Special Report

The Best-Selling Video Games of 2018

Courtesy of Nintendo

In the last few decades video games have gone from a niche medium for nerds and arcade regulars to a multi-billion dollar industry. So far in 2018, people around the world have purchased over 160 million copies of games.

Based on video game sales statistics for 2018 from games statistics site VGChartz, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 25 best selling video games so far this year. We looked at the sales of titles for individual consoles, rather than combined sales. In some cases, the same game has more than one entry on this list. In nearly every case, the PS4 versions of these titles do meaningfully better than the Xbox One equivalents. This is not surprising, given the fact that the Sony console has more the doubled Xbox’s global sales.

It turns out that a well-known trend in the film industry — the rise in popularity of remakes and sequels — has become the standard in the video game industry as well. Every title on this list is part of a franchise with at least one release. A number of titles on this list are franchises that have been around for decades, with dozens of releases.

While PS4 titles dominate the list, a number of the highest-selling games are Switch games. Nintendo’s new portable console has been a major success, leaving behind memories of the largely disappointing Wii U.

The games with the highest sales figures in 2018 were not necessarily released in 2018. In one case, the game is several years old but is still still popular and outsells hundreds of new titles. Sales data for these games was pulled during the last week of November. Sales figures are only for the listed console.

Click here to see the best-selling video games of 2018.

Source: Courtesy of Activision

25. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII (Xbox One)
> 2018 sales: 1,117,085
> Total sales: 1,117,085
> Weeks available: 1
> Publisher: Activision

The Xbox One release of the latest in Activision’s highly successful spinoff of the “Call of Duty” series has sold over 1 million units in its first week of sales. The previous edition of the game, “Black Ops 3,” which was released about three years ago, sold about 7.3 million units worldwide since.

Source: Courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

24. Detroit: Become Human (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,154,630
> Total sales: 1,154,630
> Weeks available: 21
> Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

“Detroit: Become Human” was developed by French studio Quantic Games, which is responsible for other choice-driven interactive stories like “Heavy Rain” and “Beyond: Two Souls.” “Detroit” became the studio’s fastest title to sell 1 million units, but it remains unclear if it will surpass “Heavy Rain,” which has sold more than 3 million units total on the PS3.

Source: Courtesy of Nintendo

23. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Switch)
> 2018 sales: 1,219,139
> Total sales: 1,219,139
> Weeks available: 24
> Publisher: Nintendo

“Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” was originally released for the Wii U in February 2014, but Nintendo released an updated port of the latest edition for the Switch in May 2018. “Donkey Kong” has been one of Nintendo, most popular franchises. It remains to be seen if the Switch edition game will outsell its Wii U predecessor, which sold about 1.7 million copies worldwide.

Source: 158561476@N06 / Flickr

22. FIFA 19 (Xbox One)
> 2018 sales: 1,233,915
> Total sales: 1,233,915
> Weeks available: 3
> Publisher: Electronic Arts

EA’s “FIFA” series has been around for a quarter of a century. “FIFA 19,” the latest in the highest-selling sports franchise of all time, has sold over 1.2 million units for the Xbox One in just three weeks of sales.

Source: 158561476@N06 / Flickr

21. Dragon Ball Fighter Z (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,263,001
> Total sales: 1,263,001
> Weeks available: 38
> Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

“Dragon Ball Fighter Z,” the latest fighting game based on the wildly popular anime series released across the three major consoles and PC, has sold 1.2 million units on the PS4 alone, and across all four consoles sales are close to 2 million.

Source: bagogames / Flickr

20. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,353,686
> Total sales: 1,353,686
> Weeks available: 2
> Publisher: Ubisoft

The latest in Ubisoft’s highly popular stealth combat “Assassin’s Creed” series, “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” — set in ancient Greece — has been one of the best-received in the franchise’s history. In early sales, the game beat previous titles for this generation of consoles, including “Origin,” “Syndicate,” and “Unity.”

Source: 158561476@N06 / Flickr

19. NBA 2K19 (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,363,514
> Total sales: 1,363,514
> Weeks available: 5
> Publisher: Take-Two Interactive

While EA generally has the market cornered on successful sports video game franchises, the notable exception is the popular “2K” series of NBA games. Last year’s game, “2K18,” reached a franchise record of more than 10 million units sold across all major consoles The latest of the 2K, “NBA 2K19” for the PS4 has sold 1.4 million units so far since its release in September, and it still has a long way to go to match the nearly 4 million units “2K18” sold on the PS4.

