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    Gaming Hardware 
  • In Israel, the PlayStation 3 sold better than its competitors despite it being ranked a distant third behind the Wii and Xbox 360 in most other world markets.
  • In the US, Japan, and most of Europe, most consoles routinely outsell PC games. In Sweden, however, PC gaming remains the largest platform. This is because PCs were tax deductible in Sweden from the late 1990s until 2007, making PC gaming attractive. File-sharing is also big in Sweden for this reason.
  • In Poland, the same thing applies as Sweden, but for different reasons, to the point that CD-Projekt and Flying Wild Hog are known to develop on PC as the main priority platform, and their games are usually Tech Demo Games with Visual Effects of Awesome that usually demands the best of PC, surpassing Crysis.
    • Likewise, PC games are also more popular than console games in several countries such as Russia, South America, or South East Asia especially Indonesia and The Philippines during the seventh and eighth generation (where back then PS1 and PS2 dominates the respective eras, but PS3 is expensive, PS4 is expensive and uncrackable, and due to Moore's Law, PC becoming cheaper by the component). PC games retaining free online play is also a huge factor in countries where the average income are heavily concerned.
    • Even some countries that are not considered third-world such as China and South Korea prefer PC gaming over consoles because not only has the console market been dominated by companies from Japan, a nation that invaded and annexed both countries in the early 20th century respectively, since the American console pioneers had an extremely bad reputation, China is where many of the PC parts are produced due to it being a manufacturing powerhouse, not to mention for both countries, the abundance of games, mostly free to play games. China in particular banned consoles from 2000 until 2015 because their Moral Guardians thought video games would have an "adverse effect" on children, forcing Chinese gamers to either hunt for a grey market console or stick with the PC.
  • The Sega Master System wasn't really much of a success in its homeland of Japan, the United States or Germany due to Nintendo's dominance in those three countries. It held its own against the NES in United Kingdom and Italy (primarily thanks to Nintendo's scattershot distribution of the NES in Europe), and did the same against Famiclones in South Korea. But it was overwhelmingly successful in Brazil to point where it not only controlled 80% of the gaming market, but it is still supported today. Many of Sega's games for the technically identical Game Gear were ported to the system in the 1990s for European and/or Brazilian release after it had been discontinued in the US and Japan. In fact, the enduring popularity of the SMS in Europe would lead Japanese developers to release Europe-exclusive games, in an inversion of No Export for You (and if they did get Japanese releases, they would not be until subsequent generations of consoles, usually as part of compilations).
    • Tectoy, the Brazilian distributor of Sega consoles deserves its own mention; not only do they keep releasing Sega-branded products and their own versions of the Master System and the Mega Drive to this day (although some of them aren't really the same consoles, or don't have cartridge inputs, only having pre-installed games), but in the 80s and 90s they were a huge deal, especially since Nintendo took a while to officially come to Brazil (it wasn't until 1993). They localized and even translated a few games for the Brazilian market, they got a few games and made them Dolled Up Installments by adding popular Brazilian franchises to them, most notably getting the Wonder Boy games and turning them into Monica's Gang video games, they made a port of Street Fighter II to the Master System, and they even tried making their own games from scratch — in another example of this trope, Woody Woodpecker, who is a huge character in Brazil, got his first video game made by Tectoy after they wanted to make their own game and also make it based on a franchise Brazilian kids wanted; though it was considered a terrible game, it was ambitious at the time.
    • The Mega Drive (known in North America as the Genesis) also had great success in these areas (indeed, it was far more successful in the US than Japan), and like the Master System, it was manufactured in these areas long after it was discontinued in the US and Japan in favor of the Saturn. Licensed variations on the hardware are still sold in games stores to this day.
      • The Mega Drive was also very popular in China and Hong Kong because it could play any cartridge inserted into the system, while the SNES/Super Famicom blocked all games not approved by Nintendo.
  • The Nintendo Entertainment System's Zapper gun was more popular in America than in Japan, where Wild Gunman, Duck Hunt, and Hogan's Alley performed so poorly that no more Light Gun Games were released for the Famicom. A large reason for this is that the Zapper and Duck Hunt came bundled with the most popular configurations of the NES in America, such as the Action Set.
  • The biggest market for the Sega Dreamcast was North America, where it shipped 3.9 million copies. In Japan, it only sold 2.25 million copies. This was largely due to the Dreamcast's predecessor, the Sega Saturn, falling under the opposite trope outside of Japan (a situation engineered by Sega's Japanese home office, who were incensed how the Mega Drive had been relatively unsuccessful in Japan but was incredidbly popular overseas). Since the Saturn was still going strong in Japan when the Dreamcast released, both gamers and developers there saw its launch as premature and gave it a less enthusiastic reception. The Saturn had utterly flopped elsewhere, however, making those countries much more receptive to a new Sega console.
    • Sega Dreamcast was more popular than SNES and N64 in Russia during the early 2000s for the ability to pirate games and PC-like architecture.
  • In the Philippines, Sony already had a much bigger fanbase there than Nintendo due to PS1 and PS2 games, which use CDs and DVDs, respectively, being far easier to pirate than N64 cartridges or GameCube mini-discs (never mind that Wii modding changed all that for GameCube games with its backwards compatibility), resulting in more affordable (yet pirated) copies which can easily be found and bought.note  Many a 90s Filipino gamer would reminisce about "Players"-brand bootlegs of popular PlayStation titles being old at grey-market stalls in malls. The PSP was in a similar situation, except that getting bootlegs of games would involve a trip to the local gadget repair shop offering sideloaded ISO images for a fee rather than physical copies; granted, bootlegging DS games is just as cheap (just get yourself a flash cart and a microSD card, and even if you didn't have a DS during its time, most PCs of the time could emulate DS games much more easily than PSP games), but due to Sony gaining the upper hand during the fifth and sixth generations of consoles, the PSP ended up being far more popular than the DS in the Philippines, a reverse of what happened in most major markets. The PS3 and PS4 are also catching up there, too: you can buy affordable original copies for almost 1,500 Philippine pesos (Equivalent to US$35 depending on exchange rate) per copy there; pre-jailbroken PS3 packages that came with external hard drives and free games became the norm in later years once the system was cracked in the early 2010s.
    • Same in Poland. No one there owns a DS, you see kids with PSPs everywhere. Same in case of the PS3: More people own them than Xbox 360s. Ironically, it is easier to pirate for the 360 than the PS3. So why is the PS3 popular? A. Its games are region-free to begin with and B. Microsoft will unleash the banhammer on your 360 for piracy. And you've gotta have good luck to find a Wii owner, despite it being by far the easiest (and safest) 7th-gen console to pirate for.
      • Also, until late 2010 there was virtually no support for Xbox Live in Poland. Oddly, Microsoft included Polish language support for something that couldn't be legally used in the country, since you needed a foreign e-mail account to do anything.
    • Funny enough in the PS3 era, the PS3 did less in the US but is more supported in Europe and Asia.
    • In Russia, the PSP is more popular than the DS for the same reason that Sega Genesis was more popular than SNES: It's insanely easy to pirate games for without any additional peripherals. The fact that mainstream genres (like shooting, driving and sports games) are much more prevalent there than any "casual" games or unique projects (though the indie scene is slowly changing the situation) and the lack of popularity of Nintendo in Russianote  are also the cause of this.
    • Indonesia had a similar case with Philippines when it comes to preference to Sony. In fact, amongst Southeast Asian countries, the PS4 actually had more sales than Switch.
  • While the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube were beat by their PlayStation rivals worldwide, the N64 and GC did even worse in their native Japan, while they actually did pretty decent in North America to the point that most of the first-party games become cult classics. It was very often when the PlayStation 1 and/or 2 version of a game got a Japanese release while the N64/Gamecube version stayed in North America.
    • While it was still a distant second to the Playstation, America was the Nintendo 64's best market, with almost two thirds of the Nintendo 64's lifetime sales came from America. Nintendo profited from both the novelty of 3D graphics in video games and the goodwill they built up from their previous consoles. Rare games like Banjo-Kazooie and GoldenEye (1997), and 3D installments in the then-brand new Pokémon franchise were also a much bigger asset in America than they were in Japan or Europe.
    • The fact that it released at the time when America's moral panic surrounding violent video games was at its peak made the GameCube the console of choice for most conservative-minded Moral Guardians as "that one video game console without Grand Theft Auto in it", forming a large Periphery Demographic as well as a new generation of Nintendo fans in the States at the time.
    • Traditionally Nintendo consoles and handhelds always sold better in North America than in Japan, although that has more to do with the fact that North America accounts for a much larger population than Japan. The trend has so far only been averted with the 3DS and Switch, which have sold more in Japan than in North America.
  • Wiiware also fits this trope. Wiiware was way more successful in North America and Europe than it was in Japan, where they preferred DSiware and the Virtual Console, the former for portability.
  • When the Fujitsu FM Towns Marty was released in Japan, it was dismissed because of its high price tag and lack of Japanese games, since most of the games for the console were Western–developed, due to Western developers being more gifted with 32-bit machines. But it's exactly its huge amount of Western-developed games and the fact that the console was the very first 32-bit machine ever that made it one of the most reckoned Holy Grails in video game console collecting in the Western world.
  • The Gamate, a Taiwanese game console, is virtually unknown despite being released in presumably every market except Japan... unless you're in Italy, where the console has found a niche. The fact that the people who marketed the Gamate in Italy were the same ones which published the NES there seems to be the reason, as all the others were less competent marketing-wise.
  • Danes Love the Sony PlayStation. The first PlayStation well outsold the Nintendo 64, while its successor (which it did internationally) outsold both the Xbox and the Nintendo Gamecube combined. Due to the PlayStation 3 not being released around the same time as the Xbox 360, the 360 have become this, dualing this position with PS3 when it was released. The PS3 is still a slightly bigger console in Denmark, but the Xbox 360 is still a favored console in gaming stores like GameStop, selling a lot more 360 games than PS3 games.
    • Due to the PlayStation 4 being released in Europe along with almost every other country internationally, compared to the Xbox One's delay in most of Europe, its sales have been large in Europe, aiding the PS4 in earning 7 million sales (as of March 2014), 3 million more than the Xbox One. The region is also the region where the PS4 reliably outsells the Nintendo Switch which frequently outsells it in North America and near constantly doing so in Europe as of 2018 and 2019.
    • Danish GameStop Loves the Xbox: To aid the Xbox One in sales, several Danish GameStop stores are importing the UK version of it.
  • The Super Scope failed tidily in Japan but lingered on in North America, leading industry legend Gunpei Yokoi's team to create the English-only Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge. Super Scope is then documented to be modified for homebrew military infantry training application.
  • The PC-98 has a small cult following in the West, mainly among Touhou Project fans. The platform was never released outside of Japan.
  • Xbox consoles have typically ranked 2nd or a distant 3rd place in most countries (a situation worsened by the early fumbles of the Xbox One), but Xbox has consistently the #1 video game brand in Mexico since its inception. Microsoft was the first major console manufacturer to take the market seriously by providing consistent Spanish localisations of games and manufacturing the original system locally, thus making it more affordable than its competitors. Starting with the X360, Microsoft also made the then-unprecedented move (for video games) of producing Latin American Spanish dubs for its first party games. As an acknowledgement of the popularity of Xbox in the country, the 2018 edition of the Xbox fanfest was held in Mexico City.
    • To a lesser extent, in Brazil, the Xbox 360 remains the dominant console, due to the very high price of newer consoles, despite the 360 mostly ending support worldwide. Also, the Xbox One sold considerably better than the PlayStation 4, due to Brazil being one of the few countries (along with Mexico) where the Xbox One was sold at half the price of a PlayStation 4. note  This trend continued with the Xbox Series S, who by virtue of being the cheapest ninth-gen console became a clear winner in lower-income countries. Xbox Game Pass also helps in this regard, especially since physical copies of games in Latin America tend to carry a premium due to the cost of importing them.
  • While NES Classic Mini was not popular in Eastern Europe (Russia and Central Asia included) due to different kind of nostalgia- kids of late '80s and early '90s in these areas grew up with unlicensed Famiclones. Besides, in these countries unlicensed Famiclones are still sold even to this day. SNES Classic Mini performed there much better to the point of being sold out thanks to pre-orders. This is because, while SNES in '90s sold poorly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia due to being too expensive for people struck in poverty, the kids, who witness SNES commercials in their childhood grew up and possibly got jobs to buy SNES Classic Mini to fulfil the holes in their childhood.
  • The PlayStation 4 was quite popular around the world, selling nearly 115 million units worldwide by the time its successor released, but it was not particularly popular in its home country of Japan, where it sold fewer than 10 million units. A lot of this has to do with the Japanese game market's increasing shift towards handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS, Play Station Vita, and later the Nintendo Switch, increasing adaptability toward PC gaming, especially gaming on Microsoft Windows, as well as the perceived lack of Japanese-focused games on the PS4 compared to Western ones. Sony's introduction of policies requiring many Fanservice-heavy Japanese games to be censored on PS4 while Nintendo is surprisingly more tolerant as well as the open PC platform in comparison, also didn't do Sony any favors. The disproportionate international popularity of the PS4 likely played a large role in Sony Interactive Entertainment relocating their headquarters to the US during the PS4's life cycle.
  • The trend seems to be continuing with the PlayStation 5, with it being heavily in demand due to brand loyalty, except for Japan, due to lack of AAA titles specifically catering to Japanese market (and most of them are already available in PC or the other, more affordable consoles)

