When it comes to video games, we're positive that most in the world play some version of a game off and on during their lifetime. While it makes sense to believe younger people will play a cool X-Box or PlayStation game, we cannot overlook random games like Candy Crush, Solitaire, and Angry Birds. Yes, they might be random games you play on your phone...but they happen to be some of the most popular played by people around the world including older men and women.
Video Games, in theory, are an escape from real-life, but yet each game seemingly tries to become more and more realistic each time we see a new one surface. The technology is trying to become so beautiful with the games that they look as if it could be real. That is what the hope is, at least. Take games like Last of Us for example, a game that is completely amazing in how it is made. It's delivering a movie-like storyline while letting you play through it in your way mostly. It looks amazing and plays great too.
More and more are like that. This is a far cry from how it was when we were little boys and girls most likely. As a result, each year the sales of video games grow, and they have sold well for decades already. The question is, how valuable are video games? More importantly, how valuable are certain franchises? We wanted to explore this question in a big way.
That allowed us to find the biggest and best franchises in video game history and open up their sales numbers and possible future numbers they might bring in too. We did not include any sports franchise like NBA 2K, WWE 2K, Madden, or FIFA. This is strictly on franchises that can be checked into that do not have a corporation backing them outside of the gaming companies themselves (that also excludes Disney, Star Wars, LEGO, DC Comics, and Marvel games). That said, here are the 30 best video game franchises by value.
30 Fallout (30 Million Games Sold)
It was a hard choice on what to put in this spot. Both Megaman AND Fallout have the same amount of sales if you can believe it. But we felt Fallout would be a better one to put considering Megaman has had more games and has the same about of sales as Fallout with lesser. Right now, we're positive Bethesda, who makes Fallout, would be better to side with. Fallout 4 was a huge seller for them, as it sold 13.8 million copies by itself. This makes us believe that they'll have no issue trying to top it with the next game.
Interestingly, while it is currently even with Megaman in sales per franchise, Bethesda won't let that last much longer. We were given the announcement and trailer at E3 that shows Fallout 76 will be released this November. As a result, it'll likely pass Megaman in a major way. If Fallout 4 numbers are any indication, this could be one of the best selling games of the year. Pre-order numbers are already pretty huge. This may be a franchise to stick with for years to come.
29 Mortal Kombat (35 Million Games Sold)
Mortal Kombat is one of the most famous video game franchises in the world, and it's still going today. Originally made by Midway, it would give us some amazing fighting games. The 90's were dominated by these games, and Mortal Kombat often stood out as one of the most fun and amazing fighting games of its time. Midway would rule for quite some time, and due to the movie success of the original Mortal Kombat film...games like Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy would ultimately do very well.
While the following movie was lackluster in success, it was still a huge help in selling games. Midway would eventually need to sell Mortal Kombat off, and Warner Bros. was happy to take it. They'd form a game studio that would eventually be called NetherRealm Studios. They'd make the new Injustice video games as well as the new Mortal Kombat games. With the success of Mortal Kombat X, it looks like they'll continue to make these games and excite fans for years to come.
28 Street Fighter (40 Million Games Sold, 500,000 Arcade Units Sold)
Street Fighter has been one of the top fighting game franchises or many years now, and it is likely seeing this due to the amazing characters and quality of the game. Street Fighter for many years has been ahead of games like Mortal Kombat because they figured out the 3-dimension model much faster. They showed off a lot with this and were able to give us games that were incredibly fun to play. Instead of the simple A to B set-up, they'd put us in worlds that allowed us to fight while moving around the entire set...not just side to side.
While other games in the fighting world could copy this model, Street Fighter has had it in their games since the mid-90's. While they have not seen major success in movie franchises yet, many feel this is due to the low-budget quality and lack of stars. If truly given a proper budget and cast, they could easily see success here too. Ultimately, they have sold well despite this. 40 million games sold is by no means something to scoff at, and this is in addition to the arcade games they have been dominating since the 80's.
