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The best-selling video games in the world

The video game industry is booming, in fact it is the fastest growing industry today. There are more and more studios and publishers every year, so that hundreds and hundreds of video games are released every week for the pleasure of gamers. However, not all of them are successful. Others, on the other hand, gain worldwide fame and popularity, making them cult titles. Let's see which ones are still famous today through the list of the best-selling video games in the world.

· Video Games Infos

1. Minecraft

1. Minecraft - Mojang

Developer: Mojang

Year of release: 2011

Sales: 238 million

Everyone who plays video games knows how big the video game Minecraft has become in the last few years. 238 million sales, a colossal number that keeps growing. So for those who have never played the game before, what is Minecraft? It's 4 billion square kilometers of map in which everything is possible. Building, exploring, collecting, adventuring... Solo or with friends, on private games or public servers, there are almost as many ways to play Minecraft as there are players.

This game has largely served to popularize video games in the world and on the Internet. It is worth mentioning that Minecraft is one of the most streamed games in the world, with over 50 billion hours of YouTube videos watched. With its simple and universal graphics, Minecraft breaks down barriers between countries and generations. It's no surprise to find it at the top of this list, and it's likely to stay there for a long time.

2. Grand Theft Auto V

2. GTV 5 - Rockstar Games

Developer: Rockstar Games

Year of release: 2013

Sales: 170 million

GTA V was released in 2013 and yet it is still one of the best-selling games in the world today. Few titles can boast such longevity. It's been 10 years and its popularity is not decreasing. It must be said that it has hardly aged a bit. The graphics are still breathtaking, sometimes even more beautiful than some titles released in 2022. Everything is impressively realistic, and this fits perfectly with the feeling of freedom that the game offers. In GTA V, you can do whatever you want.

The popularity of the game is mainly due to its online mode, which still attracts a huge number of players, breaking all records. Robbery, car racing, helicopter rides, casino... All these activities and more are possible in GTA V, and with the Online mode, you do it with your friends. And for a few years now, the trend has been towards RP (roleplay). Like role-playing games, some servers add more realistic rules to bring the game closer to real life. The success of these game modes is colossal. So it's hardly surprising that GTA V has sold 170 million copies.

3. Tetris

3. Tetris

Year of release: 2006

Sales: 100 million

Here is a title that you will surely be surprised to find so high in the list: Tetris. This game is not new since it was created in 1984. And today, almost 40 years after its birth, it is still one of the most popular games in the world. If you don't know the principle, it's about stacking geometric shapes to create lines that disappear as you go along. The goal is to never reach the top of the screen, and therefore always create more lines.

It is one of the most cult video games in history. The 2006 mobile game developed by Electronic Arts has sold more than 100 million units. However, if we were to add up the sales and downloads of all the Tetris games since the creation of the concept in 1984, we will surely exceed this figure very quickly. It is therefore not so surprising to find it at the third place of this list.

4. Wii Sports

4. Wii Sports - Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Year of release: 2006

Sales: 82.90 million

Wii Sport dates back to 2006, and yet it still holds a very high place in this ranking, ahead of much more recent games. That's how phenomenally successful it was when it was released. It must be said that this title revolutionized the way of playing video games, offering a totally unique experience to the players: reproduce the movements they make in reality on the screen in a very faithful way. A mechanic that allowed families around the world to share memorable moments while bowling, playing tennis or golf in their living rooms.

Nintendo played a master stroke with Wii Sport, accumulating nearly 83 million sales. Today, Nintendo Switch Sport has replaced it with a more modern version and many additional sports. But most gamers remember Wii Sport as the forerunner of this popular sports genre.

5. PUBG : Battlegrounds

5. PUBG : Battlegrounds - PUBG Corp

Developer: PUBG Corporation

Year of release: 2017

Sales: 75 million

To say that PUBG has been a runaway global success would almost be an understatement. The Battle Royale published by Krafton has very quickly established itself in the video game landscape. The concept is simple: 100 players catapulted on a map, the last one alive wins. On their way, players collect weapons and equipment to defend themselves and survive. A concept that is not new, we also think of Fortnite, but it works very well here thanks to graphics and gameplay that is more realistic than its competitors.

