UK paper names top game franchises

<i>The Independent</i> lists the top 20 all-time best-selling game series, including Mario, GTA, Madden, and Resident Evil.

British newspaper The Independent has listed the 20 most successful game franchises in today's "Extra" pull-out section.

At number one is Mario, the official Nintendo mascot, with 193 million game sales. Second is Pokémon, the popular Japanese pocket-monster game series, with 155 million, and third is another Japanese franchise--Square-Enix's epic role-playing game series, Final Fantasy, with 68 million.

A total of 11 of the top franchises originated in Japan, including all of the top three, as well as Donkey Kong (48 million), the Legend of Zelda (47 million), Sonic the Hedgehog (44 million), and Resident Evil (31 million).

Six came from the US--including sports title Madden NFL at number four with 56 million sales, life simulation The Sims (54 million), strategy game Command & Conquer (25 million), and fighting game Mortal Kombat (20 million).

Two series from the UK made it into the top 20, with Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto at number six with 50 million and Eidos' Tomb Raider at 16 with 30 million.

South Korea laid claim to the remaining place, with its massively multiplayer online role-playing game Lineage at number 11 with 43 million.

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Discussion

69 comments
olthof
olthof

Nintendo = teh pwnzr

jjfz
jjfz

Incredible, I've always thought that Pokemon was a great game, but I never thought it was this good!

sirhamalot
sirhamalot

Wow! I bought Pokemon Red, and Yellow (Jap edition), and a few games from the series for my Mom, but number 2 of all time is nuts. I wonder where Mega Man and the Myst series fall?

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

2 new things I've found out from this article. 1. Pokemon is a lot more popular than I've expected. 2. GTA is a British game.

janner51
janner51

Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto at number six with 50 million --------------------------- Awesome. Glad to see us Brits hanging in there. Everyone in Scotland should be given the GTA games for free!

SocaWarrior
SocaWarrior

like sonic. If the sonic team could produce more popular sonic games, I am thinking they would have been closer to the top.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

Mario includes Mario Tennis, Soccer, Mario RPG, Paper Mario, etc., etc., etc. There are over 40 Mario games which is why it's so high. The Pokemon number is amazing though.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Well, it just goes to show you how much the Japanese developers desires to remain stuck in the past, especially including the archaic gameplay mechanisms (except for Capcom, of course. Don't know about Square). Though, I think it would be nice to keep playing the newer Mario Kart instalments forever.

TwistOfFayt
TwistOfFayt

Yep, Super Mario Bros. was included with the NEs, and Super Mario World was included with the SNES. I have a feeling, though, that as popular and iconic as those two were, they still would have sold a bunch had they not been packaged in.

duraxx
duraxx

I'm surprised that the Warcraft franchise is not on the list. I would have Imagined between Warcrafts 1, 2, and 3 (plus the expansions), as well as World of Warcraft that it would have sold more than 20 million units worldwide. I imagine with the opening of the asian market to WOW and the burning crusade coming out that it may soon be in the top 20.

narky_one
narky_one

Wasn't mario shipped with the original nes as a freebie? I believe that might account for the high sales somewhat...

kaedahewson
kaedahewson

go GTA - representing the UK at number 6 I completely forgot the original was made about an hour away from me, I know one of the guys who playtests but sadly alcohol doesn't loosen his tongue when he's got an Iron Clad NDA - though i did hear the name of San Andreas a few hours before it was announced (Same Day though)

rei_europe
rei_europe

To quote from International Herald Tribune: "Japanese pop culture, according to Foreign Minister Taro Aso, is the way forward; the future of Japan's foreign cultural diplomacy." He obviously has a point :)

wenbin09
wenbin09

my vote goes to gta and the sims series..

cancer_777
cancer_777

Its all love dont forget that Final Fantasy started in Nintendo

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

go mario, I'm a final fantasy fan also, and madden nothing wrong with these series's

