7 of the 10 best-selling games of the decade were Call of Duty

Market research company The NPD Group has released its list of the ten best-selling games of the 2010s in the US across all platforms, including Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, and Steam. Grand Theft Auto 5 from Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar topped the list, which isn't terribly surprising, but after that it's Call of Duty (almost) all the way down.

The full list, based on dollar sales in the US:

  • Grand Theft Auto 5 (Take-Two Interactive)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision Blizzard)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Activision Blizzard)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision Blizzard)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Activision Blizzard)
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Activision Blizzard)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Take-Two Interactive)
  • Call of Duty: WWII (Activision Blizzard)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Activision Blizzard)
  • Minecraft (Microsoft)

That's quite a list, eh? Cars and guns, guns, guns, guns, guns, guns, horses and guns, guns, guns, and, okay, blocks and pickaxes. It's a remarkable display of dominance: The only Call of Duty games not in the list are Modern Warfare, which only came out in October 2019 (and was the top-selling game of 2019, according to the report), and Infinite Warfare, which just kind of sucked. (Update: And Advanced Warfare! Which I somehow managed to completely forget about.)

But apparently even those games weren't too far off the mark. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said on Twitter that Call of Duty games account for ten of the 15 best-selling games of the decade, and according to Wikipedia only ten "main series" Call of Duty games have been released since 2010, so that's that. It's something to keep in mind the next time you find yourself wondering why Activision pushes these things out annually. 

It's doubly impressive in the face of that domination that GTA5 managed to best them all for top spot. GTA Online obviously plays a big role in that ongoing popularity, and it remains firmly in the middle of the top-ten games on Steam despite being five years old. RDR2 doesn't have quite that heft, but it was also an Epic Games Store exclusive for a month when it first came to PC, and the NPD doesn't track non-Steam digital sales.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.