The Best Selling Video Games in History

Best selling video game
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Video games have become a global phenomenon, captivating millions of players and generating billions of dollars in revenue. In this blog post, we delve into the realm of gaming to explore the best-selling video games in history. These games have not only achieved incredible commercial success but have also left an indelible mark on the gaming industry and popular culture.

Criteria for Determining Best-Selling Video Games:

To determine the best-selling video games, we consider sales figures as the primary metric. This includes both physical copies sold and digital downloads. Additionally, we take into account long-term success and cultural impact, recognizing games that have stood the test of time.

Top 5 Best-Selling Video Games in History:

1. Minecraft

  • Release Date: November 18, 2011
  • Platforms: PC, consoles, mobile devices
  • Sales Figures: Over 200 million copies sold
  • Key Factors: Minecraft’s open-ended gameplay, creative freedom, and endless possibilities have made it a global phenomenon. Its simple yet addictive mechanics have appealed to players of all ages, leading to its immense success.
  • Impact: Minecraft has revolutionized the sandbox genre and has become a cultural phenomenon, spawning merchandise, a dedicated fanbase, and even educational applications.

2. Tetris

  • Release Date: June 6, 1984
  • Platforms: Multiple platforms across the years
  • Sales Figures: Over 200 million copies sold
  • Key Factors: Tetris, with its addictive puzzle gameplay and simple mechanics, captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. Its accessibility and timeless appeal have contributed to its enduring success.
  • Impact: Tetris became an iconic video game, transcending cultural boundaries and becoming a symbol of the medium itself. Its influence can be seen in countless puzzle games that followed.

3. Grand Theft Auto V

  • Release Date: September 17, 2013
  • Platforms: PC, consoles
  • Sales Figures: Over 140 million copies sold
  • Key Factors: Grand Theft Auto V pushed boundaries with its vast open world, immersive storytelling, and compelling characters. Its combination of action, exploration, and online multiplayer has resonated with gamers worldwide.
  • Impact: The Grand Theft Auto series has been a cultural touchstone, but GTA V took it to new heights. Its success has paved the way for open-world games and set new records for the industry.

4. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

  • Release Date: December 20, 2017
  • Platforms: PC, consoles, mobile devices
  • Sales Figures: Over 70 million copies sold
  • Key Factors: PUBG popularized the battle royale genre, introducing intense multiplayer matches where players fight to be the last one standing. Its competitive nature and addictive gameplay hooked players worldwide.
  • Impact: PUBG’s success led to a surge in battle royale games, revolutionizing multiplayer experiences and shaping the gaming landscape. It also played a crucial role in the rise of esports.

5. Wii Sports

  • Release Date: November 19, 2006
  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Sales Figures: Over 82 million copies sold
  • Key Factors: Wii Sports showcased the Wii’s unique motion controls, allowing players to engage in various sports activities virtually. Its intuitive gameplay and family-friendly appeal made it a massive hit.
  • Impact: Wii Sports introduced a new era of casual gaming, attracting a broader audience beyond traditional gamers. It revolutionized motion gaming and propelled the Nintendo Wii to unparalleled success.

Honorable Mentions and Noteworthy Titles:

While the top 5 games hold remarkable positions, several other titles deserve recognition. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokémon Red/Green/Blue, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare have achieved incredible sales and left a lasting impact on the gaming landscape.

Other sources like Wikipedia have a slightly different ranking mentioned in their page.

Factors Influencing Sales and Success of Video Games:

Various factors contribute to the success of video games. Engaging gameplay mechanics, stunning graphics, immersive storytelling, multiplayer capabilities, and effective marketing strategies all play a vital role in attracting players and driving sales.

Evolution of the Best-Selling Video Games:

Comparing historical and contemporary titles, we witness the evolution of the gaming industry. Advancements in technology, changes in gaming platforms, and the rise of digital distribution have influenced sales and the types of games that dominate the charts.


The best-selling video games in history are not only commercial successes but cultural phenomena that have shaped the gaming industry. From Minecraft’s creative sandbox to the addictive puzzle-solving of Tetris, these games have captivated players worldwide. As technology continues to advance, it will be intriguing to see which games will rise to challenge these giants and redefine the best-selling titles of the future.

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