Top 100 best American sellers list analysis

Next Gen was good enough to make a comprehensive list of the top 100 games of this century by American sales. The list proves supremely useful because they included the average Game Ranking review. Clicking back and forth between the pages and going over what fell where and what didn’t make the list in my mind, I realized that the list could be sorted in every which way. So, I opened Excel, threw some numbers in and it popped out a few graphs.

Some highlights:
1. Ninja Gaiden
2. Bulletproof
3. Virtua Fighter 4
4. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
5. SSX 3
6. Tetris Worlds
7. Soul Calibur 2
8. Burnout 3
9. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses
10. God of War
11. Devil May Cry
12. Knights of the old Republic
13. Metroid Prime
14. Jack and Daxter
15. Metal Gear Solid 2
16. Wind Waker
17. Need for Speed Underground
18. Halo

Some observations – Virtua Fighter 4 and Soul Calibur 2 were both outsold by Mortal Kombat despite being better to anyone with taste. Metroid Prime is the highest reviewed game at 96.3% and came in at number 36 on the list. The top ten average higher than any other consecutive ten review scores, but besides that the reviews don’t seem to have much of a pattern. The amazing 50 Cent game is the worst reviewed on the list yet still outsold Ninja Gaiden (and tons of great games that didn’t make the list – Resident Evil 4!!!).

These show a breakdown based on where the games came from (well, not exactly since I boiled it all down to East or West, but close enough) and then a breakdown based on if the title is new intellectual property, a licensed game or a sequel. 17 of the Western titles are original IP as opposed to 7 Japanese. I actually expected fewer original IPs but then I do include un-creative (but possibly fun) games like Conflict: Desert Storm. How’d they get the idea for that one?!

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17 years ago

i would be interested in seeing total console sales next to these figures.  selling a lot of gcn games is probably tougher than selling a lot of ps2 games since the installed base is somewhat smaller.  on the other hand (and this may just be my perception) the nintendo consoles always seem to have several must own titles and then not much after that, so it may be that a very high percentage of gcn owners all own a select few titles (smash bros, mario sunshine).