The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games, Breaking The 80-Hour Barrier

Every month we dig into the numbers to find out which 20 Wii games are played the most by the average person who has them. For November, one game finally breaks the 80-hour barrier.

That game, of course, is Monster Hunter Tri, the newly-crowned most-played/most-loved Wii game.

This is the latest chart we've pulled for Wii games. Usually these run based on games played through the first of the month, but this one's a little late, and counts average playing time up through November 9 (your Nintendo-stats-counter was in Washington, D.C. prepping to cover the Supreme Court, okay?)

The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games, Breaking The 80-Hour Barrier

(Click the chart to enlarge it.)

A few things to note:

1) The gap between Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Animal Crossing: City Folk continued to narrow ever so slightly, but the only significant move on the charts was Pro Evolution 2010 jumping up from the 20th spot to the 18th, passing rival FIFA 09. (FIFA 10 doesn't chart in the top 20, oddly.)

2) New Super Mario Bros. Wii is now a mere 34 minutes per player from making it into the chart. The game's been slowly climbing toward the 20th spot. As of November 9, it is pulling in an average 37 hours and 23 minutes per player.

3) Lego Star Wars is still a nearly perfect straight line on this chart. Amazing.

The 20 Most-Loved Wii Games, Breaking The 80-Hour Barrier

Here's the Top 20 games from the chart in list form. I'm including the cumulative lifetime play-time counts, as of November 9, 2010 in hours and minutes. You can see just how close some of these games are.

1. Monster Hunter Tri - 84:49
2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 78:50
3. Animal Crossing: City Folk - 75:22
4. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade - 65:33
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition - 60:26
6. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - 56:51
7. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility - 53:24
8. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn - 52:31
9. Call of Duty: World at War - 51:19
10. WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010 - 51:02 (up from the 11th spot)
11. Rune Factory: Frontier - 50:56 (down from the 10th spot)
12. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - 50:09
13. Rock Band 2 - 49:19
14. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 47:49
15. Mario Kart Wii - 41:19 (up from the 16th spot)
16. Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World - 41:13 (down from the 15th spot)
17. Wii Sports - 40:02
18. Pro Evolution 2010 - 39:44 (up from the 20th spot)
19. FIFA Soccer 09 All-Play - 39:31 (down from the 18th spot)
20. Guitar Hero: World Tour - 37:57 (down from the 19th spot)

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 128 million sessions of that game have been played by Nintendo Channel users as of November 9 (up 4 million in the last month), for an average of 31.6 sessions per player. That divides to around 4.1 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 4.1 million people have contributed stats. That is up from the 4.0 million people when these numbers were run for October 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.)