Video games are not all public domain. The developers are out to make money, and some have done quite handsomely through the years. If you have ever wonder what games have sold the most since the genre first became popularized back in the 1980s, here is a list of the 20 best selling video games that you might be interested in knowing about.
20. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Released in 2010 - 26,200,000 Units Sold
Activision developed the Call of Duty franchise, and it was a most successful one. This game has soldiers being thrust right into the middle of enemy territory just prior to an InfoWar developing that would morph all of the conspiracy theories circulating around the world. This game sold over 26 million copies on its own. It is a game that was popularized because of its multiplayer mode. It can also be played on a variety of different platforms, broadening its appeal even more.
19. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Released in 2011 - 26,500,000 Units Sold
It should come as no surprise that another Call of Duty makes this list as well. Modern Warfare 3 is a game that has a lot of shooting taking place as the mission is carried. This game, like other Call of Duty games, is available to be played on multiple platforms. This means that even more people were able to buy it and play on their favorite devices. This resulted in more than 26 million copies being sold.
18. Grand Theft Auto: Andreas - Released in 2004 - 27,500,000 Units Sold
If you like road racing games, then chances are that you have played this one a time or two. Grand Theft Auto Andreas was first released into the market back in 2004 and has sold well over 27 million copies. This is a chaotic racing game that really keeps racers on their toes. Because of this, it is reviewed as one of the most fun and entertaining games developed in the Grand Theft Auto series, which probably explains why it is the best selling. Over the years, the game was made available on multiple gaming platforms.
17. Wii Play - Released in 2006 - 28,020,000 Units Sold
When the Wii first game out, this was one of the most popular games that came out. Many of the critics will point out that this game is on this list only because a free remote for the gaming system was included with it. In fact, this was the easiest and cheapest way to get the remote at the time, which is why more than 28 million copies of the game were sold.
16. Duck Hunt - Released in 1984 - 28,300,000 Units Sold
Many readers were probably not even alive when Duck Hunt came out, but it continues to amaze fans of computer games young and old. It has sold more than 28 million copies and it is rather iconic, to say the least. The graphics might not be like they are today, but the premise of the game was revolutionary for the time. It was a simple game and was often sold directly with the Nintendo Entertainment System, along with Super Mario Bros.
15. Pokemon Gold, Silver and Crystal - Released in 1999 - 29,490,000 Units Sold
If you are wondering what is with the multiple titles here at #15, it is because Pokemon games were typically released in bunches. That is the case with these three. Each game featured a different Pokemon character. These were not quite as popular as the earlier series, but they still sold almost 30 million copies. That is nothing to sneeze at.
14. Diablo III and Reaper of Souls- Released in 2012 - 30,000,000 Units Sold
Here is the first Diablo game to hit the market, at the time, in more than ten years. Its release was so highly anticipated that it sold more than 3.5 million copies on day one. This is a game that features a great deal of hacking and slashing, so it is definitely not for the faint of heart. This is a controversial game in that some long time fans of Diablo absolutely hate it, while others love it. Go figure. The bottom line is that is sold roughly 30 million copies.
13. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Released in 2011 - 30,000,000 Units Sold
Another game that has sold more than 30 million copies since its release in 2011 is the Elder Scrolls. This is the fifth version of a wildly popular game. Since this is not a Nintendo game, you would find that it is the fifth most sold PC game of all time if you take that maker out of the mix. That is quite impressive. This game is available to be played on virtually every platform ever created in the last decade, in addition to the personal computer. This is a role playing game with quite an international following.
12. New Super Mario Bros for Wii - Released in 2009 - 30,220,000 Units Sold
This updated version of Super Mario Bros was produced just for the Wii and released back in 2009. It was wildly popular and has sold more than 30 million copies. Nintendo has milked just about everything they can out of Mario, which is evident by how many times this character alone appears on this list. This game would actually sell much better than Super Mario Galaxy, which was released twelve months prior to this one coming to the Wii.