27 Pacman (43 Million Games Sold)
Pacman was the consistent video game that everyone will know about. The reason is pretty simple too. It's one of the most recognizable computer and arcade games in history. Both Pacman and Ms. Pacman have sold incredibly well, but mostly when it came to arcades. Every arcade seemed to have one or the other, and it made sense. The game was incredibly fun and allowed fans to truly appreciate having to fork over their quarters. Eventually, when it became a game people could play at home, it ranked highly.
Fans loved it, and due to when it came out, both adults and kids would be into it. This was by no means shocking, as the game is very easy to play with an easy premise. While it does get harder as people climb levels, the overall game itself is not technically too difficult for any age group. It is not shocking the game sold so much and why arcades always seemed to have it.
26 Tekken (47 Million Games Sold)
Yet another from the fighting game category, Tekken is the single most successful fighting game franchise in history. Unlike others like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, Tekken has not ventured into Hollywood very often. Though there are some movies, they are by no means well-known. The video games have been successful for years, ranking as some of the most impressive of their time back in the 90's. Their most recent game, Tekken 7, seemed to sell pretty well.
The reception was overall positive when it came out in 2017. As of 2018, Tekken 7 has sold 2.8 million copies. Overall, however, the Tekken franchise has sold around 47 million copies. Tekken 3 is still the most successful arcade-style fighting game ever, as it sold 8.3 million copies. The success of the game franchise is likely due to the amazing gameplay. They are a bit different from Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter in how they play, which ultimately made them stand out. They're an overall blast to play through, and they have modes added in that allow for people to play seemingly an endless amount.
25 Monster Hunter (48 Million Games Sold)
The Monster Hunter franchise has been wildly successful, especially for a more recent version of games. They made their franchise debut back in 2004 on PlayStation 2. They have sort of gone back and forth on consoles. They're owned by Capcom, so it made sense to be a PS exclusive but then they would end up working with Nintendo and eventually X-Box. That is not adding in their mobile game spin-offs. Their last video game, Monster Hunters: World, would release on both X-Box and PlayStation at the beginning of 2018, with a PC version coming later in the year.
The World version is their most successful game in the series, having sold nearly 8 million copies with it likely doing more before the end of the year. The game franchise has succeeded, with the mere premise of doing exactly what the title suggests. It is a fantasy-themed, action roleplay franchise that will truly make you want to turn a nightlight on when you go to bed at night. It's scary yet fun, gross yet glorious, paranoia driving yet thrilling all at the same time. No wonder it has sold so well.
24 Uncharted (48 Million Games Sold)
Uncharted has been one of the most beloved game franchises for years now and is often voted Game of the Year each year a new version comes out. There have been 4 in the series, and they have been considered some of the most fun games to play. A PlayStation exclusive game, one would assume that would hurt sales. In reality, it hasn't truly. Around 48 million copies of the game have sold thus far, with their most successful being Uncharted 4. The believed to be last game in the series has sold 8.7 million copies as of 2018.
The series follows the main character, whom you play as, Nathan Drake. We shoot and/or fight various people as we uncover mysterious things from across history. From temples and shrines to tombs and lost cities, we go everywhere with Drake and find ourselves in some of the most insane situations imaginable. While the Drake version has been the most known, there has been another added to the set. It is thought we'll see more from the series, but it's unknown to what extent that will be. There is also a movie coming, so you never know if a game reboot is in the works.
23 Metal Gear (50 Million Games Sold)
The Metal Gear games have been some of the most well-liked for years, and it's likely due to the impressive detail given by infamous game designer/developer Hideo Kojima. The games can have wild twists and turns, and give you brief thoughts of craziness. However, they can be some of the most fun to play through. Unlike some games, they are not console exclusive, as they have been on all the major platforms for nearly twenty years. The series did debut as sort of an exclusive in 1987, as it was first on the MSX Home Computer Architecture.
Due to the failed console, they moved on to normal consoles by the 90's. Since the 2000's, production of the games ramped up and they were given a lot of opportunities to succeed. They have sold pretty well, with the latest game coming out in early 2018. It has been one of the worst-selling and least liked versions of the series, likely due to Kojima not working on it. The best selling and likely most well-liked of the series may very well be a toss-up between Metal Gear Solid 4 and Metal Gear Solid 5, both of which sold over 6 million copies each.
