Well, the year’s end is almost upon us, and the final cheques are being cashed. Gamers are finalizing their annual collection, and developers are prepping for a new year of exciting opportunities. With that, the stats have been calculated, and the top ten best-selling games have been confirmed. But, just who was it that managed to dominate the market this year? Which franchise rose from the ashes and which fell into oblivion? Which title surpassed our expectations and which fell victim to a good old fashioned boycotting? Find out now as we walk through this year in gaming. Together, we’ll take a peek at what came out laughing, and what settled for the consolation prize.
Here are the ten best-selling video games of 2019, according to NPD.
First on our list is the highly-anticipated MMORPG from Electronic Arts, Anthem. Released on February 22nd, Anthem managed to rack up an impressive 7.3 million sales over the course of the year. However, despite the remarkable reception, EA confirmed in a later interview that the target figure was around a million more than the actual figure. Well, I guess you can’t win ’em all.
Anthem is set in the open-world of an unnamed planet where players (also known as Freelancers) are tasked with re-establishing the faction as a household name. With plenty of grinding, looting, button-mashing, and fast-paced bullet storms, Anthem delivers a powerful slap that gives players plenty to thirst for and even more to come back to.
9. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Breaking out a little late into the market came EA’s surprise hit Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which launched on November 15th. And, while it didn’t take the world entirely by storm in terms of mouth-watering stats, it still managed to become the best-selling Star Wars game in the first-week launch. Plus, EA managed to scoop up a generous GOTY award presented on behalf of Titanium Awards last month, too. So, we can’t exactly deny this newcomer of a well-earned reception.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order combines a flurry of mechanics similar to the Uncharted saga. It also throws in the lore you’d expect from the iconic franchise and even throws in a twist that keeps the originality present throughout. And, unlike previous installments created by Electronic Arts, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order focuses on cracking narrative as opposed to sneaky microtransactions to keep players gripped. That’s a change I think we’re all glad to see, to be honest.
8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Where would we be without the annual drop-in from the charming Super Smash crew? Of course, Super Smash Bros. is in the top ten. If you didn’t see that one coming, then you might’ve been living under a rock this entire year. No, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate did indeed manage to break it into the eighth-place slot this year. With 12.8 million sales since its initial launch back in December 2018, Nintendo has managed to bag yet another handful of fans and awards for their continued devotion to the party-starter franchise.
Super Smash Bros. combines every loveable face from the Nintendo universe and places them all within one action-packed city. With enough unlockables, mini-games, secrets, and nostalgic fun, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brings the party to the people and gives the world exactly what they expect and more.
7. Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2
Ah, yes, the sequel that almost secured the number one spot for 2019’s best-selling games of the year. With almost record-breaking launch sales, Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 managed to secure an overall positive reception from long-term Clancy fans and newbies alike. And, thanks to the satisfying gameplay and ironed-out mechanics, The Division 2 managed to snatch up some noteworthy nominations, including best multiplayer and best game design. Sadly, however, these were lost to the likes of Apex Legends.
Tom Clancy’s: The Divison 2 brings nail-biting carnage to life as players are tasked with bringing Washington D.C back from the dead. With enough material to sink your teeth into, The Divison 2 gives you plenty of bang for your buck and hundreds of hours you’ll never regret spending.
6. Kingdom Hearts 3
Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most anticipated games of, well, forever. That’s because most people who played the previous major installment were about thirteen-years-old when it dropped. And, since then, we’ve have had to endure fourteen long and grueling years for the next enchanting chapter to be welcomed to next-gen consoles. Oof that didn’t exactly please too many people, did it? And yet, Kingdom Hearts 3 still managed to outsell most major franchises upon release.
Kingdom Hearts, admittedly, isn’t a story to flick through and close when the day’s been done. No, it’s sort of like a puzzle. Only this puzzle is about eighty-thousand pieces, and half of them aren’t even meant to fit. That, however, hasn’t stopped fans from pouring endless amounts of hours into the Disney saga since its launch. In fact, Square Enix has done such a marvelous job on the reboot that even old-school fans have felt a sense of redemption in the series. Well played Square.
