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.