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The bestselling video games of all time

Although sales aren’t the only metric relevant to how good a game is, it’s a decent measurement of how influential certain titles have been over time. With this list of the bestselling video games of all time, we’ll take a look at the cream of the crop.

Some interesting notes before diving in: Many of the titles below were included as part of a hardware bundle at some point, with the exception of a small handful of games. Several are also exclusive to one console — mainly Nintendo games. It’s also worth noting that many of the sales stats for the following games are a couple of years old at this point and are likely higher today.

These are the bestselling games of all time.

Human: Fall Flat -- 40 million

Human: Fall Flat -- 40 million
70%
E
Platforms
Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre
Platform, Puzzle, Simulator, Adventure, Indie
Developer
No Brakes Games
Publisher
Curve Digital
Release
July 22, 2016
Human: Fall Flat is the definition of a game that succeeded thanks to YouTube and Twitch. This puzzle-platformer is a blast to play, but equally as fun to watch. Because of its presence on Twitch, the game exploded in popularity, eventually reaching 40 million copies sold. Part of its charm is due to its funny slapstick humor, which gives it a memorable identity that has led to its success. While the game earned mixed reviews, that didn’t stop it from becoming a bestseller.
Human: Fall Flat Gameplay Trailer

Pac-Man -- 42.07 million

Pac-Man -- 42.07 million
78%
E
Platforms
Wii, PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox 360, PC DOS, Commodore C64/128, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), ZX Spectrum, MSX, Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Arcade, Legacy Cellphone, Atari 8-bit, Atari 5200, Intellivision, Commodore VIC-20, Windows Phone, Apple II, Sharp X1, Neo Geo Pocket Color, PC-8801, Fairchild Channel F, Texas Instruments TI-99, PC-98, FM-7, NEC PC-6000 Series
Genre
Puzzle, Strategy, Arcade
Developer
Namco Limited
Publisher
Atarisoft, Atari, Inc., SNK, Wiz, Dempa Shimbunsha, Micomsoft, Namco Limited, Midway Manufacturing
Release
May 22, 1980
Pac-Man may very well be the quintessential video game — the game even non-gamers know of. What started out as an arcade hit eventually went on to launch on numerous platforms including the Atari 5200, PC, and even modern systems like the PS4. There are many versions of Pac-Man, but the original is the most popular, reaching over 42 million copies sold since its debut in 1980. Not only is this one of the bestselling games ever made, but it has generated over $14 billion over the years. Not bad for a yellow hockey puck with eyes and a mouth.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons -- 42.21 million

Animal Crossing: New Horizons -- 42.21 million
84%
4/5
E
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Genre
Simulator
Developer
Nintendo EPD, Nintendo
Publisher
Nintendo
Release
March 19, 2020
March 2020 was a historic time, marking the unofficial start of the COVID-19 pandemic in many parts of the globe. But at the same time, this marked the launch month for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a game that sends players to a beautiful tropical island to live out their best life. In many ways, the pandemic led to this game’s success, as most people were stuck at home with nothing to do. That led to tens of millions of copies sold in a short amount of time, even roping in players who don’t typically get into video games. Everyone was playing it while sharing their islands with one another online. To this day, New Horizons has reached over 42.21 million copies sold, making it the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game to date.  

Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus -- 43.8 million

Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus -- 43.8 million
62%
E
Platforms
Wii
Genre
Simulator, Sport
Developer
Nintendo EAD Group No. 5
Publisher
Nintendo
Release
December 01, 2007
A stroll down the electronics aisle of any thrift store will show just how popular Wii Fit was. Bundled with the Balance Board accessory, Wii Fit incorporated exercise into a video game, with a variety of yoga positions and strength training exercises. As a family-centered console, Wii Fit was a perfect addition to the family, pushing everyone to get off the couch and exercise. Wii Fit on its own was no slouch in terms of sales, topping 22 million shipped units. Wii Fit Plus, an enhanced version of the game with additional exercises, followed closely behind at over 21 million sales. Combined together, Wii Fit is the second bestselling game on Wii, beaten only by Wii Sports.

Terraria -- 44.5 million

Terraria -- 44.5 million
81%
T
Platforms
Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox 360, Mac, Android, Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows Phone, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Genre
Platform, Role-playing (RPG), Strategy, Adventure, Indie
Developer
Re-Logic, Engine Software, Pipeworks Studio, Codeglue
Publisher
Headup Games, 505 Games, 505 Games
Release
May 16, 2011
Following its launch in 2011, the action-adventure sandbox Terraria has gotten tremendous support, leading to millions of copies sold worldwide. In fact, as of 2022, it surpassed 44.5 million copies sold, making it one of the bestselling games ever. Many of its sales are attributed to PC, with at least 23 million copies sold on that platform. And with the ability to integrate Terraria mods into the gameplay, it’s worth playing on the PC still. Its developer, Re-Logic, recently released the game’s final expansion, titled Journey’s End, and now plans to start working on something new. Will it be as successful as Terraria? We’ll have to see.

