Guitar Hero III tops biggest moneymakers list

Guitar Hero may be dead (for now at least), but the franchise has certainly left its mark on the gaming world. In a report released by The NPD Group yesterday, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was crowned the king of all video games… in terms of total sales dollars that is. The music game has brought $830.9 million into Activision’s coffers, no doubt thanks to the expensive guitar bundle you see above.

Activision can also lay claim to the number two game on the list, Call of Duty: Black Ops (even though gamers have bought more copies of CODBLOPS than any other game ever). All told, the publisher snapped up half of the spots in the top ten.

But when it comes to printing money, the only other name that comes to mind is Nintendo. The consolemaker has four games in the top ten: both versions of Wii Fit, Wii Play and Mario Kart Wii. The only non-Activision/Nintendo title in the top ten was MTV Games’ Rock Band.

Interestingly, no game on the list was released before 2007, but CNBC pointed out that the list may not be entirely accurate as Super Mario Bros. 3 sold 18 million copies back in 1990 (before The NPD Group started tracking game sales). Originally retailing for $50, the game’s $900 million dollar tally would surpass every other game on the list.

Hit the jump for the full top ten.

1. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360) – $830.9 million
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops (PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360) – $787.4 million
3. Wii Fit (Wii) $736.6 million
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (DS, PC, PS3, Xbox 360) – $713.6 million
5. Rock Band (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360) – $670.7 million
6. Wii Play (Wii)
7. Guitar Hero: World Tour (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
8. Wii Fit Plus (Wii)
9. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (DS, PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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