News Article

Wii Play is the US's Best-Selling Game Ever

Posted by James Newton

Beats Call of Duty, Madden... Namco Museum?!

NPD recently revealed a list of the best-selling games in the US, and Nintendo's pack-in title Wii Play came out on top, beating every other game of the past fifteen years.

That's right - those nine minigames have sold more copies than any title from the Call of Duty, Madden NFL, Grand Theft Auto and Guitar Hero series. NPD haven't released the actual sales figures yet, but last October they revealed Wii Play had sold a staggering 11.1 million copies across the US.

The biggest surprise of all in NPD's list? The tenth best-selling game of all time in the US is Namco Museum. That's right - it's outsold Brain Training, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and thousands of other titles.

Here's the top ten in full.

ALL-TIME TOP 10 US NON-PC GAMES
1) Wii Play (Wii)
2) Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
3) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2, Xbox)
4) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3, Xbox 360)
5) Wii Fit (Wii)
6) Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
7) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3, Xbox 360, DS)
8) Madden NFL 07 (PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, PSP, DS, GC, GBA, Wii)
9) Call of Duty: World at War (PS3, Xbox 360, DS, Wii)
10) Namco Museum (DC, GBA, PS2, GC, Xbox, PSP, N64, PS3, Wii, DS, PS, Xbox 360)

[via uk.gamespot.com]

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User Comments (56)

paulcmnt

#4

paulcmnt said:

This just shows that no matter how much a game sucks it will still have a chance of making it in the top 10. Nintendo are the marketing masters of our age, I'll give them that.

FuzzyYellowBalls

#6

FuzzyYellowBalls said:

I find it interesting that 3 of the ten are Wii exclusive titles, and the other 7 are multi platform releases. Take away the 2 that come with a controller and Nintendo still has 1 on the list. No Sony or Microsoft exclusives made the list.
Very interesting.

KDR_11k

#9

KDR_11k said:

Wii Play is worth getting even if you only play the Tanks game.

Fuzzy: I don't think Wii Fit's controller should be held against it because the balance board has few uses outside of Wii Fit. Wii Play is the only one whose controller you'd want to have separately from the game.

PhillaLoup

#10

PhillaLoup said:

namco museum was on kind of every console that existed the last 15 years :D
(but you listed PSP twice...)

warioswoods

#14

warioswoods said:

Namco Museum and Madden 07 don't belong on that list. The platforms which are being combined here to make one "game" entity are so different that it's absurd to group them together in this matter. The DS, PSP, N64, and Xbox 360 versions of Namco Museum, to take an example, probably have less in common than the different platform iterations of Animal Crossing, which no one would suggest lumping together.

Crunc

#17

Crunc said:

This sells because it includes a remote. People buy this because they want a second remote and they figure maybe the game will be worth the extra $10. So it's not a game. It's a game + remote. I don't think it should be included in a list of best selling games as a result, only a list of best selling game+controller bundles.

The_Fox

#18

The_Fox said:

If Wii Play didn't have the controller, it would be in bargain bin hell so I refuse to recognize its sales accomplishments.

dings

#19

dings said:

Everyone bought Wii Play when it first came out because it had a controller with it and controllers were impossible to find at the time. I imagine now it's bought for similar reasons, why just buy a controller when you can get one and a game for just 10$ more?

Caliko

#20

Caliko said:

Wait how far back does this list go?? Mario 3 and Super Mario Bros. are top 3. But maybe they're world only. This list is U.S. But still.

HappyHappy

#21

HappyHappy said:

I am so confused! A game with only a few minigames beats a game that has you playing a plumber traveling the universe.

Ren

#22

Ren said:

yeah this is kinda weird. Even other titles on it are games that are on so many consoles that it kind of bumps numbers up so much just by being so widely accessible. Just goes to show you what a massive install base can do for sales. People wanted extra controllers also because WiiSports which was a pack in had games worth playing with more than 1 player so naturally everyone wanted another when it was hard to get. What about Wii Sports? Does that count on this list then?

StarDust4Ever

#25

StarDust4Ever said:

Of course they're only going to have wii games - the list was compiled by the big N. Kind of biased, don't ya think?

warioswoods

#26

warioswoods said:

@24

Indeed, I've thought all along that a small pack-in game would compliment the Motion+ accessory nicely.

#27

said:

Stop with the "is for the controller" excuse. The controller cost less so, why people would spend more money?

Have you ever thought that the game is actually fun and good? and people is able to spend more money on it? There are games that could cost the same or buy the controller separately and save money.

