For many years Call of Duty has typically been the US’s best-selling game each year, although Hogwarts Legacy was the No. 1 best-selling game in the US for 2023. That’s notable because it’s the first time since 2008 that neither a CoD game nor the latest Rockstar Games release was No. 1. With 2023’s best-selling games announced, we’re now looking back at the past 25 years of game sales in the US, which can be quite eye-opening to look at today.
Circana (formerly the NPD Group) released this data on social media by way of analyst Mat Piscatella. These lists are ranked on dollar sales, not unit sales. Something else to note is that the lists include physical game sales and digital sales (from 2012 onwards)–but only from publishers who provide that data. Not every company does, though, so these lists are not perfect. It’s also worth bearing in mind they cover only a calendar year, meaning steady sellers over time, such as Minecraft, don’t rank as highly as you might expect. With those caveats in mind, these lists do provide a general overview of which games sold the best in the US over the past 25 years.
As you’ll notice, Call of Duty and GTA games are regular chart-toppers, as are sports games like Madden and the incredibly popular Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises. But there are many others–wrestling games, Need for Speed, and others–that once dominated the charts but haven’t made an appearance on them in years.
Scroll through the slides below to see all the best-selling games of the past quarter century.