22 Crash Bandicoot (50 Million Games Sold)
While the Naughty Dog game studio is best known today for creating the Uncharted and Last of Us game series, they started on one major game franchise back in the 1990's. It was known as Crash Bandicoot. The original debuted in 1996 on the first PlayStation. They were their own company, making multiple impressive games for years until being purchased in 2001 by Sony Computer Entertainment. The company did not know exactly what to do with them early on. Sony did not want to completely let Naughty Dog forget about their original franchise success.
So they'd make Crash games for a number of years, up until 2010. When other games started coming out to great success, so Crash seemed to be over. That was until its comeback in 2017, as it put the first few games together for the new console. It would then go multiplatform once more to be released on June 29th of 2018. They even made a special appearance in Uncharted 4. All of this eventually lead to some to speculate about Crash's return. Though not confirmed, it is rumored something is in the works. As of now, they have sold 50 million Crash games...so it's something to consider.
21 Elder Scrolls (50 Million Games Sold)
Elder Scrolls is yet another game from the guys at Bethesda. They seem to know the world well, and they've given fans an amazing game every single time. Often confused for its own series, Skyrim is part of the Elder Scrolls franchise and happens to be one of the best selling games of the last decade. Since its release in 2011, the game on its own has sold 30 million copies(both original and re-release). Though this is not the only beloved game in the series, just the most popular. It's likely so known due to the continuous expansions added by Bethesda.
Others like Morrowind and Oblivion were also well-liked and also won Game of the Year in the years they came out. Overall, Elder Scrolls has been one of the most amazing franchises in recent memory and they'll likely remain such. It's likely they do an entirely new Elder Scrolls world eventually, but with the success of the continued additions to Skyrim....that may take a while.
20 Donkey Kong (56 Million Games Sold)
Donkey Kong is one of the oldest and most well-known game franchises in history. Coming from the original Nintendo games, Donkey Kong, like many others in the Nintendo universe, has been very successful. It's no shock to see why. The games have been incredible fun. While the originals from the arcade-style versions to the console A to B version, they were beloved from the start. They would eventually open up more of a 3D type of world for Donkey Kong and allow him more freedom of movement.
Donkey Kong games are quite interesting for Nintendo, as they can be played on multiple platforms made by Nintendo. The Game Boy often saw Donkey Kong, but eventually, the Nintendo 3DS did as well and now the Nintendo Switch has access to them. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, originally made for the Wii U, was released for the Switch in early 2018. While the original for the Wii U sold over 130,000 copies, the 2018 Switch version has seen over 80,000 sold already. However, Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong Country are the highest selling of the franchise.
19 Tomb Raider (63 Million Games Sold)
Tomb Raider has been one of the best adventure RPG games of the last 20 years. The original games in the early 2000's attempted to stand out well and did a good job at it. Lara Croft would be portrayed by Angelina Jolie in a few Tomb Raider films, which ultimately allowed the character in the video games to be designed like Jolie. The games ran from 2001-2007 but would make a comeback in 2013 with a simple title of "Tomb Raider." Eventually, other sequels came afterward in 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, releasing late 2018.
This series focuses on an all-new backstory and run for Lara Croft and the overall series. Unlike the former movies with Jolie, we were going to a deeper time period where Lara is younger and just getting started. We've now aged with her in the current series. The recent movie starring Alicia Vikander shows this. A younger and less "upper body developed" version like the new model in the video game series. The games have become a wild success for Eidos Interactive and their now parent company Square Enix, the people behind the games. The last two "prequel" games alone have sold 18 million games alone and that number is likely to grow later this year.
18 Halo (65 Million Games Sold)
Originally debuting with the X-Box console as an exclusive to the brand, Halo has been the flagship X-Box franchise for years. The developers, Bungi, have been delivering impressive Halo games by the year. The first game exploded with people loving it and the last number of them have gotten a lot of love too. Overall, it has become one of the most successful game franchises in modern history. Due to other media and merchandise, such as movies and future television shows, the brand is quite a massive success.
