Top Selling Games of 2010 (Multi, Wii, PS3, PSP, DS, X360)

by Jacob Mazel, posted on 07 January 2011 / 31,274 Views

Software figures for 2010 have arrived. It was an amazing year - 17 games available on one or more video game platforms sold over 5 million (henceforth 5m) units. Nintendo, Activision, Take Two, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Square-Enix and Electronic Arts all produced 5m level hits - and Sony, Ubisoft and others just missed. Below you'll find the biggest multiplatform hits of 2010, as well as the top Wii, PS3, X360, DS, and PSP hits. A top PS2 list is excluded, as I set the minimum criteria at one or more titles topping 1m units per platform - and PS2 games topped out at 700,000 units in 2010. Given that Sony has sold over 140 million PS2s worldwide, top PS2 games only attached to 1/200 users. In contrast, all other systems had top games attach to at least 1/25 users meaning their bases were over eight times as active as the rapidly declining PS2 base was in 2010.

The list below combines video game sales across all video game dedicated hardware (i.e. Wii, PS3, X360, DS, PSP, PS2 - but not PC or phones). Figures are worldwide, in millions of units sold through to homes, and for the 52 weeks ending January 2, 2011.

Biggest Selling Video Game Software of 2010

Of the top thirty games, two can be played on PS2, four can be played on PSP, six can be played on DS, 13 can be played on X360, 13 can be played on PS3, and 14 can be played on Wii. Overall, it was a very strong year for console software, with portable software weakening quickly from recent peak levels in 2008 and 2009. DS and PSP have far larger userbases than Wii and PS3, but game purchases per year on the portables have fallen to under one game per user, and so the reality is the Wii and PS3 are much bigger markets now for publishers.

Roughly speaking, each of the top games of the year generated over $70 million for its publisher. At the very top, Black Ops (retail - royalties, development, advertising, packaging, and excluding downloadable content) looks like it generated over $500m for Activision. Including downloadable content and royalty breaks, not to mention the PC version, and the game is probably closer to $1 billion than $500 million for the company. A remarkable 15 - 20 games generated over $100 million in 2010 for publishers. Only about seven of the $100m+ revenue games were from Nintendo, so it was a good year overall for the publishers, as many companies were able to produce mega hits (Activision) or mega-franchises (Ubisoft) on a given platform or two.

Top sales by platform are below. Figures once again are worldwide for the 52 weeks ending January 2, 2011 and in millions of units sold. First we have Wii software.

Biggest Wii Hits of 2010

Next up is PS3.

Top 20 PS3 Games of 2010

For our third set of data, we have the X360.

Top 20 X360 Games of 2010

Next, we move to portables, starting with PSP.

Top 20 PSP Games of 2010

Lastly, we have the DS top twenty.

Top 20 DS Games of 2010

The major break out hits of the year are clearly dance games - for as big as shooters and platformers were in 2010, both genres did well in 2009. But in 2010, Just Dance, Just Dance 2, Just Dance Kids, Michael Jackson, Dance Central, DDR, and other 'dancers' for Kinect pushed the dance genre to well over 10 million units - far above the size of the dancing genre in 2009. Other mass market content is starting to do well too (Toy Story, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Batman), as everything else but top brands falls off with declining purchasing rates. Big brands that are amongst the top 1-3 purchases of a given consumer continue to sell at extraordinary levels though as the bases are bigger than ever for Wii, PS3, X360, DS and even PSP in the case of MHP3.

Look for more information regarding trends in 2010 in the next few days and weeks on VGC. This is just a very basic start.

Contact VGChartz at jmazel@vgchartz.com


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37 Comments

naruball (on 10 January 2011)

@MARCUSDJACKSON I'am afraid that's not always the case. Look at the sales of Rock Band 3, Enslaved and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. All great games, but still failed to sell well.


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Rainbow Yoshi (on 09 January 2011)

Donkey Kong Country Returns just makes the list!


Jay520 (on 09 January 2011)

Next year the PS3 list will be dominated by Sony


PlayerX (on 09 January 2011)

So Wii>PS3&360 this year? What a shock lol.


brendude13 (on 09 January 2011)

Mangoman10 You are an Infinity Ward / Call of Duty fanboy, can you stoop any lower? Grow up.


