The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games

Every month we here at Kotaku crunch some numbers and tell you which 10 Wii games get played the most, per gamer, on the Nintendo Wii. Today, we're doubling our efforts. This is the top 20, as of May 1.

Answers to frequently anticipated questions

1) No! This is not a list of the top-selling Wii games. This is a list of the games, according to public data distributed by Nintendo, that get played the most by people who have either rented or bought the game.

2) Yes! Those numbers you see are hours and minutes, tallied from the day the game launched. The average Smash Bros. owner is not playing 70-plus hours of the game each month. That would be unhealthy. They've logged those hours since they first got the game, be it launch day or otherwise.

3) See for yourself. Just click the chart to enlarge it.

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The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games

Okay, now we have that out of the way.

I've loaded up the chart with 10 more games because the Top 10 had become dull. Not enough movement up there, aside from the recent rise of Harvest Moon: Animal Parade.

Plus, people are always asking where Mario Kart is or mocking Wii Sports for not being on the list. Those games will be mocked no longer!

Here's the Top 20. Let me know what you think of it. As a bonus, here are the actual play-time counts, as of May 1, 2010:

1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 75:36
2. Animal Crossing - 70:02
3. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - 57:19
4. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade - 51:53
5. Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn - 50:41
6. Call of Duty: World at War - 50:31
7. Harvest Moon Tree of Tanquility - 50:30
8. Rune Factory Frontier - 47:26
9. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 47:06
10. Rock Band 2 - 46:51
11. Lego Star Wars - 45:08
12. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition - 41:33
13. Tales of Symphonia: DotNW – 40:01
14. WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 - 38:04
15. Wii Sports - 37:58
16. Mario Kart Wii - 37:49
17. Guitar Hero World Tour - 36:46
18. FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play - 36:05
19. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 - 34:38
20. Rock Band - 32:26

Where's all this from? (AKA an explanation of the above chart for stat junkies only): In a move somewhat surprising for the generally secretive company, Nintendo makes all of this data public. Any Wii owner can download the Nintendo Channel to their Wii and begin browsing for games. Any game that has been played enough times has usage stats listed for it, contributed by anyone who chose to share their data with the channel. The sample size that the channel tracks is pretty good, though it is obviously biased toward users who hook up a Wii to the Internet. We calculate that sample size by looking at Wii Sports usage numbers, which show that more than 104 million sessions of that game have been played by Nintendo Channel users as of April 1 (up 3 million in the last month), for an average of 30.00 sessions per player. That divides to around 3.5 million Wii Sports users whose gaming has been tracked by the channel. Since almost all Wii Sports owners in North America would be Wii users, we will venture that as many as 3.5 million people have contributed stats. That is up from the 3.4 million people when these numbers were run for April 1. (Please not that in the chart atop this post October 09 data is not included due to a problem with Nintendo's data reporting during that period.)