1991 in video games

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List of years in video games

1991 saw many sequels and prequels in video games, such as Street Fighter II, Final Fantasy IV, Mega Man 4, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, along with new titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog, F-Zero and Lemmings. The year's highest-grossing video game worldwide was Capcom's arcade fighting game Street Fighter II. The year's best-selling home system was the Game Boy for the second year in a row, while the year's best-selling home video game was Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog, which was also the year's top video game rental in the United States.

Top-rated games[edit]

Game of the Year awards[edit]

The following titles won Game of the Year awards for 1991.

Awards Game of the Year Developer Publisher Genre Platform(s) Ref
Chicago Tribune Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic Team Sega Platformer Sega Genesis [1]
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) [2]
European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) Sega Mega Drive [3]
Golden Joystick Awards [4]
Chicago Tribune Splatterhouse Namco NEC Beat 'em up TurboGrafx-16 [1]
Super Mario Bros. 3 Nintendo R&D4 Nintendo Platformer NES
European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) Lemmings DMA Design Psygnosis Strategy Home computers [3]
Famitsu Best Hit Game Awards Final Fantasy IV Squaresoft Squaresoft Role-playing Super Famicom [5]
Gamest Awards Street Fighter II: The World Warrior Capcom Capcom Fighting Arcade (CP System) [6]

Famitsu Platinum Hall of Fame[edit]

The following video game releases in 1991 entered Famitsu magazine's "Platinum Hall of Fame" for receiving Famitsu scores of at least 35 out of 40.[7]

Title Platform Developer Publisher Genre Score (out of 40)
Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce (A Link to the Past) Super Famicom Nintendo EAD Nintendo Action-adventure 39
Final Fantasy IV Super Famicom Squaresoft Squaresoft Role-playing 36
Lemmings Super Famicom Sunsoft Sunsoft Strategy 35

Financial performance[edit]

Highest-grossing arcade games[edit]

The year's highest-grossing game worldwide was Street Fighter II, which alone accounted for an estimated 60% of the global arcade game market, according to Coinslot magazine.[8] The following table lists the year's top-grossing arcade game in Japan, the United Kingdom, United States, and worldwide.

Market Title Hardware sales Coin drop earnings Inflation Manufacturer Genre Ref
Japan Street Fighter II: The World Warrior 17,000 Un­known Un­known Capcom Fighting [9][10]
United Kingdom Street Fighter II: The World Warrior 10,000 $229 million+ $430 million+ Capcom Fighting [8]
United States Street Fighter II: The World Warrior Un­known Un­known Capcom Fighting [11][12]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Un­known Un­known Konami Beat 'em up [13]
Australia Street Fighter II: The World Warrior Un­known Un­known Capcom Fighting [14]
Worldwide Street Fighter II: The World Warrior 50,000 Capcom Fighting [8][10]

Japan[edit]

In Japan, the following titles were the top ten highest-grossing arcade games of 1991, according to the annual Gamest and Game Machine charts.

Rank Gamest[9] Game Machine[10]
Title Type
1 Street Fighter II: The World Warrior Street Fighter II: The World Warrior Software conversion kit
2 Final Fight Tetris (Sega) Software conversion kit
3 Final Lap 2 Columns Software conversion kit
4 Quiz Tonosama no Yabō Final Lap 2 Standard cabinet
5 Raiden Deluxe cabinet
6 Super Monaco GP Super Volley '91 (Power Spikes) Software conversion kit
7 Clutch Hitter Quiz Tonosama no Yabō
8 GP Rider Final Fight Software conversion kit
9 Super Volley '91 (Power Spikes) World Stadium '90 Software conversion kit
10 Dragon Saber Columns II Software conversion kit

United States[edit]

In the United States, the following titles were the highest-grossing arcade video games of 1991.

