British newspaper The Independent has published a list of what it claims are the top twenty best selling video games franchises of all-time.
The top ten brands are largely as would be expected, with the large number of games to which the Mario name has been applied making it easily the top seller. Overall, Nintendo has the largest number of franchises in the top twenty, with all four of its titles in the top ten.
1. Mario (Nintendo): 193 million
2. Pokemon (Nintendo): 155 million
3. Final Fantasy (Square Enix): 68 million
4. Madden NFL (Electronic Arts): 56 million
5. The Sims (Maxis/Electronic Arts): 54 million
6. Grand Theft Auto (Rockstar): 50 million
7. Donkey Kong (Nintendo): 48 million
8. The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo): 47 million
9. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega): 44 million
10. Gran Turismo (Sony): 44 million
11. Lineage (NCsoft): 43 million
12. Dragon Quest (Square Enix): 41 million
13. Crash Bandicoot (Sony/Vivendi): 34 million
14. Resident Evil (Capcom): 31 million
15. James Bond (Various): 30 million
16. Tomb Raider (Eidos Interactive): 30 million
17. Mega Man (Capcom): 26 million
18. Command & Conquer (Westwood Studios/Electronic Arts): 25 million
19. Street Fighter (Capcom): 25 million
20. Mortal Kombat (Midway): 20 million
Madden NFL is the highest ranked Western developed game in the chart at number four, one of the few games in the chart which is not also popular in Japan. Despite most of the entries in the series not having been released in the West, Square Enix’s Dragon Quest is placed at number twelve in the chart, with James Bond being the only licensed franchise at number fifteen.
Korean-developed massively multiplayer online game Lineage is the highest ranked PC-only brand in the chart, with Command & Conquer the only other at number eighteen.
It is also notable that six out of the top ten titles are single-format exclusives (ignoring spin-offs and portable versions), with Grand Theft Auto and Sonic the Hedgehog only becoming multiformat relatively recently.