    Action-Adventure Games 
  • Apparently, due to its themes of Buddhism and Hinduism, the Chinese really love Asura's Wrath. Stephen Chow even outright copied one of the most iconic scenes in the game while directing Journey to the West: Conquering of the Demons, to the point of there being a massive plagiarism controversy surrounding it.
  • Bayonetta is beloved in the West, and the titular heroine got her place in Super Smash Bros. thanks to her Western fans; where she ranked number one in Europe and in the Top 5 in the United States in an official poll organized by Nintendo itself. The same could be said about Punch-Out!!'s Little Mac (and moreover his original game), to the point where the Wii installment was mostly made by Westerners (Canadian Next Level Games) for Westerners.
  • Outside Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda is squarely on the list of "Japanese games better known outside of Japan". The Wind Waker and especially Twilight Princess had disappointing sales in their homeland, despite Famitsu giving the former a perfect 40. Shigeru Miyamoto and others at Nintendo have commented on this, saying the West has a bigger preference for these types of games than Japan does.
    • Conversely, Phantom Hourglass was very successful in Japan, but not so much could be said for Spirit Tracks, which was loaded with Anime Tropes in an attempt to cater to the established Japanese fan-base.
    • The series is also very popular in France, where a generous portion of the sales of each game comes from the country. Similarly, NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime has noted that Canada is gaga for Zelda, to some extent even moreso than the US.
    • Games in the Dynasty Warriors series, including its myriad spin-offs, are often harshly derided in the West for their repetitive and button-mashy nature, but the Zelda-themed spin-off Hyrule Warriors actually prove more popular in the West than its native Japan.
  • The Metal Gear series wasn't very popular during the 8-bit days, although the original had a cult following among MSX2 users in Europe, but when Metal Gear Solid came out, not only did it become popular in Japan, but even moreso in America, likely for reasons similar to Silent Hill (namely, its Western setting and action movie style). The original game sold so much better in America that most subsequent games have actually been released there first. It is more likely that it was because of these overwhelming love towards these two series and their creator that Americans practically hated everything Konami did to these franchises later on (compounded with other factors on Konami's fault) and kept their hatred to the company undying, while the Japanese didn't prolong their own hatred because aside of their general respect on Kojima and popularity, they weren't that immensely worshipped in the first place and generally Konami's latter actions seems to be more geared to their Japanese-exclusive properties, so the Japanese has an easier time to let time heal their own frustration.
  • The Metroidvania genre is hugely popular in the West, but only a niche genre in Japan. In addition to Metroid and Castlevania themselves, games like Blaster Master and Cave Story have also been subject to this trend.
    • Blaster Master's Japanese incarnation, Metafight, was a commercial failure and has laid dormant, barring a sequel released nearly twelve years. Blaster Master, however, remains a beloved Cult Classic among Western gamers who cut their teeth in the NES era, due to its Metroidvania-style gameplay and amazing soundtrack. So much so, that the direct sequel was produced in the UK (never sold in Japan), and by the time a PlayStation revival was attempted, even Japan got the American version of the story as opposed to the original Metafight one.
    • Castlevania is more popular in the US than in Japan, according to former producer Koji Igarashi, which explains his decision to release Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia in the US first. Konami actually tried using the name "Castlevania" in Japan because it was more popular under that name (except it didn't take). This may have influenced the more Western flavor of the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games.
    • Metroid has lukewarm reception in its home country, but has always been far more popular in the US to the point that the first sequel was advertised in Japan as being a follow-up to "the outstandingly popular action game in America". The franchise as a whole would eventually find itself developed in the West as well; the American Retro Studios would create a new 3D branch of the franchise, while the 2D side would eventually find a home with Spanish studio MercurySteam. Many entries also released in the U.S. before Japan to cater to this fanbase, and some of them have English voice-overs even in the Japanese releases.
      • Samus herself fits this trope. In the US, Nintendo fans consider her to be one of Nintendo's "Big Four" characters, trailing only Mario, Pikachu, and Link in popularity. In Japan, she is behind Kirby, Isabelle, the Inklings, and any given Fire Emblem protagonist. This has ultimately led to a long-standing joke that the main character Samus, being blonde and blue-eyed, is obviously an American character.
      • Metroid: Other M was somewhat of an attempt to make the series more appealing to wider Japanese audiences. The fandom is thoroughly split over Other M's more linear gameplay, but the story (which received heavy focus with hours of FMV cutscenes) got unanimous derision by fans for being dull, poorly-written, and ruining what little characterization Samus has. The game still managed to sell about as well as any other Metroid game in Japan, but it quickly became one of the worst-selling entries in the West.
    • La-Mulana is more popular in English- and Spanish-speaking countries than in Japan. Ironically, the game was developed by MSX enthusiasts with the intention of paying tribute to the old technology, which was the gaming home computer of the '80s in Japan.
  • Sengoku Basara, especially the second game, Heroes, is inexplicably very popular in Indonesia of all the similar games of the genre, despite the game being in Japanese untranslated.
  • The Warriors, is popular in Indonesia, because while Rockstar Games games always have a huge fanbase worldwide, The Warriors, having Co-Op Multiplayer support, is immensely enjoyed by people playing the games socially.

    Adventure Games 
  • Point and Click adventure games. While they were popular in North America through the '90s, for the most part, they're mostly seen as experiments or as Indie games that rarely become as popular as they were in The '90s, and it's rare to see much buzz about them. The same goes in Asia — while not unknown (Clock Tower, Another Code), they're few and far in between, where the Visual Novel reigns. Meanwhile in Europe? The Adventure Game genre still lives and is going strong. (Especially in Germany.)
  • This article details how this genre was (and is) quite popular in Italy, especially the titles produced by LucasArts; for a while Italian adventure games such as Nippon Safes Inc. were the only genre beside sports simulations that managed to sell and be appreciated outside the country's borders.
  • A lot of LucasArts adventure games are quite popular in Germany, especially of the Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle variety. A more straightforward example would be Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. While not unknown in its home country, it was even more popular in Germany.
    • In fact, try looking up a Let's Play for a LucasArts adventure game, and look how many results are German.
    • LucasArts veteran Tim Schafer name-checks Germany as the one viable market for adventure games in the present day in his famous Kickstarter pitch video for Double Fine Adventure.
    • Point and click adventure fangames are quite popular in Germany as well. It's pretty hard to find a fangame based on a LucasArts or Sierra adventure game that doesn't have at least one member of the development team from Germany.
  • The Neverhood was a bit of a low-key cult hit in the West. The PC version got a Japanese PlayStation port called Klaymen Klaymen... and Japanese gamers absolutely adored it. In addition to getting some cool pieces of promotional merchandise, the Japanese company that localized it (and its sequel, Skullmonkeys) made a spinoff called Klaymen Gun-Hockey, which is about as weird as it sounds. The game is also very popular in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • Yume Nikki:

