Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can most certainly buy you video games, as well as help create them. Whether or not that equates to happiness is entirely for you to decide.
An infographic by Graphs.net lists the most expensive video games in history, as well as the highest grossing titles of all time. If you’re interested in seeing how Asia fared on that list, look no further, as we found five titles just for you. So without further ado, here are two of the most expensive video games and three of the highest grossing video games hailing from Asia.
Most Expensive: Square Enix’ Final Fantasy
Whether you are a new or old gamer, if you like this hobby enough, you probably know of the popular Final Fantasy series by Square Enix. Interestingly, Final Fantasy was supposed to be the last game for designer Hironobu Sakaguchi. Had the game not sold well, he would’ve just given up and returned to university. We all know what happened after that. Final Fantasy became so successful that it now spans fourteen major installment titles with many of them having prequels and sequels across various platforms. As it turns out, two Final Fantasy titles have made the list of the most expensive games of all time:
Final Fantasy XIII – Over $65 Million
Final Fantasy XIII was released in 2009 for the PlayStation 3 and the XBOX 360. The story has thirteen chapters each focusing on a different protagonist in order to portray director Motomu Toriyama’s idea of “characters at the mercy of a predetermined, unjust fate that belong together but collide heavily.” He also stated in an interview that he wanted it to become the ultimate single player RPG. On its first day on sale in Japan, Final Fantasy XIII sold over one million copies. By the end of 2009, it had managed to sell 1.7 million copies for the PlayStation 3 in Japan alone.
Final Fantasy VII – $45 Million
If you’re thinking of the amazingly rendered, almost-human Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy: Advent Children, you’re not exactly wrong, but that’s not the Final Fantasy VII this list is talking about. In fact, the $45 Million version is made up of square figures that might remind you of Lego. It may not look as awesome as today’s rather realistic games in terms of graphics and other elements, but I believe one of its key features was its amazing story and characters.
Final Fantasy VII is probably one of the most popular titles not only in the Final Fantasy series, but also among many RPGs. First released for the Sony PlayStation in 1997, the game sold 2.3 million copies in the first three days in Japan alone. It was also the first Final Fantasy title on the PlayStation. And was the most expensive video game of its time. Final Fantasy VII became so popular that other game titles and movies were created based on its story and characters.
Nintendo holds the highest grossing titles
Now who doesn’t know Nintendo? Seeing as how three of its games are part of the list of the highest grossing video game titles of all time, it isn’t surprising that it is one of the largest gaming companies in the world. And of course, the company’s mustachioed Italian plumber Mario is arguably more famous than Nintendo itself. As a testament to this popularity, two games based on the Super Mario series made it to the list of the highest grossing titles of all time.
Mario Kart Wii – $1.4 Billion
Although Mario and Luigi were initially the only playable characters in the Super Mario series, the rest of the cast of the story became more and more interesting. Put these characters in a wacky kart racing game and you have Mario Kart. The version for the Nintendo Wii was released in 2008 and is the sixth title in the Mario Kart series. It allowed for up to 12 players in a single race and a variety of tracks designed after themes and locations from the famous Mario series. Mario Kart Wii is also currently among the top selling Nintendo Wii games, having sold 34.26 million copies and falling second to Nintendo Wii Sports.
Wii Play – $1.25 Billion
Wii Play is a collection of nine mini-games designed to be played by two players, but with also a single player mode. It makes use of characters from the Mii Channel, which imports user-customized avatars into the game. It is currently the fourth among the top selling Nintendo Wii games at 28.02 million copies sold.
New Super Mario Bros – $1.2 Billion
In May 2006, Nintendo brought the well-loved side-scrolling world of Mario to the Nintendo DS in Japan and North America when they released New Super Mario Bros. The game’s graphics are often referred to as being 2.5D primarily because it utilizes 2D backgrounds with 3D sprites to create an overall 3D effect. It was able to sell approximately 900,000 copies in its first four days in Japan, making it the best-selling debut Nintendo DS title in that country.
So these are the best games, right?
Judging by the amount invested, the copies sold, and the millions earned, I’d say that these are undoubtedly a few of the top games from Asian companies. However, this does not also mean that other titles are no good, since different players have different preferences so one might dislike what another may tend to enjoy. At the end of the day, while these numbers depict the amount spent by developers or gamers on these titles, it does not exactly gauge the level of enjoyment or game quality they bring to the table.