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More Gaming By The Numbers

Dr. Wright About a year ago I guided you through some of the most popular and least owned video games from my own collection by using GameSpot's collection database as a reference.  Now that time has passed I thought it would be interesting to revisit those results and see what, if anything, has changed.  Did Vegas Dream pick up any new fans in the past year?  Is Super Mario Bros. 3 still the most owned Nintendo Entertainment System game?  Let's have a look and find out.  First, however, let's recap.  Here are the most owned and least owned games in my collection from last year's list:

  • Nintendo Entertainment System
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 (11,525 owners)
    • Vegas Dream (92)
  • Game Boy
    • Super Mario Land (4,548)
    • Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (35)
  • Super NES
    • Super Mario World (13,308)
    • Aero the Acrobat 2 (65)
  • Virtual Boy
    • Mario's Tennis (668)
    • Jack Bros. (31)
  • PC
    • The Sims (17,345)
    • Mega Man X5 (228)
  • Nintendo 64
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (25,626)
    • Blast Corps (1,362)
  • GameCube
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (38,187)
    • Frogger: Ancient Shadow (15)
  • Nintendo DS
    • Super Mario 64 DS (17,195)
    • Pac 'n' Roll (196)
  • Game Boy Advance
    • Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (9,597)
    • Drill Dozer (373)
  • Sony PlayStation 2
    • Grand Theft Auto III (31,793)
    • Sega Genesis Collection (667)
  • Wii
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (12,874)
    • The Godfather: Blackhand Edition (242)

Now that we're up to date on things, let's have a look at what's changed in the past year.  Using my own collection as a master list, we'll look at which of my games are the most popular and which are the rarest 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.  The exception to this rule is that this year I'll also include games that were purchased from an organized digital delivery system such as Steam or Nintendo's Virtual Console.

A Boy and His BlobIn the world of the NES Super Mario Bros. 3 still holds the crown, rising up to 13,361 owners.  Vegas Dream still sits at the bottom, but now with 111 owners.  A Boy and His Blob is now owned by by 787 people (up from last year's 701).  The Mega Man series still suffers from diminishing returns, as each successive game in the series is owned by fewer people (the exception being the original Mega Man itself which clocks in with just about the same number of owners as Mega Man 3).  Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf boasts 152 owners this year despite the game not involving any actual fighting.

On the Game Boy front Super Mario Land holds its own with 5,052 owners.  Who Framed Roger Rabbit? still ranks dead last, although it's picked up three new owners for a total of 38.  The games that clocked in with less than 100 owners is the same as last year with the exception of my beloved Kwirk which has moved up to 107 owners.  That's one chilled tomato!  That's still less than Home Alone's 115 owners though.  Shameful!

Aero the Acro-bat 2Super Mario World remains king of the Super NES games with 15,279 owners.  Aero the Acrobat 2 picked up an additional twenty owners, bringing it up to 85.  Other games of note include The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with 12,265 owners, Super Mario Kart with 9,157, and Super Mario All-Stars with 8,824.  The Donkey Kong Country series also suffers from diminishing returns.  More of you need to acquire Kirby's Dream Course and Earthbound.  Those games are with 593 and 2,272 owners respectively.  Mario Is Missing has a home with 1,196 people which beats out much better games like Plok (206), Bubsy (420), and even Pilotwings (1,081).  Clearly something must be done about this.

Tune into the red and black world of the Virtual Boy next.  Mario's Tennis still reigns supreme, now with 721 owners.  Shockingly, Jack. Bros is no longer the least owned game in this category.  It appears that some folks have divested themselves of Golf, as it's dropped to a mere 27 owners.  Everybody else seems to have picked up additional homes, although they keep the same ranking overall. 

Portal Let's take the PC detour again.  Both The Sims and Mega Man X5 keep their rankings, although the numbers have changed for each: 18,831 and 260.  In the past year I've also acquired two new PC games, both of which are purchased downloads: Portal debuts at 1,157 owners (sans Orange Box, incidentally) and the new Audiosurf with 286 owners.  I expect to see both of those numbers continue to grow.  The other entries on the list hover about where they were last year with no remarkable changes.

Speaking of no remarkable changes, my ten Nintendo 64 games keep their place on the list as well.  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is still the champ (29,130 owners now) and Blast Corps is still the underdog (1,521 owners).  There are still more Banjo-Kazooie owners than Banjo-Tooie owners (7,803 versus 4,802) and Mario Kart 64 is still ranked third, although now with 13,139 owners.