    Fighting Games 
  • BlazBlue: Not that he lacks popularity in Japan, but Iron Tager has a surprisingly large American fanbase, aided by the Values Dissonance of how manliness and toughness are more valued personality traits among American males (Tager and Bang Shishigami are the two most "manly" characters out of the main cast). Jamieson Price's great voice work also helped out a lot, along with a few America-exclusive memes like "REAL SOVIET DAMAGE" and "GIGANTIC TAGER!" (one particular Story Mode scene uses this as a hilarious Sound-Effect Bleep; the Japanese version instead has Kenji Nomura shouting out Ragna's "GAUNTLET HADES", and thus misses out on the joke).
  • Body Blows: This series, made for Amiga brand computers that were produced by the U.S. based Commodore corporation and developed by U.K. based developers Team17, had quite a following in several European countries and presently retains a cult following in that region. The fact that the Amiga series of computers themselves were also a favorite choice for PCs at the time on the continent plays a part in that.
  • Darkstalkers: Jon Talbain is considered rather minor by the Japanese compared to Morrigan, Demitri, Felicia, Lilith, and Anakaris, but has a very large following in America. Needless to say, they are very eager to see Talbain get featured in crossovers, but the Japanese don't get it.
  • When Dead or Alive introduced Spanish character Mila, she was quickly embraced by Spaniards for finally having a Spanish character in a Fighting Game who looks the part WITHOUT falling into any Spanish stereotypes, Not Even Bothering with the Accent notwithstanding (not that it matters, since in Spain the vast majority of fighting gamers play with the Japanese dub).
  • This trope is the reason why Choi Bounge from The King of Fighters, who is rather unpopular and reviled (not as much as Bao, but still reviled) everywhere, managed to get into SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. Why? Because Koreans consider him top-tier, and love him even more than in-universe Korean hero Kim Kaphwan (who's also featured). So they added Choi to cater to the Korean fans.
  • The Last Blade 2: Setsuna is an overlooked character in his home country, but overwhelmingly popular all around America. Up to the extent gamers have claimed to buy this game just to play with, or against him.
  • The Marvel vs. Capcom games have never been popular in Japan (considered the Mecca of fighting games) but have a large, rabid following in the United States, especially in the East Coast. MvC2 is considered one of the greatest fighting games of all time in North America. This is largely attributed to the Marvel half of the game not being as recognized in Japan, as well as the games being considered less technical than other fighting games.
  • The Mortal Kombat series is synonymous with the fighting game genre in Russia. Many Russian people, who grew up in 90s, hum The Immortals and enjoy watching the first Mortal Kombat movie, collecting various Mortal Kombat merchandise, and the port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for the Sega Genesis is their favourite game on the console. Moreover, in average the Russian city Scorpion and Sub-Zero are more recognizable than Mario (probably because of the much smaller Nintendo fandom in Russia).
    • Oddly enough Mortal Kombat X is popular in Germany. Despite the country's video game censorship, this game was released a half year later after the official international release and became hit for PS Store and Steam.
    • Mortal Kombat has also seen popularity in Spain.
  • Skullgirls has a loyal following in their native U.S. and some Western countries, but has such a large fan following in Japan that the game is getting a special port for Japanese arcades (a first for a Western Fighting Game since 1994, when the first Killer Instinct was released). Word Of God mentioned that this might have had something to do with the fact that it's a series that plays like Marvel vs. Capcom minus the Marvel (which isn't very popular over there).
  • SNK fighting games in general were (and probably still are) huge in large portions of Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, mostly because the Neo Geo MVS cabinets could hold multiple games at a time, and the games could be replaced by simply buying a new game and inserting it, rather than buying a whole new cabinet, making them more economically feasible for arcades. The "kid who spends his pocket money on the King of Fighters game in the arcade down the street" archetype is actually the reason why the KOF competitive scene is so strong in Mexico. In these areas, it's not uncommon for characters like Terry Bogard to be more recognizable than the likes of Mario. SNK has not failed to notice this, and has added more Mexican (Angel, Ramon, Tizoc) and Chinese (Lin, Duo Lon, Shun'ei) characters to its roster in later installments. An example of this would be the announcement of Fatal Fury 's Terry Bogard as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where Terry was a celebrated addition in Central and South America whereas other nations, including Terry's home country Japan, weren't really aware of his existence.
    • The Neo Geo fighting game version of Double Dragon was a cult success in the Latin American market, especially in Mexico, which is why Evoga produced Rage of the Dragons as a Spiritual Adaptation of the series.
  • France loves the Soulcalibur series, as does the United States. It tends to get stuck in the shadow of Tekken back home. In fact, the character popularity poll used to determine the most popular character in the series was held exclusively in Western markets.
    • Maxi is very popular among Chilean fighting game fans, specially those who played in arcades around The '90s or the Turn of the Millennium. This is for Maxi's uncanny physical similarity to a So Bad, It's Good local singer from these years, which brought many memes to the Chilean gaming community.
    • Taki is most popular with western fandoms, where she's constantly cited as one of the most popular fighters in the series. While she has a large following in the East as well, gamers there tend to prefer Ivy over her.
  • The Super Smash Bros. series is popular across the globe among both casual and competitive players, but this trope applies to competitive Melee in particular. Ever since the release of For 3DS/Wii U, the competitive Melee community in Japan, the series' country of origin, has started to shrink rapidly. As of 2016, only one major monthly tournament remains in Japan, and minor local tournaments have been becoming increasingly infrequent. Throughout the rest of the world, Melee's tournament scene remains as big as it always has, being roughly equal with newer games at major tournaments.
    • As for competitive Brawl, Norway is the only country where Brawl is still on equal standing with Melee and Ultimate (and formerly Smash 4), and the only country where it still has power rankings after Smash 4's release.
  • Tekken's ever increasingly multinational cast can be traced to its popularity in many different, particularly in Europe and Philippines. Lars Alexandersson (who is Swedishnote ) and Josie Rizal are respective examples of Namco attempting to cater to these markets.

    Hack and Slash 
  • Honkai Impact 3rd does decently well in it's native China, and struggles to different degrees in most other parts of the world due to the competitive space it inhabits. The exception to this are Southeast Asian regions such as Vietnam and Indonesia, where the game is near-always in the list of top 50 grossing mobile games, and occasionally shoots all the way to the top after major updates. The biggest factor for this is simply that, after early success with an english-only release in the region, miHoYo doubled down and had the game fully localized into Viet, Thai and Bahasa Indonesia, with said localizations being kept on-pace with every other language, something few other games do.
  • No More Heroes flopped dismally in its native Japan, barely pushing 40,000 units lifetime, and sales for the sequel were just as bad. Among Western gamers, though — particularly American ones, where it found an audience of "hardcore" gamers drawn in by promises of a violent M-rated game on the otherwise casual/family-targeted Wii — the game fared considerably better, and it remains a Cult Classic in those regions to this day.

    Massively Multiplayer Online Games 
  • Club Penguin was an MMOG made by Disney Canada Inc. Most of the fanart and fan videos, however, are made by people from Central and South America, especially from Mexico or Brazil.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 is a big success in Japan, but also has a very large and dedicated group of non-Japanese gamers playing, so much so that it came as a surprise to Sega, which may have played some role in getting the game announced for localization (even though said localization would be repeatedly delayed for several years).
  • RuneScape has been massively popular in Finland, with both the original game and Old School Rune Scape having a sizable Finnish playerbase. The main game even had Finnish servers as early as 2005.
  • German MMORPG Tibia is basically legendary in Poland. While it owes most of its popularity to word of mouth, other factors include the fact that it's free, will run on any PC and has very low bandwidth requirements.
    • To be more specific, according to 2009 poll 26,56% of players were from Brazil, 24,38% from much smaller Poland and 8,65 from Sweden. For reference Germans constituted about 1% of the playerbase.

    Maze Games 
  • Rally-X was relatively popular in South Korea, whose local bootlegging scene gave it the name Banggucha (방구차, "Fart Car").

    Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas 
  • Defense of the Ancients, while fairly popular in the United States, is played by nearly everyone in Sweden and the Philippines. This was exemplified by the song written about it from Swedish producer Basshunter.
  • Heroes of Newerth, despite being one of the earliest MOBAs, is significantly less popular than Dota 2 and League of Legends overall, but manages to have a strong fanbase in Thailand. As a result, there are a good number of content that are Thai-related, and even its Grand Finals were held in Thailand.
  • While the League of Legends scene outside of South Korea and USA is widely known to be huge and fiercely dedicated, this game has managed to win in other parts of the world for many different reasons:
    • Venezuela has a fierce League of Legends fandom, with a much larger proportion of people with internet access who play the game than in Mexico, and for good reason: in an extremely poor and isolationist country where a computer literally costs a small car, a 1 Mbps connection costs a British 100 Mbps fiber optic link, online purchases conducted in foreign currency are literally impossible, and you're expected to pay this with your one single dollar a day minimum wage, a game that is not an Allegedly Free Game and can run on low-end computers will invariably end up ruling the day.
    • League of Legends, in addition to being hugely popular in some countries much more so than in others, also has champions whose popularity is tied to specific countries:
      • Per the American Kirby Is Hardcore rule, the Japanese fandom is very fond of cute champions such as Ahri, Annie, Lux, Sona, Fizz, Nami, and pretty much the entire yordle roster (Lulu, Teemo, Tristana, Kennen, Veigar...), as well as Bishōnen characters such as Ezreal and Varus. Meanwhile, in America, the most popular champions are manly badasses like Darius, Draven, Jarvan, Pantheon, or Tryndamere, and gritty action girls like Katarina, Jinx note , Vi, and Shyvana.
      • Subverted with Mordekaiser, a champ with a huge mace and a hulking suit of armor. There is a huge thing about Brazilian players playing Mordekaiser because of the meme about him being a Troll associated with the "Huehuehuehuehue", to the point that a lot of people will call him "Mordhuekaiser" or "Huekaiser". But the truth is, normal Brazilian players that do not troll usually don't use Mordekaiser much so his usage in the region is actually just as low as the rest. It's more likely that this meme was just touching the phenomenon of 'Brazilian players so toxic' while just randomly picking Mordekaiser as the figure to deliver so, and then it went viral.
  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (often colloquially referred to by the initialism "ML") is wildly popular in the Philippines as it is far more readily available especially to those who either could not afford a PC or don't have the time or patience to be stuck on a computer. Such was the popularity of the game in the Philippines that developer Moontoon added national hero Lapu-Lapu as a playable character, and appointed boxer Manny Pacquiao as their brand ambassador. To commemorate their partnership with Pacquiao, a character based on the boxer named Paquito was added in an update.
    • Generally, the game is very beloved and popular in Southeast Asia countries, not just Philippines. One of the heroes there is based on Gatotkaca as he appeared in the Indonesian version (not the original literature) and several other Indonesian figures. Most of the championship of the game is held in Southeast Asia regions, generating as much money as the likes of League of Legends everywhere else and PC.

    Open-World Games 
  • Ghost of Tsushima got good reviews from American critics but even better ones from Japanese critics, who praised how the American studio Sucker Punch did their research on Japanese culture, history, and language instead of relying on orientalism and stereotypes of feudal Japan. Famitsu gave it only the third perfect score they'd ever given a Western game.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is overwhelmingly popular in Brazil due to the characters and setting's familiarity to real-life Brazilian suburbs (particularly with those in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) even though the game takes place in a fictionalized version of America, as well as the immense freedom and customization it provides the player. While CJ is considered a very divisive protagonist, he is more loved there than Tommy Vercetti and Claude (the latter of whom is virtually unknown in Brazil, as the rise of the popularity of sixth-gen gaming — mainly the PlayStation 2 — in Brazil coincided with the releases of Vice City and San Andreas). To this day, Brazilian modders have produced highly extensive versions of the game that include Brazilian music and local sports teams' jerseys. It came full circle when Rockstar Games made a Max Payne game set in Brazil years later. Afterwards, the Brazilians are making their own GTA game set in their Home Country.
  • Swedish-made Minecraft, while very successful in its home country, is pretty much loved by the entire world. Japan gets a special mention for introducing the Creeparka (a Creeper themed hoodie). Japan's love of Minecraft is so great that a number of Minecraft-like games that didn't do well in the West for being "ripoffs" saw enormous success in Japan, and Dragon Quest, one of the most famous and beloved game franchises in the country, had a Minecraft-like spinoff.
  • Shenmue was modestly well received in Japan. It fared better in the West, however, largely because its setting, based on a real Japanese town, was exotic to gamers outside of Japan.

