Slideshows

2009's Top Selling Video Games ... So Far

Best Sellers

The year’s not over yet, but the picture of the video game industry’s top selling games is starting to become pretty clear. The NPD Group, which tracks sales of game software, has compiled a list of the most popular games through the end of November.Posted: 15 Dec 2009
By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com

The year’s not over yet, but the picture of the video game industry’s top selling games is starting to become pretty clear. The NPD Group, which tracks sales of game software, has compiled a list of the most popular games through the end of November.

Posted: 15 Dec 2009

Wii Play

Publisher: NintendoCopies sold: 2.1 million on the WiiSales are down over 50 percent from last year, but the fact that it’s still a best seller in 2009 shows the wide appeal of this mini-game title. Like “Wii Sports” and “Wii Sports Resort,” it focuses on reasonably short games that are intuitive. The game also comes with an extra Wii controller, boosting its popularity with owners of the system. Since its launch, “Wii Play” has sold approximately 25 million copies.
Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo
Copies sold: 2.1 million on the Wii

Sales are down over 50 percent from last year, but the fact that it’s still a best seller in 2009 shows the wide appeal of this mini-game title. Like “Wii Sports” and “Wii Sports Resort,” it focuses on reasonably short games that are intuitive. The game also comes with an extra Wii controller, boosting its popularity with owners of the system. Since its launch, “Wii Play” has sold approximately 25 million copies.

Wii Fit

Publisher: Nintendo Copies sold: 3.5 million on the Wii Nintendo’s exercise game has shown remarkable resilience at retail, actually moving up a notch in the rankings. Lifetime sales have topped 8 million units and the game still has a regular presence in the monthly sales charts. Not bad for a title that people scoffed at when it was introduced.
Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo
Copies sold: 3.5 million on the Wii

Nintendo’s exercise game has shown remarkable resilience at retail, actually moving up a notch in the rankings. Lifetime sales have topped 8 million units and the game still has a regular presence in the monthly sales charts. Not bad for a title that people scoffed at when it was introduced.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Publisher: NintendoCopies sold: 1.4 million on the WiiIt speaks to the power of the “Super Mario Bros.” franchise that this latest installment of the game became one of the year’s top sellers in a little over two weeks. The fact that it’s the first multiplayer “Mario Bros.” in 24 years probably had something to do with it.
Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo
Copies sold: 1.4 million on the Wii

It speaks to the power of the “Super Mario Bros.” franchise that this latest installment of the game became one of the year’s top sellers in a little over two weeks. The fact that it’s the first multiplayer “Mario Bros.” in 24 years probably had something to do with it.

Pokemon Platinum Version

Publisher: NintendoCopies sold: 1.9 million on the Nintendo DSNow well into its second decade, the Pokemon franchise is showing no signs of slowing down. To illustrate this: “Pokemon Platinum” is basically a Director’s cut of a previous game. Players didn’t care – and have been buying it consistently since March.
Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo
Copies sold: 1.9 million on the Nintendo DS

Now well into its second decade, the Pokemon franchise is showing no signs of slowing down. To illustrate this: “Pokemon Platinum” is basically a Director’s cut of a previous game. Players didn’t care – and have been buying it consistently since March.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Publisher: Activision BlizzardCopies sold: 1.9 million on the PS3Same juggernaut franchise: Different platform. While the Xbox 360 seems to be the preferred platform for “MW2” among gamers, the game’s hardly under performing on Sony’s console. And as hardware sales for the system continue to climb thanks to recent price cuts, expect sales of this version of the title to escalate as well.
Activision Blizzard

Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Copies sold: 1.9 million on the PS3

Same juggernaut franchise: Different platform. While the Xbox 360 seems to be the preferred platform for “MW2” among gamers, the game’s hardly under performing on Sony’s console. And as hardware sales for the system continue to climb thanks to recent price cuts, expect sales of this version of the title to escalate as well.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Publisher: Activision Blizzard Copies sold: 4.2 million on the Xbox 360 “Modern Warfare 2” made $550 million in the first five days, so it’s no surprise to see it atop this year’s list. It’s so popular that Microsoft saw 2 million Xbox Live subscribers playing concurrently after launch, making it not only the game to beat this year – but likely for the majority of 2010 as well.
Activision Blizzard

Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Copies sold: 4.2 million on the Xbox 360

“Modern Warfare 2” made $550 million in the first five days, so it’s no surprise to see it atop this year’s list. It’s so popular that Microsoft saw 2 million Xbox Live subscribers playing concurrently after launch, making it not only the game to beat this year – but likely for the majority of 2010 as well.

Wii Mario Kart

Publisher: Nintendo Copies sold: 2.2 million on the WiiAnother familiar game from last year, “Wii Mario Kart” was 2008’s second best selling title and continues to have strong legs. The popular franchise has also maintained its retail price, a rarity for a game that’s 19 months old.
Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo
Copies sold: 2.2 million on the Wii

Another familiar game from last year, “Wii Mario Kart” was 2008’s second best selling title and continues to have strong legs. The popular franchise has also maintained its retail price, a rarity for a game that’s 19 months old.

Madden NFL 10

Publisher: Electronic ArtsCopies sold: 1.5 million on the Xbox 360EA’s premiere sports franchise has lost a bit of its sales luster over the past several years – and this year’s version failed to meet the company’s sales expectations - but it’s still a big performer and has one of the loyalist fan bases of any title in the industry. 
Electronic Arts

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Copies sold: 1.5 million on the Xbox 360

EA’s premiere sports franchise has lost a bit of its sales luster over the past several years – and this year’s version failed to meet the company’s sales expectations - but it’s still a big performer and has one of the loyalist fan bases of any title in the industry. 

Halo 3: ODST

Publisher: MicrosoftCopies sold: 2 million on the Initially conceived as a side project, the latest installment in the “Halo” franchise took on a life of its own during development. It’s a different type of game than its predecessors, with no sign of the series hero - the Master Chief. Fans snatched it up, though and critics applauded the new style of play.
Microsoft

Publisher: Microsoft
Copies sold: 2 million on the Xbox 360

Initially conceived as a side project, the latest installment in the “Halo” franchise took on a life of its own during development. It’s a different type of game than its predecessors, with no sign of the series hero - the Master Chief. Fans snatched it up, though and critics applauded the new style of play.

Wii Sports Resort

Publisher: Nintendo Copies sold: 2.4 million on the WiiLike the original “Wii Sports,” this follow-up focuses on min-games that anyone can pick up and play instantly. Nintendo also packaged its “Wii Motion Plus” peripheral (which adds a new layer of precision to the Wii’s controller) with the game to boost sales. The strategy seems to be working.
Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo
Copies sold: 2.4 million on the Wii

Like the original “Wii Sports,” this follow-up focuses on min-games that anyone can pick up and play instantly. Nintendo also packaged its “Wii Motion Plus” peripheral (which adds a new layer of precision to the Wii’s controller) with the game to boost sales. The strategy seems to be working.