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As the Game Boy prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary, Nintendo’s beloved Animal Crossing series has just reached the 18-year mark of its existence (well, yesterday it did – we're 24 hours late). Sure, it might not be quite as significant, but it's still worth reminding everyone just how much it has grown over the years.

The series first started out in Japan with the 2001 Nintendo 64 title Dōbutsu no Mori (also known as Animal Forest). In the same year, the original game was brought across to the GameCube and then localised for North America as Animal Crossing in 2002 and later on in Europe in 2004.

Since then, the obscure lifestyle simulator has gone on to become one of Nintendo’s best-selling IP. The handheld entries Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: New Leaf have performed particularly well in terms of sales, selling more than 10 and 12 million units respectively.

The series has become so popular, there have even been a number of spin-offs over the years. These include the likes of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on the 3DS and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on mobile. We’re now waiting for the next big entry in the series to be revealed at this year's E3.

So until then, why not celebrate Animal Crossing’s 18th year anniversary by sharing your own memories of the series in the comment section below.