The Most Successful Games of Each Console Since The 80s

At one point, video games were quaint novelty items; now they’re a cultural phenomenon. With game sales fluctuating a great deal more than fairly regulated movies and TV shows, video games have had wildly different metrics for success in the past forty years.

The highest-selling video game on the Intellivision, for example, had sold only one million copies, which was mind-blowing for the time – Major League Baseball (1980). But last year, the Switch brought in almost four million in sales for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017). Compare both, though, to the Nintendo Entertainment System’s most successful game: Super Mario Bros. (1985) with over 40 million copies sold. That’s ten times as much, and that was the eighties!

See the history of video games in one chart, brought to you by It maps out each of the most successful games for each console, including everything from the Atari to the PS4. Often, these games were put into packs with the game system, but they’re still the most common. And they’ve also made a huge impact on our culture.

Without further adieu, here is a list of the the bestselling games on each console! How many of the games on this list do you own?


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