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The world’s biggest computer and video game companies wait all year to showcase their newest consoles and games at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) — and now it’s finally here. From June 14 to June 16, the gaming community will gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center for E3 2016.

The E3 convention gives gamers a peek at brand new video games, as well as anticipated updates to popular franchises. At E3 2015, over 52,000 visitors marveled at 1,600 new products, which were put on display by more than 300 exhibitors. And this year, those numbers are expected to rise.

Here’s a look at history’s most successful video game franchises — many of which will make an appearance at E3 2016.

1. Mario

Arguably the most popular and easily identifiable character in video game history, Mario first appeared in the original Donkey Kong arcade game in 1981. Mario games are by far the best-selling video games. The Nintendo mascot has appeared in more than 200 games in a franchise that has sold more than half a billion copies, with Super Mario alone selling just shy of 300 million copies since 1985, according to Tech Times. Super Mario Maker for the Wii U was featured at E3 2015, and though it’s rumored Nintendo will announce a new Super Mario Galaxy game at E3 in 2016, according to IGN, it’s not likely.

2. Pokémon

What started as a pair of Gameboy games in 1996, the Pokémon brand went on to become one of the best-selling franchises of all time, with more than 270 million units sold, according to Tech Times. The game spawned a mega franchise, which included anime, trading cards, one of history’s most popular TV shows and many films. The Pokémon Company is a joint venture between Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures Inc. They are expected to demo Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon for Nintendo 3DS at E3 2016.

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3. Call of Duty

Verified by Guinness as the best-selling first-person shooter in history, the Call of Duty franchise’s newest installment, Infinite Warfare, is one of the most highly anticipated E3 games. Activison first released Call of Duty in 2003 and has announced they’ve since sold 250 million copies. In 2009, Modern Warfare 2 sold nearly 5 million copies and grossed $320 million in just 24 hours, making it the most successful entertainment launch in history, according to Giant Bomb. Fans can expect Infinite Warfare to be in stores on November 4, 2016.

4. Grand Theft Auto

Controversial and innovative, Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto franchise boasts 10 standalone games and two expansion packs since the original was released in 1997. It has sold 225 million copies, according to Game Spot, including over 54 million copies of the most recent version, GTA V. Although the exact game announcements are a mystery, Take-Two Interactive has promised to be at this year’s E3 “in a big way.”

5. Wii

The Wii series — including games like Wii Fit — was created to boost the first Wii console, which was released in 2006. Since release, Nintendo has announced nearly 200 million copies sold. The series included the original Wii Sports, which was shipped with the first Wii console and was responsible for more than half of all Wii sales. Nintendo, a fixture at E3, will focus on Zelda for Wii U at this year’s conference.

6. The Sims

The Sims by EA is the granddaddy of all life-simulation games. The game sold 175 million units since it was first released in 2000 and The Sims 3 alone sold 10 million copies, according to With four central games and several expansions, it is the most successful PC gaming franchise of all time. The last time The Sims appeared at E3 was in 2014.

7. Tetris

The only standalone title ever to sell more than 100 million units, according to, Tetris is a beloved favorite. Referred to by ExtremeTech as “the most successful game in history,” Tetris has sold 170 million copies since it debuted in 1984, with the original Gameboy version remaining the bestseller at 35 million copies. Tetris Ultimate was unveiled at E3 in 2014.

8. Need for Speed

The most successful racing franchise in history, EA’s Need for Speed, has sold 150 million copies, according to — the game even spawned a movie. Need for Speed: Most Wanted sold 16 million copies by itself. Last year’s E3 featured a preview and release date for the 2015 Need for Speed reboot.

9. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has produced enough gems to make the top 10 with 150 million games sold, according to The franchise included comic books, manga, movies and cartoons. Released in 1991, the original game served as Sega’s flagship game during the ’90s console wars. The franchise’s best-selling game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, sold six million copies.

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10. Final Fantasy

With 14 games and numerous spin-offs, the legendary Final Fantasy franchise has roots dating back to 1987 and has sold 110 million copies, according to The 15th installment, Final Fantasy XV, will be released on September 30, 2016 — but not before it’s unveiled at E3 2016. The franchise is the most successful in the history of Square Enix, with Final Fantasy VII alone selling 10 million copies.

11. FIFA

Officially licensed by FIFA, there’s a new release of this popular soccer game every year. Since FIFA debuted in 1993, Forbes said it has sold over 100 million copies. EA will unveil FIFA 17 at E3 2016, although participating platforms have yet to be announced.

12. LEGO

The Warner Bros. LEGO franchise — which has sold 100 million games for $2 billion in revenue, according to — features both original titles and licensed titles like “Indiana Jones,” “Batman,” “Harry Potter,” “Star Wars” and more. LEGO Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will make an appearance at E3 2016.

13. Madden NFL

Named after legendary football Hall of Famer, Super Bowl winning coach and longtime NBC Sports commentator John Madden, Madden NFL revolutionized sports gaming. This EA Sports game sold at least 100 million copies and has generated $4.2 billion in sales, according to Fox News. Updated annually, it has ranked among the top 10 games by revenue every year it has been released.

14. Assassin’s Creed

Ubisoft has announced that Assassin’s Creed won’t be promoted at E3 2016, but not for lack of franchise success. First released in 2007, the franchise has sold at least 93 million units to date, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

15. Pro Evolution Soccer

Another soccer game franchise, Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) might be able to catch its competitor after a few good years. So far, PES — called “Winning Eleven” in Japan — has sold 86.8 million games, according to Konami. Plans have been announced for the 2017 version, which is set for release later in 2016.

16. Tom Clancy

The 56-game Tom Clancy franchise goes all the way back to 1990 with the release of Red Storm Rising. More than a quarter century later, Ubisoft announced the series has sold 82 million games. Splinter Cell remains the best-selling game of the franchise, shipping more than five million units between XBox and PlayStation. Ubisoft is expected to announce the details of their newest game, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, at E3 2016.

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17. The Legend of Zelda

The first open-world game ever made, The Legend of Zelda has defined the action-adventure genre since Nintendo released it in 1986. The franchise has sold nearly 80 million copies, with 65 million sold before 2011, according to USA Today. After a long wait, fans at E3 will be treated to lengthy demos of The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U set to be released in 2017.

18. Gran Turismo

Racing franchise Gran Turismo features 10 major installments, which have sold a combined 76.5 million copies, according to developer Polyphony Digital. The best-selling installment in this Sony series is Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec, which sold 14.89 million copies, according to Game Spot. After a major demo of Gran Turismo Sport in London in May 2016, fans are expecting an even more comprehensive showing at this year’s E3.

19. Minecraft

Originally developed as a java-based computer game, legendary sandbox game Minecraft is available on both mobile devices and consoles. Microsoft bought the franchise — which has sold 70 million copies, according to — for $2.5 billion in 2014.

20. Dragon Quest

Known as Japan’s most popular role-playing game, Dragon Quest by Square Enix was first released in 1986. To date, Square Enix boasts the franchise has sold 66 million copies. The Dragon Quest name appears in a total 40 games, including originals and spin-offs.

This article originally appeared on GoBankingRates.


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