  • Action 52, a low-budget American game compilation, has The Cheetahmen theme, which has many remixes of it on the video site Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video site.
  • Banjo-Kazooie is surprisingly popular in Japan. One notable Japanese fan is Inugami Korone, who gets a kick out of Mumbo Jumbo's dialogue in her playthrough of the game. It got to the point where the reaction to Banjo and Kazooie's reveal in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as playable character was absolutely estatic among many players in the region.
  • Contra is popular in China mainly because it was one of the most produced game for unlicensed Famiclones. Chinese developer, Tencent released Contra: Return for Android and iOS. There's also Contra Evolution, which is basically the original Famicom/NES game turned into an arcade with prettier 3D graphics with 2D gameplay and multiple characters. This could be because Chinese people love the Hollywood action movies that influenced the game and Contra's Japanese name is spelt with kanji characters, which were derived from Chinese language. Further helped with Konami's exodus from console markets to also focus on mobile games, which might have the effect of being utterly hated in the West, but China is definitely more welcoming and in-line with the advancement of mobile platform.
  • Crash Bandicoot was at one point the best selling western-developed franchise in Japan. His popularity there was so massive that changes were made to appease the game's Japanese fanbase, including dropping Crash's girlfriend Tawna from the series, leading to the creation of Crash's sister Coco. Elements from the game's Japanese marketing also managed to bleed their way into the games themselves, including Crash's trademark dance and the character of Fake Crash. The Japanese version of Crash Tag Team Racing even changes Crash's in-game design to that of his Japanese counterpart!
  • The original Donkey Kong became stupendously popular outside of Japan, especially in the United States, to the point where the status of "world record holder" is frequently traded amongst American players; not a single confirmed world record since 1982 has been performed by a player from Japan. There is even a documentary revolving around the competitive Donkey Kong scene in the US, The King of Kong.
    • Of course, it was designed to be marketed to the West in the first place. It actually did better in Japan than it was supposed to, so Nintendo licensed Falcon to temporarily sell Crazy Kong in Japan while they were sending their boards to the US to keep up demand.
    • In an inverted case, the western developed Donkey Kong Country games are just as popular in Japan as they were in western territories. So much so that Japan got exclusive merchandising promoting the games, and the Donkey Kong Country cartoon got a cast of surprisingly prolific voice actors involved for the Japanese dub.
    • Within the Donkey Kong franchise itself, the character Funky Kong is a huge Ensemble Dark Horse in Japan. He was a playable character in Mario Kart Wii, before more famous characters in the series like Dixie or Cranky, and has his own special gameplay mode in the Switch port of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
  • Drawn to Life is incredibly underrated outside of Australia, where it was actually one of the best selling games there until Christmas. It even has its own DS case there!
  • Elimination Platformers caught on in a very big way in South Korea, which produced multiple bootleg MSX ports and the official Game Gear port of Bubble Bobble (whose Theme Tune was also used as a jingle for Samyang Ramyun), numerous arcade games based on hardware cloned from (and sometimes code copied from) Snow Bros or TumblePop, and original games in the genre like Legendly Knight and Ultra Balloon.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy is much more popular in Japan than its home country of the US. On YouTube, the most viewed video of that game has less than a million views, and the second most viewed has less than 500,000. On the Japanese site Nico Video, however, there's tons of videos of it with 100,000s of views, including several that have over a million. What's more, multiple Japanese-developed fangames exist.
    • The fact that it was inspired by a Japanese web game (Jinsei Owata no Daibouken, aka The Life-Ending Adventure) might have something to do with this. In fact, the final version of Owata included the first few screens of IWBTG as its final level in an extended Shout-Out!
  • Jackie Chan Stuntmaster for the Playstation is clearly more popular in South America, to the point its Spanish page was created first!
  • Kirby became very popular in Italy beginning in May 2014 when, to promote the recent release in stores of Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the TV channel K2 decided to air Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (a show whose only TV airing in the country before then was aired at 6 AM during the summer, basically in a timeframe when nobody could watch it) in the timeslot right after Pokémon: The Series. As a result, it actually became as popular as Pokémon, the aforementioned Kirby Triple Deluxe sold a lot of copies, they managed to dub the second half of the show 10 years after the first one (because for some reason the Italian dub originally stopped at episode 51), and the Kirby amiibo is the hardest one to find in Italian stores.
  • Although Lode Runner was a success internationally, it was nowhere near as successful than in Japan, where the game has tons of different versions not released elsewhere. The game also seems to have been quite popular in France, to the point where one of the first games published by Infogrames, Androides, was a blatant knockoff of it, and another French company developed official ports for the Atari ST, Amiga and Amstrad CPC.
  • While Mario is the poster boy for video games everywhere, his Video Game 3D Leap wasn't as popular in Japan (for one, the Sega Saturn kept outselling the Nintendo 64 for a long time there), with his 2D installments being far more popular in the region. For instance, New Super Mario Bros. Wii outsold Super Mario Galaxy within just 3 days of its Japan release. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was even released in North America first due to how popular Mario’s 3D installments are in the West.
    • Similarily, the Mario RPGs have done much better in the Western markets, selling around a million copies in North America alone, while they barely break 400,000 in Japan. This may be why the character Fawful, who became something of an Ensemble Dark Horse in America due to his Intentional Engrish for Funny translation, was made the main villain of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
    • Wario's solo outings are consistently more popular internationally than in Japan, to the point Wario Land 2 and Wario World were released in the US and Europe first. Some Wario games were even produced exclusively for the international market due to his popularity there: the SNES version of the Puzzle Game Wario's Woods didn't get a physical release in Japan, while Bomberman GB added Wario as a playable character for its US and European releases, and gave him top billing in the newly retitled Wario Blast. This doesn't apply to the WarioWare series, which is as well-known in Japan as it is elsewhere.
    • Waluigi, unlike his brethren Mario, Luigi, and Wario, has never starred in his own game; but he enjoys significant memetic popularity among Westerners ("too bad, Waluigi time!") due to his comically-evil squeaky voice, and because he's the biggest underdog of the four (since he's an Evil Counterpart of Mario's sidekick). In fact, Americans were so upset about Waluigi not being playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that Nintendo of America's president, Reggie Fils-Aime, directly addressed the backlash.
  • Mega Man example: Both Rockman 2 as well as Rockman 3 got rather average reviews on the mainstream Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (Rockman 2 was awarded with a 28/40 and Rockman 3 was awarded with a 23/40), but Nintendo Power gave both games (which are known in the West as Megaman 2 and Megaman 3) a lot of positive coverage and considered them to be some of the best games in the NES era.
  • The NewZealand Story was particularly popular in the UK, where the Amiga version became part of the "Batman Pack" bundle. It was one of the few Japanese-made games whose Nintendo Entertainment System port was developed by a British company and never released in Japan. Two competing teams of British developers were working on ZX Spectrum ports; the team whose version didn't make it took its engine and converted it into the original game CJ's Elephant Antics.
  • Ponpoko made little impression in its native Japan, but in South Korea it is regarded a classic and has been remade numerous times.
  • Shantae was a cult hit in Japan before ever having an official translation there, so much so Wayforward got the Japanese company Inticreates to collaborate with them on the third game (Shantae and the Pirate's Curse). Now that her games have been officially released in Japan, Shantae even has cool exclusive Japanese merch, bringing the no-exportitude full circle.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has a modest Japanese following that only really started to develop after Sega became a third-party developer, due to the Genesis/Mega Drive and Dreamcast being unpopular consoles in the region and the Saturn not having a Sonic title of its own. Meanwhile, Sonic quickly became a cultural icon in America and Europe, where the Sega's 16-bit console competed for first place with Nintendo's SNES, and the Blue Blur retains much of that popularity to this day. The brand is especially loved to pieces in the United Kingdom, where Alton Towers even has a Sonic-themed hotel room and used to have a Sonic-themed roller coaster, and London, England is the hosting place for the "Summer of Sonic" (the first official fan convention for a video game character). That being said, the series has always been particularly Western-oriented, as most major releases have come out in America and Europe before Japan ever since the first game and Sonic was intentionally created to appeal to Western audiences in mind. Several major Sonic titles (such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Mania) were even developed in the West as opposed to Japan.
    • Shadow's popularity particularly leans West, and it was because of this that Shadow the Hedgehog was created. Unfortunately, it may have taken its dive into America too far, as the use of guns and swearing (because what's more American than including those...especially in a Rated M for Manly Hollywood Action flick?) turned off most critics and a good number of fans.
    • Sonic, particularly the Adventure era, also has a sizable fanbase in Russia. This is due to infamous unlicensed translation for Sonic Adventure DX for PC, which was parodied by Sienduk.
  • Americans regarded Spelunker as decent in its arcade and Commodore 64 forms. However, its Nintendo Entertainment System port, produced in Japan by Irem, inexplicably sold extremely well, and now the game is looked back on fondly due to its charming badness and, most of all, the endearing weakness of the main character. In fact, the Spelunker might very well beat out Master Chief, Gordon Freeman, and the like as the best-known American video game character in Japan simply by virtue of being "the weakest video game character" — he's a cultural icon, to the extent that supe taishitsu, "having the constitution of a spelunker," is a common idiom in Japan (meaning, of course, being easily injured) used in professional sports commentary.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Helltaker was made by a Polish guy but, thanks to its vaguely animesque art style, became the subjects of tons and tons of fanarts and mods in Japan and South Korea. It got to the point that Japan released a nendoroid of Lucifer a little more than a year after the game's debut, a feat usually reserved to major Western properties like Batman.
  • Lumines is much more popular in North America (it sold 300,000 units there) than in Japan (70,000 units), so much so that the sequel featured mainstream American music.
  • Thanks to some clever marketing in the region that presented the series as fun puzzle compilations that casual players who may have otherwise been turned off by the Adventure Game elements could enjoy, Professor Layton became huge in Europe. This is to the point where Nintendo of Europe frequently treated Professor Layton as one of their core franchises on the Nintendo DS, often displacing The Legend of Zelda in terms of importance within their marketing materials for the system.
  • Tetris, a Russian product, is beloved all over the world and is synonymous with the Falling Blocks genre. In Japan in particular, Sega and later Arika produced Tetris games designed for advanced players, including the famous Tetris: The Grand Master series.

