10. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 33.41 million
Initial release date: April 28, 2017
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
With over 33 million copies sold, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best-selling game on Switch, according to Nintendo. However, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is close behind with over 31 million copies sold to date.
9. Red Dead Redemption 2 – 36 million+
Initial release date: October 26, 2018
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
The latest game to crack the top ten, Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold over 36 million copies since it was released in October 2018, publisher Take-Two Interactive announced in February.
8. Mario Kart Wii – 37.38 million
Initial release date: April 10, 2008
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii
This official sales figure comes directly from Nintendo and makes Mario Kart Wii the console's second-best-selling game of all time.
7. Super Mario Bros. – 40 million+
Initial release date: September 13, 1985 (JP)
Platform(s): NES/Famicom, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (Nintendo Wii, Wii U, 3DS)
The game that brought perhaps the medium's most recognizable character to stardom, Super Mario Bros.' lifetime sales sit at over 40 million units, according to Guinness World Records, making it the best-selling NES game ever. Seeing as the archived webpage is from March 2006, Virtual Console sales aren't factored into that total, leading us to our more broad 40 million-plus figure. It's possible it belongs in the sixth spot, but without sufficient data, we're conservatively keeping it at number seven.
In addition to the platforms listed above, various versions of the iconic platformer were released for arcade, Game & Watch, PC-88, Sharp X1, Nintendo's PlayChoice-10, SNES (via Super Mario All-Stars), NES Classic, and Nintendo Switch (via Nintendo Switch Online).
6. Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow – 45 million+
Initial release date: February 27, 1996 (JP)
Platform(s): Game Boy, Virtual Console (Nintendo 3DS)
In Japan, the era-defining game was available in two versions at launch — Red and Green — before coming to other territories as Pokemon Red and Blue. Yellow Version (aka Special Pikachu Edition) followed between 1998 and 2000, depending on the territory.
While Nintendo hasn't publicly shared a sales total for the first generation of Pokemon games, estimates put the four versions' combined sales north of 45 million copies — a figure noted by Polygon in its Pokemon retrospective. As of 2016, 1.5 million of those copies were sold through Virtual Console, according to Nintendo. The franchise has collectively sold over 300 million copies, as of late 2017.
5. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds – 70 million+
Initial release date: March 23, 2017 (Early Access)
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile (free to play; downloads not counted in sales total)
As of July 2020, PUBG has sold over 70 million copies, making it the fifth-best-selling game of all time. While free mobile downloads don't count toward sales, it's worth noting, as of July 2020, PUBG Mobile has been downloaded over 700 million times, according to Sensor Tower.
4. Wii Sports – 82.90 million
Initial release date: November 19, 2006
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii
According to Nintendo's official sales figures, Wii Sports is the company's best-selling game ever. While each entry on this list was bundled with a console at some point, Wii Sports was favorably bundled in nearly all territories immediately upon the launch of Nintendo Wii. It's nearly 83 million copies sold makes it the top-selling single-platform exclusive of all time.
3. Grand Theft Auto V – 140 million+
Initial release date: September 17, 2013
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
In February 2021, 2K announced Grand Theft Auto V sales have surpassed 140 million. Grand Theft Auto V is the third video game ever to break 100 million copies sold. While 140 million is good for third on the all-time list, Grand Theft Auto V holds an even more coveted record: the most profitable entertainment release ever. As of April 2018, it's generated over $6 billion USD in revenue — a number that has certainly grown significantly in the nearly three years since.
2. Minecraft – 200 million+
Initial release date: May 17, 2009 (Classic version)
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, PC
Minecraft has now sold over 200 million copies, according to Microsoft, making it the second-best-selling video game ever. The genre-bending global phenomenon has been one of gaming's all-time greatest success stories. With film, Netflix, book, education, toy, and other projects either completed or in the works, Minecraft has transcended the medium in a way few other games have.
1. Tetris – 500 million+*
Initial release date: June 6, 1984 (Elektronika 60, USSR)
IGN score: 9.0
Arguably the most timeless video game ever created, Tetris sits comfortably atop the list of all-time bestsellers. Initially released for the Soviet Union-developed Elektronika 60 computer, variations of the classic puzzler have since been made for over 50 different platforms, according to The Tetris Company. Notably, it helped launch Game Boy to success, eventually selling 35 million copies on Nintendo's handheld console.
While a specific sales total is unavailable (and likely near impossible to calculate considering its numerous variations and platforms), Henk Rogers, The Tetris Company's managing director, told VentureBeat Tetris has 425 million paid mobile downloads, in addition to "something like 70 million" physical game sales. Considering that figure was reported in 2014, it's safe to assume the 495 million total has since shot up well above 500 million.
Modern variations of the classic are still being released to this day; Tetris Effect was a 2018 IGN Game of the Year nominee, while Tetris 99, a battle royale-inspired take on the puzzler, was released last month for Nintendo Switch.
*There's some debate as to whether the sales totals of Tetris' many versions should be lumped together. For the sake of simplicity, we've opted to do so. However, even if we were to separate its many variations, sales of the mobile version alone would seemingly place it atop this list.
To answer this question, we set out to compile the most accurate list possible, digging through financial reports, news stories, interviews, and more. The result is the following list of the ten best-selling video games of all time, as of February 2021.
(Notes: We've counted pack-in games toward sales totals, considering all ten games on this list were, at one point, bundled with a console. Free downloads are not counted as sales, therefore excluding games like Fortnite and League of Legends.)