While our experts here at Online Pokies Pro certainly don’t shy away from difficult questions, this one is a particular doozy. With so many pokies games out there, and so many parameters to measure, determining the top 10 most played pokies in the world is no simple task. And then matching them up or against the top 10 most played pokies in Australia? Wow! Who can determine that?
Plus, online gambling and particularly pokies are such a dynamic lot, that their popularity is subject to change on a near hourly basis. For example, a new game can be added and hit the casinos with a bang, making it an instant, although possibly passing phenomenon. Another game may be in promotional swings, like one with a seasonal Christmas pokies theme, so if we were doing this assessment in December the results would be different. You get the drift.
All that being said, and even with all these considerations in mind, several games stand the test of time and stand out from the rest. So let’s begin our list of the 10 most popular pokies in the world vs. the most popular pokies in Australia.
The top 10 pokies in the world
Since we’re going to go about this systematically, let’s start with what are often considered the most popular pokies in the world.
1. Mega Moolah (Microgaming)
If you think progressive online pokies, the first name that likely comes to mind is that of the Mega Moolah progressive pokies game. This legendary virtual machine from Microgaming is not only the biggest paying online pokies around, but it is also considered to be one of the most played pokies in the world, ever. Which makes sense with multi-million dollar jackpots always on the line here. In fact, just about every month if not more, someone around the globe is made an instant millionaire courtesy of the Mega Moolah game. Equally good? If you want to take a break from the jungle action theme, you can vie for the same great prizes on its sister slot. That, of course, is the almost as popular Mega Moolah ISIS game, which comes complete with an attractive Egyptian theme.
2. Starburst (NetEnt)
It’s a bit of a toss-up which is more popular, between Starburst and Mega Moolah. So you’d be right as well to say we mixed it up, and should have ranked them in reverse. Either way, ranking number two overall in the exceptionally competitive space of online pokies is an extremely impressive feat. And the developers at NetEnt should be proud of having created the enduring pokies phenomenon known as Starburst. While Starburst is not the fanciest of games, it turns out there is something inherently captivating in its brightly coloured gemstones, and all that glitter and shine. The futuristic music in the background also helps, as do the expanding wild and Win Both Ways features. Bottom line, Starburst, with its simple play and 96.1% RTP has long been a fan favourite the world over, and we certainly get why.
3. Gonzo’s Quest (NetEnt)
As one of the most popular casino software developers in the world, it’s no wonder NetEnt makes multiple showings on our top ten pokies list. After all, it’s in large part the software team’s exceptional gaming ingenuity that has earned NetEnt such ongoing accolades over time. And so here it is again, this time with its international pokies hit, Gonzo’s Quest. Do a search for yourself and you’ll quickly see, in all the best of slots lists, Gonzo’s Quest always ranks really high. While this game’s features were more of a novelty back in the day (when it was released in 2011), Gonzo’s Quest’s fantastic graphics are still impressive enough to grab us in every time. And once we’re there, the action-adventure keeps us glued to the screen, as we join Gonzo the Spanish explorer on his epic quest in the lust of gold through the jungles.
4. Immortal Romance (Microgaming)
Whether in the US or Transylvania itself, vampires always make for a popular theme. And so it is that Immortal Romance pokies are a fan favourite the world over, year in and year out. True, when Immortal Romance was released in 2011 the global vampire rage was in full force with films like Twilight and TV shows like The Vampire Diaries and True Blood in their heyday. But the lust lives on, and so does players’ love of this “romantic” theme – which is why Immortal Romance continues to make for such a popular pokies choice. Plus, it’s got great game play with multiple bonus rounds, free spins, multipliers and the Wild Desire feature which is not to be missed.
5. Mega Fortune (NetEnt)
And yep, we’re back to a NetEnt game once again. But what can we say? There’s not much arguing with the facts. And those include stats that show that Mega Fortune progressive pokies are a very frequently played game. Sounds a bit confusing, with Microgaming’s Mega Moolah also ranked before, but each has its place, hard-earned and well deserved. In Mega Fortune’s case, one of the biggest pulls potentially is its relatively high RTP, which is generally listed at a rather fine 96.4%. Even more appealing perhaps is the game’s nickname, often referred to as a “millionaire-making machine” with its three massive jackpots, and glitzy, glamorous style. By the way, if you like this game and want a twist, there’s also the Mega Fortune Dreams game from NetEnt, with a similar spin.
6. Megabucks (IGT)
Since this list is technically a most played pokies in the world list, and not necessarily online, we’ve made room here in the middle for the ultimate land-based pokies machine. And that is the progressive Megabucks machine from IGT. While it’s found throughout the state of Nevada (think Las Vegas and the USA), Megabucks overwhelming popularity there alone makes it probably the most popular land-based pokies game in the world. Having first made its debut back in 1986, it’s been hard at work, awarding lucky winners with life-changing jackpots ever since. Reset with $10 million each time (yes you read that right), it’s really no wonder what’s the appeal.