The overall revenue it has brought in now stands at a little over $5 Billion, you read that right, 5 BILLION! The massive video games sales have obviously helped lead to this. They have made over $3 Billion on just the games sold. They have sold over 65 million games. At E3, we were given the confirmation of yet another game in the series. Though it's release date is not yet known, it will likely do incredibly well and rise on our list as a result.
17 Battlefield (66 Million Games Sold)
Battlefield is one of the best-known shooter games in history and continues to be a great success each year it comes out. While the storyline made for these games are often pretty good, they rarely if ever are the reason people buy. Battlefield is often bought by people to play online in the shooter world. The common situation is to play with friends or people you do not know on certain maps where you can play a number of team or solo games against others.
Though we should not discount the stories they've delivered. They have given impressive material on World Wars among other amazing points in history. However, they truly began to be a major brand with Battlefield 3 & Battlefield 4. After the massive success of 15 and 14 million games sold in those, Battlefield 1 would come out to lackluster success. EA held off on the new release until this year, and Battlefield: Apocalypse will release hoping to do well with people. We shall see if they do, but it looks likely they'll be impressive once more.
16 Dragon Quest (75 Million Games Sold)
Originally starting in 1986 with its games, Dragon Quest has been a game series that has stood the test of video game time. Their biggest success seemed to come in the 90's, as it's highest selling game came in the year 1990 in Dragon Quest IV-VI (Zenithia trilogy) which sold 16 million games. Yet Dragon Quest V-XI have all done relatively well. All selling over 5 million each. There has even been a 10 million seller in the Dragon Quest Monsters Series game.
Overall, they have sold over 75 million games in total. This is an incredible number, however, most of the world does not truly buy into Dragon Quest. The game series is wildly popular in Japan, however. Over 50 million of the sold games in that 75 million came from here, and less than 10 million came from North America, Europe, and Asia COMBINED! However, it is often noted to be one of the most fun game franchises to play through. Yet due to its similarity to other games known in Europe and North America, that could be why it has not sold well there. However, its sales in Japan make it a monster of a franchise.
15 Gran Turismo (80 Million Games Sold)
The Gran Turismo franchise has been wildly popular for gamers for a very long time now. It is actually a known PlayStation exclusive, which has not become a very bad thing to be as one can tell looking at our list and the success PS exclusives on it. However, Gran Turismo is the most successful PS exclusive game of all time due to the 80 million games sold thus far. The first came out back in 1997, making this game series 20 years old. The franchise makes sense to love as it's a simple game to play and enjoy.
It is your standard car game, but it manages to be more than this at the same time. Sure you get to race around some amazing tracks, but you also get to see some amazing places that have been developed just for the game. There are great and amazing tracks like you'd see in NASCAR as well as random roads that are all dirt. They eventually added the VR system to this and have made is an amazing game to play even more than before. The games have gone for over 80 million in sales with Gran Turismo 4 and Gran Turismo 5 selling the most, at over 11 million games sold each.
14 Resident Evil (83 Million Games Sold)
Resident Evil has been a tremendous game franchise for over 20 years and will likely go down as one of the most impressive and creative franchises as well. The thing that makes the series stand out is likely what one has to do in the game. While it could be similar to other RPG shooters right off like Halo, it's by no means the same sort of thing. You tend to battle zombie-like creatures and are usually on the clock to find or destroy something during the game.
The games have sold very well for a number of years, with 83 million games overall being sold. The highest selling of the franchise was Resident Evil 5 which sold 11 million games worldwide. However, Resident Evil 6 was considered tremendous as well and would sell around 10 million games on its own. Resident Evil 7 was a commercial success with 5 million sold, but to sell half of the previous major console release was not liked by Capcom, the developers of the game. It is thought that Capcom will do the standard taking off of a bit situation to develop a bigger and more beloved Resident Evil 8 in a year or so.
