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The 20 Most Popular Video Games of All Time

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Oh yes, game time!!

Who doesn’t love a good video game?! I know I do. 

Here’s a list of the most popular video games of all time. 

It can be said that there are certainly some unexpected ones on the list, but age and release date plays a big factor in their sales and popularity, so bear that in mind! 

Either way, all the games are popular, so have a read through the list and choose one to play when you have some free time. 

 

The 20 Most Popular Video Games of All Time

The list of video games and figures mentioned below have been compiled from various sources around the web, such as Wikipedia

These are the 20 most popular video games of all time:

 

20. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Most Popular Video Games - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

First on the list of the most popular video games of all time, is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. 

If you’re familiar with COD at all, you’ll know just how addictive it is.

It’s one of those games that you just can’t stop playing, especially if it’s online with your mates. 

This first-person shooter was released on November 2011 by Activision and has since sold a staggering 26,500,000 copies.

In the year it was released, it won the Spike Video Games Award for Best Shooter. 

Go play it now! 

 

19. Terraria 

Most Popular Video Games - Terraria

First released on Microsoft Windows on May 16, 2011, Terraria is classed as an action-adventure game. 

Selling over 27 million copies by May 2019, Terraria has done very well. 

The game is presented in a 2D format, allowing players to explore, create, build and mine things, and fight with different creatures. 

It’s similar to Minecraft but has its own unique elements that make it fun to play. 

Terraria was developed and published by RE-Logic.

 

18. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Most Popular Video Games - Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

If you’re unfamiliar with the Grand Theft Auto franchise, then it’s well worth your time checking it out, as it’s one of the most popular games of all time. 

GTA San Andreas is played in a third-person perspective and set in San Andreas, a fictional state in the U.S heavily influenced by California and Nevada. 

As a single-player, you get to interact with the world around you and pretty much do what you want.

The mission is to resurrect your old criminal gang and find out the truth behind your mother’s murder. 

GTA: San Andreas was developed by Rockstar North, published by Rockstar Games and has sold approximately 27,500,000 copies.

 

17. Wii Play

Most Popular Video Games - Wii Play

Developed specifically for the Wii console and released in February 2007, Wii Play has sold over 28 million copies worldwide. 

The game itself is a collection of smaller games, such as a fishing game, a shooting game, a billiards game, Duck Hunt and more. 

The games are designed to use the controller’s different functionalities. 

Wii Play initially got some criticism upon first release, however, it since went on to do very well, partly due to the fact it came with an additional Wii controller at the time of release. 

Now, it’s the fifth best selling game of all time for the Wii. 

 

16. Duck Hunt

Most Popular Video Games - Duck hunt

Next up, we have another game developed and published by Nintendo; Duck Hunt.

It was first released in Japan in 1984 and later released as part of the NES console deal in North America in 1985.

It wasn’t released into the European Market until two years later. 

In the simplest of descriptions, Duck Hunt is a game where players use their controllers to shoot ducks that appear on the screen and are rewarded with points. If the player shoots all the required ducks in one level, they can advance to the next level. If their aim is off and they miss one, they’re staying put until they get them all. 

Despite a lack of initial positive reviews, Duck Hunt went on to sell over 28 million copies worldwide. 

 

15. Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal

Most Popular Video Games - Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal

The first of two Pokémon game series on our list is Pokémon Gold, Silver & Crystal. 

This Pokémon collection has sold close to 30,000,000 copies worldwide since its release on November 1999.

It was developed by Game Freak and published on the Game Boy colour and is the second generation in the Pokémon series. 

As a player, you’re on a quest to master the Pokémon battling, and along your journey, you’re able to encounter over 100 new species of Pokémon. 

In just over 1o years, sales of Pokémon Gold, Silver & Crystal reached 23 million units. 

 

14. Diablo III & Reaper of Souls 

Most Popular Video Games - Diablo 3

Probably our most favourite game on the list, and the one we’d played most as kids, Diablo III is truly epic! 

If PC games are your thing and you haven’t played this one yet, then grab a copy and get playing ASAP. 

It was produced and published by Blizzard Entertainment as the third game in their Diablo trilogy. 

You get to choose from seven character classes, Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Necromancer, Monk, Witch Doctor, or Wizard.

Once you’ve chosen your character, you set out on numerous quests, with the ultimate goal being to track down and kill Diablo, the Lord of Terror. 

When the expansion pack was released, Reaper of Souls, you were able to do a few new cool things and play as The Crusader. 

On its initial release, Diablo III sold over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours. Because of this, it gained the titles of the “fastest-selling PC Game and the “best-selling PC game” of 2012.