    Racing Games 
  • F-Zero gets more attention overseas than it does in its home country of Japan. Shigeru Miyamoto has notably said that he was puzzled by this fact.
  • Forza Motorsport is popular back home in America, but it's a Killer App for the Xbox platform in Europe (a title that mainly goes to Halo and Gears of War in the US). It also has a devoted following in Australia, which has also helped with Turn 10 managing to get the overall license for the cars participating in the V8 Supercars for Forza 6.
  • Gran Turismo is a Japanese-made game, and is hugely popular all over the world, but over half of the sales of each game come from Europe.
  • Rad Racer was a shameless imitation of OutRun and one of a number of unremarkable games released by Square before Final Fantasy. Yet it became one of Nintendo of America's bestsellers, which explains why it received a US-exclusive sequel.
  • Top Gear (the racing game derived from the Amiga Lotus Turbo Challenge series, not the TV show) is very popular among Brazilians, due in no small part to the soundtrack penned by Barry Leitch (there are even people who have the BGM for the first game's first track as a ringtone!). So much so that it has a Spiritual Successor, Horizon Chase, developed by a Brazilian studio, and to top it off, they brought in Leitch himself to score the game!
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune enjoys arcade hit status in a variety of countries in Asia (not just Japan), most notably Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.
  • Downhill Domination, a pretty good but rather obscure mountain bike racing game for the Playstation 2, is well liked in Indonesia and still played many years after its release due to being one of the few bike racing games that were actually good at the time.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Age of Empires II is mostly forgotten within the Western competitive gaming scene, where other Real-Time Strategy games such as StarCraft II are favored instead. note  Many who play Age of Empires II often play the game for the scenario editors for Age of King Heaven or custom-made AI. In mainland China, however, Age of Empires II is one of the most popular PC games, with its competitive gaming scene being larger than in the West. This, apparently, is one of the main reasons why the Tibetans may never be featured in Age of Empires II, despite the original game developers' plans to include them.
    • Also notable is that the game has been extremely popular in Vietnam especially in the competitive gaming scene. In fact the inclusion of the Vietnamese in the recently released "Rise of the Rajas" DLC was a show of appreciation to Vietnamese players.
  • Battle Realms was outcompeted into obscurity by Warcraft III, yet it enjoys enough popularity in the Philippines that it is still played in computer rental shops to this day.
  • Despite the heavy editing it goes through in order to be legal for sale there, the Command & Conquer series enjoys extreme popularity in Germany (and in Europe as a whole as well), so much so that EA's official webcast is given air on cable television. Coincidentally, guess which actor has a cameo in Red Alert 3. C'mon, guess. It's Hasselhoff.
  • French love Cossacks. Between one third and forty per cent of the global sales of Cossacks: European Wars were made in France alone in the 2000s. It's not really surprising if the sequel focused on The Napoleonic Wars.
  • Earth 2140 is virtually unknown in its native Poland. It did, however, get some good sales in Turkey, due to it being one of the few games with a Turkish language option.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe (a Game Mod for Hearts of Iron IV) has a very large Russian fanbase and a sizable Chinese one as well. The Russian fanbase is easy to understand as some of the most well-written characters and factions in The New Order are Russian (and the dev team had help from Russians when writing said characters and factions). The Chinese fanbase is a bit harder to explain. Albert Speer is also quite a popular character in China, much more than he is in the English-speaking or Russian communities.
  • StarCraft is the poster child of this trope for video games. In fact, a good alternative title would be "Koreans love StarCraft." It unexpectedly became intensely popular in South Korea: In the first decade of its release, it was estimated that 9.5 million copies of the title were sold worldwide, with about 4.5 million sales being in the Republic, meaning almost half of all the copies of Starcraft sold in the world were in South Korea alone. It got to the point of being played in national competitions with team sponsorships with major companies and professional tournaments soon followed, with TV channels dedicated to replays of those tournaments. Starcraft players are professional athletes with groupies, training camps, and rivalries. Tournaments cater to packed stadiums filled with hundreds of thousands of people just to watch. Don't believe it? Starcraft in South Korea is like football is to Americans. When StarCraft II came out, it was pandemonium. Blizzard went to South Korea and held basically a Korean BlizzCon dedicated solely to Starcraft in the Seoul Olympic stadium.
    • It should be noted that Westerners are known to exaggerate Koreans' love for Starcraft. While Starcraft and e-sports in general have a larger fanbase in Korea than the West, it still doesn't hold a candle compared to baseball and football (soccer) within Korea.
  • With Starcraft II having finished, and its popularity starting to wane, the character D.Va from Overwatch (another Blizzard game) serves as a love letter to StarCraft's stupendously big Korean professional scene.

