There have been many great video game franchises over the years. A franchise can consist of 2 games, or it can consist of more than 10 games. There is no limit when it comes to creating a video game franchise. However, the thing about these gaming franchises is that enough people need to love them and play them in order to keep them around for decades and potentially getting more installments in that series.
It is often talked about what is the greatest video game franchise of all time. That can be up to debate since everyone likes different types of games. One thing that can’t be up for debate is what are the top 10 highest-grossing video game franchises of all time. The numbers have been released and now we have factual evidence as to what 10 franchises have made the cut.
10 highest-grossing video game franchises of all time
- Call of Duty: $30 billion
- Pokemon: $27.1 billion
- Mario: $22.6 billion
- Final Fantasy: $18.8 billion
- Dungeon Fighter Online: $18 billion
- Space Invaders: $16 billion
- Pac-Man: $14 billion
- Crossfire: $13 billion
- Street Fighter: $12.2 billion
- Dragon Quest: $12.2 billion
When you first take a look at this list, there are a lot of obvious franchises that made the cut. There are also a lot of surprises franchises that you wouldn’t expect to see. The one thing that should be noted is highest grossing is extremely different than best-selling. The five best-selling video games of all time are Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V, Tetris, Wii Sports, and PUBG: Battlegrounds. Not one of those video games are in the top 10 highest grossing video game franchises of all time. That is because they are completely different terms.
The obvious franchises on this list are Call of Duty, Pokemon, and Mario. Call of Duty was first released in 2003 and never really has turned its back since then. Since 2003, there have been 21 games as part of the main franchise. That is a massive number of video games in one franchise for a relatively newer franchise and almost feels like a Marvel movie franchise. However, Call of Duty has captured the heart of a majority of the gaming community and is a major reason as to why they release new content and games every single year. Not to mention that it is one of the most competitive video games of all time, giving away millions of dollars in tournaments each year.
Pokemon and Mario are also no brainers on this list. Pokemon and Mario is almost similar to Call of Duty in the way that they are always having new games released every year. Pokemon goes all the way back to Pokemon Red, Green, and Blue, released on the Gameboy in 1996. Mario, on the other hand, has spawned more than 200 installments in the franchise dating back to Super Mario Bros. in 1985 for the NES. Both Pokemon and Mario are so popular that they have continued their success on TV and the big screens over the years as well, including an upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie scheduled to hit theatres on April 7.
One of the most shocking franchises on this list has to be Dungeon Fighter Online. This franchise has accumulated $18 billion and has beat out some iconic video game franchises on the list. The weird part is that Dungeon Fighter Online has gotten some very mixed reviews, but from the first release in 2005 has racked up nearly a billion players in their database. When you have that many players taking the time out to play that game, there is no secret as to why it has made so much revenue. Even if the game doesn’t have the greatest of reviews. With just under 8 billion people on Earth, nearly 12% of the entire population has played this game before. Mind shattering.
In regards to the other franchises on this list such as Final Fantasy, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Crossfire, Street Fighter, and Dragon Quest, it is a great accomplishment to have made this type of list. We all know that most of these are classic franchises and have gotten the love for many decades and will continue to get a lot of love for many more decades to come. Obviously, some of these franchises have slowed down a bit over the years, but a majority of them are still kicking and creating new installments in their franchise.
Final Fantasy XVI will be released on June 22, 2023, and fans of this franchise are already getting excited about this next installment. Many of these franchises will continue to grow and it will be interesting to see how long this top 10 highest-grossing video game franchises of all-time list stays intact before another franchise overtakes one of them on this list.