Video games are awesome. They take us away from the boring occurrences of the real world and place us into a whole other universe, where anything can–and probably will–happen.
Battling monsters, defending the Earth against alien attacks, going on covert missions, killing zombies are all things that humans want to actually do, but cannot. Fortunately, video games change that.
However, not all video games are created equally. Some video games are ridiculously awesome, while other video games just outright suck. Since video games first went mainstream way back in the 80’s, many hits have come and gone and many titles have seen huge success.
In this article I will go over the top five selling (based on copies sold, not revenue generated) video games of all time. This list does contain a couple of shockers… so brace yourself!
1. Tetris (143 million)
If you asked a thousand gamers which games they thought had sold the most copies, how many of them would say Tetris? I’d say not very many. However, when you see Tetris at the top of the list it definitely makes sense. The game has been around since 1984 and it was definitely a hit in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Tetris is one of those time-killing games that will withstand generational changes and preferences, so it’s no surprise that it’s at the top of this list. And, now that everyone owns a mobile phone, Tetris will likely continue to hold the top selling video game of all time.
Ultimately, it will take a lot to topple Tetris as the king of video-game-copies-solid as it currently enjoys a 62 million copy lead over the number two selling video game of all time, Wii Sports. And, considering that only Tetris and Wii Sports have eclipsed the 60 million copy mark, it’s safe to say Tetris won’t be passed for a long time–if ever.
2. Wii Sports (82 million)
This one also surprised me a little bit, until I realized that Wii Sports shipped with every retail version of Wii. In that light, you almost wonder if it’s fair to put it on this list.
With that being said, there aren’t too many gamers out there who don’t have some kind of memory of playing Wii Sports. I, personally, can attest to engaging in a month-long period of Wii bowling battles with my roommates. I’m sure I’m not alone in using Wii Sports as a tool to justify drinking alcohol in mass quantities, avoiding homework, and general all-around time-waster.
3. Minecraft (50 million)
Minecraft proves that you don’t have to be an old game–with a ton of years under your belt–to sell a shit-ton of copies. Bursting onto the scene in 2009, Minecraft was an extremely unlikely candidate to reach the heights it has.
That’s not to say that the game isn’t good, because it clearly is. However, in this day and age of advanced graphics and huge budgets, there probably aren’t a lot of people four years ago who said that a game that was created in a basement and featured graphics suitable for a mid 90’s video game would become the #3 all-time top selling video game.
Of any of the non-Tetris games on this list, Minecraft probably has the best chance to surpass Tetris as the #1 top selling game of all time. In it’s short five years it has already sold 50 million copies and it’s on a platform that will never be discarded for a newer and better one.
If it keeps up this pace it should eventually catch up to and surpass Tetris. And, in my opinion, it has the same kind of addictive quality as Tetris, but multiplied by 10.
4. Super Mario Bros. (40 million)
Before I saw which games had sold the most copies, Super Mario Bros. would’ve been my first guess as the top seller. Not only is Super Mario Bros. perhaps the most well-known video game of all time, but it also enjoyed being the top title on the top gaming platform for a long time.
If Nintendo’s Mario Bros. franchise was combined, it would easily top this list. Even as single titles, the Mario games have done exceptionally well, holding five positions out of the top twenty most-sold games.
5. Mario Kart Wii (36 million)
I was more of a Mario-Kart-for-the-Nintendo-64 kind of guy, but I guess the Wii version was pretty cool, too. Seriously, this was another title that you and your friends could go crazy over for months at a time. What was better than taking the top one or two positions in a race and being able to keep playing while the bottom two in the race had to give up the controller? Nothing.
It’s good to hear that Nintendo is planning on revamping Mario Kart of the Wii U. That might be the only game that has a chance to make the Wii U not a complete disaster for Nintendo.