10/08/2022

We know what American gamers have been buying the most over the last few years, and it probably won’t surprise you that Call of Duty tops the list. But it’s Rockstar’s magnum opus, Grand …

We know what American gamers have been buying the most over the last few years, and it probably wont surprise you that Call of Duty tops the list. But its Rockstars magnum opus, Grand Theft Auto V, that takes the cake.
US NPD SW 2010-2019 Top 10 Sellers Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling game of the decade. pic.twitter.com/2xfGtaueqv
Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) January 16, 2020
The NPD group released their list of the USs top best-selling games of the 2010-2019 decade, and its interesting to see what we were playing the most in microcosm. Its not a big surprise that Grand Theft Auto V has managed to snag the top spot I feel as though Ive seen it in the monthly best-seller category every month since it was released.
[Read: The 10 video games that defined the 2010s]
While the single-player game was superb and undoubtedly what drove the initial sales, it was probably the addition of the GTA Online multiplayer mode thats kept the game in top spot. Its a bit ironic, considering Rockstar and GTA were so infamous in the previous decade for its not-very-family-friendly content. Red Dead Redemption 2 also managed to get on the list also not surprising considering its just a damned fine game.
What did surprise me just a bit was how consistently Call of Duty appears on the list. As PC Gamer pointed out, seven out of the top ten games are in the shooter franchise. All ten of the Call of Duty games released in the last ten years are in the top 20 even the not-so-great ones. NPDs analyst, Mat Piscatella, said on Twitter that 2019 was the 11th consecutive year CoD has been the best-selling franchise.
Im not kidding: we really, really like Call of Duty. Just to give you some idea of how insane CoDs market dominance is, Modern Warfare made the number 12 spot on the list and its only been on the market a few months. Even Infinite Warfare made it to slot 15 and I thought everyone hated that game. But apparently even a mediocre CoD will still clean house.
Its also fun to compare these best-sellers with the ones from the previous decade, which NPD has conveniently done in this tweet:
The NPD Group: U.S. Top 20 Best-Selling Games by Decade 2000 through 2019 ranked on dollar sales #videogamespic.twitter.com/5RmKgISbNi
NPD Games (@npdgames) January 17, 2020
We still liked CoD and GTA in the preceding decade, but we were far more preoccupied with rocking out and playing Madden. I dont know exactly what changed in the intervening years, other than that they just dont make Guitar Hero or Rock Band games like they used to anymore.
Minecraft rounds out the top ten, because of course it does. Other entrants in the top 20 include Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 repping for Nintendo. Destiny, the Halo successor, takes the slot formerly occupied by Bungies other scifi FPS.
Im honestly a little surprised Skyrim isnt further up the list it comes out at number 13 but Im sure thats not for lack of trying on Bethesdas part. Id say better luck next time, Todd Howard, but dear god, dont release Elder Scrolls 6 this many times. Im begging you.