Video games are a very profitable industry. As it turns out, many people are willing to pay a lot of money to press small buttons. But only a select few button-pushing facilitators can claim to have made a file bone money. And only a select few can claim to be really good.
High sales don’t always translate to high quality. It’s no secret — there’s a reason why the fantastic folks at the British Film Institute didn’t hit the box office in a Sight & Sound poll (like Avengers: Endgamebut it does not stand side by side with 2001: A Space Odyssey). However, the top 10 best-selling games in history have turned so many copies, and there must be a reason they’ve stuck with so many gamers.
So let’s take a look at that top 10 list and see which of these games are worth playing and which are gathering dust on multi-million shelves. Before we begin, I’d like to be clear – there are a lot of different metrics by which one can measure “best-selling games of all time”, but for the purposes of this ranking, I’m going to borrow IGN’s meticulous keeping of the top ten list and back-linking to the original sources.
Per Bloomberg, Blizzard Entertainment’s shooter champion Overwatch It sold somewhere around 50 million units during its time on the market. As estimated by IGN, this makes it the seventh best-selling game of all time. It’s also hard to recommend, since you can’t play it right now.
Overwatch It might be a little higher on this list if it’s still playable. Unfortunately, it has been replaced by a free sequel, Monitoring 2. While the second game is not significantly different from the first, most of the changes made to the formula made the game less entertaining. A paid battle pass introduces Heroes trapped behind the heavy grind, a team corporate overhaul that looks more like a downgrade, making overwatch 2, In its current state, it’s less than cute.
9. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
According to The Verge, pubg It sold around 75 million units before it became a free game, making it the fifth best selling game of all time. There’s a good reason for that: when it was introduced, pubg It was a bit of a revelation. There had been battle royale mods and modes for many other games before, but a game designed from the ground up with 100 person deathmatches in mind was an unfamiliar sight. And pubg It was the first strong foray into an emerging literary genre.
In 2023, you can’t throw a twig without hitting a battle royal. Not all are as good pubgbut, well, it’s free to play pubg Not as good as 2017 pubg As for. If you really want to play battle royale game then you are very spoiled for choice and during that pubg Not the worst option, just a little outdated.
8. Grand Theft Auto V
says publisher Take-Two Interactive Grand Theft Auto V It has sold over 170 million copies as of September 2022. That’s a pretty huge number, which makes it the third biggest seller on average. To be completely fair, though, that’s not the case GTA Fans are spoiled for choice. There was absolutely nothing new GTA The game is nearly a decade old, and Rockstar still keeps porting it GTA V.
The game is solid! it’s a grand theft auto Game. It is a very incremental series, and the incremental improvements that have been made in Fifth good. The writing is decent (if a bit cynical for my tastes), the open world is fairly compelling, and the core joy of cars crashing into civilians has remained strong for many years. But, well… it’s not really special at this point. Again, we’ve seen a ton of great open-world games in the past nine years, and GTA V A little late in age.
Let’s hope the next game will be worth the long, long wait.
7. Pokémon red/green (/yellow/blue)
The Computer Services Suppliers Association (CESA), a Japanese publication that tracks the gaming industry, claims that the original four versions of the first edition Pokemon Somewhere around 45 million units have been sold, and Nintendo says we can add 1.5 million units to that number for 3DS re-releases. This makes the original Pokemon The ninth best selling game in history (even if it had to be four games to earn that spot).
I think most video game fans have at least a small weakness Pokemon, and the first generation is undoubtedly loved. There are better JRPGs out there – hell, there are better ones Pokemon The games are out there – but you can’t dismiss the raw classics charm.
6. Super Mario Bros.
Returning again to the 2021 CESA white papers, Super Mario Bros. It has reportedly sold around 48 million units across various platforms. This makes it the eighth best selling game of all time. It’s an undeniable classic and genre-defining platformer that somehow still feels fresh.
When a game is so basic to a genre, returning to it can feel like visiting a museum – interesting for sure, but there are other, more fun things to do. This is not the case with Super Mario Bros. The game may have laid the foundation for 2D platformers of the future, but it’s also perfected its own mechanics, with level layouts that are still fun and clever nearly 40 years later.
5. Wii Sports
Wii Sports It was bundled with the Nintendo Wii at launch in all regions except Japan, which certainly helps its impressive 82.9 million Nintendo unit sales. This number makes it the fourth best-selling game of all time. Honestly, though, I have a feeling that even without the packed numbers, Wii Sports This list could have been made.
There is simply no better proof of concept for the Wii than Wii Sports. Each of the included sports illustrates a different use of the Wiimote, and while no other game has found the same level of versatility in the device, Wii Sports It was a bright reminder of what motion controls can be. It was a perfect pack game, yes, but it was also an excellent game in its own right.
4. Maine Craft
The first time I played Maine CraftI probably never would have guessed that it was destined to become the second best-selling game of all time. However, according to Microsoft, this unassuming metaverse-turned-survival sandbox has had amazing sales. 238 million units.
In some ways, the connection Maine Craft One video game is a bit unfair. In addition to having nearly two dozen releases across different platforms, it is also a host of more games than anything else. The single-player survival mode is still a lot of fun, and the creative mode is a good way to bring out some of the architectural concepts, but the multiplayer servers and mods are where the real party is.
There are a lot of different things that can be done with foundations Maine Craftand this adaptability is the game’s greatest strength.
3. Mario Kart 8
Developed by Nintendo Financial Reports Mario Kart 8Across two versions, it has sold around 57 million units, making it the sixth highest selling game of all time. It seems incredible that a Wii U game, of all things, could move up the rankings, but I think that’s the strength of the Nintendo Switch port.
Mario Kart Grammar. It’s a simple fact of life loved by every person on earth Mario KartAnd Mario Kart 8 Deluxe It’s probably the best entry in the franchise, period. That’s really all there is to say.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
According to Take-Two Interactive’s August 2022 financial report, Red Dead Redemption 2 It has sold over 45 million units (not counting the singles). Red Dead Online). This makes it the 10th best-selling game of all time, but second in the quality rankings.
Red Dead Redemption 2 It can be slow, bland, and drawn out, even by AAA game standards. But that contemplative calm serves as one of the best narratives in the history of high-budget gaming. Red Dead Redemption 2 Heavy and quiet, which has earned it the term “boring” by people who prefer their work to be mellower and heavier. Regardless, it’s an uncommonly thoughtful game in a field often dominated by bright lights and flashing colors.
Sometimes bright lights and flashing colors are good. Quick, throw a stick somewhere in your room. Good money says you just hit a copy of Tetris. According to The Tetris Company, somewhere in the region of 520 million copies of Tetris sold out, making it the best-selling video game in history. It may also be the best video game in history.
Tetris It is one of those concepts that just work. Trying to put things together in a tight space is satisfying on a primal level, and Tetris It is an ingenious piece of design work. It’s almost ridiculous to praise Tetris. Because everyone already knows it’s cool. Because everyone has already bought it.