Top Ten Best Selling Games (All Platforms)

All figures are correct at the time of writing (November 6, 2016)

We all love video games, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be spending my Sunday evening writing about them and you wouldn’t be here reading about them. Some games are unanimously loved, some are unanimously despised and some divide opinions more than a debate about Trump or Clinton.

So to have a list of top ten games from me would be different from every other writer on the site – it’s purely subjective. So I thought it would be better to write a top ten games list based on something purely objective, and in the realms of gaming, the most objective statistic you could hope to look at is simple – copies sold. So without further ado, here are the top ten best selling games of all time by copies sold or paid downloads on all platforms.

10. New Super Mario Bros. Wii – 2009 – (Wii) – 29.9 million


The 10th best selling game of all time based on all platform sales is ironically a single platform game. New Super Mario Bros. Wii was one of the best selling games on the Nintendo Wii and followed the tried and tested formula of Mario fighting and jumping his way through Bowser’s minions in order to rescue Princess Peach. Although New Super Mario Bros. Wii is in the top ten for copies sold/paid downloads, its score is a little way off a “10” with a rating of 87/100 on Metacritic.


9. Diablo III – 2012 (PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4) – 30 million


The long awaited Diablo III was released only 4 years ago now after 11 years in development after work had initially started on the game all the way back in 2001. Diablo III is split into 4 Acts and is set 20 years after the events that took place in Diablo II. Diablo III was critically well received, with an average score of 88/100 on Metacritic depending on the platform and edition.

Source: Activision Blizzard Financial Statement.

8. New Super Mario Bros. – 2006 (Nintendo DS) – 30.8 million


The best selling game on the Nintendo DS by over 6 million copies sold, New Super Mario Bros. yet again follows the all too familiar concept that was mentioned above. The second Super Mario game in this list, it’s a testament to how popular that little Italian plumber is after all these years he can still garner sales in the millions, not only that but (spoiler?) this is not his last entry in the list. New Super Mario Bros. was again very well received, with a score of 89/100 on Metacritic.


7. Wii Sports Resort – 2009 (Wii) – 32.99 million


You might be sensing a bit of a trend here by now that the Super Mario and Nintendo feature quite heavily on this list, particularly the Nintendo Wii. Wii Sports Resort was one of those games that mainly appealed to those people who owned a Wii for the purpose of getting fitter and having some exercise. I cannot tell you the amount of people I know who still play their Wii daily on games like this and Wii Fit or Wii Sports. That doesn’t mean the Wii Sports Resort was amazing by any means, with a (for this list) lowly score of 80/100 on Metacritic.


6. Mario Kart Wii – 2008 (Wii) – 36.83 million


The third Super Mario themed game in the list, Mario Kart Wii is still a massively popular game among Mario Kart enthusiasts, myself included when I dust off the Wii for a bit of a session, making full use of the Wii Wheel peripheral as shown by Mario and Luigi in the box art. The main game modes are still in there from the original, from Grand Prix and Time Trial to the Battles that usually tend to dominate a lot of players time. Mario Kart Wii was pretty well received, with a score of 82/100 on Metacritic.


5. Super Mario Bros. – 1985 (NES) – 40.24 million


One of – but not the – oldest games on this list, and the final game that involves everyone’s favorite plumber, the original Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System is the best selling Super Mario game of all time and it’s very easy to point to this game as being the one that kickstarted video games as a main-stay in the world of entertainment. Since this game was released long before the time of Metacritic there is no score for it, but I think it’s safe to say it is one of the best games of all time.

Source: Game Cubicle.

4. Grand Theft Auto V – 2013 (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4) – 70 million


The most recently released game on this list, Grand Theft Auto V is something of a phenomenon of modern gaming. From a single player narrative comparable to any Hollywood blockbuster or any critically acclaimed TV show and an online multiplayer that is as popular as ever with more and more additions to this side of the game coming with every passing month. The news that GTA V had sold 70 million copies was only broken a few days ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if that figure grew further still. GTA V is one of the best rated games of all time as well, with a score of 97/100 on all consoles (96/100 on PC) on Metacritic.

Source: Gamespot.

3. Wii Sports – 2006 (Wii) – 82.79 million


The last game on this list that is a single platform title, Wii Sports was a big reason as to why the Nintendo Wii sold so well. This figure is of course helped by the fact that so many Wii consoles were sold with this game as a bundle which contributed to its high number of copies sold. With only 5 sports included, (baseball, bowling, boxing, golf and tennis) Wii Sports was hardly a big seller because of its variety, but much like the Wii Sports Resort game, was more of a seller for it’s easy to pick up and play style and the thought of getting fit while playing. The lowest rated game on this list, with a score of only 76/100 on Metacritic, you could easily argue that this game is lucky to be where it is.


2. Minecraft – 2009 (PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Mobile, Amazon Fire TV, Raspberry Pi, PS Vita, WiiU) – 106.86 million


It is almost impossible to have not heard of Minecraft. Made popular for its focus on a complete open-world style, the ability to make massively intricate creations and possibly most of all it’s ability to be appealing to almost literally anyone. From toddlers to hardcore gamers, Minecraft’s appeal is universal and more importantly is here to stay. Thinking back to when it was first released, I doubt anyone could have imagined the impact or lasting popularity it would go on to enjoy, maybe not even Notch, with an average of 53,000 copies sold every day in 2016 alone. The PC version of Minecraft is the highest rated version of the game with a score of 93/100 on Metacritic, with the Pocket Edition doing nowhere near as well with only 53/100.

Source: IGN.

1. Tetris – 1984 (Pretty much any and every platform) – 530 million


Tetris. You read that right and thinking about it logically, it makes perfect sense. It’s the oldest game on this list and has sold more than all of the other games combined by many millions of copies, Tetris is a simple game with a simple premise and no narrative what. Created in the old Soviet Union by Alexey Pajitnov as a side project whilst working at the Dorodnicyn Computing Centre and brought to the rest of the world by Henk Rogers, I doubt there are many people who would be reading this list who hasn’t played the iconic block-falling game. Pretty much everything about this game is iconic from the game itself, to it breaking down the walls that divided the US and USSR in the heated climate of the mid-1980’s. The introduction of gaming on smart-phones and tablets injected a lot of new life into Tetris, often being attributed to well over 100 million sales of the game. The GameBoy version alone sold 35 million copies and would have been enough to see it make this list without any other platform. Copies sold of Tetris are so high that if you attributed 1 person to every sale, there would be enough people to make it the third most populous country in the world behind only China and India. Again, this game is too old for a Metacritic rating, but much like Super Mario Bros. is very much considered one of the greatest games ever made, simplicity is key I suppose.

Source: VentureBeat Interview with Henk Rogers.

Were you surprised by any of the games included in this list? Which games are deserving and which games are not? Let us know in the comments below, the RGM Forums or on Twitter. If you like what you’ve read then feel free to share this article on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest or Reddit using the buttons available!