Source: 158561476@N06 / Flickr

18. Madden NFL 19 (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,379,833
> Total sales: 1,379,833
> Weeks available: 10
> Publisher: Electronic Arts

The Madden franchise doesn’t appear to be what it used to be. Sales of the EA flagship sports franchise title for the PlayStation peaked with “Madden 2004” on the PS2, which sold 5.2 million units worldwide. So far, since its release in in August, “Madden NFL 19” has sold 1.4 million units, which ranks 21st among the franchises release on PlayStation consoles.

Source: 158561476@N06 / Flickr

17. Mario Tennis Aces (Switch)
> 2018 sales: 1,417,389
> Total sales: 1,417,389
> Weeks available: 17
> Publisher: Nintendo

Nintendo first released a “Mario Tennis” title for the Nintendo 3DS in August 1995. Since then, the Japanese game maker released other versions of the game on a number of consoles, the most popular of which was “Mario Tennis” on the Nintendo 64, which recorded 2.3 million in worldwide sales. It was one of the console’s best-selling games. “Mario Tennis Aces” for the Switch is now just a few thousands units away from becoming the franchise’s second most popular title, having shipped more than 1.4 million units so far since going on sale in June.

Source: Courtesy of Nintendo

16. Pokemon: Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (3DS)
> 2018 sales: 1,435,687
> Total sales: 6,744,584
> Weeks available: 48
> Publisher: Nintendo

“Pokemon Red,” “Green,” and “Blue,” released just over two decades ago, are three versions of the same game, collectively, they are one of the five most popular games of all time, selling over 31 million units. 2017’s “Pokemon: Ultra Sun” and “Ultra Moon” on the 3DS, updates of 2016’s “Sun and Moon,” are nowhere close to the original game’s success, but selling 1.4 million copies so far this year for a total of 6.7 million, when combined with the original versions of “Sun and Moon,” which sold 15 million units, puts the game in the running for the most popular in the franchise’s history.

Source: Courtesy of Activision

15. Call of Duty: WWII (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,507,907
> Total sales: 13,173,321
> Weeks available: 50
> Publisher: Activision

“Call of Duty: WWII,” released in November 2017, was highly anticipated as the popular franchise’s first World War II title in close to a decade. It did not disappoint has sold more than 13 million units on the PS4, good enough for eighth among the franchise’s best sellers based on single-console sales.

Source: bagogames / Flickr

14. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,588,881
> Total sales: 18,702,420
> Weeks available: 204
> Publisher: Take-Two Interactive

The PS4 version of the fifth numerical entry of the “Grand Theft Auto” juggernaut franchise was released in 2014, a year and two months after the game’s release on the PS3. With 18.74 million in total sales, the new version has not quite matched the older version over 20 million in sales. Nevertheless, that the game, four years after its current console release and five years after its first release, is still one of the top-selling games of the year is remarkable.

Source: Courtesy of Ubisoft

13. Far Cry 5 (Xbox One)
> 2018 sales: 1,614,773
> Total sales: 1,614,773
> Weeks available: 29
> Publisher: Ubisoft

The fifth numbered entry in the “Far Cry” series, the first of which came out in 2004, “Far Cry 5” was the franchise’s fastest-selling game, recording $310 million in sales in the first week across all platforms. The Xbox One version of the game is the 13th-highest selling release of the year, but it still has sold less than half that of the PS4 release of the game.

Source: Courtesy of Electronic Arts

12. FIFA 18 (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 1,622,963
> Total sales: 11,730,873
> Weeks available: 55
> Publisher: Electronic Arts

The PS4 version of “FIFA 18,” a game released in September 2017, is the 12th top-selling console release in 2018. “FIFA 2018’s” sales this year so far are well ahead of the Xbox One version of “FIFA 19.”

Source: Courtesy of Nintendo

11. Kirby Star Allies (Switch)
> 2018 sales: 1,638,858
> Total sales: 1,638,858
> Weeks available: 31
> Publisher: Nintendo

Nintendo has released several dozen different Kirby titles since “Kirby’s Dream Land” came out for the Game Boy in 1992. While “Kirby Star Allies,” which has sold over 1.6 million units in 2018 since its March release, is one of the console’s 10 top-selling games, it’s nowhere near the best-selling “Kirby” game of all time yet, ranking 12th overall among all releases in the series. The original Game Boy title is No. 1, having sold over 5 million copies.