13 Tom Clancy's (83 Million Games Sold)
The Tom Clancy's series of games are very well known and beloved by gamers. Tom Clancy is an American author who created some impressive stories in high selling books. Eventually, some were adopted for the video games. The games have been made for a very long time, but things ramped up when Ubisoft bought the video game rights in 2008. Overall, there have been a number of Tom Clancy video games like Splinter Cell, The Division, Rainbow Six, and Ghost Recon. The Splinter Cell series alone sold 12 million video games by itself. The Division sold 5.5 million games so far, both normal and collectors.
The Rainbow Six series has been incredibly successful as well. The Siege video game passed over 20 million sales on its own, making it incredibly successful. Other than one other series, Tom Clancy's has been the best selling video game franchise for Ubisoft the last number of years. The incredible RPG shooter games all offer something incredible and different. You can tell the differences between each series, but despite that, it seems they all have one thing in common. They're always improving to become better by the year.
12 Legend of Zelda (98 Million Games Sold)
The Legend of Zelda franchise has been one of the most beloved in history, and it makes complete sense why that is. The games are spectacular and have been incredibly fun each time. Nintendo knew that they could always go to it whenever they wanted something to sell really well. While it made its debut in 1986 on the NES. It has been on every system Nintendo has created ever since. Zelda became a pretty huge seller on Game Boy and would once again be a huge hit on Nintendo Gamecube.
Though Nintendo completely outdid themselves when they added The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch in 2017. It was absolutely amazing with graphics that would melt your eyes due to the greatness. The game itself was a winner, having numerous Game of the Year nominations. While Ocarina of Time sold over 13 million copies and is the highest selling Zelda game ever, Breath of the Wild is over 11 million right now and a 4K edition is coming up. Therefore we could see the games do more huge numbers. While 98 million overall has sold for the franchise, this number is by no means set.
11 Assassin's Creed (100 Million Games Sold)
Assassin's Creed is one of the most beloved franchises in video game history. The reason for it might very well be the premise of the game. The gamer was originally going through a man named Desmond, who happened to have ancestors involved in the Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. We watch and play as those men throughout history in various countries. Eventually, Desmond passes and we, as the player, are now able to reach any Assassin from the past through the animus, something only people with Assassin ancestors could do before. This is why we needed to have Desmond.
Now we do not, so we have gone all over the place at various times and eras. From France and Victorian Era England to the seas and Ancient Egypt, we've been everywhere. Assassin's Creed: Origins appears to be the most successful in the series. It was able to double the games sold by Syndicate in the first 10 days of its release. It is said that Origins has already become the highest selling Assassin's Creed game of all-time. That is a pretty big deal considering the highest selling have been quite notable.
10 Final Fantasy (144 Million Games Sold)
Final Fantasy has been one of the most successful franchises in history. It is THE most successful RPG fantasy-themed franchise of all-time. While they could easily be passed by amazing franchises on this list that fit the same area, they currently rule with an iron fist on top today. Developed by Square Enix, the team has made some amazing games that fans have loved. Most of them have been quite successful. Interestingly, they have also decided to do remakes of previous games too. As well as updated next-gen copies.
This has risen their total up in revenue, of course. Overall, Square Enix has been making Final Fantasy games since the late 1980's, but the 90's and 2000's saw their biggest numbers. They currently have 8 games that have gone for 10 million sales each. Their biggest success came with the Final Fantasy VII series, which sold 19 million copies. Their last big success came in 2010 and 2016 with Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy XV, which sold 11 million and 7.5 copies respectively. Final Fantasy is nowhere near done, so we'll have to wait and see if their number climbs even higher.
9 Minecraft (144 Million Games Sold)
Minecraft is likely the newest game franchise on this list, yet it's sort of a weird situation. This game could have been made in the 80's and 90's and pretty much look the same as it does today. Minecraft is a bit-game that has old school looking graphics with the next-gen machine power. The game allows people to create amazing things, with almost a blank slate. They allow you to dig into the ground to make various levels, or allow you to build whatever you can think up.