But they didn't so the game is actually worthy.

Just because it doesn't have cinematic stuff and pretty graphics doesn't mean is not worthy.

The_Fox

#28

The_Fox said:

@post 28. buffalobob
No, it's because of the controller. Otherwise other minigame collections would all be selling like wildfire. People think they're getting some sort of deal with Wii play.
Having played it, I can safely say it's not because it is fun OR good.

Kevin

#30

Kevin said:

Its probably sold that many just for the extra controller. That's the only reason I got it back then. The game's awful and doesn't deserve to top or even be on the list.

#31

said:

@Fox - Yet people prefers to spend EXTRA cash instead of saving it. And 12 Million people doing that means that game is not as bad as one single sad person thinks.

The_Fox

#34

The_Fox said:

@buffalobob
I see you've reached your limit on holding an intelligent converstation judging by the need to add an insult. That didn't take long.

warioswoods

#35

warioswoods said:

Both the bundled nature of the game and the quality are clearly contributing factors. If it were completely useless as a game, word of mouth would keep the sales from reaching that staggering level, although it would still do fairly nicely. Likewise if it were just a $10 budget game, I would expect high sales due to its quality (yes, it's a fine, polished little introduction to the various Wii control methods, and some of the games are quite nice for multiplayer), but I wouldn't expect sales on nearly this level.

TheFox + buffalobob / 2 == something approaching the truth here

LinktotheFuture

#36

LinktotheFuture said:

Since the controller is $40 of the price, I got my 10 bucks worth from Wii Play. It was marketing genius to sell it with a controller, as the sales show.

Starkiller

#37

Starkiller said:

Whoa... could it really be that good? I played it at a friends place for five minutes, thought it was ok, but not this good!

KingMike

#38

KingMike said:

If anything it makes it more impressive for Wii Play if all the Namco Museum titles are lumped together (is that counting the original five PS1 volumes? Though admittedly, only 1 and 3 sold enough to become Greatest Hits.)
Then again, Wii Play also was essentially a $10 game for anybody who wanted to pick up a spare remote.

nintendoduffin

#39

nintendoduffin said:

Wii Play is not a great game to say the least but when you subtract the cost a the remote it's only £5 and the tanks game alone is worth that.

Stuffgamer1

#41

Stuffgamer1 said:

The remote packed in with the game is UNQUESTIONABLY a large amount of the reason the game has sold so well. You don't even KNOW how many people have bought a copy simply because a GameStop employee suggested it instead of the straight-up remote they were planning to buy with the system. It's the single best title for suggestive selling I'VE ever seen, that's for sure!

Now, some of us GameStop employees wouldn't suggest it if we didn't feel the game itself is worth $10 (depends how much integrity they have vs. desire to sell at all costs); I sure wouldn't. So yes, it IS worth $10, but I still don't think it would sell as well if it was $10 by itself because it might be harder to convince a customer to go for it (since it's a total add-on that doesn't include anything they were planning to buy anyway).

As far as Namco Museum goes, that's just a joke. It's like listing ALL of the Madden games together, which you'll note they did not do. Very flawed list, IMO.

XCWarrior

#42

XCWarrior said:

Well that just goes to show a good deal beats a quality game any day. Great marketing kudos goes to Nintendo on this one.

Klapaucius

#43

Klapaucius said:

Weird list... certainly not what I would expect to be the top 10 bestselling games ever.
Also, I don't agree with grouping multiplatform releases together like that. Namco Museum spans pretty much every system! They're making out that every version is the exact same game.

jackdsi

#44

jackdsi said:

Whatever....I still don't think that's a very good game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the best one on the list! YEAH!

JebbyDeringer

#45

JebbyDeringer said:

Is Namco Museum even one game though? I have a hard time believing that it's the exact same game on all those systems.

KingMike

#47

KingMike said:

It differs with each generation, but it's still mostly Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Galaga and a few others for variety. :D
(probably the worst is on GBA. IIRC, the 50th Anniversary Edition only had one game more than the earlier release. :P )

James

#48

James said:

@Stardust, post 26 - "Of course they're only going to have wii games - the list was compiled by the big N. Kind of biased, don't ya think?"

No it wasn't - it was compiled by NPD, who track sales for thousands of other things beside games.

@Caliko, post 21 - it says in the first sentence "best-selling game of the past fifteen years" :)

maka

#49

maka said:

"Fuzzy: I don't think Wii Fit's controller should be held against it because the balance board has few uses outside of Wii Fit. Wii Play is the only one whose controller you'd want to have separately from the game."