    Rhythm Games 
  • Arcaea, which was developed by a primarily-Western team, is a niche title in the West due to Western gamers' general apathy towards rhythm games other than band simulation games like Rock Band and motion-detection dance simulation games like Just Dance, as well as any sort of rhythm game that doesn't have recognizable Western licenses. In Japan, however, it was one of the most-downloaded free-to-download apps on its respective iTunes App Store the week it was released, as the game is designed with Japanese rhythm game elements in mind. It's rather telling that the official Japanese-language Twitter account has over five times more followers than the English-language one. Furthermore, all of Arcaea's cross-game collaborations have been with games of Taiwanese or Japanese origin; it has yet to have a crossover event with a rhythm game of Western origin.
  • crossbeats REV., an arcade spinoff of the smartphone Rhythm Game CROSS×BEATS, ended up being a flop in its native country of Japan, with its release date being close to fellow rhythm game Chunithm being cited as a cause for its failure. However, when it was exported to US arcadesnote  about three months later, it became a success with American players — not to the scale of Guitar Hero or Just Dance, but at least popular enough that there are often people lining up to play it during the arcades' busier days.
  • DanceDanceRevolution, itself, isn't one of the more popular BEMANI series games in Japan, but has a much greater following in Korea and especially in North America and Europe; in fact, some of the best players in the world are Americans, some of which hold world records on the eAMUSEMENT service for DanceDanceRevolution A. DDR's popularity in the West can largely be owed to the fact that it's the only BEMANI game that saw widespread release outside of Asia. The competitive scene is helped by the fact that while Japan put up with no new DDR arcade games for four years, Americans took to making their own take of 4-panel stepping games, In the Groove, featuring charts that put DDR's older "boss" charts to shame, allowing them to be prepared for when Konami got back into making arcade DDR games with much harder charts.
  • DJMAX started off as a Korea-only series, but the success of DJMAX Portable in foreign markets (PSP physical copies are region-free) led to an "International" Updated Re-release that features English and Japanese as additional language options; while this version was still Korea-only, at least it was released with the intent of being an import title overseas. Pentavision would continue to release new DJMAX games this way (most likely, getting the game to foreign regions wasn't an option for them at the time), eventually starting to bring the games officially worldwide starting with DJMAX Technika.
  • Just Dance is popular everywhere, but it's specially well-loved in Brazil. The company has aknowledged this via including songs like Tico Tico no Fuba, Te dominar and Carnaval Boom in 2017.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan allegedly sees more sales in US imports than it did domestically in Japan.
  • pop'n music was nowadays popular in the West after the aforementioned DanceDanceRevolution game hype faded away in 2009.
  • Pump It Up has been historically big in Central and South America, even moreso than competing panel-based dance game DanceDanceRevolution. Many of the best players at the annual World Pump Festival come from either of those regions. It's perhaps because of this that the Korean-based developer and publisher Andamiro continues to make international releases, despite the decline of arcades outside of East Asia discouraging East Asian developers from exporting their games.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Disco Elysium, while already a critical darling and a successful seller for a indie game in the West following its release in late 2019, received a Simplified Chinese translation in early 2020. Very soon thereafter, the game became a noted surprise hit in China.
  • Dungeon Master, first released in 1987, was very successful and enjoyed several ports and translations. Japan, however, seems to have adopted the series while the West gradually forgot it. A remixed, lighter version called Theron's Quest was released for the PC Engine; the official sequel was released in Japan first, and only much later in the West; and the last official episode of the series, Dungeon Master Nexus, is a Sega Saturn game that never left Japan.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The series has obviously been a major critical and financial success Europe and North America, but it is also one of the very few WRPG series to experience great success in Japan, where traditional WRPGs struggle. Morrowind seemed to start the trend, even though it was never even officially released in Japan. (One of the game's more popular GameMods is an unofficial Japanese translation.) This trend continued through Oblivion (though without dub and published by Spike Chunsoft) to Skyrim (which published in-house by Bethesda's Japanese branch, featuring Japanese dubbing), which holds the honor of being the first Western game to ever receive a perfect score in Famitsu.
    • If the huge number of translated Game Mods is any indication, Skyrim also has a sizable Czech fanbase.
  • Fallout is also quite popular in Japan especially after Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4 received Japanese localization including dub.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • The unofficial Elona+ offshoot of Elona is controversial in its native Japan, but not so much in the west, where it is the most popular Elona variant by far, despite most of the translation having to be done by the fans.
  • The Golden Sun series, although that's more because of a dedicated fanbase. Case in point: The news for what became Golden Sun: Dark Dawn first released in Nintendo's E3 2009 Conference. And as told by the E3 Report in Camelot Software Planning's Website, CEO Hiroyuki Takahashi commented a bit on how well the previous games did overseas and his wish for the game to be as successful with the Japanese before his surprise with the in-conference and web-coverage reactions.
  • Neptunia:
    • In Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, Cave is one of the most popular characters in the game despite being a DLC character thanks to her cool demeanor, a Game-Breaker as soon as she joins, and the hilarious fighting style she employs. Contrast that to Japan where she's not even part of the top ten. This has more to do with the infamy seen by Westerners of its main series and the fact Bullet Hell is still a niche there.
    • For being a secondary main character who appears in most games in the series (even if not always as a playable character), Compa certainly receives the least amount of fanart in Japan compared with the rest of the main cast, being met with a collective "meh" and being seen as just a generic Cute Clumsy Girl. Western players, on the other hand, really like Compa for her bubbly personality, hilarious lines in the localization, the occasional hints that she's actually Obfuscating Stupidity, and her occasional Cute and Psycho tendencies. It helps she's voiced by Cristina Vee and drops the desu catchphrase in English. English-speaking players will be quick to displease if Compa doesn't have a presence in some of the spinoffs.
    • While she's still a controversial character in both sides of the pacific, Plutia is a lot more loved in the West compared to Japan, due to her being cute and friendly with her hint of sadism, while Iris Heart is considered Evil Is Sexy and despite her dominating personality, has an occasional soft spot.
  • While the Final Fantasy elements of Kingdom Hearts were played up to sell it overseas to traditional RPG fans, the project sprang up as a game starring Mickey Mouse and was always intended to use the Disney elements to appeal to the massive Japanese fanbase that includes adults.
    • The character Xigbar is more popular in the West than in the East, which is again likely a consequence of the Western preference for menacing badasses over idealistic pretty boys. His appearance in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep as his other, Braig, helped, as does his amusing Californian accent in the English version. Kingdom Hearts III then reveals him to be the true Big Bad of the franchise who had been playing Master Xehanort for saps to regain his Keyblade.
  • Despite the fact that Shin Megami Tensei has always had a rough time finding its footing in Western Markets, Shin Megami Tensei V actually sold much better in the West than it did in Japan, where it sold pretty well but still fell short of Shin Megami Tensei IV. It still inevitably drew the comparisons to Persona from newcomers to the series though, especially from game journalists with IGN in particular being endlessly mocked for being unable to go 30 seconds without mentioning Persona 5 in their review.
  • Persona:
    • Junpei Iori from Persona 3 is well-loved on both sides of the world, but his likable personality, his hilarious moments alongside some fantastic Character Development, and the fact that he's one of the most useful party members in a game where party AI is really screwy all made him an instant hit in the West. After all, we can't expect anything less from da man. His popularity only skyrocketed with the release of Persona 3 Portable, which not only let you play as a Female Protagonist, but also allowed you to have a Social Link with him in that route. Sure, he wasn't romanceable, but the additional insight on his already-great character only further endeared himself in the west.
    • Furthermore, Shinjiro is also popular on all sides of the world, but is especially popular in the West for being a tough badass with a hidden soft spot for cooking and animals, alongside dying like a total badass. Similar to Junpei, his Social Link in the Female Route of Persona 3 Portable only endeared him further to Western fans, alongside having a surprisingly dorky personality if romanced.
    • Judging by popularity polls, Persona 4's Kanji Tatsumi is a lot more popular in the west than in Japan, for, like Shinjiro above, being a Bruiser with a Soft Center with a well-received character arc involving coming to terms with his "unmanly" interests. An excellent performance from Troy Baker helps too.
    • Rise Kujikawa is also a lot more liked outside of Japan, unusually for an Idol Singer. This might be due to voice acting: her Japanese voice is criticized for being extremely shrill, but in English she's voiced by Laura Bailey, who gives her a much more mature, nuanced portrayal, emphasizing her role as The Heart while still nailing her comedic moments.
  • OFF: The game is practically unheard of in French circles. However, the English community absolutely loves the game. As a result, many English fans has spawned dozens of fanart and fangames. Ditto for Japan and Korea, with a very large volume of fanart and fangames.
  • To this day Working Designs and the many changes made during their localizations remain divisive in the states. Some people still hold grudges over them. Their releases of the Lunar remakes were much adored by Japanese Lunar fans, mainly due to the deluxe packaging, Feelies, and interface changes. They were the subject of reverse importation. Many game stores sold the English version of Lunar alongside the Japanese version, and the English version of Wind's Nocturne became a meme.
  • Mother:
    • Mother 3 is nowhere near as popular in its home country as it is in Western countries (which it was infamously and ironically never released in), due to its drastic departure from the previous games in style and tone. Of course, it was also released in 2006 on the Game Boy Advance, just a few years after the release of the Nintendo DS. While many Japanese fans were put off by the vast disparity between Mother 3 and its predecessors, Western countries fell in love with its memorable characters and dark, tragic story. It's very common to see it on many Western lists of the best (and certainly saddest) games of all time.
    • The series in general is more popular in the West, probably because of Super Smash Bros. There are tons of people who joined the fanbase who weren't even alive when EarthBound (1994) was originally released in North America, which helped it become a best-seller on the Nintendo eShop when it was finally released on the Virtual Console. The series' Japanese fanbase nowadays is more comparable to that of the SoulBlazer trilogy, although it's not quite the same due to the celebrity behind the series. Most significantly, EarthBound (1994) is included in the American and European versions of the SNES Classic, but not the Japanese Super Famicom Mini.
  • While its sales numbers do not diverge widely between countries (due to the "children's JRPG stigma", you could say), Western players and critics are much more enamored with Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch than Japan. There are two reasons for that: first, Eastern RPGs are becoming steadily more scarce in the West, especially on home consoles, so a big-budgeted one for the PS3 like Ni no Kuni draws attention. Secondly, and more importantly, Japan was "burned" by Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Mage back when it was released on the Nintendo DS. Level-5 promised that the two games would be widely different and also complementary to one another, but they only had very minimal differences in terms of plot and gameplay (putting it another way, they were promised Persona 2, but got Pokémon Crystal). Those who bought the DS version (and they were many, it sold really well) didn't want to buy the same game twice, and critics couldn't quite "forgive" it. However, since that version was never released in the West, the PS3 version became much more unique and could be judged (and sold) as its own, standalone title. It seems to have paid off. The sales and reception of the PS3 version of Ni No Kuni did so well in the West that similar to Project X Zone 2, the sequel for the PS4 was announced for localization immediately.
  • The early Western RPG series Phantasie caught on in Japan, to the point where Phantasie IV was a Japan-exclusive release.
  • Roguelikes (specifically, the traditional Dungeon Crawl type) were a niche genre in their home in America, and receive reviews ranging from "poor" to "scathing" when sites or magazines who review them, mostly factoring on the difficulty, but are well-loved by Japan, with multiple long-running commercial series such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Chocobo's Dungeon, Shiren the Wanderer, and Etrian Odyssey having been made in Japan. While western attitude towards difficult games changed over time and the Roguelike genre made a successful return in the west, only a small handful of new western titles use the traditional dungeon crawler formula, and its most popular titles like The Binding of Isaac, Slay the Spire, and Hades all put on a spin on the genre and are sometimes referred to as "Roguelites" for that reason. Japan continues to regularly produce dungeon crawler RPGs in the modern era.
  • Secret of Mana is considered a cult classic in France, and is ranked high in a lot of lists of people's top RPGs, SNES games, and even all-time video games. There are several reasons for this:
    • This is one of the rare fully French-translated SNES games, which helped a lot of younger players to be invested in the story; the translation is still fondly regarded by fans for his wackiness ("Liévro se fait rosser").
    • The game received a large publicity campaign from Nintendo, and the game was bundled with a full strategy guide.
    • SNES RPGs in general were almost never localized in France, even without a translation! Some of the most highly regarded SNES games of all times like Super Mario RPG, EarthBound (1994), Final Fantasy VI, or Chrono Trigger were never released in Europe at all (until some eventual ports, remakes, or Virtual Console re-releases, but most of the time still not translated).
  • Sweet Home is an obscure Japanese RPG based on the movie of the same name and was almost forgotten. In the US, interest surged after it was discovered to be a huge inspiration for Resident Evil.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Xillia did so well overseas that the sequel's localization was announced about a week later Tales of Zestiria became the first game in the series to get a worldwide release.
    • In its native Japan, Tales of Zestiria suffered from major Hype Backlash. In the West, it sold a ton of copies by JRPG standards on Steam alone (though to be fair, it was helped by the free preorder copies of Tales of Symphonia and the pretty good marketing push for Tales Series standards), and has an overall rating of Very Positive when it comes to Steam user reviews. The character Rose has a lot more love in the West as she is more of a Base-Breaking Character there than in Japan where she is very much hated.
    • Tales of Symphonia was received well in its native Japan, but exploded in the West and basically defined the entire Tales fandom. It remains a beloved Cult Classic. Hell, one of the reasons Zestiria was so damn popular in the West was because Symphonia was included free-of-charge; and this is for a game that was over a dozen years old at the time.
  • Terranigma was way more loved in Germany than back in its native homeland in Japan, to the point where many Germans still view it as the greatest SNES RPG ever made. The German Club Nintendo published a 32-page comic about it.
    One of the main reasons for its popularity in Germany may have to do with the fact that Germans in general are way more tolerant towards Japanese RPGs than any other Western country back then. Most mainstream JRPGs do not sell well at first glance, but very often get both Vindicated by History and obtain a long-lasting appeal. Dragon Quest IX for instance, whilst not seen as that great in Japan, was very well-liked in Germany, and kids will still bring this game up and tell you it's one of their favorite video games ever.
  • The Ultima games became very popular in Japan, and ended up influencing Dragon Quest, forming the foundation for the Eastern RPG subgenre. Polished ports were released exclusive to Japan. There have been Ultima manga loosely based on the Famicom versions.
  • Although well-received at home in America, the dungeon-crawler RPG series Wizardry was huge in Japan, with over 20 Japanese-made ports with dramatically enhanced graphics and original games made, as well as an anime series. Although the Western branch of the series has died off after the poor performance of Wizardry 8 in 2001, the Japanese branch is still going strong, with releases in both the series proper and the de facto spinoff Class of Heroes coming out as recently as 2011 — 2012 for Class of Heroes.
  • Undertale was a well-received game internationally, but it has especially huge followings in South Korea and Japan, gaining a large amount of support from those in the latter country's gaming industry. This led to an official Japanese translation and a Korean fan translation, as well as ports for PlayStation 4 and Play Station Vita and later Nintendo Switch further boosting the game's popularity there. It also received detailed entries in the Pixiv dictionary. And a full orchestral concert in Tokyo.
  • The Xeno metaseries: that is, Xenogears, the Xenosaga games, and the Xenoblade series. While most of these games are critically well-received, even the poor-selling ones gain far more attention in the West than they do in Japan. Xenoblade Chronicles in particular managed to sell more in the United States than in Europe and Japan combined, despite Nintendo of America assuming it would be dead-on-arrival and making it a GameStop exclusive.
  • Gothic was quite well received, but never reached a level of praise and following comparable to the likes of Elder Scrolls. Except in Poland, where it is still considered a huge cult classic, in no small part due to the memorable Polish dubbing.
  • Baldur's Gate and its sequel sold surprisingly well in Poland (much to Bioware's surprise), mostly thanks to excellent dubbing starring several well-recognized actors. Piotr Fronczewski as the narrator became so memetic that the fans demanded his return for the third installment announced in 2020.

    Shooters — First and Third Person 
  • Battle City became extremely popular in many ex-USSR and Asian countries where it was never officially released, mainly due to the fact that every second famiclone got this game on a bundle multicart. The vast majority of hacks of this game come straight from there.
  • Black is one of the most beloved FPS games where the Playstation reigned and thus not as many knew GoldenEye or Halo, such as Southeast Asia and Brazil.
  • Counter-Strike has an enduring popularity in Brazil. It was briefly banned there (along with EverQuest) in 2008, but life, as they say, finds a way, and the ban was lifted the following year. Much of the controversy was due to a mod set in a local slum, "cs_rio", which quickly skyrocketed in Brazilian servers.
    • It's also popular in Russia, to the point that CS:GO spawned the "Cyka Blyat" meme.
  • The Half-Life series is also very popular in Russia, and many game mods come from there. This probably has something to do with Half-Life 2 and its episodes seeming to take place in an Eastern European country that was modeled on Soviet totalitarian atmosphere and its aesthetic. There was even a bootleg Russian bubblegum pack based on the leaked early build of Half-Life 2, before it was officially released!
  • Despite the Xbox and Xbox 360 selling poorly in Japan, the Halo series is quite popular over there. While not insanely popular as it is in the West, it is popular for an Xbox game there. In fact, the Japanese niche gamers who play it have been recognized as some of the most skilled out there. When the team at Bungie Studios had a fan challenge versus a group of dedicated Halo players in Japan, they had to come up with a new word to describe just how badly they lost: Japwned. The popularity of the franchise has since waned, due to the abysmal (even compared to the Xbox and Xbox 360) sales of the Xbox One and the PC version of the Master Chief Collection being overlooked once they're released even with reduced price, with Call of Duty on the PlayStation 4 having since become the shooter of choice amongst Japanese, before Apex Legends in 2019 onwards.
  • Medal of Honor: Rising Sun had a tepid critical reception in the West, which led EA to cancel two planned sequels to it. However, the game sold well and had good reviews in Japan, of all places, most peculiar for a FPS about avenging Pearl Harbor.
  • The Stalker series was originally made by Ukrainian developers for Ukrainian and Russian audiences (and is very well-regarded by them), but it became enormously popular internationally.
  • Left 4 Dead is quite popular in Japan, which is generally credited to its team-based gameplay, arcade style gameplay structure, and linear story progression. In fact, Valve teamed up with Taito to release an arcade version of L4D2 that had online multiplayer support up to July 2017.
  • The Order: 1886 got a following in Brazil, owing to how the price cuts following the commercial underperformance led it to being very affordable.
  • While shooting games were still niche back in the day, the Call of Duty series is the definitive First-Person Shooter of the seventh generation of video games in Japan, owing to the linearity and cinematic experience. It's so popular that it received a dub starting from Modern Warfare 2, and in response to the backlash, in Japan, the game was sold separately in English voice and Japanese voice starting from Black Ops and until Ghosts, when the eighth generation of video games allowed for larger storage for voice files.
  • Battle Royale Games, particularly shooters, are very popular in Japan, reversing the stereotype that "shooters didn't sell well in Japan". In fact, expect at least a Japanese Virtual YouTuber playing at least one such game.
    • Special mention goes to Fortnite where the top Battle Royale players are usually Japanese, with Koreans as the second best players.
    • And Apex Legends, which is the front and center for EA Japan's game of choice to be marketed in Japan.
  • Garena Free Fire, a Battle Royale game made in Vietnam and published by the Singapore-based Garena, has enjoyed massive success in Latin and South America as well as South East Asia, especially Indonesia, usually owing to the low system requirements, although it encountered a massive case of Fandom Rivalry with other games.
  • The Gears of War series is very popular in Mexico, to the point that at least half the people angrily swearing at you online will be doing so in Spanish. Most official esports events are held in Mexico, and Gears 5, which allows you to purchase your country's flag as a banner to display behind your character, conspicuously lacks the real-life Mexican flagnote  and instead has about 4 or 5 different "Mexico" options, all with Gears-inspired designs. So yeah, it's safe to say that Mexicans really like this series.