Declan (on 09 January 2011)

@ryuzaki I was defining a shooter as a game in which you shoot enemies with projectile weapons. Obviously there is diversity within this genre (as It would also include RDR and Splinter Cell), but then there is diversity within the genres you call 'Mario' (are Mario Kart and Mario Galaxy not more different to one another than RDR and Bioshock?) and 'platformer' (e.g. 2D and 3D).


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kivi95 (on 09 January 2011)

abhiram_33# It's piracy fault.


elmerion (on 08 January 2011)

So technically.. top 6 titles are wii games, awesome lol


vic_viper (on 08 January 2011)

Yeah, forgot FFXIII was released in Jpn 09, thanks for the heads up.


TheSource (on 08 January 2011)

FFXIII sold 1.8m units in 2009 (Japan), and then the rest in 2010 on X360 / )S3.


Pavolink (on 08 January 2011)

Great Wii numbers. Epick Mickey, Just Dance 1 and 2, MJ, GoldenEye and Kirby are great success. Good for COD BO for Wii, is doing good.


vic_viper (on 08 January 2011)

Wait, what? Final Fantasy XIII is only at 2.7 mil worldwide on PS3? I thought it was closing on 4.5 mil PS3, according to this site's chart.


MARCUSDJACKSON (on 08 January 2011)

good all around for dev's and publishers. its sad how yall always find something to argue about. be happy for every one on the list. kinect software is doing surprisingly well, and its good to see. it just goes to show you that if you take the time and money to make a great game then succee will follow.


abhiram_33 (on 08 January 2011)

the psp deserves more sales but deserves better games


ryuzaki57 (on 08 January 2011)

Thank you for your point Naruball :) @Declan We don't have the same definition of shooter then. Let's have a closer look to the X360 list Black Ops > shooter Halo Reach > shooter Kinect Adventures > party game Red Dead Redemption > action/adventure game Modern Warfare 2 > shooter Assassin's Creed B. > action/adventure game Fifa soccer 11 > sports Battlefield BC2 > shooter Fable III > RPG Forza 3 > racing Mass Effect 2 > RPG KInect Sports > party game Fallout NV > RPG NFL 11 > sports Medal of Honor > shooter FFXIII > RPG Bioshock 2 > shooter Splinter Cell C. > action/infiltration Assassin's Creed 2 > action/adventure Dance Central > dancing There are indeed six shooters, but the rest of the list much diverse than Wii's. @z101 Epic Mickey is a success for sure, but Goldeneye stands at 854'000 and Wii Black Ops at 650'000. Less, much less than any HD shooter and over a far greater user base. I wouldn't call that a success...


Salem (on 08 January 2011)

@mangoman10 Well, considering how much better both battlefield and medal of honor have done compared to their previous titles, id say EA isn't doing half bad.


mangoman10 (on 08 January 2011)

A PIPE DREAM!!! Call of Duty: Black Ops sales Vs Battlefield Bad Company 2 sales nearly 4:1 and EA thinks it can dethrone Call of Duty one day...lol...and this wasn't even IW...EA better stick to what u do best ie. sports..all your attempts like BF3+Crysis 2+Bulletstorm won't even ruffle Activision's domination. And we all have now been witness to the fact that Halo Reach is 3 million less than Call of Duty...CoD is the FPS king of this HD gen. 24 million CoD's in a year + 2-3 mill on PC + 10 million pirated downloads..woha CoD is bigger than Star wars or HP or any entertainment Franchise/property I can think of..yeah!!!