Rank AAMA[11][12][15] AMOA[16][17] Play Meter
Title Award Arcade conversion kit Dedicated arcade cabinet
1 Street Fighter II: The World Warrior Diamond Street Fighter II Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[13]
2 The Simpsons,
Neo Geo MVS
Platinum Capcom Bowling,
Final Fight,
High Impact Football,
Raiden
Hard Drivin',
Neo Geo MVS,
Pit Fighter,
Race Drivin'
Un­known
3
4 High Impact Football Gold
5 Final Lap 2 Silver

Hong Kong and Australia[edit]

In Hong Kong and Australia, the following titles were the top-grossing arcade games on the monthly charts in 1991.

Month Hong Kong (Bondeal) Australia (Timezone)
Arcade conversion software kit Dedicated arcade cabinet Ref Dedicated Conversion Ref
January Super Pang Big Run Cisco Heat [18][19] Un­known Un­known
February Escape Kids Street Fighter II Cisco Heat Hard Drivin' Big Run [19][20]
March Street Fighter II Hard Drivin' Big Run F-15 Strike Eagle [20][21][22]
April Street Fighter II Gun Force F-15 Strike Eagle [22][23]
May Street Fighter II F-15 Strike Eagle Hard Drivin' [23][24]
June Hard Drivin' [24][25]
July Street Fighter II Mutant Fighter [25][26]
August Mutant Fighter D. D. Crew Hard Drivin' Time Traveler [26][27]
September WWF WrestleFest Street Fighter II Time Traveler Hard Drivin' [27][28]
October Street Fighter II Vendetta Hard Drivin' Race Drivin' [28] Final Lap 2 Spider-Man [29]
1991 Street Fighter II [14]

Best-selling home systems[edit]

Rank System(s) Manufacturer Type Generation Sales
Japan USA Europe Korea Worldwide
1 Game Boy Nintendo Handheld 8-bit 1,940,000[30] 4,000,000[31] 1,400,000[32] Un­known 7,340,000+
2 Super NES Nintendo Console 16-bit 3,150,000[30] 1,900,000+[33] N/A N/A 5,050,000+
3 NES / Famicom Nintendo Console 8-bit 1,240,000[30] 2,100,000[31] 500,000+[34] 100,000[35] 3,940,000+
4 Mega Drive / Genesis Sega Console 16-bit 700,000[30] 1,600,000+[36] 815,000[37] 51,000[35] 3,166,000+
5 IBM PC IBM Computer 16-bit N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,910,000[38]
6 Apple Macintosh Apple Inc. Computer 16-bit N/A N/A N/A N/A 2,100,000[39]
7 Sega Master System Sega Console 8-bit Un­known < 50,000[40] 1,745,000[37] 160,000[35] 1,905,000+
8 NEC PC-88 / PC-98 NEC Computer 8-bit / 16-bit 1,720,000[41][42] Un­known Un­known Un­known 1,720,000+
9 Game Gear Sega Handheld 8-bit 400,000[30] 600,000+[43] 520,000[37] Un­known 1,520,000+
10 Amiga Commodore Computer 16-bit N/A N/A N/A N/A 1,035,000[39]

Best-selling home video games[edit]

Sonic the Hedgehog was the best-selling home video game of 1991,[44] with 2 million copies sold worldwide during the year.[45]

Japan[edit]

In Japan, according to Famicom Tsūshin (Famitsu) magazine, the following titles were the top ten best-selling 1991 releases, including later sales in 1992.[46]

Rank Title Developer Publisher Genre Platform Sales
1 Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce (A Link to the Past) Nintendo EAD Nintendo Action-adventure Super Famicom < 1,160,000[47]
2 Final Fantasy IV (Final Fantasy II) Squaresoft Squaresoft Role-playing Super Famicom Un­known
3 Yoshi Game Freak Nintendo Puzzle Famicom Un­known
4 Game Boy
5 Ganbare Goemon: Yukihime Kyūshutsu Emaki (Mystical Ninja) Konami Konami Action-adventure Super Famicom Un­known
6 SaGa 3: Jikū no Hasha (Final Fantasy Legend III) Squaresoft Squaresoft Role-playing Game Boy < 650,000[48]
7 Chō Makaimura (Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts) Capcom Capcom Action-platformer Super Famicom Un­known
8 SimCity Nintendo EAD Nintendo City-building
9 Super Wagan Land Namco Platformer
10 Super Formation Soccer (Super Soccer) Human Entertainment Sports (football) Super Famicom < 600,000[49]

The following titles were the best-selling home video games on the Famitsu charts in 1991. The charts were bi-weekly up until July 1991, when they switched to a weekly format.

