The Best-Selling Games For PS1, N64, Saturn, And Dreamcast

Historical game sales data can be hard to come by, so I was quite interested to see NPD analyst Mat Piscatella tweet a series of all-time best-seller lists for the Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1, Saturn, Dreamcast, and Game Boy Colour over the weekend. Some of these might surprise you!

The game industry’s sales numbers have historically been much more closed-off than those of other industries. While it’s easy to find the box office numbers from films, for example, U.S. game sales data is locked up behind a very expensive subscription to the NPD Group’s reports.

The charts tweeted by Piscatella aren’t totally complete - they rank games by dollar sales instead of unit sales, and they don’t have the exact numbers, just a comparative ranking.

But it’s still valuable information. Here’s the data:

PlayStation

  1. Crash Bandicoot

  2. Gran Turismo

  3. Final Fantasy VII

  4. Gran Turismo 2

  5. Crash Bandicoot: Warped

  6. Tekken 3

  7. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

  8. Metal Gear Solid

  9. Crash Bandicoot 2

  10. Driver

Well, I guess Crash Bandicoot was really popular. Shame they couldn’t get one of them onto the PlayStation Classic. Also: Driver.

Nintendo 64

  1. Super Mario 64

  2. Goldeneye 007

  3. Mario Kart 64

  4. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time

  5. Pokemon Stadium

  6. Donkey Kong 64

  7. Star Fox 64

  8. Super Smash Bros.

  9. Diddy Kong Racing

  10. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

I knew Goldeneye was popular, but the second-best-selling game in the U.S.? Amazing. Also, look at Shadows of the Empire kicking arse there at #10.

Sega Saturn

  1. Madden NFL 97

  2. Nights Into Dreams

  3. Virtua Fighter 2

  4. Daytona USA

  5. Virtua Cop

  6. Tomb Raider

  7. Sega Rally Championship

  8. Sonic 3D Blast

  9. World Series Baseball

  10. Panzer Dragoon

Madden being the biggest Saturn game in the U.S. might strike you as strange, but remember that the Genesis was the premier system for the sports genre, and some percentage of those players were bound to move on to the next Sega system for their Madden fix.

Sega Dreamcast

  1. NFL 2K

  2. NFL 2K1

  3. Sonic Adventure

  4. NBA 2K

  5. NBA 2K1

  6. Crazy Taxi

  7. Soul Calibur

  8. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

  9. Shenmue

  10. Resident Evil: Code Veronica

Speaking of Sega and sports...

Game Boy Colour

  1. Pokemon Silver

  2. Pokemon Gold

  3. Super Mario Bros. Deluxe

  4. Pokemon Pinball

  5. Pokemon Crystal

  6. Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel

  7. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX

  8. Donkey Kong Country

  9. Pokemon Trading Card Game

  10. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

The final platform Piscatella ran the numbers on was Game Boy Colour. No surprise that it’s shot through with every Pokemon game for the short-lived platform, plus Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. The dark horse here is clearly the Yu-Gi-Oh game.

Also, a “better luck next time” to Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, which we must assume is a very close #11.


Comments

    they rank games by dollar sales instead of unit sales,

    That's a terrible way to rank sales.

    Gran Turismo was comfortably the best selling game on the PS1 selling almost 11 million copies. Crash Bandicoot sold less copies than Crash Bandicoot 3 did.

      Yeah wow, very fair point. Why order them this way..

        The Saturn list is...like...completely wrong too. The best selling Saturn game was Virtua Fighter 2 followed by Sega Rally. NiGHTS doesn't even rank in the top 10, let alone at number 2, but the ridiculous one is Madden 97, that had sales so minuscule it's barely a blip on the radar. Claiming it's the best selling Saturn game is an absolute joke.

        http://www.vgchartz.com/platform/22/sega-saturn/

        Bad ranking is bad. From what orifice did he pull this data from?

    Nights at #2. Far out.

    When sports games dominate lists it’s obvious it’s an American thing. Yick

    Also: Driver.

    What about it? I bloody LOVED Driver.

    I absolutely love both Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon.
    But dude I wish Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon were included for Playstation Classic. I have to say Sony may think they're going to compete against Nintendo but it's not going to happen anyway so screw you Sony.
    I also loved The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, and The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Super Smash Bros, Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and Rare's Goldeneye 007.
    Too bad Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and Goldeneye 007 never made it on to Rare Replay's list of games to celebrate Rare's 30 year history which came out for the Xbox One 3 years ago.
    Because the British developer was facing licensing issues and Microsoft had to purchase a $375 million dollar partnership with the British developer in 2002.
    Fast forward to today though and with Banjo Kazooie's trademark licence renewed by Nintendo it's only a matter of time until Rare decides to bring Banjo Kazooie and his games on to Nintendo Switch and to bring in Banjo and Kazooie as new fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate even though the Grinch leak is already fake but not true.

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