Despite launching relatively late in the year, Mario Kart Tour was the biggest game on the iPhone in 2019. Today, Apple revealed its top charts for the year, and the free-to-play version of Mario Kart, which debuted in September, topped the free game charts. Nintendo’s offering beat out strong competition from Call of Duty: Mobile and Fortnite. Apple didn’t reveal any specific download numbers (though we already know that Call of Duty was downloaded an estimated 100 million times during its first week, across both iOS and Android), but even still, the charts provide a window into the tastes of App Store users.
Here are the complete charts for games across both the iPhone and iPad:
Aside from the breakout success of Mario Kart, there aren’t a lot of surprises. The free charts are filled with unheralded time wasters and big-name titles like Call of Duty, as per usual, while Minecraft continues to dominate the paid mobile game space. With the exception of Stardew Valley, premium indie games are also generally absent from the paid charts, which could be a byproduct of the launch of the Apple Arcade subscription service.
The news does represent something of a change in fortune for Nintendo’s mobile efforts. The company made a big splash with the launch of Super Mario Run in 2016, but a year later the company said that, despite 200 million downloads, the game didn’t reach an “acceptable profit point.” Since then, the Kyoto company has shifted to more aggressive free-to-play mechanics with titles like Fire Emblem, Dragalia Lost, and Animal Crossing, culminating in the blockbuster success of Mario Kart Tour this year.