11. New Super Mario Bros. - Released in 2006 - 30,800,000 Units Sold
Released back in 2006, the New Super Mario Bros was obviously an instant hit. It is a remake of the game that pretty much put Nintendo on the map, and it came out three years earlier than the version that would be designed just for the Wii. It has continued to be the best selling game on the DS handheld device, which is popular around the world.
10. Wii Sports Resort - Released in 2009 - 33,090,000 Units Sold
This is a fun game that certainly made good use of the Wii gaming platform. It was released back in 2009 and, like most anything at that time with Wii in its name, it sold extremely well right out of the game. This particular game was the sequel to another Wii Sports game that had long been popular. It also came as a part of a bundle with the WiiMotionPlus controller and was later even bundled with the Wii unit itself.
9. Mario Kart Wii - Released in 2008 - 37,140,000 Units Sold
This version of the game would become the best selling version of Mario Kart ever put on the market. Ironically, it is not the most popular such game, nor does it come with the best reviews. It all comes down to the power of Wii and what that platform can do for virtually any video game. This game was released in 2008 and ended up selling more than 37 million copies.
8. Super Mario Bros. - Released in 1985 - 43,170,000 Units Sold
We go way back in time to talk about the 8th most sold PC game of all time. That honor goes to Super Mario Bros. It is amazing to consider how popular this simple game was. The Nintendo Entertainment system popularized the game and it was the one game that just about everyone had to have in the 80s. There have been multiple versions of this one produced through the years, but this one remains the most popular.
7. Wii Fit - Released in 2007 - 43,800,000 Units Sold
This release ushered in a new element of video game playing. This one had you getting fit at the same time that you played a game. They were sold together with a Wii Balance Bard, and this helped to pad the numbers. It was wildly popular and still is. People enjoyed the different nature of the game and the various elements of physical activity that it brought to the table. This is why just under 44 million copies have been sold since its release in 2007.
6. Pokemon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow - Released in 1996 - 47,520,000 Units Sold
This is the first wildly popular version of Pokemon and it was sold as a bundle of four games. It is a role playing game that many found to be a bit confusing at first, but this was because they were so different. The Red and Green games were straight from the original Pokemon games developed in Japan. These were commonly played on the Game Boy and Game Boy Color handheld devices.
5. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds - Released in 2007 - 50,000 Units Sold
This is the newest game on this list, yet it has already risen to number five on the all-time best seller list. That is rather impressive if you think about it. The reason this one has been so successful is largely attributed to Twitch and a number of other streaming platforms that have been popularized in recent years.
4. Wii Sport - Released in 2006 - 82,860,000 Units Sold
Released in 2006, Wii Sport became so popular because it was actually many games in one. Bowling and tennis were the most popular ones and they could be played for hours upon hours. This was an entirely new revolution in video games and it sold big-time before finally slowing down. With almost 83 million copies sold, it is rather impressive no matter how you look at it.
3. Grand Theft Auto V - Released in 2014 - 100,000,000 Units Sold
Grand Theft Auto has an incredibly loyal following, which explains how it sold 100 million copies. It has a number of critics because the game can be quite tedious and the controls are not very good, but you can’t argue with the people who buy and play it for hours upon hours at a time. This version made one billion dollars in just its first three days on the market back in 2014.
2. Minecraft - Released in 2011 - 154,000,000 Units Sold
It seems like just about everyone on the face of the planet has heard of Minecraft. It was released back in 2011 and changed the way many people look at video games. It was a game that appealed more to middle aged adults than anyone, and this market responded to the tune of buying more than 150 million copies.
1. Tetris - Released in 1984 - 170,000,000 Units Sold
Tetris is another game that has been popular for decades. The original version dates back to 1984. It has sold more than 170 million copies, easily putting it into the first spot on this list of the top selling video games of all time.
So, that’s the list. These games will likely continue to sell, perhaps adding to their already massive totals. Time will tell, so keep checking back to see what new games are potentially added in the future.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee