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The bestselling 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. In this list, we’ll take a look at the cream of the crop, looking at the top bestselling video games of all time.

Some interesting notes before diving in: Almost all of the titles below were included as part of a hardware bundle at some point, with the exception of a small handful of games. Additionally, only six of the games below are exclusive to one console — five on Wii and one on Nintendo DS. All other games are available on multiple platforms. 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.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare -- 30 million
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare -- 30 million
82 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre Shooter
Developer Infinity Ward
Publisher Activision
Release October 25, 2019

The Modern Warfare name carries a lot of weight, as evidenced by 2019’s hit, simply titled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It was darker, more realistic, and grittier, serving as the new generation of COD. This game is fascinating because it, in many ways, reinvigorated the series, which had become stale at that point. It brought back fans who had dropped off after numerous entries, harkening back to the likes of COD classics like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare while still feeling new and fresh. But Modern Warfare went beyond the game itself. It was also the starting point for the mega-popular Call of Duty: Warzone, which reached over 100 million players after its first year. Players are still enjoying Modern Warfare in 2022 due to its shared progression system with Warzone.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt -- 30 million
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt -- 30 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 28 million units sold as of April 2020. It launched across PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and, most recently, the Nintendo Switch, reaching a huge audience in as many places as possible.
Diablo III -- 30 million
Diablo III -- 30 million
79 %
4/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher Blizzard Entertainment, Square Enix
Release May 15, 2012
Diablo III and its Reaper of Souls expansion topped 30 million sales in August 2015, setting sales records after only three years. Since then, Blizzard has ported the game to Nintendo Switch, though there aren’t any reported figures for sales on that platform. Given the velocity of sales from 2012 to 2015, it’s likely that Diablo III has sold many more copies. That said, the latest report is that the game has sold more than 30 million copies, though it’s hard to say for sure where it stands now. Keep an eye out for Diablo 4 to be released if you liked this one.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- 30 million
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- 30 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
Like Diablo III, it’s tough to say how many copies Skyrim has sold, especially with its countless re-releases and remasters. Todd Howard, director of Bethesda Game Studios, reported the game sold more than 30 million copies in a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone. As of 2022, that number is likely much higher. In the same interview, Howard said the average player spends more than 150 hours in the game. Unfortunately, the report came out before the VR releases of Skyrim and the Nintendo Switch port. That’s not to mention the Skyrim Alexa version. If you’re just getting started, take a look at these Skyrim tips for some useful info.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii -- 30.32 million
New Super Mario Bros. Wii -- 30.32 million
83 %
E
Platforms Wii, Wii U
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Release November 12, 2009
Beating out Skyrim and Diablo III by a few hundred thousand units, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the first single-platform title on our list. It has sold 30.28 million copies from November 11, 2009, to September 30, 2019, according to Nintendo. Out of the Wii’s lineup, it’s the highest-selling stand-alone game, followed by Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy. New Super Mario Bros. Wii outsold those other titles because it was bundled with a limited-edition red Wii console, celebrating Nintendo’s 25th anniversary.
New Super Mario Bros. -- 30.8 million
New Super Mario Bros. -- 30.8 million
82 %
E
Platforms Nintendo DS, Wii U
Genre Platform
Developer Nintendo EAD, Nintendo
Publisher Nintendo
Release May 15, 2006
2006’s New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS is the bestselling DS game of all time, clocking in with nearly 31 million sales. It’s the bestselling by a long shot, too, beating out all three Nintendogs titles and Mario Kart DS, each of which sold around 24 million copies. The first in a series of games that continues to this day, New Super Mario Bros. returned to the side-scrolling 2D platforming of the original titles. Like the other entries on this list, it was bundled with a Nintendo DS, accounting for a decent portion of the sales.
Wii Sports Resort -- 33.14 million
Wii Sports Resort -- 33.14 million
79 %
E
Platforms Wii
Genre Sport
Developer Nintendo EAD Group No. 2
Publisher Nintendo
Release July 24, 2009
Wii Sports Resort expanded the popular Wii Sports demo disc included with every Wii console. Nintendo updated the Wii controller in 2009, following tracking issues with the original design. The update came in the form of the Wii MotionPlus accessory, which plugs into the Nunchuck port on the Wii controller. The high sales volume is a result of Nintendo’s clever bundling of games and accessories, which is something we’ll see with other entries moving forward. Players who wanted the Wii MotionPlus could buy it bundled with Wii Sports Resort at no extra charge, resulting in very high sales as one of the best Wii games of all time.
Terraria -- 35 million
Terraria -- 35 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 March 2021, it surpassed 35 million copies sold, making it one of the bestselling games ever. Many of its sales are attributed to PC, with at least 14 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.
Mario Kart Wii -- 37.38 million
Mario Kart Wii -- 37.38 million
80 %
E
Platforms Wii
Genre Racing
Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Release April 10, 2008
Another case of a console-bundled, accessory-bundled game, Mario Kart Wii has reached nearly 40 million sales as of March 2022. The base game came with a specially designed wheel that that Wii controller could fit inside. Likewise, Nintendo sold a black Wii bundle, which included the game, a built-in Wii MotionPlus controller, and a special black wheel. It’s tough to say how many copies of Mario Kart Wii were sold on its own. In addition to a normal Wii bundle and the black Wii bundle, Nintendo also bundled the game with an exclusive red Wii mini. This version, however, didn’t include the wheel seen with the base game.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons -- 37.62 million
Animal Crossing: New Horizons -- 37.62 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 37 million copies sold, making it the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game to date.  
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.
Red Dead Redemption 2 -- 43 million
Red Dead Redemption 2 -- 43 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 43 million copies sold, which is incredibly impressive.
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.
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.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe -- 51.8 million
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe -- 51.8 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 51.8 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.
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.
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 -- 160 million
Grand Theft Auto V -- 160 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 2022, Grand Theft Auto V has sold over 160 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 -- 425 million+
Tetris -- 425 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. So those 425 million downloads are likely only a fraction of the overall downloads of Tetris. The final point is that all these figures are pretty old, and Tetris has not slowed down. Whatever way you count it, Tetris is the bestselling game of all time.

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