 

13. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Most Popular Video Games - The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

The thirteenth most popular video game of all time is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. 

Selling more than 30,000,000 copies worldwide, this game has gained a serious following, mainly due to the success of the other four games in the series.

As a player, you’re tasked with a quest to defeat Alduin the World-Eater, a dragon who is forecasted to destroy the world.

Similar to Diablo III, throughout the course of the game, you try to level up your player’s skills and abilities by completing quests. 

Developed by Bethesda Game Studios & published by Bethesda Softworks in, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is certainly worth some gameplay time if you have some time to spare. 

 

12. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Most Popular Video Games - New Super Mario Bros Wii

The next most popular video game of all time is New Super Mario Bros. Wii. 

Released in 2009 by Nintendo, NSMB has sold over 30 million copies to date. 

It’s the sequel to the 2006 version of Super Mario Bros and did really well with critics upon release. 

As a player, you help “Mario”, navigate his way through eight different worlds to rescue Princess Peach. 

Along the way, you’ll be fighting off  Big Bowser’s henchman and completing other, smaller tasks. 

It’s a fantastic multiplayer game, with Luigi and Toad being your multi-player companions.

 

11. New Super Mario Bros

Most Popular Video Games - New Super Mario Bros

As we just mentioned, New Super Mario Bros is the first generation of the NSMB games.

It was released in 2006 by Nintendo and this version has sold close to 31 million copies worldwide.

The game received good reviews overall, however, it’s only real criticism was that it could be perceived as being a little too “simple”. 

However, despite the criticism, numbers don’t lie. It’s sales figures show that people obvious enjoy its simplicity. Furthermore, the game is now the best selling DS game of all time.  

Definitely check this video game out if you haven’t already!

 

10. Wii Sports Resort

Most Popular Video Games - Wii Sports Resort

Kicking off our top ten is Wii Sports Resort. 

This one is the sequel to the successful “Wii Sports” game of 2006. 

Released two years later, Wii Sports Resort was one of the first games to use the Wii Motion Plus accessory, which allows the controller to accurately capture more complex motions of the player. 

To begin with, Wii Sports Resort was sold as a stand-alone game, but then it was included with all Wii consoles from 2009 onwards. 

As of March 2019, Wii Sports Resort is third best selling game on the Nintendo Wii and, has an aggregate score of 82.94% on GameRankings.

It’s a lot of fun!

 

9. Mario Kart Wii

Most Popular Video Games - Mario Kart Wii

Next up, we have one of our favourite games of all time – Mario Kart Wii. 

Mario Kart is a racing video game, developed and published by Nintendo. 

This version is actually the sixth instalment of Mario Kart from Nintendo, but we think it’s by far the most enjoyable to play!

In case you’re new to the game, it’s basically an awesome racing game that incorporates all the characters from the Mario Series.

Your goal is to get to the finish line first, but each player has specialized items that they can use to stop you. 

Mario Kart Wii is the 9th best selling game of all time, the 2nd best selling game on the Wii and the best selling game of the Mario Kart series. 

It’s just great fun!

 

8. Wii Fit & Wii Fit Plus 

Most Popular Video Games - Wii Fit

Wii Fit & Wii Fit Plus are the perfect games to play if you’re looking to get your workout in at home. 

Best described as “exergaming” video games, they include several different activities to keep you occupied and fit.

Both versions include a Wii balance board, which is an extra piece of equipment that you stand on to perform the exercises that tracks your center of balance.

Some of the activities include yoga, aerobics, strength training and balance games. 

Wii Fit Plus is the enhanced version of Wii Fit. It comes with 15 more balance and aerobics games and 6 new strength and yoga activities.

The combined sales of these two games come in at almost 44 million copies.

You should definitely try it if you’re looking to do some more exercise without leaving the comfort of your own home. 

 

7. Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow

Most Popular Video Games - Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow

Arguably one of the best games of all time; Pokémon Red, Blue, Green & Yellow were some of the most addictive, fun and exciting games ever created.

If you grew up when this game was released then you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

It was so good, and so addictive, that you literally couldn’t put your Game Boy down. 

Sick days from school became enjoyable (and intentional), and many nights were spent levelling up and catching all the elusive Pokémon. 

So, if you haven’t played this one, you need to do it asap! Grab a GameBoy colour on eBay, get Pokémon blue and lock yourself away! 

 

6. Super Mario Bros

Most Popular Video Games - Super Mario Bros

This is the 1985 version of Super Mario Bros and the successor to the 1983 arcade version, Mario Bros. 

