Video games have been wildly popular since the release of Atari’s Pong. Since then, video games have evolved at a rapid pace. Improving technology and customer demand resulted in faster, better-looking, and all around more complex games.
Along the way, some titles have sold far better than others. 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed unit sales data for over 100,000 video games to identify the most popular games of all time.
Benefiting from the most recent technological developments and a growing market, games released in recent years are largely the winners, achieving the most sales. Twenty-five of the top selling games of all time were released in the 2000s and 18 came out in 2010 or after.
A number of outstanding games released in the 1980s and 90s also appear on the list thanks to high sales since their release. All of these, including such games as Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros., and the early Pokémon games, were released by Japanese gaming giant Nintendo. Overall, the company accounts for 24 of the 50 most popular games.
A more diverse range of publishers appear when looking at games released in more recent years, including Electronic Arts, Bethesda Softworks, and Microsoft Game Studios. Rockstar Games appears multiple times with several installments of its hugely successful Grand Theft Auto series, as does Activision, the company behind the extensive line of Call of Duty games. Of these two series alone, 13 titles made the list.
Other series with multiple titles on the list include FIFA, Mario Kart, and Pokémon.
To identify the most popular games of all time, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the total units sold of video game titles since their respective releases as provided by VGChartz. Sales for titles released across multiple consoles were combined. Data on release dates and publishers also came from VGChartz.