ClaudeLv250
ClaudeLv250

Ouch...Mario left everyone in the dust. But where the hell is Mega Man? Oh, I see...all the way at 17. ShockG707 FF whooped zelda real bad LOL! Mario whooped FF real bad LOLLMAFOAOMGAOSPDJ1 No fanboy, shut up. Zelda and FF aren't even the same genre, there aren't a ton pf Zelda spinoffs like FF, and Nintendo isn't porting half of the series around at every opportunity like Square. Taking that into account is actually quite impressive considering the 21 million difference. So, no, the only thing around here that got "whooped real bad" was you, into submission by Square LOL!

Gmacrusher
Gmacrusher

Those are all good games to have...even if you aren't in the UK but here in the US you should have them no matter the cost!!

Inu7
Inu7

I was never a fan of GTA III for some reason... Weird I know, but hey the top down versions were awesome.

TryMe01
TryMe01

Mario with 193 million game sales that's pretty impressive for a franchise over 20 years old, about 10mil per year Pokémon with 155 million even more impressive for a 10 year old franchise, 15.5 mil per year Nintendo has a strangle hold on this list, simpe as that

solidsnakeo
solidsnakeo

so that means that they sold anout 3m per game a lot more that some franchises

games_pot1
games_pot1

FF had about 20 FF games though so ya.

s0ck69
s0ck69

grim bee you make some good points but mario has been on other systems beside nintendos i own the comodore 64 version and i believe there was a version on the atari

ShockG707
ShockG707

FF whooped zelda real bad LOL!

DarqFlare
DarqFlare

The figures are in total units bought, not in terms of sales figures... While it's still impressive to see Mario up there with 193M, Pokemon is really a better seller per-unit. Think of how many Mario-based games have come out, compared to the Pokemon games. Mario has been the focus of MANY games, which is why the numbers for that franchise are so high. Something else impressive to me is that Lineage has 43 million units sold. That's amazing given it only has what, two games? Halo will eventually be on this list, and Gears of War might make it some day if the second and third games in the series are as good as the first.

Noname4me25
Noname4me25

Its really suprising how a game originally supposed to be a Popeye the Salior man game could have created a character who now has sold 193 million games and is still going strong! Also Pokemon, a game based around bug collecting (which I always thought sounded like a lame activety ; ) ) , could have acheived 155 million games! I am sure no one could have predicted this happen back when Atari and that lot ruled the gaming industry.

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Mario at the top, good to see the good plumber is still kicking. Now all you Halo fans should understand why Halo's not high on the most-sold list cuz it's only had 2 games out so far. Mario's had what, more then 100? Mario's been around for 21 years while Halo's been around for less than 10. Still, that list seems about right in terms of sales. I didn't know Pokemon was that popular. I like Pokemon, but s***, I didn't know people liked it THAT much.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I'm always a little surprised that Mario beat Donkey Kong out for the position of Nintendo mascot. People didn't even know that Mario had a name back when Donkey Kong was headlining his own game. This would make a great "Behind the Games" segment on Spike TV's "Fresh Baked Videogames."

arczero01
arczero01

sounds like they got it right to me.

NoBullet
NoBullet

You've gotta be kidding jimbob9999... Rare only did Donkey Kong Country games. They didnt create donkey kong *shakes head*

Video_Game_King
Video_Game_King

I thought this was critically, not commercially. I already knew the top 3 long before this. And Pokemon sold that well because the guy who made it was mentored by Shigeru Miyamoto. (I am an avid Nintendo fan, if I portrayed a different image.)

peacenutman
peacenutman

This is why PS2 and GC ownz Xbox in Japan and Europe

tubbablubba
tubbablubba

Oh I thought it was greatest like of games but not the best selling I could of guessed this list cept for command and conquer which I find really out of place

