Everyone has a favourite video game, whether it’s one that you’ve invested lots of time into completing, one that reminds you of your childhood, or one that leaves you on the edge of your seat whenever you play. And then there’s the franchise staples that everyone knows and loves, like Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog. But have you ever wondered which video game character is the most popular around the world?
Global Gaming: Fan Favourites, a new study put together by the provider of popular live casinos, A2Z, reveals which iconic character comes out on top around the world, based on which have the highest number of search queries to their name. The analysis looked at the eight most popular game franchises of all time and the main characters within each across 50 technologically advanced countries to see which video game favourite comes out on top. Here are the results...
The research revealed that Pikachu is the most popular character in the world, beating out fan favourites Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and Call of Duty’s Captain Price. In fact, protagonists from the Pokémon franchise are far more popular than those from any other, as there were 65% more search queries made for characters like Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander and Eevee than those in Sonic the Hedgehog, and 33% more than those in Super Mario.
However, there were some divisions between countries as to which character is best. While the US and the UK favour Sonic, Pikachu comes out on top in Germany and Italy - who turn their back on the Italian plumber. Interestingly, Greece loves Luigi and Japan prefers Yoshi. Other countries that favoured the main Pokémon include Israel, Belgium and Ireland, while France, Turkey and the Netherlands are firm Mario fans.
Sonic the Hedgehog is the most popular video game character in Canada, but other characters who scored highly include Eevee, Bulbasaur, Yoshi and Charmander. We also looked at the characters in the Canadian-developed Assassin’s Creed series, which showed that Altaïr Ibn-LaʼAhad is 36% more popular than Desmond Miles - particularly among gamers in Alberta, Quebec and Ontario - while those in Manitoba far prefer the main protagonist.
The study also ranked the most popular character in each franchise around the world, and found that Captain Price was the fan favourite in Call of Duty, Trevor Philips is the best in Grand Theft Auto, and Noctis Lucis Caelum is the preferred protagonist in Final Fantasy. But most notably, Bella Goth is the top choice in The Sims - beating her husband Mortimer - and Ana Rivera comes out on top for Need for Speed fans.
That makes The Sims the most female-forward franchise featured, as the average female character was found to be a staggering 573% more popular than males. In comparison, the average male character in Mario is 257% more popular than Princess Peach. The research also settles the debate as to whether Sonic or Mario - who often go head-to-head in console games - reigns supreme, as the hedgehog is almost a third (28%) more popular with gamers than the plumber. So, how did your favourite fare?