Charting the Top Selling Video Games for the Past 30 Years

Virtually everybody has their own favorite video game, or perhaps two or three or twelve favorites. But just because your beloved video game has a special place in your heart and hard drive (heart drive?), doesn’t mean that it was ever the world’s favorite. To find that out, take a gander at this graph showing how video game sales evolved since their inception. Guess the current number one right and… well, we can’t give you a prize, but you’ll deserve one.

YouTuber, PhD student, and data geek Data Is Beautiful is behind the highly enlightening graph. Data Is Beautiful doesn’t give their real name on their channel, but whoever they are, we salute the channel’s mission to “[take] us on a fun trip down memory lane together so we can relive the colorful events we all experienced.”

As far as the critical details to know about this particular graph, it’s important to note that you’re looking at the number of cumulative units sold worldwide, not dollar amounts or any other monetary measurement. According to Data Is Beautiful, the data making up the graph covers PC and gaming consoles, and only includes games that were bought; free-to-play copies of games were not included here, which makes the competition seem more fair. Although if it were no holds barred, presumably Tetris would’ve retained its number one spot.

A moving graph of the best-selling video games of all time.

Data Is Beautiful/YouTube

The moment Minecraft overtakes Tertis as the best-selling video game of all time. 

Speaking of which, the way this graph evolves involves a lot of twists and turns. Frogger holds the lead up until 1992, when it’s surpassed by Super Mario Land. Tetris pops up in the same year, and then holds the lead up until 2013! Yes, Tetris reigned as emperor of the gaming world in terms of units sold for a full 21 years. Talk about a blockbuster game!

Finally, in 2013, Tetris is dethroned by Minecraft, which holds the lead up until this year. With nearly 182,000,000 units sold as of Q3 2019, Minecraft, gamers and data geeks of the world, is your best-selling video game of all time. Which is interesting for many reasons, and raises the question: why do people love virtual blocks so much?

What do you think of this graph of the best-selling video games of all time? Was your favorite video game included? Feed us some opinion data in the comments!

Featured Image: Data Is Beautiful/YouTube

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