I can be very obsessive about my video game collection. It isn't enough to keep every game I ever acquired, but I must also organize them properly. They must be sorted and shelved first by console and then in alphabetical order. That is not enough, however. I must also keep a computer database of my collection so that, at any time, I can look over the list and bask in my mighty collection of circuit boards and discs. It's a sickness, yes, but it's also an interesting way to see how many other people own the same games I do. I use GameSpot's database to keep my gaming index, and part of that database shows how many other people have my games in their own databases. It's interesting to see that 19,943 people own Devil May Cry for the Sony PlayStation 2, but only 6,965 own Donkey Kong Country for the Super NES.
Using my own collection as a master list, I thought it'd be neat to see which of my games are the most popular and which are the most rare when it comes to other folks using the GameSpot database. Remember, if I don't own the actual cartridge or disc then I won't be talking about it here. Who's up for a little fun with numbers?
In the beginning there was the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it was good. I own 27 games for the NES. Which is the most popular in GameSpot's eyes? Nothing comes close to Super Mario Bros. 3 which is owned by 11,525 people. The only other game that approaches that is Super Mario Bros. 2 with just 8,210 owners. As far as games that hardly anybody has, that honor has to go to Vegas Dream which has only found a home with 92 people. Other games at the bottom of the ranking list include Ghostbusters 2 (215), Pipe Dream (114), and Darkwing Duck (294). Surprisingly, A Boy and His Blob is owned by 701 people.
Moving along, I own 22 Game Boy games. Super Mario Land takes the top spot with 4,548 owners, but The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is right behind it with 4,497 owners. Tetris is #3, being possessed by 4,162 people (I'd have thought it'd be higher considering it was the free pack-in game for years and years). At the bottom of the list is Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with only 35 owners. Other games that clock in below 100 are The Ren and Stimpy Show: Veediots! (49), The Ren and Stimpy Show: Space Cadet Adventures (80), Earthworm Jim (59), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (71), and my beloved Kwirk (96).
Step right up to the 16-bit generation with the Super NES and my library of 26 games. The top-owned game is, unsurprisingly, Super Mario World with 13,308 owners. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is second with 10,786 owners. Then the numbers fall off sharply, showing my somewhat esoteric taste in video gaming. Ranked in last place for ownership is Aero the Acro-bat 2 with only 65 fans (in case you're wondering, the original Aero is owned by 166 people). Other low-ranking games of note include Plok (185), Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose (404), Stunt Race FX (475), Bubsy (350). and SimEarth (120).
Yes, I have a Virtual Boy. Yes, I have 11 games for it. The game that the most people own? It's pack-in title Mario's Tennis, of course, with 668 owners. Second place is Virtual Boy Wario Land, a game owned by 357 people. After that we get into some very low numbers: Virtual League Baseball (93), Panic Bomber (98), Nester's Funky Bowling (58), and the lowest-ranked game of them all, Jack Bros. with only 31 owners.
This seems as good a time as any to drop in my collection of 15 PC games, most of which are unplayable on today's modern computers, but I still have them. Everybody owns The Sims, of course, and by "everybody" I mean 17,345. No expansion packs for me though. After that comes Rollercoaster Tycoon with 8,304 owners. The various expansion packs for Tycoon drop off though, down to 3,060 and 2,415 owners respectively. And the Rollercoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack? Only 520 owners. Some of the low-ranking games here are Streets of SimCity (711), The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield (385), Star Trek: Starship Creator (420), and all the way at the bottom is Mega Man X5 (228).
Back to the world of consoles now with the Nintendo 64. I was in high school during the N64's lifetime, meaning that my money was spent on things other than video games, and as such I only acquired 10 games for the system. I like to think that they're all classic games though. It should come as no surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is #1 here with 25,626 owners. Second place goes to Super Mario 64, owned by 17,940 people. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask rounds out the top three with 15,148 owners. Everything drops off after that, but even the least-owned game clocks in with 1,362 owners (Blast Corps).
I got back into gaming in a big way with the GameCube, and thanks to all those free review copies I was sent over the years, I own 42 GameCube games. The top-owned games are about what one would expect. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is owned by a staggering 38,187 people making it the top-owned game of all my consoles. After that comes Super Smash Bros. Melee (31,391), Metroid Prime (29,406), and Super Mario Sunshine (22,653). At the other end of the rankings are games such as Street Racing Syndicate (155), Super Monkey Ball Adventure (99), Karaoke Revolution Party (74), and all the way at the bottom of the stack amongst all the consoles is Frogger: Ancient Shadow with only 15 owners. I'd like to believe that those 14 other Frogger owners are gaming journalists like myself who wound up with a free review copy that they now cannot unload on anyone.
The Nintendo DS swayed me at launch, and since getting one in 2004 I've built up a library of 22 games. The top spot goes to Super Mario 64 with 17,195 owners followed by Mario Kart DS (15,695, most of whom probably snake) and New Super Mario Bros. (11,961). Down at the bottom of the barrel we find games such as Pac-Pix (524), Diddy Kong Racing DS (455), Super Monkey Ball Touch & Roll (316), and Pac 'n Roll (196). Diddy Kong's ranking surprised me; it's not the best game that the DS has to offer, but I expected more people to own it. Perhaps the sub-par buzz sank it early on.
The DS also plays Game Boy Advance games, of course, and I've amassed a few of those games as well. 8 of them, in fact. Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga is the top-ranked game with 9,597 owners. After that we find Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 with 8,363 owners and Mario Kart Super Circuit with 6,904 owners. Disappointingly, Drill Dozer is at the bottom of the list with only 373 owners. You all are missing out! I expected more from you. For shame.
Somewhere along the way I also picked up a Sony PlayStation 2 and a stack of what I perceived as the best that system has to offer. I own 12 games for the PS2, and I'm not surprised to find that Grand Theft Auto III is the most popular game of any PS2 game that I own; it boasts 31,793 owners. The Ratchet and Clank series has experienced diminishing returns with 12,511, 11,873, and 10,989 owners for the first three games in the series respectively. At the end of the list are three games I've mini-reviewed here on PTB for the PS2: Street Fighter Alpha Anthology (1,176), Super Dragon Ball Z (728), and Sega Genesis Collection (667). These three are all solid games, yet are owned by so comparatively few people. Perhaps I need to write louder.
Finally we come to the end of the line (for now) with the Wii. Again, thanks to review copies I own 10 games for the Wii, and even though it's still early in the Wii's life there are already some impressive numbers here. The top spot goes to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess with 12,874 owners. Wii Sports is next with 9,186 owners, and if you're wondering how that free pack-in could possibly not be #1, remember that it's only freely included with Wiis in North America. The rest of the world has to buy it separately. The numbers drop from here; #3 is Rayman Raving Rabbids with only 2,672 owners. It's still very early for Super Paper Mario, but it's already owned by 1,582 people. The bottom of the list? Say hello to Elebits (772), Need for Speed: Carbon (455), and The Godfather: Blackhand Edition (282). I'm especially curious to see how this list changes over time.
That about wraps it up for my collection. Remember that this list is all filtered through the games that I own and no others, meaning that something I do not have is bound to score higher or lower when compared to the games on my list. For instance, Frogger: Ancient Shadow is probably not the least-owned game of all time. It may well deserve to be, but that's a topic for another day.