The popularity of Candy Crush among women and older people makes it the nation's favourite video game – Grand Theft Auto is a close second

Candy Crush, the matching puzzle involving a grid of shiny sweets, was the highest grossing app on iPad and iPhone in 2013, its maker was valued at £4.2bn in 2014 and later that year an MP was caught playing it in a committee hearing. After the initial burst of interest it's value has now stabilised, but new YouGov research reveals it has already left its mark on gaming history.

By a whisker, it is now the nation's favourite video game, with a popularity score of 11.3 compared to 10.6 for the Grand Theft Auto series – now almost 20 years old.

 

  The nation's favourite video games
  Score combines the % of past or present gamers who like each game at       all  with the % who like it most of all. Click table headings to sort

  Total Men Women
  Candy Crush 11.3 3.4 24.3
  Grand Theft Auto 10.6 12.6 6.5
  Fifa 7.5 11.5 1.5
  Call of Duty 7.1 9.4 3.8
  The Sims 7.0 3.1 13.8
  Civilization 6.5 9.5 1.8
  Mario Kart 6.4 6.0 6.9
  Tomb Raider 5.8 6.5 4.9
  Super Mario 5.8 6.1 6.1
  Tetris 5.4 3.6 8.4
  Champ/Football Manager 5.3 8.3 0.4
  Pac-Man 3.8 3.3 3.8
  Final Fantasy 3.5 3.5 2.7
  Space Invaders 3.5 3.7 2.5
  Sonic 3.5 2.5 4.8
  Zelda 3.1 2.6 4.3

   
July 2015

Candy Crush scores so highly in a large part due to its popularity among women. Though women made up only 41% of the gamers surveyed – those who played video or computer games ‘regularly’ at some point in their lives – they are far more likely to select Candy Crush than any of the other shortlisted games. Men, on the other hand, rank action adventure game Grand Theft Auto first, but long-running football video game Fifa comes a close second.

The study firstly asked over 3,300 people to tell us what in their opinion is the best video or computer game of all time, which provided the basis for a shortlist of 16. Using a follow up survey, a score for each game is then calculated by balancing the breadth of appreciation (the amount of people who say they like the cartoon at all), with intensity of appreciation (the percentage who like the cartoon most out of the list of 16).

Candy Crush is also helped to its high standing by older gamers. Among those aged over 60 in particular, it receives the highest score for any game by any group (33.6). Their second favourite game, Tetris (from 1984), is only a third as popular (11.3). However only 19% of the gamers sampled were ages 60 and up.

  Favourite video games by age
  Click table headings to sort

  18-24 25-39 40-59 60+
  The Sims 17.5 5.2 5.4 1.5
  Grand Theft Auto 13.8 12.5 7.8 4.7
  Civilization 11.5 5.7 5.2 3.7
  Fifa 7.5 10.7 5.7 2.4
  Mario Kart 5.5 8.9 3.6 3.7
  Tetris 5.4 3.6 5.2 11.3
  Super Mario 5.3 8.2 4 4.9
  Tomb Raider 4.9 5.2 7.3 5.9
  Zelda 4.4 3.5 2.7 1.7
  Candy Crush 4.3 4 16.1 33.6
  Call of Duty 3.6 6.6 10.9 6.7
  Sonic 2.6 4.2 3 3
  Champ/Football Manager 2.4 8 4.7 2.5
  Pac-Man 2.3 2.9 4.9 3.7
  Final Fantasy 2 5.6 2 0.8
  Space Invaders 1.8 1.7 7.4 3.7

 

     
July 2015

For the younger 18-24 and 25-39 age groups, representing 16% and 34% of the gamers surveyed, respectively, Grand Theft Auto places in second and first place respectively. The Sims places first for the youngest group.

Battle of the consoles

The survey can also help to resolve the great console wars of the 1990s, when some of the earliest video game consoles like the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and the Sega Mega Drive battled for dominance of a burgeoning market.

It's a close contest between the SNES and the Sega Mega Drive, both released in the early '90s, however there is a clearer favourite between the gaming characters that came to define the consoles – 57% choose Mario and 43% choose Sonic the Hedgehog, excluding don't knows.

The battle that would come later has an even clearer winner. Between the PlayStation 1 (1995) and Nintendo 64 (1997), 69% choose the PS1 and 31% choose the N64, excluding don't knows.

See the full video game results

See the full console results

See the full character results

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