The 20 Most-Loved Wii GamesS

Do you see movement? I see movement. LOTS of shifting as games move up and down in our ranking of most avidly-played titles on the Nintendo Wii. Modern Warfare and Monster Hunter can't be stopped.

(Click the chart to enlarge it.)

You are looking at Kotaku's exclusive monthly round-up of the 20 Wii games that get played the most, per Wii player.

No, these are not the best-selling Wii games of all time. These are the ones that Wii owners actually like enough to log lots of hours on. You could say these are the games that most please the people who play them, the games that collect the least amount of dust and provide the most hours of joy per household.

Get it?

And do you see what Monster Hunter Tri is doing? It is indeed making a run at Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the steepest ascent I've seen for a game since I started tracking these stats. It has Animal-Crossing-like momentum and could be the game to finally dethrone Smash. Can miracles happen?

Check out the rise for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex Edition a game that is about to pass its predecessor, Call of Duty: World at War, and is another monthly reminder that Wii owners will go online to shoot each other with vigor if you give them the means to do so.

The 20 Most-Loved Wii GamesS

Here's the Top 20 games from the chart in list form. I'm including the cumulative lifetime play-time counts, as of July 1, 2010 in hours and minutes. You can see just how close some of these games are.

1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 76:39
2. Animal Crossing - 71:38
3. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade - 57:30 (up from the 4th spot)
4. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - 57:11 (down from the 3rd spot)
5. Monster Hunter Tri - 56:08 (up from the 15th spot)
6. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility - 51:16
7. Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn - 51:14 (down from the 5th spot)
8. Call of Duty: World at War - 50:53 (down from the 7th spot)
9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition - 49:33 (up from the 12th spot)
10. Rune Factory Frontier - 47:55 (down from the 8th spot)
11. Rock Band 2 - 47:49 (down from the 9th spot)
12. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 47:20 (down from the 10th spot)
13. Lego Star Wars - 46:48 (down from the 11th spot)
14. WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010 - 43:27 (down from the 13th spot)
15. Tales of Symphonia: DotNW - 40:28 (down from the 14th spot)
16. Mario Kart Wii - 38:57
17. Wii Sports - 38:36
18. Guitar Hero: World Tour - 37:14
19. FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play - 37:11
20. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 - 35:12

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 112 million sessions of that game have been played by Nintendo Channel users as of July 1 (up 4 million in the last month), for an average of 30.48 sessions per player. That divides to around 3.7 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 3.7 million people have contributed stats. That is up from the 3.6 million people when these numbers were run for June 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.)

Thank you to Amber Nichols for help with this month's post.