GrimBee
GrimBee

"Does the Mario sales include all the series from its endless re-hashes on the portable systems? ". Unfortunately, yes. This is also why there are so many SIMS and POKEMON games up in the list. This is ALSO why Resident Evil and Streetfighter are there, they simply have had more titles spread out over time. Think of all the streetfighter re-hashes. All the remakes, ports.. etc. Think of all the Resident Evil games across all platforms! Think of... Well, you can bet that the game with the most sequels and re-hashes over alot of consoles, wins. Command and Conquer, its been on the playstation, saturn, n64, pc... its had numerous sequels, too. Mario, heck, its got loads. Sonic has his fair share aswell. Except the most recent is absolutely awful! Mortal Kombat has had its fair share of remakes and sequels.. Infact, you can see how unfair this list is! A good honest game series (mgs for example, and silent hill) wont see the light of day on this list (especially silent hill heh heh :P) because there arent many remakes and numerous ports onto other systems. Gran Turismo, however, has the playstation 1 to thank. And the buzz of the ps2 launch awaiting for that inevitable gt3. Gt4 isnt so well renouned. Neither is that arcade version "concept" of gt3. When gt5 comes out, everyone in the playstation side believes that its going to be the "biz" after seeing it on the list. But the only reason why its there is because of the sheer amount of ps1 users, all over the world. Its a different case for a game series today, you would need millions and millions of users. For the ps3, this could take a very very long time. A lot of games on the list, are multiplatform. Those which arent (ala gran turismo) are mainly there because of previous sales and popularity, things such as the playstation platimum range (an idea stemmed from sega..) and its numerous sequels being released at a time of games which were not avaliable, which were the same quality. Games like Grand Theft Auto, for example. Cross-platform, sells more, also it had more sequels (I believe its on the 9th game now (gta 1, gta london, gta 2, gta 3, gta vice city, gta san andreas, gta liberty city stories (oh, and the playstation 2 port), gta vice city stories.. and the fourthcoming gtaIV). I find it hard to see games which come out for the next generation to get as popular as these games have, ever. They are going to have to commercially break onto an extremely popular console at first (not one here right now, all of them are pretty equal as of yet) there is no "buzz" for consoles like there was with the playstation 1 (at the time of gt) and there is so much competition, that a new game series will have to commercially be something that EA would make, and port.. over, and over, and over. Its a shame that games, great games will never make this list. Gran Turismo, hats off to you. But It is a shame that new games wont get the chance to garner the success of these titles. Alot of these titles are STILL going, with endless rehashes. But the real hat goes off to mario. All those mario games, all on systems by one manufacturer. There, the hat is firmly off.

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

tch...madden shouldn't count. it's just the same thing every year with minor changes and additions. all they do over and over is refine and polish the gameplay.

BC_basic
BC_basic

[demollyon "Well, if Halo 3 was released, and Halo was a franchise, then it would be the first!"] First, Halo is a franchise. Second, let's do the math here. #1 Franchise: Mario, 193 million games sold Halo: Combat Evolved: About 5 million copies sold. Halo 2: About 7 million copies sold. 7+5=12 193-12=181 Therefore, Halo 3 would have to sell 181 million copies to be the top selling franchise of all time. Yeah, that will totally happen.

jimbob9999
jimbob9999

I thought Rare made Donkey Kong and there based in the UK not Japan, or am I completely wrong?

hepcat00
hepcat00

interesting.....wonder where Konami's games are?? Castlevania, Gradius, R-Type.......are there just not enough fans of shooters??

joe_elwick
joe_elwick

not many suprises there, apart from the fact that zelda didnto come in either first or second? nintendo sure know how to make good games!!!

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

all of those series are classics so im not suprised

MronoC
MronoC

Lineage!? what-the-huh!?

LoWpS
LoWpS

kinda expected MGS, but the list looks logical. hurrah for the fat plumber saving a princess from the claws of an evil dragon/turtle thing! who 'da thunk thatd sell so much

masterwang2
masterwang2

i am not surprised...mario and final fantasy are at times great and unforgetable games