MightyGrogg (on 08 January 2011)

Where is the list at? I'm not seeing any list or any link to a list for the categories listed.


thx1139 (on 08 January 2011)

Amazing amount of Wii software given away with the purchase of the console. Must be over 25 million copies of Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and NSMBWii.


naruball (on 08 January 2011)

@CharmedontheWB So let's take a look at the top 10 wii games. 8 nintendo, 2 3rd party and one is the sequel of the other. The next third party game also a dancing game. Now let's take a look at the ps360 top 10. 7 and 6 third party games at the top 10 respectively and also selling very well. So if you were a developer which console which you prefer to develop on? And the psp is pretty much dead (except Japan), that's why most developers have abandoned it. Also, don't you think that the developers of No more heroes 2 made an effort?


z101 (on 08 January 2011)

Big year for the Wii. And even the Thirds have success on Nintendos console now (not hyper-über-nintendo-success, but success with games like Epic Mickey, Goldeneye, Black Ops, Just Dance, etc.)


haxxiy (on 08 January 2011)

@ Declan - games selling for a long time is not always a good sign. It means that, there's nothing else worthy to buy. And let's face it, no 1st place console has seen such a lackluster library of games as the Wii.


ocean-1984 (on 08 January 2011)

Nintendo in Wii charts!!! It looks like nobody else can make huge money on Wii other than Nintendo and Wiisoft... i mean Ubisoft ;-)


Pineapple (on 08 January 2011)

Brilliant work as always, Source. How accurate would you say that VGChartz "software totals" for 2010 are? By this list, the top 20 games account for 30% of the overall software sold. That's less than I assumed, but I suppose that's the highest since 2007. I'm mostly quite shocked at how, on the Wii, just around 40% of the software sales come from titles released in 2010. By my (rough) count, a bit 40 million come from titles released in 2009, around 10 million from titles released in 2008, a bit under 5 million from titles released in 2007, and 18 million from 2006. That's 73 million, out of 180 in total for the Wii this year. That trend might be reversed next year, though, as the Wii only really had two titles in 2010 that should sell millions in 2011.


Declan (on 08 January 2011)

@ryuzaki So what you're saying is that games sell for longer on the Wii and that, despite perceptions of the Wii being a machine just for Party/Mario games, there are actually fewer of those than there are shooters on the 360's list? Interesting point.


ryuzaki57 (on 08 January 2011)

You can also consider that all the games available only on PS3 and X360 are HD exclusives, which makes 2 PS3 exclusives, 2 X360 exclusives (of which one heavily bundled) and 7 HD exclusives against 10 Wii exclusives (of which one is heavily bundled and many partially bundled).


TheSource (on 08 January 2011)

All bundled games are included in making the lists. That's why stuff like Kinect Adventures (bundled everywhere - not just in the West) is in there with Wii Sports.


ryuzaki57 (on 08 January 2011)

If this is just the start, I can't wait to see more! But please remove Wii sports from the lists : Japan excluded, no one picks Wii sports out of a shelf. Just 3 quick remarks : - Black Ops flattened the competition (even without PC, Wii and DS sales) - The top 3 Wii games are 2009 games - Out of 20 Wii games, 6 are Mario games, 4 party games, 3 dancing games and 2 fitness games


CharmedontheWB (on 08 January 2011)

Amazing how 3rd parties complain that they do not develop for the Wii because their stuff does not sell well and yet 7 third party titles have sold over one million copies and yet the PSP has a slew of 3rd party titles and only two have managed to sell more than a million copies. There is no damn excuse not to develop for the Wii. It may not have the same specs that an xbox 360 or ps3 has but if you apply yourself you can make great games for the Wii too! Wii games don't suck because the Wii sucks--if that were the case then all GC and PS2 games would suck as well. Wii games suck because developers do not put in enough effort to make great games. Only Nintendo 1st party developers seem to care enough to put effort into the platform.


XxXProphecyXxX (on 08 January 2011)

wers ps3's?? I dont see the table.....


Darc Requiem (on 08 January 2011)

PSP software sales are pretty bad. Only 3 million sellers. The DS has 15.


tripleb2k (on 08 January 2011)

I thought PS3 would have had a better year. multiple million sellers, but not multiple ones.


jadakiss1217 (on 07 January 2011)

nice year for everyone


StokedUp (on 08 January 2011)

WOW halo reach sold 7.5 and Mass Effect 2 which is by far a better game only sold 2.3, thats shocking!


julien133 (on 08 January 2011)

Lol ! 10 Wii exclusivities 2 PS3 and 360 exclusivities...