This is often called a "sandbox" game. It sort of takes the Sim City approach of allowing people to make stuff by adding in whatever fits their thought. Sim City stopped you by holding you to a certain thing, a city and what comes with that. Minecraft doesn't hold you back. The game has been a huge hit, with over 144 million copies sold as of this writing. They're on all major gaming platforms, which allows any and all to play. The developers, Mojang, claimed in 2017 that 55 million people play Minecraft per month. This is amazing.
8 Need For Speed (150 Million Games Sold)
Like Gran Turismo before, Need for Speed on the surface is pretty much a car/racing game. However, that is by no means the only thing that you could claim if you follow the series. The games have been published since 1994 by Electronic Arts, and have been a huge success for the brand amongst its many sports titles. The game is currently being developed by Ghost Games and Firemonkeys Studios. While the game mostly started out as a PC and PlayStation exclusive, it eventually branched out to other consoles.
They have only been more beloved as time has gone on. Their biggest success was in 2005 with Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which sold over 16 million copies. It would be re-launched in 2012 for the United States only, but the sales were not great. The recent game, Need for Speed: Payback, has done pretty well thus far. It sold around half a million copies in the first month of its launch, and as of this year, the numbers continue to grow. They have a movie and licensed Hot Wheel toys, and it looks like they'll continue to rise.
7 Tetris (170 Million Games Sold)
Yes, that Tetris. It seems odd that a game your mom and dad play on their phone or computer could be a huge success, but it certainly is. Tetris is likely so successful due to what it is. It's a simple game with truly one premise to it. It's a puzzle game with the concept of just making sure you fix blocks accordingly as they fall in order to create a pattern that allows you to get points. Too many without proper matching up, and you lose. Too little, you lose.
It gets harder and harder as the levels go along. Obviously, this can get addictive for people, even people like your parents who yelled at you for being addicted to Nintendo 64 games. Tetris is now 30 years old, making it one of the oldest on our list. It has sold around 170 million copies. The game is seemingly endless, with some asking "can you ever finish?" There have been many developers of the game over the years, who have all said it might very well be impossible to play to an endpoint as no one seems to ever finish without losing. This just makes people more competitive in wanting to do it.
6 The Sims (200 Million Games Sold)
Sim City was a very popular PC game that ultimately made people love invention. It was a huge pleasure to play, but people felt it would be better to see more from the people you're giving stuff to. Ultimately, that gave us The Sims and a huge success for many years now. The game is what is known as a "life simulation." A lot of crazy and amazing things can happen in the universe you basically play God in. Published by Electronic Arts, The Sims has been able to sell around 200 million games, making them one of the most successful franchises in modern history.
However, it is THE best selling PC game in history. Though it has been played on X-Box, PlayStation, and phones too. The original game, The Sims in 2000, has sold the best. Over 16 million people bought the game worldwide. The next best seller was The Sims 3 in 2009. Random downloadable attachments to the games have been added over the years, which means buying the outright next title is rare due to the add-ons. However, these downloads begin to add up. That is why they have managed to reach such an insane number.
5 Grand Theft Auto (250 Million Games Sold)
Grand Theft Auto may go down in history as that franchise every parent did not allow their kid to play, but the kid found a way to play anyway. We've all played the game at least once, don't lie. The game still sells insanely well today and continues to drive in numbers on a regular basis. GTA's beginnings were in the 90's, but the early 2000's saw them truly step out as a top-tier franchise. They'd sell over 14 million copies of Grand Theft Auto III across all major platforms. From here, Vice City and San Andreas sold insanely well at 17.5 million and 21.5 million respectively across all major platforms.
Grand Theft Auto IV sold very well itself, with over 25 million copies sold. However, their biggest success is obviously Grand Theft Auto V. It's likely due to being the first GTA game on next-gen consoles, but no one expected the number of 95 million would come. That's right, GTA 5 has sold 95 million copies. It STILL sells at video game stores across the country. Ask any Gamestop employee and they'll tell you how often it goes. GTA 6 will likely break every record known to man it seems.