I don't think so, my balance board has seen much more play with other games such as Family Ski & Snowboard and Rock'n'Roll climber. In fact, if there's one peripheral that has only been used with the game it originally came bundled in is the M+ (with Wii Sports Resort). The little amount of support for the M+ is disappointing, even though it was announced one year before release... Hopefully it will change eventually.

I agree Wii Play is not very good (although the Tanks game is pretty fun) but the question here is, people had to pay extra. It's not fair to say people only bought it to get another wiimote because you also have the option of just getting the wiimote and paying less money.

People actually thought it was a good deal so they bought it. This is something other game companies should learn from...

Anyway, what seems pretty impressive to me is the fact that the only platform exclusive games that made the list were for the Wii... that's pretty amazing...

Ren

#50

Ren said:

You guys are missing the point. of course it's cheaper to get a contoller without the game, but not by much. If you already plan to spend 40$ on a controller, than 10$ more for what looks like almost a full game (designed/packaged much like Wiisports minigames) thats just too good a deal to pass up. That saves you more than just getting the controller if you're the average consumer that wants basic "Wiisports" style simplicity in a game and at a good pricepoint. It's not the actual savings that a consumer looks for it's how far they can stretch the dollar so it feels like savings. It IS about the controller. No one thought "WOW! That game looks amazing! and it's only $50! Oh, look it has a controller in here, that helps" I'm not saying it's a bad game but on it's own at $50 it would not have sold nearly that much.

City_Of_Delusion

#51

City_Of_Delusion said:

I think the current Guiness World Record holder of "Most Games Ever Sold" is Wii Sports, allthough I think SMB3 still is king in the "never bundled with a console" catagory.

maka

#52

maka said:

@Ren: Of course it wouldn't sell at 50$ because it's not worth 50$. Thing is, if you bundle a collection of multiplayer games with a wiimote (which people already are going to buy to play multiplayer games) it's logical many people are going to pay the extra 10$. But those people are actually, knowingly, buying this game for the extra 10$. So if it sells well, it deserves to be listed here.

Now, if the only way to get an extra wiimote would be to get this game then I'd agree it'd be unfair.

Stuffgamer1

#53

Stuffgamer1 said:

@City of Delusion: Sorry, SMB3 WAS bundled with some NES consoles, at least in North America. Not as many as Wii Sports, obviously, but also not "never bundled with a console" as you say.

@maka: Interestingly, Wii Play HAS been one of two ways to get a Wiimote at my GameStop recently. We sold out of regular Wiimotes over the Christmas rush, and Nintendo's taking FOREVER to restock us, as usual. All that's left are those $55 black Wiimote/Motion+ bundles (which nobody seems to be interested in) and Wii Play. Wii Play has sold to a number of people seeking Wiimotes for that very reason in the past few weeks.

spicoli

#54

spicoli said:

Why's everyone so surprised about Namco Museum? Most people probably bought it because of Pac-man. He's one of the biggest game icons of all time, and a lot of people still enjoy those games. Put it on every console, and of course it'll sell well. I have Namco collections 3 of those consoles, for that very reason.

GhettoBully

#55

GhettoBully said:

It shouldn't be listed. another proof that nitendo won't admit they aren't doing as well anymore. When I bought it I bought it because of the controller. Free game with controller is how I saw it, not the best selling game, it should be stricken from the list. Shouldn't count as a game, it wasn't stand alone. Surprised now they aren't counting wii sports. I know it came with the system but hell they are counting wii play. It's funny that this is even being debated. Its like counting Burger Kings games as real games they even sell them used at game stop... I'm not buying into nintendos hey we are awesome attempts. Secondly remember to check the stats online out, I'm proven them wrong on my search maybe you will to, plus its just us, so it retro the game isn't even close to top ten when you put the world into play, cause face it america isn't here alone

SafariSuz

#56

SafariSuz said:

|sf>I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that Mario Kart Wii came with the Wii Wheel, so actually each of those top selling titles came with some version of hardware (even though the wheel is optional for play).

As far as Namco Museum goes, I've bought (and played) the GBA, PSP, Wii, DS, and PSX Namco 1-3. Lumping the PS1 games in with the other versions is a little unfair, since that version was broken down into five pieces. Excluding the PS1 games, there's enough similarity for them to be grouped together, although many of the versions contain different titles.

I wonder if this group has also come up with a top 10 game series list. Given that Call of Duty eats up a high number of spots on this list, it would be amusing to see which has sold more: Wii Play + Wii Fit + Wii Music + Wii Sports Resort or the Call of Duty series.

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