The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games

Every month we here at Kotaku crunch some numbers and tell you which 10 Wii games get played the most, per gamer, on the Nintendo Wii. Today, we're doubling our efforts. This is the top 20, as of May 1.

Answers to frequently anticipated questions

1) No! This is not a list of the top-selling Wii games. This is a list of the games, according to public data distributed by Nintendo, that get played the most by people who have either rented or bought the game.

2) Yes! Those numbers you see are hours and minutes, tallied from the day the game launched. The average Smash Bros owner is not playing 70-plus hours of the game each month. That would be unhealthy. They've logged those hours since they first got the game, be it launch day or otherwise.

3) See for yourself. Just click the chart to enlarge it.


OK, now we have that out of the way.

I've loaded up the chart with 10 more games because the Top 10 had become dull. Not enough movement up there, aside from the recent rise of Harvest Moon: Animal Parade.

Plus, people are always asking where Mario Kart is or mocking Wii Sports for not being on the list. Those games will be mocked no longer!

Here's the Top 20. Let me know what you think of it. As a bonus, here are the actual play-time counts, as of May 1, 2010:

1. Super Smash Bros Brawl - 75:36 2. Animal Crossing - 70:02 3. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - 57:19 4. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade - 51:53 5. Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn - 50:41 6. Call of Duty: World at War - 50:31 7. Harvest Moon Tree of Tanquility - 50:30 8. Rune Factory Frontier - 47:26 9. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 47:06 10. Rock Band 2 - 46:51 11. Lego Star Wars - 45:08 12. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition - 41:33 13. Tales of Symphonia: DotNW – 40:01 14. WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 - 38:04 15. Wii Sports - 37:58 16. Mario Kart Wii - 37:49 17. Guitar Hero World Tour - 36:46 18. FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play - 36:05 19. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 - 34:38 20. Rock Band - 32:26

Where's all this from? (AKA an explanation of the above chart for stat junkies only): In a move somewhat surprising for the generally secretive company, Nintendo makes all of this data public. Any Wii owner can download the Nintendo Channel to their Wii and begin browsing for games. Any game that has been played enough times has usage stats listed for it, contributed by anyone who chose to share their data with the channel. The sample size that the channel tracks is pretty good, though it is obviously biased toward users who hook up a Wii to the Internet. We calculate that sample size by looking at Wii Sports usage numbers, which show that more than 104 million sessions of that game have been played by Nintendo Channel users as of April 1 (up three million in the last month), for an average of 30.00 sessions per player. That divides to around 3.5 million Wii Sports users whose gaming has been tracked by the channel. Since almost all Wii Sports owners in North America would be Wii users, we will venture that as many as 3.5 million people have contributed stats. That is up from the 3.4 million people when these numbers were run for April 1. (Please not that in the chart atop this post October 09 data is not included due to a problem with Nintendo's data reporting during that period.)


    I find that some games (Beatles Rock Band) never show in my records on the Nintendo channel, no matter how much I play them. Rock Band 2 doesn't show either, perhaps because it was never officially released here. Because it's obviously appearing for people in the US.

    Maybe it's true (as some in the general comments have suggested) that the Nintendo channel tracks different countries separately.

    My Nintendo Channel pretends that Rock Band doesn't exist. I have played The Beatles:RB about the same amount of time as Guitar Hero III, and Rock Band about 4x more than that.

      I'm glad I'm not the only one then. It was sending me nuts there for a while. Especially when I see things like the Mii Channel in my records.

    Well, this got me curious, so I did some searching in what I assume to be the Australian channel.

    For a start there's 179 apps listed in the Wii category, rather than the 400 odd that Stephen referred to in the comments. So there's a whole lot not even listed.

    So I looked up the 20 he had in his list, plus another few that I thought might be interesting.

    The ones shown with a "\" weren't listed at all.
    The ones with a "0" were listed, but had no game time information, which apparently means not enough global hours played. The only game that doesn't make sense for is Wii Sports.

    US AU
    1 Super Smash Bros Brawl 75:36 60.54
    2 Animal Crossing 70:02 59.57
    3 Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock 57:19 60.33
    4 Harvest Moon: Animal Parade 51:53 \
    5 Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn 50:41 47.04
    6 Call of Duty: World at War 50:31 \
    7 Harvest Moon Tree of Tanquility 50:30 0
    8 Rune Factory Frontier 47:26 \
    9 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 47:06 52.22
    10 Rock Band 2 46:51 \
    11 Lego Star Wars 45:08 \
    12 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 41:33 \
    13 Tales of Symphonia: DotNW 40:01 0
    14 WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 38:04 \
    15 Wii Sports 37:58 0
    16 Mario Kart Wii 37:49 42.24
    17 Guitar Hero World Tour 36:46 42.19
    18 FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play 36:05 \
    19 WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 34:38 \
    20 Rock Band 32:26 \

    Wii Sports Resort 22.20
    Monster Hunter Tri 0
    Wii Fit 23.34
    Wii Fit Plus 16.01
    Wii Play 12.06

    On the whole, they're in a pretty similar order to the US list. Just with a lot of games missing.

      Buggerit, the spaces won't work.

      First number is Stephen's US number. Second is AU number I looked up. (Except for the last 5 entries which are just AU)

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