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Mortal Kombat hits 80 million sales, here's how it stacks up against competition


Gold Member

In a press release for Mortal Kombat 1's official announcement, NetherReal and WB Games confirm that the legendary ultra-violent fighting franchise has surpassed 80 million sales worldwide in the last 30 years.

So how does Mortal Kombat stack up against the top fighting game competitors? The enthusiast fighting scene is typically dominated by three big names: Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Street Fighter, but Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series is actually the second best-selling fighting franchise of all time. While we don't have perfect figures or updated sales data for each franchise, including older ones like Soul Calibur or Virtua Fighter, it does look like Mortal Kombat is on the top spot.


Here's a list of the top fighting game franchise sales:

Mortal Kombat - 80 million
Super Smash Bros. - 72.39 million
Tekken - 54 million+
Street Fighter - 49 million
Soul Calibur* - 17 million
Dead or Alive* - 11.7 million
Marvel vs Capcom - 10 million
Virtua Fighter* - 5.5 million
*data may be incomplete and/or outdated

2023 looks to be one of the best years for fighting games in recent memory, with Street Fighter 6 dropping in June, Mortal Kombat 1 releasing in September, and Tekken 8 possibly launching throughout the year as well.



I was under the impression that MK sold the most so it's not really a surprise. What I'm surprised about is thatTekken has sold more than Street Fighter, it was really mismanaged after 2 and it's 20 versions.
Always crazy to see MK numbers vs SF considering that SF to me is THE fighting game, if you’re not good at it, it doesn’t matter if your some melty blood pro or MK tournament player or a blazblue expert, whatever other game. SF just has the pedigree, the history, and this like mystique around it that other games don’t have. It’s special in a way that the hard sales numbers just don’t reflect.


I'm surprised that Dead or Alive sold so little. Soul Calibur and Virtual Fighter seems so small as well. Mortal Kombat's numbers make sense when you think about how many games they have released. I would have also figured that Street Fighter would have sold closer to 80 million with all of those super, turbo, champion, ultimate titles they have released.


In sales i could always see mortal kombat games taking the lead, especially like gta titles there is loads of kids at school all buying the games just for voilence etc. smash would be up there when you think about the amount of nintendo console sales and they dont really have any other fighter. But for me i would have smash and motal kombat at the bottom out of most playable and enjoyable fighting games with tekken,streetfighter and soulcalibur at the top


Gold Member
Never knew MK sold that great. Or Tekken either. I thought Smash Bros or SF sold the most.

Interesting how far down the list and copies SF has sold considering how many versions they got over the past 30 years selling everywhere (including Japan where there's no way MK sells well).

VF only sold 5.5M copies? Cant be that low. Even though Saturn and DC didn't sell great, you'd think they would sell tons of copies, and also there was VF4 and VF5 on more modern systems.
There is only 18 months separating the releases of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2. Staggering, the difference in sales is massive.

It felt like years separating the two back in the day.


I can remember playing both streetfighter and mortal combat on the megadrive and snes when they came out, the only down to streetfighter was the controls as to play properly u needed three punch and three kick buttons yet all joysticks only had max of four face buttons, megadrive only came with three face buttons, think streetfighter sold well on snes but megadrive/genesis think mortal kombat more
Yo have to take on consideration that Smash only have 4 versions single platform games (Except Smash Wii U/3DS) vs 12+ versions of MK games Multiplatform.


Represent(ative) of bad opinions
Hmmm, how much has DragonBall sold as a franchise, gotta be more than the bottom feeders on that chart.


Well deserved in fairness. Besides the spin-offs the mainline mortal kombat games have always been consistant. Some odd decisions here and there but it never sank as low as Street Fighter at its' worst periods.
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Gold Member
I'm surprised SF is that low. I thought it was THE fighting game but to be outsold by both MK and Tekken? I had no idea.
It's just one of those things where popularity in media doesn't equate to sales. Every time you hear about fighting games on the net or e-sports tourneys you always hear about SF and Smash Bros. How often do you see big discussion or fighting tourneys with MK? Not too often.

Looks like MK is one of those franchises where people dont care about culture wars or needing to talk about it. Just buy it and go. Kind of like COD the past 10 years. You actually hardly see anyone talk about it anymore, but it still sells the most copies every year. If this was during the 360/PS3 days when it got popular you have tons of threads about the game on forums and game sites.


