What are the best-selling video game franchises of all time? From Minecraft to The Legend of Zelda to Mario, we’ve taken a closer look at the most popular video game franchises to figure out which have raked in the most cash over the years. Compare newcomers like Clash of Clans to old classics like Space Invaders and see which of the best-selling game franchises you’ve bought games from over the years!
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What Is the Biggest Gaming Franchise of All Time?
By a long shot, the best-selling video game franchise is Pokémon, with revenue of about $90 billion. Not only is it the biggest video game franchise, but it’s also the highest-grossing media franchise in general. It should be pointed out, however, that only a small portion of their revenue has been from video games; the franchise makes far more from merchandising. It’s made $3.36 billion on mobile game sales and $13.78 billion from console and hand-held game sales.
The Top 10 Best-Selling Video Game Franchises of All Time
1. Pokémon — $90 billion
The highest-grossing video game franchise may have earned most of its money from merchandising, but Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow still ranks seventh among the top-selling video games of all time, topping out at 47,520,000 copies.
2. Mario — $30.25 billion
Arguably the most recognizable video game character in the world, Mario has made Nintendo a lot of money over the years, with the Super Mario series alone bringing in nearly $15.9 billion. Since his inception in 1981, this character has hopped all over the world in many formats.
3. Call of Duty — $17 billion
This franchise’s Black Ops 4 title alone brought in $1 billion in sales, with its WWII title doing the same in 2017. It’s widely considered in the industry to be a blockbuster, and it only seems to gain more traction over time.
4. Wii — $14.808 billion
Yes, it’s true that the Wii is a console, but it’s also its own branch of video games, with series like Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Wii Fit grabbing a novice gamer audience in a family-focused environment.
5. Pac-Man — $14.107 billion
The arcade game that was an absolute blast in the 1980s is still kicking, with many throwback titles and new puzzle games still promoting the world’s favorite pellet-muncher.
6. Space Invaders — $13.93 billion
This is the oldest game on our top ten list. Originating in 1978, Space Invaders is a classic game that’s still popular every time it’s re-released. Gamers, it seems, are almost always on call to stop a new invasion, but some invaders have managed to infiltrate the real world!
7. Dungeon Fighter Online — $11.8 billion
The next on our list of top video game franchises may be one most non-gamer Americans have not heard of, since “DFO” is a hugely popular South Korean multi-player “beat-’em-up” game. Nevertheless, it has about 600 million players worldwide.
8. Street Fighter — $11.279 billion
One of the biggest game franchises that’s famous for its movies, games, and crossovers, Street Fighter is arguably the most popular fighting-style video game of all time, beating out its popular competitor Mortal Kombat by nearly $10 billion.
9. Final Fantasy — $10.656 billion
An absolute titan of the gaming world, this is arguably the top role-playing game among the best-selling franchises. This critically acclaimed series has created a legacy and set a standard that all other RPGs strive for.
10. Warcraft — $10.627 billion
For Americans, this is the big name in MMORPGs among the biggest video game franchises, with famous titles like Hearthstone, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and, of course, the famous World of Warcraft (aka WoW). Gamers have been adventuring in Azeroth since 2004.
Check out some of the other most profitable video game franchises in history, too: How many of your favorites made the top 50?