Since it became free-to-play in January 2022, it has experienced a significant increase in popularity. Nearly 700,000 players logged on simultaneously this month, a record that was not even reached at the time of its release. The growth in the number of players is 486%, so we can legitimately think that the Battle Royale will continue to attract players from around the world for a long time.

6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Year of release: 2017

Sales: 56.87 million

Another Nintendo game in this ranking, and it's far from the last. No gamer will be surprised to find Mario Kart so high on this chart. Nintendo's racing game has seduced young and old alike for decades, spanning generations and consoles. And it's quite simple, the 8th opus is the best-selling Nintendo game of all time. And the fact is that almost 6 years after its release, it still interests players and has accumulated nearly 60 million sales.

Its popularity continues to wane, especially since Nintendo is currently rolling out new tracks to rekindle players' interest. It's impressive how such a cult license can be so successful even decades after its creation. Mario Kart continues to entertain children and adults alike and is not about to stop.

7. Pokemon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow

7. Pokemon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow - Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Year of release: 1996

Sales: 47.19 million

Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow dates back to 1996 and keeps, year after year, a place in this ranking. It is the oldest game on our list, that's how much of a cult it was. It is the first editions of the Pokémon role playing game developed in Japan by Game Freak. For those who don't know this mythical license, here is a quick summary: the player embodies a character who has a top view in a world where animals are non-existent. Instead, small characters resembling animals exist, the Pokémon. The player plays as a trainer whose goal is to capture Pokémon and win battles with them.

This concept, which has been successful for two decades, has given rise to manga, anime, films and even books. In November 2022, a new opus was unveiled, the 9th since the release of the 1996 game. Once again, Nintendo has established itself as the world's largest video game publisher, at least those with the most timeless successes.

8. Red Dead Redemption

8. Red Dead Redemption - Rockstar Games

Developer: Rockstar Games

Year of release: 2018

Sales: 46 million

After GTA V, let's move on to another masterful success of Rockstar: Red Dead Redemption 2. The game alone totals 46 million sales. A deserved success after long years of intensive development to produce such a marvel. This open-world adventure video game takes place in the western era. The title is a jewel of realism and design. It has received critical acclaim like few games before it. The quality of writing in the story mode is a plus for many players, as is the freedom of choice and movement.

In general, Rockstar games are known for their quality and high level of storytelling, which is why gamers wait so long between releases. The Red Dead Redemption franchise is very popular all over the world, and hopefully it will have many more years to come.

9. Terraria

9. Terraria

Developer: Re-Logic / 505 Games

Year of release: 2011

Sales: 44.50 million

Many players compare Terraria to Minecraft. It's true that some of the building, collecting and defense mechanics are similar. However, Terraria has a much more developed RPG side and has its own personality and universe, with very nice pixel art style. If it doesn't reach the sales figures of Minecraft, it defends itself very well with more than 44 million copies sold to date. If it is less present on social networks, its community is still very engaged.

Moreover, the developers of Terraria are also involved in the improvement of their game, as they are constantly working on new content that would make the title evolve. So if you don't know Terraria and you like sandbox games that look a little bit like Minecraft, you can go with your eyes closed, you won't be disappointed.

10. Wii Fit

10. Wii Fit - Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Year of release: 2007

Sales: 43.80 million

With a peak of 350,000 copies sold in the first week, it's not surprising to find Wii Fit in this ranking with a total of 44 million sales. This game focused on physical wellness allows players to perform various stretches, balance exercises and physical activity. Some programs were focused on fitness, others on weight loss. It all depended on the users' goals.

Players were quickly attracted to the concept of working out at home, taking care of their bodies while staying at home. It was innovative and different from what Wii Sport could offer, which was much more fun and entertaining. Various accessories were marketed with the game, including a scale that allowed you to weigh yourself and your pets. Today, the game has been forgotten because the Wii has been replaced by the Nintendo Switch, but maybe we will see a return of the cult game of Nintendo, who knows?

