The late 80s and early 90s are known for the great console war between Sega and Nintendo. Video game enthusiasts, however, were more concerned with the diverse games on offer, and 1991 held an eye-widening pick and mix of classic titles.
Thanks to The Gaming Historian, we were able to see a list of the top 25 best-selling console games in the United States during February, 1991. The man behind the successful video game documentary channel, Norman Caruso, shared a list on his Gaming Historian Facebook page, which highlighted the market’s most profitable games from 30 years ago. It was a tug of war between Nintendo and Sega titles, but there’s one titan of industry that is noticeably dominating the top ten.
Fifa is still one of the most successful sports franchises in the market, and it reclaimed the top spot of the UK’s best-sellers list during the festive period. However, back in 1991, on American soil, Sega was dominating the sports scene with Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs, Joe Montana Football, and John Madden Football. Nintendo had a couple of hits with Play Action Football, and Tecmo Bowl on the NES came in fifth place on the overall list.
Nintendo had Mario on its side, however, as Sonic hadn’t been released yet. Five entries from the Super Mario Bros. franchise made the list, with Super Mario Land on the Game Boy coming in third place. The Legend of Zelda came in at #16, and despite Nintendo’s advantage with its plumber, Sega also claimed a few positions with Dick Tracy, Shadow Dancer, and Castle of Illusion.
Sega and Nintendo tied in second place with The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants – released on both the Genesis and the NES – but claiming the top spot is a game like no other. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was an arcade classic from Konami, releasing on the NES. Its gameplay is timeless and evidently claimed the crown of its era – in addition to making a lasting impression on the arcade scene.
The crime-fighting turtles are ever-present in today’s market, both in the film and video game industry. The franchise’s latest mobile release, TMNT: Mutant Madness, received glowing reviews, and we said it provided enough nostalgic content to earn a permanent place on our phones.
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