Pokémon Gen. 1 -- 47.52 million

Pokémon Gen. 1 -- 47.52 million
84%
E
Platforms
Game Boy, Nintendo 3DS
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Game Freak
Publisher
Nintendo
Release
February 27, 1996
The first-generation Pokémon games — those being Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green — account for more nearly 20% of Pokémon’s 275 million or so sales. Counting the original Japanese releases in the form of Red and Green, as well as the American releases of Red, Blue, and Yellow, the first generation of Pokémon reached nearly 50 million players. The majority of those sales came from the Game Boy cartridge release (around 46 million). The remaining 1.5 million were sold through the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, with around half the sales coming from American customers.

Super Mario Bros. -- 58 million

Super Mario Bros. -- 58 million
84%
E
Platforms
Wii, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Family Computer Disk System, Family Computer
Genre
Platform, Adventure
Developer
Nintendo EAD, Nintendo
Publisher
Nintendo
Release
September 13, 1985
Super Mario Bros. was released in the early days of home gaming on the NES and has since been ported to countless other systems. Despite the much smaller market compared to now, the game endured, selling over 40 million copies on the NES. The remaining 8 million sales came from releases on the Wii Virtual Console, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. The 48 million only factors in physical and digital sales of the game. As for how many people have played Super Mario Bros., the number is probably far higher. The game launched alongside multiple other NES titles for Nintendo Switch Online in 2018, allowing players on Nintendo’s latest console to go on a nostalgia trip.

Overwatch -- 50 million

Overwatch -- 50 million
82%
4/5
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Shooter, Strategy
Developer
Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher
Blizzard Entertainment, Square Enix
Release
May 24, 2016
Serving as one of the most influential games of the previous generation, Overwatch truly put the hero shooter genre on the map. With a focus on fun and fairness, it’s easy to see why Overwatch took off in 2016. In fact, it was so popular, it eventually went on to become one of the bestselling games of all time, reaching over 50 million copies sold as of 2022. Its sequel, Overwatch 2, failed to capture the magic of the original, while also converting to a free-to-play model. Sadly, the original Overwatch is no longer playable, as it was replaced by its predecessor. Still, Overwatch’s legacy is felt all these years later.
Overwatch Cinematic Trailer

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt -- 50 million

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt -- 50 million
95%
4/5
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
CD Projekt RED
Publisher
WB Games, Bandai Namco Entertainment, cdp.pl, Spike ChunSoft
Release
May 19, 2015
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt certainly came out of nowhere, didn’t it? While its predecessor, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, was good, not many were expecting the follow-up to explode with popularity. It featured an amazingly beautiful open world, interesting characters, and an excellent gameplay loop that made it hard to put down. There are even Witcher 3 mods you can use to enhance gameplay now. The side missions were memorable, too, and in some cases, even more engaging than the main quest. That’s why it’s no surprise it reached over 50 million units sold as of 2023. It launched across PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and most recently, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, reaching a huge audience in as many places as possible.

Red Dead Redemption 2 -- 50 million

Red Dead Redemption 2 -- 50 million
93%
5/5
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Genre
Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Rockstar Games
Publisher
Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games
Release
October 26, 2018
Red Dead Redemption 2 is certainly Rockstar’s most ambitious game to date, giving us one of the best living, breathing open worlds we’ve ever seen. In it, you’ll come across a memorable cast of characters with understandable and realistic motivations. But the real shining force is in the details, and boy howdy are there a lot. Everything from the way the main character — Arthur Morgan — changes based on the environment to the animations and the way other NPCs react to you is fully realized. It’s a slow and deliberate game that wants you to spend time in it, but clearly, that didn’t stop players from buying it. We recently found out that it topped 50 million copies sold, which is incredibly impressive.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- 60 million

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- 60 million
88%
4.5/5
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher
Bethesda Softworks
Release
November 10, 2011
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most iconic Western RPGs ever made. Todd Howard, director of Bethesda Game Studios, initially reported the game sold more than 30 million copies in a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone. But as of 2023, it has surpassed 60 million units. In the same interview, Howard said the average player spends more than 150 hours in the game. If just getting started, take a look at these Skyrim tips for some useful info.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe -- 62.25 million

