The numbers have been tabulated and the Call of Duty franchise once again reigns supreme over all other video games.
According to The NPD Group’s yearly report of retail releases, Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the best-selling game in 2015, besting EA’s Madden NFL 16 (#2) and Bethesda’s Fallout 4 (#3). The Call of Duty franchise also controlled the back end of the list with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare taking the #10 spot. Activision’s Scott Lowe added (by way of the Activision Games Blog) that the entire franchise has sold more than 250 million copies since the release of Call of Duty in 2003.
Believe it or not, games outside the Call of Duty franchise found success in 2015 as well, though most of them were released after July 1st including Star Wars: Battlefront (#4), NBA 2K16 (#6), and FIFA 16 (#9). The only game to break that trend (aside from a few 2014 stragglers like Advanced Warfare) was Mortal Kombat X (#8), which was released in April. The game-playing public may not always like it, but this does explain why publishers constantly strive to release their games in the back half of the year.
On the hardware side, console sales surged in 2015, as the PS4 and Xbox One continued to outpace the PS3 and Xbox 360. The PS4 was the overall winner in 2015, but NPD analyst Liam Callahan told GamesIndustry.biz that both platforms did well: “After 26 months of sales, the combined cumulative sales of Xbox One and PS4 exceeds the 26 month total of the PS3 and Xbox 360 by 47 percent,”
The NPD’s list of the top ten best-selling games for 2015 can be found after the break.
Bestselling Retail Games of 2015
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
2. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
3. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
4. Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
5. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
6. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
7. Minecraft (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
8. Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One)
9. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)