7. DC Comics Superhero pokies series (Playtech)
While Beach Life used to be Playtech’s progressive powerhouse, thanks to plenty of promotions and the impressive jackpots, the DC Comics superhero series now seems to have surpassed it. Originally, meant as a stand-in for the developer’s former Marvel series, these games feature action courtesy of different DC Comic heroes. They’ve become so popular in their own right who even remembers those Spidey days? The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Superman II, Superman the Movie, Batman and the Riddler Riches – the list of fun titles goes on and on. And so does the size of the jackpot until one lucky player comes along and wins it all. At the end of the day, while the DC Comics series is not exactly one pokies game, it does share a networked prize. So in some ways, you might say it is.
8. Game of Thrones (Microgaming)
Although it’s now officially concluded, Game of Thrones was one of the most-watched television shows the world over for many years. And many people continue to binge-watch it to this day. As such, when Microgaming came out with a video pokies version of this programme, it is no wonder it quickly reached legendary levels of play in online casinos wherever it was found. Now that the show is off the air, only time will tell if Game of Thrones pokies will continue to be so frequently played. Our guess is yes. Just like other pop culture icons like King Kong, Gladiator, Elvis, and Superman (to name a random few) never go out of style, we’re guessing the appeal of Game of Thrones will be long-lived.
9. Book of Ra (Novomatic)
It’s a bit of a coin toss here which is more popular – the original Book of Ra that Novomatic released, or its follow-up game, Book of Ra Supreme. What is clear is that Australians and global gamblers alike love Egyptian themed games, and this power duo is one of their top picks for play.
10. Dead or Alive (Microgaming)
Again, this one is up for debate – whether Microgaming’s original Dead or Alive game or its successor Dead or Alive 2 is the more popular of the lot. As the lingo of the game itself might say, it’s more or less a draw. That is, both seem to be smoking up the screens around the world, including here in Australia. Once again it goes to show that a classic theme, when done well, will pretty much always work with players.
The top 10 pokies in Australia
The pokies games that we just mentioned are amongst the most played in the world. Here in Australia we mostly follow suit. Which makes sense, since popular pokies tend to have mass appeal. Beyond those games we specifically called out, however, we can tell you that there are a few distinctions in regards to local tastes.
For example, as we’ve noted before, Australians tend to really love a number of particular themes. These include Egyptian themed pokies, African themed pokies, gold-themed pokies, superhero pokies, cartoon pokies, and more. If this list sounds a bit like the umbrella categories above, that’s because certain themes, simply put, have universal appeal. So, all in all, we’d say, the top 10 above are a good indicator for Australians as well.
What makes a pokies game popular?
As for what makes a pokies game popular, there are a few elements for creating a winning recipe. For example, as we’ve already covered, the game generally needs to have a theme with a massive, intrinsic appeal. But the theme alone is not enough. Lord knows how many Egyptian games are out there – and most of them you’ve likely never heard of.
So what else a popular pokies game needs is good animation and sound effects, smooth game play, and clear instructions (so you know how and when you win) on the mechanical side. In terms of winnings, today’s players tend to want to see a nice array of features mixed in. These can be free spins, bonus rounds, multipliers, and the likes. If they’re delivered entertainingly, all the better. In addition, there are the basics of payout. That is a decent RTP and prize potential have strong allure as well – though surprisingly the actual game play tends to be the definitive factor.
A few general tips on finding the best games
The best pokies to play, at the end of the day, are the ones you enjoy playing. Sounds simple right? And it is. Playing pokies is a matter of personal choice, so let your tastes and interests guide you. As long as you’re playing at a reputable online casino, the rest doesn’t particularly matter.
That being said, you can do a few things to extend your joy. For example, play in practice or free play mode when you’re just looking to have a little fun, rather than racing to constantly place real money wagers. If you want to make your dollar go further, look for free spin offers or match deposit bonuses, which can help you out on that front as well.
Also, always make sure to bet wisely. This means placing stakes that are within your budget and disperse your funds in a manner that makes sense accordingly. Similarly, there’s no such thing as a loose machine. So, shake things up and play around. It’s always unknown where the next win lies, thanks to each game’s RNG. And finally, keep in mind, pokies are meant to be fun. While winning cash is always great, this is not instead of a job. Any winnings in other word are essentially gravy (or icing, however you prefer to see it). The point is, while a big windfall is a possibility, a good time reigns supreme.
The bottom line is that many online pokies will come and go over time. The key to longevity is for casino developers to find that magical mix that helps them hold their allure – like the top ten pokies that appeal to both Australians and players the world over. These games have held their positions for a few years now, and it’s a good bet, they will probably still be ranked as popular pokies many years from now.