Your State’s Most Searched Classic Video Game Characters

From Mario to Sonic, You Searched All the Classics

For years, video games have taken people out of reality and into a virtual world that’s hard to escape. From the early days of the Atari to the most recent iterations of the Xbox and Playstation, video games have been in living rooms across the globe for decades and the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Handhelds like the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck allow you to play high-quality video games on the go. The Xbox/Playstation wars are in full effect. Consoles like the Oculus and Valve Index are continuing to revolutionize virtual reality gaming as we know it. Whether playing locally or online with a fast internet connection, people can’t get enough of video games.

As incredible as the virtual environments are, it’s the classic video game characters that keep gamers coming back. You can’t have a castle without Bowser in it and Mario saving Princess Peach. There is no Emerald City without Sonic the Hedgehog and his sidekick Tails speeding through the fields. The team at GetWindstream wanted to know which classic video game characters you search for the most.

Map and Methodology

We’ve mapped out your favorite classic video game characters by state. We looked at characters from the 10 best selling home video games in the 1980s and the 1990s. Then we used Google Trends to determine search volume for the past year for each character by state. Check out your state’s favorite below.

Interesting Findings

  • Speeding to the Top – Sonic the Hedgehog has been around since the summer of ’91. Almost 30 years later, Sonic the Hedgehog the movie came out in 2020. And with the second installment of the film coming out in 2022, it’s no surprise that 21 states searched for the furry blue hedgehog the most in the past year. We’re sure we’ll need to add Tails and Knuckles to this list in the years to come.
  • Gotta Search Them All! – A combined 11 states searched for their favorite Pokémon. Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle each topped different states accordingly, with Bulbasaur being the most popular amongst the three. Surprisingly, though, neither Pikachu nor Mewtwo made the cut.
  • The Winner is in Another Castle, Mario – The characters from the Super Mario universe were also searched most in 11 states. But surprisingly, the namesake of the classic video game, Mario, did not lead the charge. Instead, his nemesis, Bowser, stole the hearts—to go with the Princess—of the most states amongst the characters.
  • Unsung Classic Video Game Characters – A few characters were searched the most in only one state, so let’s highlight them for more to see! The Final Fantasy protagonist, Cloud Strife, was searched the most in Nevada. Louisiana looked for Street Fighter legend Ken Masters, while three states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey) searched for his rival Ryu the most. Princess Zelda, from the open-world classic Zelda games, was searched the most in only Utah, while Link, the sword and shield hero of the series, was searched the most in Alaska only.

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