Well deserved. I've always liked Tekken and Soul Calibur a lot, wasn't really big on Street Fighter until a few years ago, despite playing a bunch of the games since the SNES, but Mortal Kombat has definitely always been my number one fighting game franchise. I love those games.
The breakdown for Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate: 31.09 million
Super Smash Bros Brawl: 13.32 million
Super Smash Bros for 3DS: 9.64 million
Super Smash Bros Melee: 7.07 million
Super Smash Bros: 5.55 million
Super Smash Bros for Wii U: 5.38 million
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People write it off but Story modes for games like MK, and Tekken keep the casuals coming. Plus, they are marketable as all hell. Smash is super casual-friendly as hell and Nintendo has players by the balls with all the crossovers and guest characters. It's just sad to see SF falling behind when you think about its importance to the genre as a whole but I can't blame the lower sales when we had Capcom release all the N versions of the same game and releasing SF5 the most barebones I saw a fighting game had been released, right behind DoA 6.
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I don't see MK having legitimate competition. Other fighting games cater to a much wider audience and are very tame. Like comparing Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo to Need for Speed and Mario Kart.


Always crazy to see MK numbers vs SF considering that SF to me is THE fighting game, if you’re not good at it, it doesn’t matter if your some melty blood pro or MK tournament player or a blazblue expert, whatever other game. SF just has the pedigree, the history, and this like mystique around it that other games don’t have. It’s special in a way that the hard sales numbers just don’t reflect.
MK does bring in a lot of casual fans and has solid SP modes as well compared to the rest, SF just always comes across as being a more hardcore game and Smash Bros is a party game, Tekken is still always good though


Gold Member
Fighting games are one of those genres that I've always appreciated though never wanting to invest in. I remember there being multiple franchises as a child with Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, King Of Fighters, Dead Or Alive, Virtua Fighter and so on. Now VF has faded into the ether, DOA hasn't been the same since Itagaki departed Tecmo, KOF doesn't pull the numbers and I can't remember the last crossover series. The big three are MK, SF and Tekken, if you took a little from each of them then you'd have pretty much the perfect fighting game. Take the gameplay from Tekken, mix it with the storyline of Mortal Kombat and add the characters of Street Fighter and it's pretty much peak.
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Gold Member
Unexpected to see Smash at #2 tbh, 6 games in total and all exclusive.. Nintendo is in a league of their own. By the next game they’ll be number one I assume.


Makes sense that Tekken sold better. When SF was fading in obscurity the original Tekken trilogy sold like 20 million copies combined. It should've been already ahead of SF at this point.

Tekken is kind of weird though. TTT1 and 4 didn't sell much past 2 million. T5 did 8 million. T6 about 3m, and then T7 ofcourse keeps being expanded and topped 10 million. TTT2 is the biggest bomb I believe, which is kind of weird but I guess its because of T6 backlash and the game being way too complex?


I'm surprised SF is that low. I thought it was THE fighting game but to be outsold by both MK and Tekken? I had no idea.
In case of SF it doesn't count the crossovers such as Street Fighter x Tekken, X-Men vs Street Fighter etc. and in the case of Capcom doesn't count arcade sales, only console & PC.

But yes, in recent 3D times, with a bigger market and bigger home version sales, MK and Tekken sold better than SF. Specially when there was a long period without new SF games while MK and Tekken did continue pumping games.

I think it's fair to be that SF6 will outsell Tekken 8 and maybe even MK1 because this time will be multiplatform, will release with a bigger console userbase also being crossgen and will release with a meaty amount of single player content and in a very polished state compared to SFV release.
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Neo Member
My impression is that Street Fighter franchise is much less popular in the world outside North America and Japan hence the lower sales than MK.


Gold Member
I never saw the appeal of MK. But I guess 11 games spanning 30 years will get you to number 1 eventually.
Always surprising to be reminded how small-time SF actually is compared to its mythical status in the history of the medium.
Virtua Fighter - the game that spearheaded the 3D fighter revolution and looked out of this world at release - being so small only proves that Sega understood very little of the market. They went for a highly technical game with unassuming character design, exactly the opposite of what made its main competitors that big.
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