Okay, we’re not going to list all 1,000 of the best selling video games in Japan here. You can trot on over to NeoGAF if you want to see that. What we will do is provide you a nice little sample that is very telling of the gaming trends in Japan.
- Yo-Kai Watch 2: Honke / Ganso (Level-5, 3DS) 3,040,100
- Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Capcom, 3DS) 2,345,260
- Pokémon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire (The Pokémon Company, 3DS) 2,283,344
- Yo-kai Watch 2: Shin’uchi (Level-5, 3DS) – 2,039,205
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo, 3DS) 2,001,935
- Yo-Kai Watch (Level-5, 3DS) 1,037,890
- Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo, Wii U) 851,776
- Dragon Quest Monsters 2 (Square Enix, 3DS) 802,173
- Kirby Triple Deluxe (Nintendo, 3DS) – 677,319
- Puzzle & Dragons Z (GungHo Online Entertainment, 3DS) 498,410
Yup, Pokémon was definitely not the biggest series in Japan last year. Yokai Watch came out swinging with its substantial sequel and brought Nintendo’s classic monster training series down a peg or two.
Yokai Watch 2 was released over three versions just like the Pokémon games. Honke and Ganso, in the number one spot, were released like the classic colored versions of Pokémon, neither of which sported a complete roster of monsters and required friends to trade. After that, Shin’uchi, the fourth place title, came out later in the year as a kind of combination to the two versions. Together, all three racked up over five million sales, and even the first game hung in there with a million sale as well.
Pokémon was beaten out by Monster Hunter as well. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was the best selling single unit of the year after dividing Yokai Watch 2’s original release in half, so Capcom has a little something to brag about.
Dragon Quest Monsters 2 clocked in at number 8, a respectable number for a spin-off. Expect it to be higher next month after Dragon Quest VIII launches for the Nintendo 3DS.
And if I need to bring it up, nine of the top ten games were for the Nintendo 3DS, further proving how enamored Japan is with taking games on the go. Without question, these numbers don’t hold up to smartphone games, but information firm Media Create doesn’t measure those. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U was the only game on a home console to crack the top 10.
The PlayStation 4 doesn’t clock in until the 15th spot with…ugh… Knack. That’s only because it was a free game for those who bought the PlayStation 4 at launch. With Final Fantasy XV, Dragon Quest Heroes 2, Dragon Quest XI, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, and plenty of other iconic franchises coming to the PlayStation 4 in the coming year tough, expect that standing to change. If those games can’t put a dent in the mobile market’s hold on Japan, nothing will.