Top 10 Best Selling Video Games of All Time
May 23, 2022
Since its first public appearance in the ’70s on colorful coin-op machines, the video game medium has reached massive notoriety and success. Interactive experiences such as Pong paved the way for the birth of a new industry, the gaming industry, which quickly took the world by storm and conquered millions of players worldwide.
Technological advances in the hardware department and continuous innovation and variety within the games themselves made it possible for video game mania to keep thriving (not taking into account the 1983 gaming industry crash); indeed, the love for the medium is still alive and well even to this day, and the video game industry is worth around $300 billion.
With that said, what are the games that contributed to solidify the industry and make history? They are honestly too many to count, so, in this article, we’re only going to focus on the top 10 best selling video games of all time!
Here are the 10 best selling games ever
Of course, the amount of copies sold isn’t always an indicator of the game’s quality. But considering these best sellers is important, as they certainly helped boost the medium’s popularity and global reach.
Now, here are the top 10 best selling video games in the history of gaming:
1) Minecraft (238 M)
Release year: 2011
Developer: Mojang Studios
Minecraft takes the crown as the best selling video game of all time. Impersonate Steve, the main character of the game, and try your best to survive in a block-based world full of places to discover, enemies to escape from and treasures to collect.
Creativity is at the core of Minecraft, and definitely its winning aspect: players have endless fun collecting raw materials, crafting tools and items, and building structures.
2) Tetris (200 M)
Release year: 1986
Developer: Alexey Pajitnov
Tetris is the second best selling game of all time, although its sales could very well exceed the 200 million figure today, since this number refers to the copies sold up to 2011.
Created in 1984, Pajitnov’s tetromino puzzle game was met with acclaim all around the world for the fun challenge it provided. Coupled with Nintendo’s Game Boy in 1989, Tetris became even more of a global phenomenon.
3) Grand Theft Auto V (165 M)
Release year: 2013
Developer: Rockstar North
While GTA V is third on this list, it holds another record that no other video game could ever surpass. In fact, it broke industry sales records by becoming the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, earning $800 million in its first day and $1 billion in its first three days.
In GTA V, players put themselves in the shoes of three men who, for one reason or another, become entangled with the criminal underworld.
4) Wii Sports (82.9 M)
Release year: 2006
Wii Sports sales are pretty impressive, since the game was only created for a single console, the titular Wii. Every other game on this list (apart from Pokémon) could count on releases for different platforms, which improved their chances of selling a lot more copies overall.
5) PUBG: Battlegrounds (75 M)
Release year: 2017
Developer: PUBG Studios
PUBG: Battlegrounds is the online multiplayer battle royale game that has sold the most copies, that being a staggering 75 million.
6) Super Mario Bros. (58 M)
Release year: 1985
1983’s Mario Bros. was a huge success, but its successor Super Mario Bros. undeniably catapulted the Mario franchise to stardom.
Shigeru Miyamoto’s idea to use a scrolling screen was a literal game changer that completely revolutionized the platform genre. It was a more dynamic and engaging way of playing, and it added an element of adventure that was kind of lacking in previous Nintendo games.
7) Mario Kart 8 / Deluxe (53.7 M)
Release year: 2014
And here’s another Mario game making the list as one of the best selling video games of all times. Mario Kart 8, including the Deluxe version, sold a whopping 53.7 million copies, and we can see why: creative and vibrant tracks, races filled with adrenaline, merciless battles on wheels and the addition of the anti-gravity mechanic make Mario Kart 8 a dream for any racing game enthusiast.
8) Pokémon Red / Green / Blue / Yellow Version (47.5 M)
Release year: 1996
Developer: Game Freak
With over 47 million copies sold, Pokémon Red / Green / Blue / Yellow Version is the first installment of the Pokémon series, and also its most profitable. This is the game that started the Pokémon phenomenon back in the ’90s, a global craze that led to the development of one of the most successful franchises in existence.
9) Red Dead Redemption 2 (44 M)
Release year: 2018
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the prequel to Rockstar’s western-themed action-adventure game Red Dead Redemption, released in 2010. This first chapter performed very well, but RDR 2 surpassed it egregiously, with almost double the amount of copies sold.
The game is, after all, a winner on all fronts, considering how critics praised its story, music, graphical design and performances. The extremely favourable reviews and all the awards RDR 2 received also make it one of the best games of all time.
10) Wii Fit / Plus (43.8 M)
Release year: 2007
We’re closing the list with another Nintendo IP, Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. The game is supposed to be played with the Balance Board, an accessory used for determining the user’s center of balance throughout the various excercise activities: yoga, strength training, aerobics and mini-games.
What made this video game series so popular was its positive effect on the players’ physical health, which prompted many health clubs, physiotherapy facilities and nursing homes around the world to adopt it.