Source: othree / Flickr

10. Splatoon 2 (Switch)
> 2018 sales: 2,135,320
> Total sales: 6,240,269
> Weeks available: 65
> Publisher: Nintendo

Nintendo’s attempt to make a nonviolent shooter, “Splatoon” was one of the few hits for the Wii U, with 4.7 million units in global sales, good enough for fifth best among Wii U titles. The follow-up on the Switch has been even more successful, selling 6.2 million units, including 2.1 million in 2018 alone. It’s currently the fourth-best selling Switch game.

Source: Courtesy of Nintendo

9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
> 2018 sales: 2,192,070
> Total sales: 8,265,886
> Weeks available: 85
> Publisher: Nintendo

The latest in Nintendo’s juggernaut “Zelda” franchise is by many accounts also one of the best,. “Breath of the Wild” was the winner of numerous game of the year awards. It also is the third- best selling Switch game to date, with 8.3 million units sold, including 2.2 million in 2018.

Source: Courtesy of Activision

8. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 2,499,224
> Total sales: 2,499,224
> Weeks available: 1
> Publisher: Activision

That the PS4 release of “Black Ops IIII” is the eighth-highest selling game in 2018 after just one week of recorded sales speaks to the power of the “Black Ops” franchise. The PS4 version of “Black Ops 3,” the previous release of this game, sold over 15 million units and, along with several other “Black Ops” entries, is one of the 50 top-selling console releases of all time. The “Call of Duty” umbrella franchise has sold close to 100 million units worldwide.

Source: othree / Flickr

7. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
> 2018 sales: 2,571,574
> Total sales: 10,287,222
> Weeks available: 51
> Publisher: Nintendo

Like “Breath of the Wild,” “Super Mario Odyssey” was praised as one of the best takes on a multi-decade old franchise. The game has sold well over 10 million units since its release in October 2017, including 2.5 million in 2018. It’s the best-selling Switch game so far.

Source: antdude3001 / Flickr

6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
> 2018 sales: 3,309,863
> Total sales: 9,667,731
> Weeks available: 77
> Publisher: Nintendo

Ranking just behind “Super Mario: Odyssey” in total sales (despite being released half a year earlier) but surpassing “Odyssey” in 2018 sales, Nintendo’s “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” is yet another success for the Switch. The game is an updated port of the 2014 Wii U title, which was the top-selling game for that console.

Source: Courtesy of Ubisoft

5. Far Cry 5 (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 3,670,461
> Total sales: 3,670,461
> Weeks available: 29
> Publisher: Ubisoft

As is the case with most popular multi-platform titles recently, the PS4 version of Ubisoft’s “Far Cry 5” has vastly outsold its counterpart on the Xbox One, selling 3.7 million copies compared to the Microsoft console’s 1.6 million.

Source: Courtesy of Capcom

4. Monster Hunter: World (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 4,374,352
> Total sales: 4,374,352
> Weeks available: 38
> Publisher: Capcom

“Monster Hunter: World” is now officially Capcom’s best-selling game of all time, with 10 million copies sold worldwide across all consoles. That includes an estimated 2 million copies in digital sales since the game’s launch on Steam. The PS4 edition of the game was the best-selling, though, accounting for 4.4 million units sold so far this year.

Source: Courtesy of Electronic Arts

3. FIFA 19 (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 4,980,635
> Total sales: 4,980,635
> Weeks available: 3
> Publisher: Electronic Arts

The best-selling sports console game of the year is EA’s “FIFA 19” for the PS4, which has already sold close to 5 million units. While the game is one of the top 25 selling releases of the year on two separate consoles, this edition of the game’s sales have been disappointing compared to the previous year.

Source: harimaucorp / Flickr

2. God of War (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 5,026,257
> Total sales: 5,026,257
> Weeks available: 26
> Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

“God of War”, released in 2018, was a revelation for fans of the series and contender for game of the year. The game’s visual structure as a single continuous shot wowed fans of the series and newcomers alike. Across all consoles, sales exceeded 5 million in its first month.

Source: BagoGames / Flickr

1. Spider-Man (PS4)
> 2018 sales: 5,177,202
> Total sales: 5,177,202
> Weeks available: 6
> Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony sold 3.3 million copies of Marvel’s “Spider-Man” within the first three days of release, setting a new sales record for PS4 games. That edges out the prior record of 3.1 million units sold in the first three days set by “God of War” earlier this year. Pre-orders were record-setting as well, at 1 million copies.

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