There is an analyst at The NPD Group specializing in the North American video game industry, has dropped a list of the best-selling games in the United States from 1995 to 2017. Thus, as who does not want the thing.
When preparing this list, the DLC’s volume or the micro transactions of each title was not taken into account, but only the dollar sales of the games in both physical and digital formats. And in a2ua.com we have asked ourselves, are those games also the best of each year?
And we have gotten into a good dilemma because it is not an easy question to answer: how can we know which is the best game of each year? (Spoiler: actually, we can’t.) So, once the blanket has been conveniently wrapped around our heads, we have thought that the rules to follow are going to be these:
- First, we are going to take the list of The NPD Group that Mr. Piscatella has released.
- And then we go to Metacritic to look at which games got the best grades for each year. This number does not mean that a game is the best unanimously and emphatically, of course, but it is the most powerful tool of this type that we have at hand to see at a glance where the shots went in each case. We have also used this data for the year of release of each game in Western territory.
- And finally, as Metacritic is what it is, we go and choose what we think was the best game of each year. Not an easy task because, in many cases, we did not even coincide between those of us who make up the team. That has led us to include more than one game in the odd row: our table, our rules. In fact, in Meteoritic, there are also ties, in which case we have decided to include all those who share an average grade.
Without more stories, let’s see how this real Fronkonstin table has turned out:
|ANUS||BEST SELLERS IN THE UNITED STATES||THOSE WITH THE BEST AVERAGE IN METACRITIC||THE BEST ACCORDING TO VIDAEXTRA|
|2017||Call of Duty: WWII||The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild , Super Mario Odyssey (97)||The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild|
|2016||Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare||Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End , INSIDE (93)||The Last Guardian|
|2015||Call of Duty: Black Ops III||Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (95)||The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt|
|2014||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (92)||Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U|
|2013||Grand theft auto v||Grand Theft Auto V (97)||Grand theft auto v|
|2012||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Mass Effect 3 , Persona 4 Golden (93)||Journey|
|2011||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||Batman: Arkham City (96)||Batman Arkham City|
|2010||Call of Duty Black Ops||Super Mario Galaxy 2 (97)||Super Mario Galaxy 2, Red Dead Redemption|
|2009||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2||Uncharted 2: Kingdom of Thieves (96)||Uncharted 2: Kingdom of Thieves|
|2008||Rock band||GTA IV (98)||Gears of war 2|
|2007||Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock||Super Mario Galaxy (97)||Super Mario Galaxy, BioShock|
|2006||Madden NFL 07||The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (96)||The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Gears of War|
|2005||Madden NFL 06||Resident Evil 4 (96)||Shadow of the Colossus , Resident Evil 4|
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||Half-Life 2 (96)||World of warcraft|
|2003||Madden NFL 2004||The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (96)||The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker|
|2002||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Metroid Prime (97)||Metroid Prime|
|2001||Madden NFL 2002||Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (97)||HALO: Combat Evolved|
|2000||Pokémon Stadium||Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (98)||Final Fantasy IX|
|1999||Donkey Kong 64||SoulCalibur (98)||Age of Empires II|
|1998||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (99)||Metal Gear Solid|
|1997||Mario Kart 64||GoldenEye 007 (96)||Final Fantasy VII|
|NINETEEN NINETY SIX||Super Mario 64||CIV II, Quake, Diablo, Super Mario 64 (94)||Super Mario 64|
|NINETEEN NINETY FIVE||Mortal Kombat III||Full Throttle (86)||Chrono Trigger|
Honorable Mentions (and Other Sleepless Stories)
As I said above, there have been cases in which each a2ua.com editor has suggested a different game, and we believe that it is worth looking at the most relevant cases in which we have considered several and that, in the end, have had to give way to the winners:
- 2014 – Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U has prevailed, but we have seen Bayonetta 2 poking its nose.
- 2013 – GTA V has swept here, sure, but let’s not forget that The Last of Us was released that year.
- 2012 – Along with Journey, our winner appeared Xenoblade Chronicles and Halo 4, for example.
- 2011 – Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Skyrim, and Portal 2 could also have ended up being chosen.
- 2008 – Gears of War 2 are cool, but GTA IV and Braid have also appeared candidates.
- 2004 – It has flaws that only one of us (me, to be more precise) has proposed Half-Life 2. Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater has also appeared, but World of Warcraft has eaten them in the end.
- 2001 – Along with that HALO: Combat Evolved, we have shuffled other great games like Golden Sun or Devil May Cry.
- 2000 – Final Fantasy IX has finally prevailed, but there were also Diablo II and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.
- 1999 – This has been a tough year when choosing which one to keep. Along with Age of Empires II, we had things like Super Smash Bros. or Silent Hill.
- 1998 – Although The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the best seller that year in the US, in addition to having the best Metacritic average for 1998, Link and company have ended up biting the dust against Metal Gear Solid.
- 1996 – The first Resident Evil and Quake were there, but the voting is as it is and has won Super Mario 64.
- 1995 – Next to the excellent Chrono Trigger, we had other jewels such as Terranigma or Ristar.
Some of the conclusions that we can draw from all that, as a final crazy summary, are these:
- You have to see what the Americans like about a Call of Duty. If it were not for GTA V, which in 2013 appeared there as a spoilsport, the Activision saga would have chained nine years in a row being the best-selling in that territory.
- But watch out for the Maddens, who manage to sneak four deliveries almost consecutively. Yes, again, it was a couple of GTAs in charge of cutting the American football titles’ streak.
- And if we remove the Call of Duty and the Madden, it seems that Nintendo titles also liked a lot and they have five years for them between Marios, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Pokémon.
- It’s also cool to see at a glance when the boom in music games occurred, with Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock and Rock Band dominating sales for 2007 and 2008, respectively.
And the most obvious conclusion of all: sales, in the vast majority of cases, do not match the games’ quality if the specialized press guides us through their notes on Metacritic. Peoples also loves and interested on different games. Let’s not even talk about the relationship between the best-selling games in the US and those that we at a2ua.com consider being the best games, of course. In the 22 years that the table covers, we only agree on two: Super Mario 64 in 1996 and GTA V in 2013.
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