Super Smash Bros. MeleeThere's been a little movement in the world of GameCube as gamers scoop up games they missed last generation.  On the whole it looks as if all of the games on the list have gained some new owners.  The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is still at the top, although now with 41,753 owners.  Super Smash Bros. Melee moved up to 35,868 owners. Metroid Prime sits in third place with 32,212 owners.  Even Frogger: Ancient Shadow picked up one new owner for a total of 16.  A few other personal favorites from this generation include Resident Evil 4 (24,603), F-Zero GX (8,574), Sonic Mega Collection (5,938), and Viewtiful Joe 2 (2,605).

Super Mario 64 DS remains in the top Nintendo DS spot, now with 19,438 owners.  Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros. round out the top three with 19,333 and 15,923 owners.  I've picked up a few new DS games in the past year: Mario Hoops 3-on-3 (1,097), Sonic Rush Adventure (560), Wario: Master of Disguise (320), DK Jungle Climber (137), and Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom (29).  The addition of Death Jr. and DK Jungle Climber knocks Pac 'n' Roll out from the bottom of the list as it's moved up to 223 owners.  Diddy Kong Racing DS moved up to 850 owners, too.

Mario and Luigi: Superstar SagaI welcomed a few new Game Boy Advance games into my collection since last year's list, and it surprised me to see that Metroid Fusion and it's 10,938 owners kicked Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga down to second place (but with a still-impressive 10,369 owners).  I also bought Mega Man and Bass which currently has 1,384 owners.  Drill Dozer is still disappointingly last, although now it is owned by 447 people.

While we're in the world of portable gaming we might as well talk about the PlayStation Portable and the eleven games I picked up for it in the past year.  Daxter sits at the top with 5,656 owners followed by Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition (2,081), Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters (1,929), and Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (1,751).  If you all don't show more love for Mega Man: Powered Up (1,394) and Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles (1,071) then we're not going to see more sequels, so you'd better get to work.  At the bottom of the list are Sonic Rivals and its sequel with 580 and 137 owners.  Somehow I think we're guaranteed to see more of those despite the low ownership numbers.

Street Fighter Alpha AnthologyI didn't get any new PlayStation 2 games in the last year, although considering the PS2's new role as budget game machine I expected to see the numbers change quite a bit.  Grand Theft Auto III is still at the top, but now with 34,871 owners.  The Ratchet and Clank trilogy maintains its order with slight gains for each game.  The bottom three of the list are still there, although the order has switched.  Street Fighter Alpha Anthology has 1,527 owners while Sega Genesis Collection lifted from the bottom spot up to 994 owners.  Super Dragon Ball Z takes the spot of shame with 916 owners which is up from last year, but not enough to escape the bottom of the pile.

Before we get to the Wii itself, let's look at my Virtual Console acquisitions.  I didn't include these last year because at the time I had so few of them.  I have sixteen retro titles now, the most owned being Gunstar Heroes with 1,097 owners.  After that is Kirby's Adventure (835), Super Castlevania IV (749), Bomberman '93 (680), and Super Mario Bros. 2 (643).  Looking towards the other end of the stack, on the way down to the bottom we have Yoshi's Story (137), Bonk's Revenge (112), New Adventure Island (82), Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (65), Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure (30), and Magician Lord coming in last with only 18 owners.

Super Mario Galaxy My Wii collection grew by five games in the last year (why only five?  I tend to rent more than I buy), so let's take a moment to add Super Mario Galaxy (10,088 owners), Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (6,208), Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (1,133), and The Simpsons Game (279).  It may be too early to consider the recently released Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but so far the game has found its way into 2,791 homes.  The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess holds on to the top spot with 21,876 owners which is quite an increase from last year.  Wii Sports holds at number two with 17,885 owners.  Super Paper Mario dropped to fourth behind Galaxy with 7,322 owners.  The Godfather: Blackhand Edition is no longer ranked last (that "honor" goes to The Simpsons Game), so it's now second-to-last with 873 owners.  Other games of interest include Rayman Raving Rabbids (4,320), Sonic and the Secret Rings (2,298), Excite Truck (2,077) and Elebits (1,336).  I still believe that the Wii list is the one to watch for lots of movement this year.

So, what does it all mean?  Based on this data the three top-owned games are The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Grand Theft Auto III.  The bottom three games are Golf, Magician Lord, and Frogger: Ancient Shadow.  The average GameSpot review score for my collection is 7.7.  Right smack in the middle of the overall list is Blast Corps with a median value of 1,523 owners. 

Once again, that about wraps it up for my collection (for now).  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 still probably not the least-owned game of all time.  It may well deserve to be, but still that's a topic for another day.