The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games

Monster Hunter is on course to beat Smash Bros. while, lower Rock Band 2 continues to tangle with... Run Factory Frontier? These are the 20 most-loved Wii games as of August 1, 2010.

(Click the chart to enlarge it.)

Welcome to August and Kotaku's monthly look at the most-loved Wii games on Nintendo's home console. This is not a list or a chart of the best-selling Wii games. This is a graph that shows which Nintendo games get played the most per person who has them. In other words, the games you see here don't get played once and forgotten. They get played on and on and on. No dust collected!

The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games

Three things jump out at me on this month's chart.

1) Monster Hunter Tri is on an amazing rocket-ride to the top. We might as well start predicting which month it beats Smash. I say October. You?

2) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition is clearing the pack and is on the rise. But it shows signs f slowing. I wonder if Black Ops will slow it down more, as it slowed World at War.

3) Lego Star Wars continues to be the tortoise in this thing. An amazing, steady performance.

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

1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 77:12
2. Animal Crossing - 72:31
3. Monster Hunter Tri - 66:09 (up from the 5th spot)
4. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade - 59:35 (down from the 3rd spot)
5. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - 57:07 (down from the 4th spot)
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition - 52:49 (up from the 9th spot)
7. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility - 51:42 (down from the 5th spot)
8. Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn - 51:35 (down from the 7th spot)
9. Call of Duty: World at War - 50:58 (down from the 8th spot)
10. Rune Factory Frontier - 48:31
11. Rock Band 2 - 48:17
12. Lego Star Wars - 47:36 (up from the 13th spot)
13. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 47:28 (down from the 12th spot)
14. WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010 - 45:49
15. Tales of Symphonia: DotNW - 40:41
16. Mario Kart Wii - 39:33
17. Wii Sports - 38:58
18. FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play - 37:11(up from the 19th spot)
18. Guitar Hero: World Tour - 37:27 (down from the 18th spot)
20. WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 - 35:31

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 117 million sessions of that game have been played by Nintendo Channel users as of August 1 (up 5 million in the last month), for an average of 30.77 sessions per player. That divides to around 3.8 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 3.8 million people have contributed stats. That is up from the 3.7 million people when these numbers were run for July 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.)