    Shooters — Scrolling 
  • The arcade shmup Silkworm wasn't particularly popular in Japan and is completely unknown in America, but its home computer ports did well in Europe, enough to inspire an entire European-developed series of Spiritual Successor under the name SWIV.
  • Some Touhou Project characters are subject to this:
    • Clownpiece, the Stars-And-Stripes-wearing fairy is popular in America as Eagle Land personified (despite not being this at all in the game- her boss made her wear the US flag to remind the Lunarians of that one time humans went to the Moon, which pisses them off to no end).
    • Marisa Kirisame is a very popular character among American players, often due to her westerly and witchy outfit. She often gets first place poll after poll. Compare that to Reimu Hakurei, who is Japan's most popular character. Reimu was still well-received by western players, but they don't view her as a "perfect" character.
    • China has this too with Kaguya Houraisan. She even made her way into the top 20 for most popular characters in China.
  • Psikyo's shmup library, especially Strikers 1945, seems notably popular in South Korea. Multiple mobile games based on Psikyo's shmups have been released by different Korean companies, the Psikyo Collection Vol.1 was announced for release in Korea first, and Strikers 1945 in particular would spawn three arcade clones developed by different Korean developers around the turn of the millenium.
  • Despite being unreleased outside Japan, Super Darius 2 is considered a great version of the game by western fans of the series, with praise going for its rocking CD soundtrack, substantial amount of new content and more forgiving gameplay. It thus often becomes a surprise for said fans to learn the games is widely hated in Japan and considered one of the nadir of the series due to complaints such as the Screen Crunch, T's Music arrangements not fitting the spirit of the original compositions, and the new bosses being considered goofy-looking and poorly drawn.

    Survival Horror Games 
  • Korean gamers love Ao Oni if the number of Korean fangames is of any indication.
  • Capcom believes that Americans love Frank West of Dead Rising, so they're putting him in as many games as possible. They're kind of on the money with Frank's internet popularity.
  • Japanese players have a liking to Dead Space in general. Mind you, shooters in general are a niche in Japan, but Dead Space is the one that sticks out amongst the shooters because it was never released in Japan and never had an official translation. Despite this, there are fanwikis dedicated to translating the entire game series and has a widely popular Memetic Mutation in the form of Isaac's helmet for his speech.
  • The Five Nights at Freddy's series is building up a modest following in Japan, with Let's Plays becoming more frequent on Nico Nico Douga. And much like the following Happy Tree Friends has, artists on places like Pixiv tend to draw humanized versions of the animatronics.
    • Not even fan games are immune. One Night at Flumpty's also has a small dedicated following, with crossover art with FNAF being common.
  • The Last of Us, due to the character-based story, became one of the best selling modern Western games in Japan at the time.
  • Good old Barry Burton from Resident Evil. In Japan he's all but forgotten, while in America he's easily one of the most (if not the most) popular characters. His hammy acting, cheesy lines, love of guns, and strong family man values remind Western audiences of lovably cheesy '80s action movie stars. It seems the developers are aware of this, if his over-the-top alternate costume from The Mercenaries 3D is anything to go by. There is also a fantastic Game Mod of the original Resident Evil called Barry's Mod that lets you play as the man himself, complete with full voice acting made by taking clips from his lines in the original game along with remixed puzzles, different item placements, and modified enemy skins and layouts: the West loves him that much.
    • Resident Evil 7 had much lower sales compared to previous titles in the franchise in Japan, in contrast overseas, where sales were the best since Resident Evil 5's release. Disapointing sales domestically might have be due to stricter standards being placed with Japanese ratings, combined with the Bloodier and Gorier levels that even have the Z-rated version (a second M-tier rating by CERO usually reserved for "extreme" violence, extreme as CERO allowed to be though) toned down the more extreme levels of Gorn.
  • The Silent Hill series is more loved overseas than in Japan, so much so that the last four titles have been developed by Western studios and had belated releases in Japan. Understandable, in that the series specifically targeted a Western audience to begin with as well as taking a lot of cues from supernatural horror literature and TV series of the twentieth century.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • The Advance Wars series has a considerably larger fanbase in North America and Europe than in its native Japan. Ironically, all previous entries in the wider Nintendo Wars series were Japan-exclusive. In contrast, Advance Wars onward doesn't have the best history in the region. Game Boy Wars Advance had its release cancelled in favor of the Game Boy Color title Game Boy Wars 3. It did come out as a dual-pack with its sequel three years later, but both the GBA games and the first Nintendo DS game sold poorly enough that the second DS game (Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict) was released five years after the US and Europe versions as a Club Nintendo exclusive reward. Going forward, Nintendo would give the Wars series to Western developers.
  • In Disgaea, Captain Gordon, DEFENDER OF EARTH!! has more of a fanbase in America than in Japan (he has considerably less fanart than Laharl, Etna, Flonne, Mid Boss, etc.). This might be because Americans relate to the Affectionate Parody better, which also makes him a case of Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales. Sapphire from Disgaea 3 is also more popular in America. See Americans Hate Tingle for characters that are less popular in America than in Japan.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Russia seems to be very fond of classic turn-based strategy games, further reinforcing the stereotype of Russians being good at chess. Among the favorites are Civilization, XCOM, and Jagged Alliance, but most importantly, Heroes of Might and Magic, specifically the third part (widely believed to be the best in the series by many, Russian or not). Go ahead, just try to find a gamer that won't play a multiplayer match or two of "Troika" with you.
    • Also, that's a reason that the Moscow-based Nival Interactive's been trusted with making HoMM V. Russian fans wouldn't have forgiven them for doing badly, and, for the most part, it paid off.
  • Civilization is loved in Poland as well, to the point that it can be difficult to find a video guide on Youtube that isn't narrated by someone with a Polish accent. It's the reason why Civ V and VI included a Poland civilization. Interesting, for their part, many Poles who rate favorite Civs do disqualify listing Poland as their favorite civ to play, to avoid bias (Poland tends to see reliable use as it's a good Jack of all Stats and can reliably build to any victory condition).

    Visual Novels 
  • Visual Novels are finally finding their audience in the West in The New '10s, where before they've had a small but devoted following among Occidental Otaku relying on Fan Translations. Katawa Shoujo, although a Western-developed game, has been credited with sparking interest in the genre outside of Japan, but the official English release of CLANNAD was the top-selling new release on Steam, outselling hugely popular games like Fallout 4. It helps that CLANNAD already had a popular anime adaptation and thus a ready-made Western audience. There have been more official English ports of major VNs such of Steins;Gate and The Fruit of Grisaia, as well as other VNs mentioned below.
  • Ace Attorney is originally Japanese, and the characters have Japanese names as such. However, it got very popular in the English-speaking community due to its Woolseyism-filled translation, as the character names are usually Punny Names that are very carefully retained in the English version. Along with this went a shift from it taking place in Japan to California, which led to some memes that only made it so that more people discovered the game.
  • Kent from Amnesia: Memories is one of the game's least popular love interests in its home country of Japan and got the least amount of focus in the anime adaptation, but he's the most popular one in the Western fandom with a lot of its fans finding his social awkwardness endearing and viewing him as the love interest who treats the protagonist the most decently. Multiple Western otome review blogs have even gone so far as to call him the saving grace of the game for them! Toma, meanwhile, suffers from the reverse fate.
  • The Otome Game Code:Realize sold twice as many copies in the states than it did in its native Japan. Especially impressive since it was Play Station Vita exclusive, since the platform was a flop outside of Japan.
  • Danganronpa:
    • While they're not hated, Big Guy/Gentle Giant characters (like Sakura, Nekomaru and Gonta) tends to be ranked poorly in Japanese popularity pools, but are all well beloved by the western fanbase.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: The difference between the Reddit Western and official eastern popularity pools will show that there was a very different reception to certain characters.
      • Kaito is by far the biggest one, scoring a measly 11th place in Japan among the students, he sky rocketed to fourth place in the west due to his Awesome Ego and playing as the team's emotional center. This may be partially due to how the localization also removed some of his more politically incorrect comments that he made in the Japanese version.
      • Ryoma isn't very popular with the Japanese fandom, scoring 15th place, losing even to Korekiyo and Angie. In the west, he gotten a better reception for being a character with a Non-Standard Character Design that is not a pervert unlike Teruteru and Hifumi and not entirely written Out of Focus in comparison to Daisaku Bandai. Fans also like him for tear-jerking story arc and his surprising badassery.
  • Little Busters!: Kurugaya, the game's resident Action Girl Cool Big Sis, tends to be extremely popular among Western and Latin American audiences, especially female fans, compared to Japan where she's more of a fringe favourite for fans of older women over Moe. Also, while Kyousuke/Komari is one of the most popular non-canon pairings in Japan, it's almost unheard of among English speakers who tend to prefer them in yaoi/yuri relationships with Riki and Rin respectively, while among Western audiences Kurugaya/Riki seems to be much more popular than in Japan.
  • True Love Junai Monogatari was one of the less popular offerings of the undistinguished H-Game publisher Software House Parsley in its home country of Japan. It's better known in its English translation, since it was one of the first Dating Sims to receive one.
  • Kinzo Ushiromiya of Umineko: When They Cry isn't all that popular in Japan (according to the character polls), but, thanks to massive Memetic Mutation (helped along by "OH DESIRE") in America, he's become pretty popular in the States.
  • The Zero Escape series sold far better in the West than in its homeland. This delayed the third game's development, as Spike Chunsoft felt that the Japanese sales were not good enough to justify funding it.

