By Neal Taparia - 07/31/2023
For many Americans, gaming is more than just a hobby, it’s a passion. There’s nothing like traveling through the Mushroom Kingdom to fight against a classic villain like Bowser or creating extravagant homes or lands in the compelling worlds of games such as Animal Crossing or Minecraft. And as our players know, there is nothing like the satisfaction of beating card games like FreeCell, Spider or Pyramid Solitaire.
But which video games are truly America’s favorites? At Solitaired, we analyzed more than 1,700 video game searches on Google to determine the most popular game in every state. Here’s what we found out:
It may be over a decade old, but Minecraft still wins gamers' hearts over one block at a time. The worldbuilding game is the most popular in 15 states including Florida, Georgia, and the Dakotas.
Gamers in seven states including New York, Colorado, and Illinois are obsessed with The Last of Us. It could be in part due to renewed interest thanks to the new popular TV show. Others are drawn to newer games such as Hogwarts Legacy. The open-world Harry Potter-inspired game is the favorite of five states. Of those, it’s appearing to magically summon together four neighboring states: Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
Some states have favorites they don’t share with anyone else in the United States (more game time for them)! Maine is the only one that enjoys Harvest Moon the most, North Carolina is drawn to the Lost Ark, and gamers in Oklahoma love Red Dead Redemption 2. Might it have something to do with the Western theme?
While some gamers enjoy replaying and becoming experts at their favorite games, the majority prefer the challenge of playing a new game. In a survey of more than 1,000 gamers, 57% prefer to play new video games, compared to just 23% who like to play classic games.
The favorite new game so far in 2023 is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom followed by Diablo IV and Hogwarts Legacy.
While many are excited about the new games, they don’t come cheap. Gamers have spent an average of $146 on video games in 2023, and 79% believe games are getting too expensive. Others are resorting to shady methods to get their hands on games. Nearly 1 in 3 (29%) have illegally downloaded a game.
More than half (51%) of gamers say they will play video games even more if they are based on popular movies, TV shows, or books! We asked them to vote on their favorite 2023 movies they would play as video games.
Unsurprisingly, many were drawn to video game-inspired movies. The Super Mario Bros. Movie was the top choice tied with John Wick: Chapter 4. It was followed by Spider-Man Across the Spiderverse and Cocaine Bear.
The future is bright for video games, as technology promises to deliver even more engrossing worlds and compelling storytelling. No matter if games are inspired by current popular movies or TV shows or unique creations, Americans are drawn to each new challenge and story. Whether you love the newest games or keep playing classic ones out of nostalgia, there are options for whatever you’re looking to play!
To determine the most popular video game by state, we analyzed the Google search volume of 1,752 terms related to video game titles such as “Super Mario Kart”, “Call of Duty,” and “FIFA Online” over the period of April 2020 to April 2023.
In June 2023, we surveyed 1,006 self-identified gamers who play handheld console games, esports, and virtual reality games. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 60 with an average age of 35. 50% were men, 48% were women, and 2% were non-binary.
When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing solitaired.com