Month Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Ref
January Un­known Super Mario World (Super Famicom) [50]
February Super Mario World (Super Famicom)
March [50][51]
April Ultraman (Super Famicom) Super Mario World (Super Famicom)
May Super Mario World (Super Famicom) SimCity (Super Famicom) [50][51][52]
June SimCity (Super Famicom) Magical Taruruto (Game Boy) [50]
July SimCity (Super Famicom) Super R-Type (SFC) Final Fantasy IV (Super Famicom)
August Un­known Un­known Final Fantasy IV (SFC) Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza (FC) [50][53]
September Final Fantasy IV (Super Famicom) Chibi Maruko-chan 2 (GB) Mario Open Golf (Famicom) [53][54][55]
October Chō Makaimura (Super Famicom) [55][56][57]
November Chō Makaimura (Super Famicom) Akumajō Dracula (SFC) Super Mario World (SFC) Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce (SFC) [50][58]
December Zelda no Densetsu: Kamigami no Triforce (SFC)[58] Mega Man 4 (FC) SaGa 3 (Game Boy) [50][59][60]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the following titles were the best-selling home video games on the monthly Computer and Video Games (CVG) charts in 1991.

Month Home computers Sega Mega Drive PC Engine Ref
January Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (C64) Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Out Run [61]
February Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (Amiga) [62]
March Lemmings (Amiga) Gynoug Parasol Stars [63]
April Magicland Dizzy (ZX Spectrum) Midnight Resistance [64]
May [65]
June Sonic the Hedgehog Legend of Hero Tonma [66]
July Bubble Bobble (ZX Spectrum) N/A [67]
August Manchester United Europe N/A N/A [68]
September Jimmy White's 'Whirlwind' Snooker Streets of Rage PC Kid 2 [69]
October Terminator 2: Judgment Day Mercs Hit the Ice [70]
November Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 QuackShot Time Cruise II [71]
December WWF WrestleMania RoboCod Gradius [72][73]

United States[edit]

In the United States, the following titles were the top three best-selling home video game releases of 1991.

Rank Title Platform Sales Ref
1 Sonic the Hedgehog Sega Genesis 1,000,000+ [44]
2 Super Mario World Super Nintendo Entertainment System Un­known [74]
3 F-Zero

The following titles were the best-selling home video games of each month in 1991.

Month All platforms Nintendo consoles
Title Platform Ref Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Ref
May Un­known Un­known Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) [75]
June Un­known Un­known [76][77]
August Sonic the Hedgehog Sega Genesis [78] Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known
September Un­known Tetris (NES) Super Mario World (Super NES) Un­known [79]
October Super Mario World (Super NES)[80][81][82]
November Un­known
December [44] Super Mario World (Super NES)[83][84][85]

Top game rentals in the United States[edit]

Blockbuster Video, an American chain of video rental shops, reported to GamePro that Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis was the chain's highest-renting video game in 1991. Blockbuster also released a list of the top 10 highest-renting Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) titles of the year.[86]

Rank All platforms Nintendo Entertainment System
1 Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis) Monopoly
2 Un­known Battletoads
3 Un­known Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
4 Un­known Super Mario Bros. 3
5 Un­known The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants
6 Un­known Family Feud
7 Un­known R.B.I. Baseball 2
8 Un­known Baseball Stars
9 Un­known Base Wars
10 Un­known G.I. Joe

Events[edit]

Notable releases[edit]

Hardware[edit]

Business[edit]

References[edit]

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