  • While Pac-Man was quite popular in its home, Japan, in the West it became a cultural phenomenon and the video game icon we know today. Pac-Man's Universe expanded thanks to Midway's unauthorised clones of original video games, like Ms. Pac-Man.
  • While Fruit Ninja was developed in Australia, it became one of the most popular iOS games in China and the United States.
  • Cooking Mama is one of the most iconic games of the DS/Wii generation around the world... except its home country of Japan. Japanese people were confused at its massive overseas popularity.
  • For a downplayed example, Fortune Street Wii was loathed by many Japanese players that were fans of other games in the series. But when it was localized to America as Fortune Street (Boom Street in Europe and Australia), it was better received, mostly since it was the first in the series to get released outside of Japan.
  • Katamari Damacy was a sleeper hit in the United States, but it was moderately popular in its native Japan.
  • Onmyōji is developed by a Chinese studio but maintains a steady Japanese fanbase, enough to spawn two musical adaptations there, a radio show and even a themed cafe service in a Tokyo cafe. It may be chalked up to the fact the game is about Japan and stars an All-Star Cast of big-name anime voice actors.
  • Games created by Level-5 are huge in Europe. The Professor Layton series, for example, can often be found in the top-10 selling games on websites like Amazon whenever a new game is released, and Inazuma Eleven was one of Disney XD's highest-rated shows outside of their originals despite its treatment and was also a major seller in the United States. On top of that, Yo Kai Watch also sold well in Europe, making the #1 game in the charts for France for several weeks, in contrast to its North American sales.
  • Yandere Simulator is a currently-still-in-alpha stealth game about a shy crazy girl who must do away with rivals to her crush's love. The developer is American and all text/dialogue is in English, so naturally, most YouTube videos showing off the game are in... Spanish and Portuguese. In fact, the most-viewed YanSim video is in Spanish. Evidently, the game is extremely popular amongst Mexican and Brazilian Let's Players.
    • In September 2015, YandereDev released Analytic information for his own blog that showed Americans making up by far the largest share of traffic, but also a lot of activity from Brazil (#2), Mexico (#3), and France (#4).
  • It's rare to have a Brazilian character in fiction, much less in video games, but when it happens, Brazilian gamers usually share their love with it. Examples are Tekken capoeira fighters (Katarina from Tekken 7 hasn't reached the same level of popularity, despite being Brazilian), and Carlos Oliveira from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, who Word Of God says is Brazilian.
  • Filipinos, aside from their following of League of Legends, are also fond of Tekken, Counter-Strike and Pokémon. In fact, the popularity of Tekken resulted in Tekken 7 introducing Josie Rizal, a Filipina fighter.
  • KanColle, a game largely about anthropomorphised Imperial Japanese Navy ships, were surprisingly popular in China and Southeast Asia, regions that were historically conquered by Imperial Japan and are therefore the last places any student of history would expect such a thing to be welcomed in. Though to be fair, the popularity can be chalked up in part to the fact that a lot of the ships featured in the game have sunk in and around the waters of the western Pacific.
    • As for the ships themselves, USS Iowa, the first Allied ship and the first American ship to be added to the series, is unsurprisingly popular among American fans; this is partly because she is appearance-wise the Quintessential American stereotype, and partly because she is one of the very few ships afloat to this day.
  • In Mexico, Angry Birds was so popular that they actually collaborated with their equivalent of pogs (Vuela Tazos) in 2012.
  • While Japan and North America certainly like it plenty, Latin America absolutely loves the Metal Slug series. Just look up any video about the game, be it levels, bosses or the soundtrack, you will find at least half the comments are in Spanish.
  • Considering how girl groups (and boy bands) are Serious Business in the country, it's no surprise The iDOLM@STER has a huge South Korean following. Several games in the series received official Korean localizations when the series is normally No Export for You for most territories (other than a well done English Fan Translation for a PSP game for the franchise), the Korean version of THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls had exclusive idols for the Korean market and there was even a live action television Korean drama adaptation.
  • Slay the Spire initially had a weak start when it was first released in Early Access, and it wasn't until it received attention in China when the game started to pick up in popularity. As a matter of fact, as of March 2019, of the 1.5 million copies sold, 43% of those sales were from China, with 59% of all sales being from non-English countries.
  • Super Monkey Ball is far more successful in the West than its native Japan. The original game only sold 72k in Japan and its sequels would do truly miserable numbers in the country, while it was one of Sega's best-selling Gamecube title in America. Series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi would note the discrepancy in an interview.
    "Because it was for Nintendo hardware, I focused on an all-ages idea rather than a genre title… I gave it 100% but if flopped in Japan, so when it blew up overseas I didn't know why; the president said 'you were aiming at overseas all along!' & I was like 'uh, sure'."
  • Story of Seasons is known in its native Japan but also has a large following in both America and Indonesia. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature was especially popular in Indonesia.
  • While Hideo Kojima games has a lot of fanbase worldwide, they are exceptionally popular in Russia, possibly owing to the Gray-and-Gray Morality ubiquitous in his games as well as deep plot unlike most other action themed games where Russia is often the villain as well as shallow plot. Kojima's Instagram is flooded with Russian comments (usually uttering some variation of "Kojima is a genius". Him visiting Russian game expo Igromir in 2019 made a huge fuss in the Russian media, to the point where Kojima appeared on the tremendously popular late night talk show Evening Urgant.
  • While football (soccer) video games are more popular in regions where the sport is more fervently followed (Europe, Latin America, Middle East) and the FIFA x PES rivalry runs deep in those regions, there is one game from the '90s which is very fondly remembered in South America: PES's spiritual predecessor International Superstar Soccer, especially its Deluxe update, released for the SNES in late 1995note . They have mod communities dedicated to the game, and a series of game hacks made in Peru around that time (yes, written into cartridges and everything) was a hit alongside the real thing. Brazilians even fondly remember one of the strikers of their national team, Allejo, as one of the greatest Brazilian athletes that never existed in real life.
  • The farming sim Hay Day seems to be very popular in Brazil, judging by the number of players' farms that have "Fazenda" (a Brazilian farm or plantation) in their name.
  • The Buzz! quiz games for PlayStation 2 and 3, originally made in the United Kingdom, were a big phenomenon in Norway, with households buying PlayStation 2 just to play Buzz! (and the karaoke franchise Singstar), and saw many adults play console games for the first time in their lives. Key reasons were that the controls were very easy to understand, to the point they didn't even have a pause button, and how the characters were considered comical and relatable in the first few installments.
  • Gravity Defied, an otherwise obscure motorcycle trial game for J 2 ME-supported dumbphones, was a massive phenomenon in Russia and other ex-USSR countries during the 2000s, with multiple unofficial fan-ports, elaborate journalist write-ups. as well as still existing modding community. Aside of being a surprisingly compelling title for its time and technology, the game ran well on any mobile phone, required only 66kb of memory (in a time where having 2-4MB of internal phone storage was the norm), and could be easily modded without special tools - all of which allowed it to spread through word of mouth and become a cult classic among bored students of Eastern Europe.
  • One Brazilian gaming Youtuber did two videos on this, 5 games only popular in Brazil (along with the above mentioned Top Gear, Black, Jackie Chan Stuntmaster and Garena Free Fire, there was Def Jam: Fight for NY, which became popular mostly for its gameplay as few of the rappers are household names in the country), and 5 bad games only Brazil likes (Free Fire again, and along with the above mentioned The Order: 1886, Devil May Cry 2 and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, who the author claims to have seen a fair share of defenders, and 50 Cent Bulletproof, which given only its sequel has a page here, is deemed as a simple bad licensed game everywhere else).

In-Universe Examples

  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Usually, Luigi is living in the shadow of his extremely famous brother Mario in the Mushroom Kingdom, but in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, it is shown that in Rogueport it seems to be the other way around. Due to a very high-selling book about Luigi, he is far more well-known than his brother.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story suggests that Brocksnote  love Bowser. Broque Monsieur dislikes the Mario Bros. for their block-smashing ways, but accepts help from, aids and routinely deals with Bowser at his shop. Madame is friendly with but dismissive of the brothers, but her vivid description of the perfect romantic interest describes some of Bowser's earlier actions, and he winds up giving her many massages. With help. However, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team reveals this is a subversion, as only Broque Monsieur hates them for their block-smashing waysnote  - the other Brocks, Broque Madame included, hold the same opinion towards the Mario Brothers and Bowser as any other race and have neutral feelings towards them at worse.
  • In one episode of Telltale's Sam & Max: Freelance Police series of episodic games our heroes are cast as the stars of a TV show called Midtown Cowboys, which in a later episode proves to be insanely popular in Germany despite being cancelled right after the first episode in the U.S.
  • In Ace Attorney Investigations, it turns out that the Steel Samurai is incredibly popular in Allebahst while the Jammin' Ninja is very popular in Babahl. Fitting, since the two TV shows have a Fandom Rivalry and are in direct competition with each other, while the two countries are bitter enemies. It's possible that whichever country picked their favourite show second simply picked the opposite show out of spite.
  • Any downloadable content in Rock Band becomes this in Solo Career mode, due to all the DLC being played in the Japanese venue. Humorous when you download a lot of songs by a particular band.
  • In Mortal Kombat, one of Johnny Cage's earlier movies flopped in America. However, that same movie was very popular in France to the point of becoming a Cult Classic. Its name? Ninja Mime.
  • Fallout 4 has Nuka Cherry. Apparently, Cherry Nuka-Cola proved to be a hit in the Commonwealth before and after the Great War, even though the product itself was a major marketing failure everywhere else in America. This is in reference to the real life marketing disaster of New Coke whose new formula alienated the Coca-Cola fanbase and demanded that the company switch back to its original recipe, to which the company eventually did.
  • In Overwatch, the German Reinhardt is, of course, a big fan of Hasselhoff's music. He often gets into arguments with walking (er, skating) Jet Set Radio reference Lúcio, as both dislike the other's taste in music.
  • Shadowrun Returns: In Dragonfall it is stated that your somewhat aged shaman Dietrich was the front man and singer of a Berlin-based punk band called MESSERKAMPF! twenty years earlier. In Hong Kong it turns out that MESSERKAMPF! is huge in the Japanese Imperial State, to the point of being mainstream, in spite of not having existed for twenty years.
  • Genshin Impact: Xingqiu once authored a martial arts novel called "A Legend of Sword" based on his own experiences. While it flopped in Liyue, it became incredibly popular in Inazuma and Fontaine, to the point where local Inazuma writers even tried to copy off its success. Albedo's story entry gives an explanation: while he is already a good artist, he saw illustrations from Inazuma and thought they have such "narrative power", so he collaborated with Xingqiu to be the latter's novel's illustrator. Liyue lambasted the novel as "a dictionary with divine illustrations” but given that Inazuma's style of drawing inspired Albedo, it is no surprise that the novel attracted an Inazuman merchant, allowing it to become popular in that country.