11. Super Mario Bros

11. Super Mario Bros - Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Year of release: 1985

Sales: 43.17 million

Another Nintendo game and not just any game: Super Mario Bros. If we add up the sales of the entire Super Mario saga, we're at more than 350 million, that's how cult it is. But today, we are only talking about the first opus dating from 1985. One of the very first video games of Nintendo that was very quickly a worldwide hit. That's why it's in this list of the best selling video games in the world. Super Mario Bros. was a revolution in the video game world, popularizing the horizontal scrolling, the end of level bosses and the secret shortcuts.

And how can we not talk about the music of this game? Composed by Koji Kondo, it is one of the most famous worldwide, even for people who are not familiar with video games. To this day, the first Super Mario Bros. game is considered the ultimate representation of what a video game is.

12. Animal Crossing : New Horizon

12. Animal Crossing : New Horizon - Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Release date: 2020

Sales: 40.17 million

If you remember, Animal Crossing: New Horizon was released during the first Covid-19-related lockdown. It was a boon for Nintendo's title, which offered people stuck at home the chance to roam around an adorable island populated by cute little animals. Many players found a breath of fresh air, a refuge to forget for a while the pandemic that was going on outside. This was a godsend, as sales reached record highs at the time of its release and now stand at over 40 million, including 7 million in Europe.

Although updates stopped on the game several months ago, it has long been fed with new content. Even today, many players still buy Animal Crossing, a timeless game that will surely make people happy for many years to come, as was the case for its predecessors on Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS.

13. The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt

13. The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt - CD Projekt

Developer: CD Projekt

Year of release: 2015

Sales: 40 million

Even 7 years after its release, the third opus of The Witcher saga continues to seduce. In fact, it is the favorite episode of gamers, since it culminates in more than 40 million sales, very nice figures. In The Witcher 3, you play as a Witcher, Geralt of Riv, in a fantasy world populated by strange monsters. A fantasy license well known to the public both because of the novels from which the video game saga originates, but also more recently thanks to the eponymous Netflix series which is a huge success.

Moreover, CD Projekt Red will soon release a remastered version of The Witcher 3 for next-gen consoles, a way for gamers who missed it to discover this cult and immersive game filled with people more exciting than each other, an adventure to live absolutely, as few exist.

14. Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal

14. Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal - Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Year of release: 1999

Sales: 30.12 million

Another Nintendo game, another Pokémon game. It would be hard not to recognize that Nintendo has dominated this list with titles that are each more cult than the last. Pokémon Gold and Silver is the second game of the license, inaugurating the second generation. It was released in 1999 on Game Boy. The story is similar to the first games, but this time it takes place in the Johto region, next to the Kanto region.

At that time, Game Freak was convinced that there would be no sequel. They didn't envision the Pokémon concept continuing over time, thinking that players would eventually tire of it. However, Pokémon Gold and Silver brings many welcome new features that will cement players' love for the license, allowing the studios to consider more possibilities. All of the games that followed were also global hits, until Scarlet and Purple, the title released in 2022, broke all records once again.

15. Call of Duty : Modern Warfare

15. Call of Duty : Modern Warfare - Activision

Developer: Activision

Release date: 2019

Sales: 30 million

Last game on this list and not the least: Call Of Duty Modern Warfare. The latter, released in 2019, is the best-selling of all Call of Duty opuses and even one of the best-selling games of its generation. What did players like about it? New features, including cross-progression, cross-save as well as a brand new system that saved players from having to buy DLC or a Season Pass. Thanks to it, everything is available for free on all boards at the same time.

Many still remember the success of Modern Warfare. For the record, in two months it accumulated more daily connected players than any other title in the license. It's easy to see why it's sold 30 million units, which shows how well it's been received by gamers. In 2022, it's Modern Warfare 2's turn to show what it's made of, and so far it's been as successful as it has been, with over $1 billion in sales in its first 10 days.


You know the list of the 15 best-selling video games in the world that every gamer should have tried at least once. Among them, there are recent ones, old ones and various genres. One thing is for sure though, Nintendo still dominates the market with games that are sometimes more than 20 years old! This is a great achievement, but it doesn't prevent other titles from making their mark. You now have a very complete list to choose from when you don't know what to play!



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