Skip to main content

Things We Saw Today: Which Video Game Character Is the Wealthiest Of All Time?

1 coin equals HOW much?!

Promo image of New Super Mario Bros 2

From coins to rings, to rupees and bells and beyond, video games often have us collecting currency in order to buy necessary upgrades or stay alive. Many a land will just have cash lying around for you to collect, or the cash will be easily accessible if you break a pot or two.

This has led some to wonder, “Who is the wealthiest video game character?”

Of course, my mind immediately went to the likes of bounty hunters, mercenaries for hire, or characters who ruled over entire kingdoms. The folks over at NetCredit had a somewhat different perspective, one that included characters I never would’ve thought of, and one that used real-world exchange rate practices to figure out whose bank account could survive a loan hit, or two, or ten, from Tom Nook.

We made a list of popular video game characters. Then we summed the currency caps for all games in a franchise in which the respective character is the main protagonist. For The Witcher 3, we used the original currency cap before a programming bug increased it immeasurably. We then converted the total amount of fictional wealth earned over a character’s video game career to U.S. dollars by determining the exchange rate, which we did by finding the in-game value of a real-world item and comparing it to the real-world cost. We sourced data on currency caps and the price of goods from discussion boards and community platforms such as FandomGameFAQsBulbagardenIGN and NintendoSoup. – Barbara Davidson for NetCredit.

So, who’s the wealthiest character of all time? According to NetCredit, it’s none other than the hero of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario!

The list of wealthiest video game characters

You can check out their conversion rates here:

Video Game Currency rates

I always find it fascinating when real-world logic is applied to video games. In this case, we find out that Mario is the wealthiest because one coin is equivalent to about, get this, 80 thousand dollars! How did NetCredit get to that number? Well, they looked at the insurance industry, after all, 100 coins get you an extra life, right? According to their research, the insurance industry values a human life at around 8 million dollars, and considering how many coins you can collect throughout the Mario franchise, they have dubbed him the wealthiest of them all.

I can’t exactly blame them, after all, Mario’s had moments like this:

And games with coin counters that you can max out to outrageous amounts:

According to Davidson, “Mario generally earns several thousand gold coins per game. In New Super Mario Bros. 2, however, the currency cap is nearly 10 million gold coins — accounting for a bulk of the plumber’s total wealth.”

This, unsurprisingly, makes New Super Mario Bros. 2 the most valuable game in the Mario franchise. That feels especially true since earning that many gold coins is done purely for bragging rights, you don’t even get anything when you max out the counter except a message telling you that you’re THAT good.

Not to mention that there is, legit, a gold Mario that collects EVEN MORE COINS via attacking enemies.

Here’s a list of which titles are the most valuable for the top 12 characters list:

Most Valuable Games for Characters

Do you agree that Mario is the wealthiest character to add to your “friend who treats us all to pizza” party?

(Image: Nintendo)

Here are some other things we saw today:

  • Unsurprisingly, Chick-Fil-A continues to be the worst toward the queer community, their profits being used to push anti-trans state laws. Please obtain waffle fries elsewhere. (Via LGBTQ Nation)
  • Calm app stands in solidarity with Naomi Osaka by donating $15,000 (the amount she was fined) to Laureus, a mental health organization in France. They have also pledged to pay the fine of any players opting out of playing in the 2021 Grand Slam.
  • Netflix has shared details for its first Geeked Week. (Via
  • Oh, so the Joe Exotic series is real, huh? And it just added Dennis Quaid? (Via Variety)
  • Jupiter’s Legacy Netflix series has been canceled and won’t be getting a season 2. (Via

Anything we missed out there today? Let us know what you saw in the comments below!

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site

 —The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)