5. Mortal Kombat 11
The twenty-seven-year-old Mortal Kombat saga has brought millions of hours of action-packed fun since its 1992 arcade debut. Now, as we turn the page into next-level gaming, the legendary fighting series has upped its game, and roundhouse kicked critics right in the face. With great finishers and a fastpaced storyline that never steps away from the action, Mortal Kombat 11 becomes the most satisfyingly beautiful chapter in the almost thirty-year-old timeline.
There’s much more to a Mortal Kombat game than meets the eye. Because, where people see a gory package crammed with mindless carnage, beneath lies a rather charming plotline that engages players with sweet charisma and wit. And, as developers thrive to excel and top each installment, Mortal Kombat’s only way is indeed up.
4. Borderlands 3
Gearbox Software has birthed some pretty badass shoot-em-ups in its time. However, nothing compares to their explosive smash-and-loot blockbuster saga, Borderlands, which has caused quite the storm over the years with its mindless vandalism and punchdrunk humor. Now, as Borderlands 3 makes its restless rounds across the globe, Gearbox can rest assured that the latest installment has gained the approval of millions of lifelong lovers of the franchise on a global scale.
Borderlands has a running theme of combining jampacked bullet-frenzies with cringe one-liners and wacky subplots. With more joyful fun and twice as much reckless behavior, Borderlands 3 grants players the opportunity to wreak havoc on Pandora and beyond in the wildest episode to date.
3. Madden NFL 20
When it comes to the top-tier sports games, we sort of look to EA Sports like a carnivore would look to a T-bone steak. There isn’t usually much competition. And, if anything, we expect EA Sports to know what they’re doing behind the scenes. With Madden – EA knows precisely what they’re doing. They’ve been hitting that nail on the head for a good thirty years now, to be honest.
Madden has had a healthy relationship with the market for a solid twenty years now, always reaching the pinnacle of the competition and bringing home the gold regardless of the minor tweaks each installment makes. That’s because EA, who is famously known for sporting franchises, is always first to the scene and loyal to the target audience. EA Sports has, and will continue to be the go-to developer for first-class American football games and more. That’s just sort of what they do. And they do it well.
2. NBA 2K20
Coming in at second place is the iconic NBA series with its 2K20 installment, which launched on August 21st this year. With mouthwatering sales reaching a new high, NBA 2K20 brought home the gold for the best-selling game of 2019 in only three short months. However, the victory was shortlived as rival developers soon sniped the top spot. But, we’ll get to that soon enough.
NBA 2K20 was quick to snatch the affection of sporting fans worldwide with its realistic court mechanics and addictive gameplay. With plenty more to dive into and a sharpened edge on previous installments, NBA 2k20 soon defined the series and became the top dog of the basketball world.
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019
When something gets a remaster, it can either crumble and fall, or it can skyrocket and explode. With Call of Duty, for example – no feat is high enough for the franchise to ascend to. That’s because what we have here is a $1 billion cash cow, which stemmed directly from the highly anticipated remaster, Modern Warfare. Yes, we did say $1 billion. And that was in a mere four months since its initial launch date back in August, too.
Call of Duty is a franchise that’ll likely never die out. There are far too many online gamers who’re so invested in the series that no amount of poaching will ever persuade them to move away. Plus, with constant live updates, modes, weapons, and events, fans will never loosen their grips on the world that is Modern Warfare. It not only acts as a piece of nostalgia for noughties gamers, but it also entices newbies to join the action in next-level quality, too. That’s a win-win situation for both Activision and players, for sure.
Okay, so I’ll likely be the English guy who attempts to cover American news. Actually, I’ll probably be the guy who just tries to cover everything and eventually ends up sleep-deprived and broken. Hey, I chose the life of a journalist, so I guess I should accept these consequences sooner rather than later. Ah well – The Nerd Stash is worth it. If you’ve got something for me to cover, I’ll probably do it.