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe -- 62.25 million
84%
4/5
E
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Genre
Racing
Developer
Nintendo EPD
Publisher
Nintendo of America, Nintendo of Europe
Release
April 28, 2017
By the standards of the bestselling games of all time, Mario Kart 8 didn’t perform well, moving just over 8 million units. Unfortunately, the lack of Wii U sales likely caused the lower-than-average figures, as the Nintendo Switch port, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, is the bestselling Switch game so far at a staggering 62.25 million units. This is a trend seen with other first-party titles on the Wii U and Switch. For example, New Super Mario Bros. U, originally released on the Wii U, moved 5.79 million sales. The Switch port, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, has already outsold the Wii U version, despite releasing nine years later. You can take a look at our beginner’s guide for tips and tricks, or jump straight to where all of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe shortcuts are.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds -- 75 million

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds -- 75 million
75%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Genre
Shooter, Indie
Developer
PUBG Corp
Publisher
Bluehole Studio, Microsoft Studios
Release
December 20, 2017
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the game that popularized the battle royale genre, has amassed over 75 million sales as of 2021. The figure only accounts for PC and Xbox One sales, the latter of which had a console bundle. As for the number of players, PUBG’s figures are much higher than 75 million. In the same sales announcement, PUBG Corp. said that the game has a player base of over 400 million. Around 350 million of those players are on mobile devices, where PUBG is available as a free download.

Wii Sports -- 82.9 million

Wii Sports -- 82.9 million
74%
E
Platforms
Wii
Genre
Simulator, Sport
Developer
Nintendo EAD Group No. 2
Publisher
Nintendo
Release
November 19, 2006
Wii Sports is a bit of a cheat entry. Bundled with every Wii console, the game “sold” as many units as the Wii, even if the players didn’t want a copy. Again continuing Nintendo’s tradition of piggybacking one product’s sales on the back of another, Wii Sports sold more than 82 million units. Although the Wii itself topped 100 million sales, the last 20 million or so are likely credited to the Wii Mini. When it launched, the Wii Mini didn’t include a pack-in game, though it was later released with a copy of Mario Kart Wii.

Grand Theft Auto V -- 180 million

Grand Theft Auto V -- 180 million
90%
4.75/5
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Shooter, Adventure
Developer
Rockstar North
Publisher
Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive
Release
September 17, 2013
According to Take-Two’s earnings report in the first quarter of 2023, Grand Theft Auto V has sold over 180 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the bestselling games of all time. The figure takes into account all sales of the game across console generations. The main reason it has garnered such success (other than the fact that it has a fantastic single-player mode) is thanks to Grand Theft Auto Online. This shared-world multiplayer component sends players through the world of Los Santos with the goal of having the most luxurious life you can imagine. A major component of GTA Online is its in-game purchase system where you can spend real-world money. You can buy currency (in the form of Shark cash) outright, or — and here’s the kicker — you can often find brand new copies of GTA V bundled with Shark cash with a lower price than if you bought the digital currency outright. As a result, players have been known to double- or even triple-dip just to get discounts on in-game cash.

Minecraft -- 238 million

Minecraft -- 238 million
78%
E10
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows Phone, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire TV
Genre
Simulator, Adventure, Arcade
Developer
Mojang Studios
Publisher
Mojang Studios
Release
September 20, 2017
Like Tetris, which we’ll get to next, Minecraft sales aren’t clear. The only thing for sure is that the number is high. Between console, mobile, and PC sales, the game has reached over 200 million people. Factoring in the free-to-play mobile title, Minecraft has a player base of nearly 500 million. When it debuted in May 2009, Minecraft was free, and players could download it without paying. But within a matter of months, Minecraft monetized as a pre-ordered game. Xbox subscribers can still download Minecraft for free with a subscription, though. It’s worth doing since Minecraft is one of the best games on Xbox Game Pass.

Tetris -- 520 million+

Tetris -- 520 million+
69%
Platforms
PlayStation 3, Android, PlayStation Portable, iOS, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone
Genre
Puzzle, Strategy
Developer
EA Mobile
Publisher
EA
Release
September 12, 2006
Tetris sales are a moving target and difficult to track. The physical game has sold nearly 70 million copies (35 million with the Game Boy release). But when we consider the paid downloads for the Tetris mobile game, it rises quickly to the top. In a 2014 interview, VentureBeat reported 425 million paid downloads of Tetris’ mobile app. Don’t forget that you can also play free versions of Tetris. Later, the Tetris company announced the game has sold over 520 million units worldwide. Whatever way you count it, Tetris is the bestselling game of all time.

Editors' Recommendations

Joseph Yaden
Joseph Yaden is a freelance journalist who covers Nintendo, shooters, and horror games. He mostly covers game guides for…
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