Video game sales are a funny thing – whilst we get used to seeing the usual faces top the chart week in, week out (looking at you, FIFA), have you ever wondered what the actual best selling games of all time are? Well wonder no more, here are the top 10 best sellers, ever:
10. New Super Mario Bros. Wii – 30 million
New Super Mario Bros. Wii captures both the best and worst of Wii-era Nintendo. The first Mario platformer to feature simultaneous gameplay, up to four people could join the quest to rescue Princess Peach. To account for variations in ability, weaker players could surround themselves in a bubble and allow more skilled players to complete challenging sections. However, it was also the game that introduced the Super Guide whereby you could choose for the game to essentially play itself if you couldn’t get through a stage, which means at times New Super Mario Bros. Wii is little more than a low-res cutscene.
9. New Super Mario Bros. (DS) – 31 million
With 2D platformers having experienced a resurgence in the last few years, it’s easy to forget there was a time when the genre fell almost completely out of favour. When Mario successfully made the leap to 3D, every other platformer followed suit. Indeed, New Super Mario Bros. was the first new 2D Mario game for 14 years when it arrived in 2006. And it was a huge hit – with upgraded visuals giving a 2.5D look to the game, this was the perfect fusion of new and old and a complete joy to play through from start to finish.
8. Pokémon Red/Blue/Green (Game Boy) – 31 million
Pokémon continues to break records even up to now, with the most recent Sun and Moon games becoming the fastest selling titles in Nintendo‘s history. However, it’s the original games that still hold the title for biggest selling despite the series having had several peaks in popularity over the last two decades. Considering its modest home on the Game Boy, the first Pokémon games offered tremendous depth and tons of replay value. This sales total doesn’t even include Pokémon Yellow‘s 14 million sales or Game Boy Advance remakes LeafGreen and FireRed, which shifted a further 12 million copies.
7. Wii Sports Resort – 33 million
Wii Sports was as much a tech demo for the console as it was a proper game. The sequel offered much more, but most importantly it came bundled with the MotionPlus attachment for the Wii Remote, making it the obvious way to upgrade the controller if you so wished. And a lot of people did – almost half of Wii owners paid a visit to Wuhu Island for another collection of sports games.
6. Mario Kart Wii – 37 million
Mario Kart was reinvigorated on the Wii following the so-so response to Mario Kart: Double Dash. The addition of the steering wheel (which actually made the game much harder to play) was a genius novelty that opened up the series to legions of new fans – some 27 million more than the second highest selling home console version: Mario Kart 64. Mario Kart Wii upped the racing roster to 12 participants and took the series online for only the second time after Mario Kart DS.
5. Super Mario Bros. (NES) – 40 million
The game that started it all – well, almost. Super Mario Bros. was the sequel to Mario Bros. released in 1983. But it was this NES platformer that established the groundwork for the Mario that we know today. Released as a pack-in title for the NES, we’ll never know how many copies the game would have sold on its own. But there is something fitting about this title still being Mario‘s biggest seller despite many others having come close to snatching the crown in the last 30 years.
4. Grand Theft Auto V (PS3/Xbox 360/PS4/Xbox One) – 80 million
GTA V is an absolute behemoth – easily the best selling GTA title to date and one that is continuing to generate record profits. The game has been a staple of the video game charts since it was released in 2013. Of course, the fact that it’s available on two generations of console has certainly helped. Nonetheless, Los Santos and the GTA Online environment remain a big draw for gamers and there are absolutely no signs of it slowing down.
3. Wii Sports – 83 million
The biggest selling Wii game – albeit by default. Wii Sports was the perfect tech demo for Nintendo‘s new console. It effortlessly demonstrated exactly what the selling point of the system was and made people want to have a go. Wii Sports was packaged with the console everywhere except Japan, so the sales represent the popularity of the Wii as much as they do the game. And yet, given how perfect a demonstration of the console it was, it’s hard to imagine that many people wouldn’t have purchased this if it hadn’t been included for free.
2. Minecraft (PC/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Wii U/Switch) – 122 million
Minecraft didn’t arrive on consoles until 2012, but in just five years it’s already become the second biggest video game of all time. One of its key attributes is the simplicity of its design – the cubic graphics have never been at the cutting edge of technology, but what can be achieved with them is limited only by your imagination. The scope and ease of Minecraft‘s availability and the fact that it’s unlikely to ever need a significant upgrade mean it’s surely only a matter of time before it rises further upwards.
1. Tetris (Game Boy/Game Boy Colour/Game Boy Advance/N64/DS/3DS) – 170 million
The most ported game of all time, appearing on over 65 different platforms and counting, Tetris remains the undisputed king of the video game world…for now at least. There are huge discrepancies over official sales for Tetris, but the figur here reflects “boxed” copies – if you include the mobile port then you can add another 425 million sales to the total. The game has been repackaged, redesigned and reinvented over the last 30 years, but the core gameplay has never changed. The iconic game is woven into the very fabric of modern culture – for many of us, there will never have been a time when Tetris didn’t exist.
So, is this what you’d expect of the top ten biggest selling games? What about the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda or Pac-Man? Let us know what you think in the comments or via social media.