Remember the days when Space Invaders and Pac-man ruled the video game industry? Pac-man became so popular that it spawned a top ten song entitled Pac-man Fever by Buckner & Garcia. Of course, the entire album from where it came from was about video games, with songs composed in tribute to games like Frogger, Centipede, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Defender, Mouse Trap and Berzerk.
The first known video game was a missile game called the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device, invented by Thomas Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann and patented in 1948. Soon, other games followed, including the Festival of Britain in 1951 that was designed for the NIMROD computer; the OXO, a tic tac toe game in 1952 that was designed for the EDSAC; the Tennis for Two, a 1958 interactive game; and Spacewar!, a 1961 game designed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a DEC PDP-1 computer.
The first game that can be operated by coins was Computer Space in 1971. The first home console, on the other hand, was invented in 1972. It was called the Magnavox Odyssey, and it was patterned after the Brown Box of Ralph Baer in the 1960s.
The popularity of video games exploded in 1975 with the release of Pong by Atari. The game was cloned by other manufacturers, which led to the collapse of the video game industry in 1977. Fortunately, it was immediately revived by the release of Space Invaders. After it was licensed for Atari’s VCS console, the second generation of video game consoles got in full swing, and this lasted until 1983. A third generation of consoles then took over, with Nintendo at its forefront.
Today, the major consoles include Xbox, Nintendo and Sony. But which games have proven to be the most popular over the years, regardless of console? The following is a list of the top ten most popular video games ever made, along with the number of copies sold.
1. Mario – 450.22 million copies
Mario is the best-selling video game franchise of all time. it was created by the Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and released in 9 July 1981. Mario was originally known as the Jumpman, when he first appeared in Donkey Kong. He then starred in Mario Bros. and Super Mario. It has become so popular that it has been featured in three animated TV shows, manga, a movie and even comic books. It has also expanded to other genres in the video gaming industry, including party, puzzle, RPG, racing and sports.
2. Pokemon – 219.28 million copies
Satoshi Tajiri created this role-playing game in 1996. It was originally designed for the handheld game console called Game Boy. The game has gotten so big that it has been merchandised into other media, including anime, manga, trading cards, toys and books. The Nintendo game features five main games, though it has 20 different versions and up to 45 titles in all.
3. Wii – 192.76 million copies
This game helped launch the Wii console of Nintendo. Shigeru Miyamoto created it in 2006, and it features a series of physical simulation video games. The games have simple control schemes using the Wii Remote, in which real life activities are simulated. Games in the series include Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit, Wii Chess, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Party.
4. The Sims – 150 million copies
Will Wright created The Sims in 2000. It is a strategic life simulation game that is published by Maxis and distributed by Electronic Arts. It currently has three main games, though it has a number of expansion packs, including The Sims Stories, MySims, The Sims Carnival, The Sims Medieval and The Sims Social.
5. Grand Theft Auto – 125 million copies
Grand Theft Auto is the most successful game that has come out of the United Kingdom. It was created by Dave Jones and released by Rockstar Games. Originally released in 1997, it now has nine stand alone games, plus a couple of expansion packs.
6. Tetris – 125 million copies
Alexey Pajitnov invented Tetris in 1985. It was made available in different platforms, such that not only video game consoles could play it, but also computers and even such devices like calculators. The most popular version was the one released by Game Boy. This has sold over 35 million copies.
7. Final Fantasy – 102.04 million copies
The Japanese game designer Hironobu Sakaguchi created Final Fantasy in 1987. Square Enix owns the game, and this game has expanded to become a media franchise. Aside from 14 main video games, Final Fantasy has spawned several spin offs, including role playing video games and movies.
8. Call of Duty – 100 million copies
Call of Duty is a video game that can be played from either a third-person or first-person point of view. it was originally designed for the personal computer, though it eventually expanded to video game consoles and handheld devices. The first game had World War II as its setting, but subsequent releases shifted the focus away from the Second World War to the Cold War. A recent release called Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is actually futuristic in nature, with a war setting staged in 2025.
9. FIFA – 100 million copies
The most popular sport in the world deserves its own video game, and FIFA under the Electronic Arts Sports label provides that game. It is released every year, with updated lineups and playing style for all the teams. The game was originally created in 1993, and it helps that the Federacion Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, has given the game its imprimatur. That is why you can see the likes of Messi, Rooney and Ronaldo in the game, with their images and movements astonishingly real.
10. Need for Speed – 100 million copies
This racing game was originally released in 1994. Released by Electronic Arts, the game can be played in various platforms. Players can choose from a variety of cars and tracks.