Mario and Friends’ Bloodbath: The Best-Selling Video Games of 2008

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In 2008, a horrible video game plague swept the globe, with only Nintendo Wii containing the right components to withstand the disaster. As a result, four out of the five best-selling games in 2008 belonged to the Wii console, and three of those four came bundled with some sort of daffy controllers. Well, not really — the PS3 was still futzing around with a master plan, and the Xbox 360 did what it could with the available titles, but when the dust settled, folks were just way more psyched to get physical, Wii style.
Mario and Friends’ Bloodbath: The Best-Selling Video Games of 2008

5Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox360) — 3.29 million

Finally a non-Wii title, and the first in the violent franchise to appear on a 7th generation console. While bottoming this list, the game is the holder of several “Game of the Year” awards and broke first day sale records upon its April release. What’s more, it joined the exclusive group of popular video games that may have had an impact on box office sales. But the most important aspect of Grand Theft Auto IV is how much it pissed off finger-waggers. Groups like MAAD and policy buff Hilary Clinton criticized the installment’s drunk driving feature pointing to some one-off crime kooks who chose to cite GTA as an inspiration. As usual, such notoriety only added to GTA’s charms and a bad ass time was had by all.

That’s that gang: a real honest-to-numbers look at what sold like hot cakes in 2008. Sure these titles raked in the most moola, but do you think the financial success was deserved? What accounted for this uptick in Wii dominance? Why not go ahead and slap together your own list of how things might have sold in an alternate, Nintendo-less, universe?

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