10 Best-Selling Video Game Franchises Of All Time: Tetris, Call Of Duty, Super Mario And More

Video game companies can see years of success with franchises that have multiple titles or annual releases. Franchises that last for years can prove lucrative for the companies that own them as well.

Here is a look at the top 10 selling video game franchises of all time and the companies that own them.

1. Tetris (496.4 million units): The block-based puzzle game is the top-selling video game of all time. The game franchise had several versions sold after being first released in the 1980s. The iconic game has been featured on consoles for the Sega, Atari, Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo consoles along with PC versions. Tetris is partnered with Playstudios Inc MYPS for a mobile version of the game.

2. Call of Duty (400 million units): The Activision Blizzard ATVI title has been a major cash cow and important part of Activision’s growth, with a new release put out every year around the busy holiday shopping season. Activision announced recently it would delay its 2023 Call of Duty release to the 2024 year, marking the first time a game in the franchise didn't see an annual release since 2005. Microsoft Corp MSFT recently announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, which led to speculation that Call of Duty could become exclusive to Xbox consoles, something that is not in the immediate plans from the company according to reports.

3. Super Mario (387.7 million units): There are over 20 games across multiple consoles in the Super Mario franchise from Nintendo Co NTDOY. When counting in Super Mario and Mario games, the franchise jumps to number one with 740 million unit sales, according to a report from The Gamer. Just based on Super Mario games alone, the franchise ranks third all-time.

4. Pokemon (386 million units): The Pokemon franchise of video games have been primarily exclusive to Nintendo, which also owns a stake in The Pokemon Company. The franchise kicked off with Pokemon games for the Nintendo GameBoy in 1996, and remains strong with several games released for the Nintendo Switch in 2021 and 2022.

Related Link: Is A God Of War Series Coming To Amazon?: What Gamers And Investors Should Know 

5. Grand Theft Auto (355 million units): Dating back to 1997, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has seen several versions of the game released and multiple expansion packs. The franchise remains one of the most popular even now, with Grand Theft Auto V selling 155 million copies and remaining a top title for gamers and streamers. The game has also led to the successful launch of Grand Theft Auto Online from owner Take-Two Interactive Software TTWO.

6. FIFA (325 million units): The top-selling sports video game franchise is FIFA, now released by Electronic Arts Inc EA. The annual game features international and club teams and can be played online in head-to-head battles. The gaming franchise has even spawned an esports league. The franchise has seen annual releases since 1993.

7. Minecraft (238 million units): Released originally in 2009 by Mojang Studios, the most popular version of Minecraft was released in 2011. Mojang Studios was acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014. The game remains popular for gamers and streamers and in December passed an impressive one trillion views on YouTube, the video platform owned by Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL.

8. Tie-The Sims (200 million units): Released in 2000, The Sims has seen several versions of the game and multiple expansion packs. Gamers get to control characters in a fictional house. The game franchise is released from Electronic Arts and acts as a spin-off from the SimCity series.

8. Tie-Lego (200 million units): Dating back to 1995 there have been over 75 games released in the video game franchise based on the popular privately owned toy company. The newest released versions of games include those based on the Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lego Movie franchises and are released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a unit of AT&T Inc T.

10. Final Fantasy (164 million units): Published by Square Enix, the Final Fantasy franchise premiered in Japan in the 1980s before coming to North America in 1990 for PC. The franchise is still going with a 2022 release “Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin” celebrating the game’s 35th anniversary.

Why It’s Important: The top-selling franchises are mostly relevant today, with annual releases or new releases every couple of years.

A look at the 2021 bestselling games list from NPD shows two Call of Duty titles ranking first and second, Pokemon ranking fourth and the Mario franchise ranking seventh and 10th. Outside the top 10, FIFA 22, Minecraft and Super Smash Bros. all ranked in the top 20, adding to the success of the top 10 video game franchises of all time.

Posted In: Call of DutyFIFAFinal FantasyGrand Theft AutoGrand Theft Auto VLegoMarioMinecraftMobile GamesPokemonSuper MarioTetrisThe SimsVideo Game Stocksvideo gamesGamingNewsPenny StocksSmall CapTop StoriesGeneral