The NPD Group, an American market research company released its 2018 video games industry findings earlier this week. The group released a number of interesting statistics and information, not least of which are the best-selling games of 2018.
The NPD Group’s 2018 data for the entire year holds a number of interesting tidbits about game sales and the industry as a whole. For starters, the Nintendo Switch outsold both the PS4 and Xbox One for the year, with over 10 million units sold in 2018. The NPD’s also released the top 20 best-selling games of 2018 by dollar sales, with some usual suspects alongside new surprises. Here’s the full list:
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
- NBA 2K19
- Madden NFL 19
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate *
- Marvel’s Spider-Man
- Far Cry 5
- God of War
- Monster Hunter: World
- Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Mario Kart 8 *
- FIFA 19 **
- Battlefield V **
- Super Mario Odyssey *
- Call of Duty: WWII **
- Dragon Ball FighterZ
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild *
- Super Mario Party *
- Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu *
* does not include digital sales
** does not include PC digital sales
Unsurprisingly, Red Dead Redemption 2 and the latest Call of Duty sit atop the list with annual sports stablemates NBA 2K and Madden ranking highly. The fifth best-seller, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is the best-selling exclusive game of the year and that is excluding Switch digital sales. What makes Super Smash Bros‘ place on this list even more surprising is the game was only on sale starting December 7. It made more money than Spider-Man, God of War, Far Cry 5 and other wildly successful games —in less than a month.
Grand Theft Auto 5, a game originally released in 2013, nearly cracked the top 10 best-selling games of 2018 list coming in at number 11. The perennial blockbuster, GTA5 has sold over 100 million units since release. Estimates put GTA5 on track of having sold 10 million copies last year alone.
Nintendo’s first-party Switch titles continue to sell incredibly well, with Mario Kart 8, Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Party all making it onto the list. Sony’s exclusive offering also did well too, with Spider-Man and God of War sandwiching Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 within the top 10. Capcom’s hugely successful Monster Hunter: World and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey rounded out the top 10.
If you’re surprised with where FIFA 19 fell, remember these are U.S. numbers only and the United States isn’t as into soccer as the rest of the world. The game still sold millions worldwide, mind you.
In any case, this year showed the staying power of Nintendo’s IPs, and that Rockstar will continue to make boatloads of money from its massive open-world games.