under the Mario franchise to eliminate confusion (and they’re the same thing, right?).
Easily Nintendo’s most recognizable figure, Mario traverses through his world with some of the other most famous characters in video games: Bawser, Princess Peach, and, of course, his brother, Luigi. Mario has become so popular that whenever someone introduces themselves as Mario, there is inevitably someone who pops up and say “itssaa mee, a Mario!”
Some of the more famous games in this series include Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 64 (this was actually selected to be featured in an exhibit in the Smithsonian in 2011), and Super Smash Bros. Total sales for the series are around 720 million units!
Originally released in 1996 for the Game Boy, the Pokémon series has become a staple in American – and even world – anime culture. Developed as a role-playing game by Satoshi Tajiri, Pokémon now has 41 (count ‘em 41) games in its franchise. Add to that a TV show, trading card game, and the fame of Pikachu and you have the second best selling video game franchise of all time.
The Guinness Book of World Records has bestowed eight total awards upon Pokémon thus far. Among them include “Most Successful RPG Series of All Time,” “Game Series with the Most Spin-off Movies,” and “Most Photosensitive Epileptic Seizures by a TV Show” – I kid you not. IGN, a popular gamer’s web community, listed Pokémon as the 17th greatest game series of all time.
With approximately 220 million units sold, chances are we will be hearing “Gotta Catch ‘em All” ringing in our ears for years to come.
The Wii Series, beginning in 2006 with the release of Wii Sports, included in the Wii, now boasts nine games to its name, stealing third place for best selling game franchise of all time. The goal of this series is to get people up and moving instead of just sitting on the coach vegetating with a traditional controller.
With Wii Sports actually being the most sold video game of all time, the Wii Series was off to a good start. Including titles like Wii Party, Wii Resort, and Wii Fit, this series boasts of being able to assist in weight loss and maintaining physical activity. Even though The Institute of National Health and Nutrition of Tokyo determined that only one-third of the exercises in Wii Fit are acceptable to use as a real regimen, people often defend the series as being healthy and beneficial.
Directed at people who wish to lose weight and get an easy exercise, the Wii Series has sold about 191 million units since its introduction in 2006.
Released in February of 2000, the original Sims has inspired countless expansion packs and two sequels. The original life simulation game, The Sims has become a mainstay in modern popular culture and has even evolved into a Facebook game – finally something to compete with that damned FarmVille.
With the original Sims only slated to sell 160,000 units, it goes without saying that everyone was astonished when that sales projection was shattered ten times over, with sales of 16 million units. Awarded five honors by the Guinness Book of World Records, including “World’s Biggest-Selling Simulation Game” and “Best Selling PC Game of All Time,” in 2008, the Sims series has sold around 150 million units so far.
The Bottom Line
To be honest, I was surprised at which games were actually the bestsellers when I began researching for this article. I would have thought that Call of Duty and Star Wars were before Mario – obviously, I was wrong. Now that I look back on it, it makes perfect sense. Nothing plays as the classics do.Four Best Selling Video Game Franchises,