Nintendo developed and published SMB in 1985, and it has since gone on to sell an impressive 48,240,000 copies worldwide. 

If you were to ask any video game fanatic out there, what the best video game of all time is; you shouldn’t be surprised if they say Super Mario Bros, as it’s regularly regarded as the best of all time. 

Also, SMB got a lot of credit alongside the NES in helping revive the video game industry after the crash 1983.

Its precise controls and gameplay really helped boost its sales. 

The game was so successful that, as we’ve seen, re-releases were spawned and Mario became one of the most recognisable and prominent figures in the gaming world!

 

5. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

Most Popular Video Games - PUBG

Selling 50 million copies worldwide, PUBG is an absolute behemoth of a video game success. 

It’s a battle-royal style game, which means that multiple players are dropped onto an island and left to find weapons to kill each other in a free for all style.

It can be pretty epic, as up to 100 players can participate in each time.

Each game has a safe area which gradually decreases over time, meaning players are forced to fight, so there’s no safe place to hide as time ticks on. 

PUBG received positive reviews upon release and has been nominated for several industry awards. 

It’s an awesome bit of fun!

 

4. Wii Sports

Most Popular Video Games - Wii Sports

If you like sports games, and like to get a little bit physical when playing, Wii Sports could be just the game for you. 

Released in 2006, Wii Sports was included with the console as a “pack-in game”. This made it the first game to be included with a Nintendo system since Mario Tennis for the Virtual Boy in 1995. 

In a nutshell, the game is a collection of sports simulations, including tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing.

You use the Wii Remote to perform actions and moves that you would do in the real-life version of each sport. 

The game has won a number of awards since its release in 2006 and sold 82 million copies by the end of 2017.

 

3. Grand Theft Auto V

Most Popular Video Games - Grand Theft Auto V

Coming in at number three on our list of the most popular video games of all time is the record-breaking Grand Theft Auto V.

This game is best described as an action-adventure video game with an XXX rating. 

Released in 2013 by Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto V or GTA V as it’s more commonly known follows the same concept as the last games in the series. However, this time, it follows three convicts as they try to evade the government in the fictional city of Los Santos. 

GTA V can be played from either a first-person or third-person perspective. 

The game was so heavily marketed and eagerly anticipated, that when it was finally released it sold over $800 million dollars on its first day and over $1 billion within its first three days! 

To date, GTA V is the fastest-selling entertainment product in history! 

 

2. Tetris

Most Popular Video Games - Tetris

Who doesn’t love a bit of Tetris?!

This simple, yet addictive video game sold over 170 million copies since it was released in 1984. 

The game became so popular that it’s now available on pretty much every console you can imagine or a variant of it. 

However, the Game Boy, launched in 1989, was the handheld console that really established Tetris as one of the most popular games of all time.

In 2010, it was announced that the game had sold 70 million physical copies and 100 million cell phone copies. 

Tetris was voted “the Greatest Game of All Time” in Electronic Gaming Monthly’s 100th issue. 

 

1. Minecraft

Most Popular Video Games - Minecraft

First place goes to Minecraft, a sandbox video game that’s sold over 176 million copies. 

Released by Mojang in 2011, the premise of the game is to allow players to build anything they like using blocks, as well as exploring, crafting, gathering resources and combat. 

The game has won numerous awards, received critical acclaim and been described as one of the most influential games in history. 

In the middle of 2018, Minecraft had around 91 million active monthly players, and by May 2019, it became the best selling video game of all time. 

 

Summary

We hope you enjoyed our list of the 20 most popular video games of all time. 

There are so many cool ones on the list, it’s hard to choose a favourite. Having said that, we like number 7, 14 and 20. 

Variety is the key in the video game world! 

Here’s a quick recap of the 20 most popular video games of all time:

  1. Minecraft
  2. Tetris
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Wii Sports
  5. Players Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG)
  6. Super Mario Bros
  7. Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow
  8. Wii Fit & Wii Fit Plus
  9. Mario Kart Wii
  10. Wii Sports Resort
  11. New Super Mario Bros
  12. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  13. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 
  14. Diablo III & Repear of Souls
  15. Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal
  16. Duck Hunt
  17. Wii Play
  18. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  19. Terraria
  20. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Which most popular video game of all time is your favourite? Leave a comment below.

Matt McIntyre is a digital content creator and certified marketing strategist with 10 years of experience. In a former life, Matt co-founded TWC Tailoring, a London based bespoke tailoring company, catering for an array of elite clientele. When he's not talking about business or marketing, you'll find him on a beach or by the pool.

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