4 Call Of Duty (275 Million Games Sold)
Call of Duty is the single best selling first-person shooter franchise of all time. It is understandable that it sells so well, as it seems that their developers in Activision do try and make it worth your time. They work on major story-arcs and even add celebrities to the game via face model. It's not uncommon to see a random celeb in the game and voiced by them. Unlike Battlefield, where the story is not as important as the online team shooting arcs...Call of Duty gives a lot to the story. This is appreciated by both sets of fans, the story-needers, and the online gamers.
Call of Duty's games has sold insanely well worldwide. Clearly being near 300 million games sold is insane to see. 7 of their games are in the Top 50 best selling games of all-time right now. Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty 4 sold 15.7 million copies each. Call of Duty: Ghosts sold a little over 19 million copies. Both Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 26 million and 24 million respectively. But the highest selling of them all is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which sold over 26 million copies. Clearly, these numbers are insane, and with yearly releases, they may top the others ahead of them on our list soon.
3 Pokemon (307.5 Million Games Sold)
Pokemon has been a wild success for the Nintendo brand for many years now, and it's no surprise why. The games are incredibly fun, and since the 90's the accompanying television shows and films have only helped grow their popularity. With over 307.5 million games sold, it's no shock it's in the top 3 most valuable game franchises ever. Pokemon has had dozens of titles that often came out on the Game Boy and Nintendo 3DS. Many of those games hold their value too, as some of them have gone for over $1,000 in online bids for old school games. Like Call of Duty, Pokemon has a ton of high selling games.
It has 7 games on the Top 50 highest selling games of all-time list. Pokemon X and Y, Ruby and Sapphire, and Sun and Moon each sold a little over 16 million copies. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl have sold 17.6 million copies and Pokemon Gold and Silver sold a little over 23 million copies. Yet the ninth highest selling game in history is Pokemon's biggest, the Pokemon Red and Blue game. To be so successful proves the dominance of the franchise, and it has only continued to have huge success. It is the highest grossing of all the games on this list when you add up all they have done. Yet we're only talking games.
2 Sonic The Hedgehog (350 Million Games Sold)
Sonic the Hedgehog games were wildly popular in the 90's and were Sega's answer to other major platforms. Sega truly milked the heck out of Sonic over the years, having the character come out in numerous games almost every year. Many sold well, as they landed 350 million copies of Sonic games sold. The first game alone sold 15 million copies(22 million over time), allowing it to be a massive success from day one. Each game from then on sold pretty well for Sega. Sonic 2 saw 13 million buys, Sonic 3 & Knuckles sold 8 million copies, and so on. Most all sold insanely well, then Sega did the unthinkable, they worked with Nintendo.
Thus in 2007 the Sonic & Mario Series came out and sold nearly 24 million copies. By 2013, Nintendo would purchase the game rights to Sonic from Sega. Sega is making games still but do not have a platform, and often work with Nintendo on a lot of projects. However, the once bitter rivals both had a huge character with Sonic being Sega's biggest and most prized possession. Yet without a platform, Sega wanted Sonic to be treated well and sold him to Nintendo where they knew he would get the treatment a legend deserved.
1 Mario Brand (Over 700 Million Games Sold)
Now we come to the Godfather, the greatest single franchise in the history of video games. It's not even close, as the Mario games have sold some absolutely insane amount of games. They have had a lot of technical "franchises" using Mario, so we'll break down the most successful. Super Mario was the highest selling with 326.5 million copies sold. Mario Kart would come in next at 124.7 million copies sold. Mario Party would sell 39 million copies and Mario Sports would sell a little over 34 million copies as well.
Of course, there have been a number of off-shoot versions using Mario. Like Sonic & Mario Series, which had over 23 million buys. It's only added to the Mario brand. Mario has also appeared with others like Donkey Kong. The "Mario Brand" being part of a game has helped many sell very well, but this also hurts the "grossing" number. As some of the Mario games sold for less than games go today. On top of this, they had to sort of split profits with other Nintendo game franchises he was in. Yet the brand itself has been part of at least 700 million games sold. As for Mario isolated, he's been part of 500 million games sold.
(Sources: Reddit, Video Games Sales Wikia, VGChartz.com, IGN, Game Rant)