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2016's Best-Selling Games in the US Revealed

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare comes on top in December and 2016 overall.


The NPD group has released its monthly US sales report for December and announced the top-selling games for the entire year.

This report comes with a new disclaimer, which notes it "provides both online and retail sales results for new physical video game products, as well as a subset of full-game digital downloads from participating publishers in NPD's digital panel. It is not intended to cover total market/total consumer spend."

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With that in mind, we have gotten more information than usual. In addition to the typical list of top-selling games (in terms of dollar sales) across all platforms, it's also provided platform-specific lists for December. This shows that, while Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Final Fantasy XV were the top two games overall, the latter was No. 3 on Xbox One, but No. 1 on PS4. Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 (the No. 3 game on PS4) were the top two games on Xbox One.

The report also includes a look at the top-selling games for the entire year in the US, and Infinite Warfare--even with its sales dip--unsurprisingly came out on top. What might stand out most in this list are the two games to make the top 10 that released prior to 2016: Grand Theft Auto V (No. 6) and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (No. 8).

Total video game sales--combining hardware, software, and accessories--were down 15 percent year-over-year from $3.2 billion to $2.7 billion in the US during December. Hardware saw the biggest drop, going from $1.24 billion in December 2015 to $994.9 million in December 2016.

"[T]he release of the Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 Pro did not generate dollar-spending growth," said NPD analyst Sam Naji. "Although the combined [average retail price] for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems decreased by 15 percent, consumers bought seven percent fewer units."

In recent months, Sony has ceased to provide comments on NPD reports. We learned last week that PS4 outsold Xbox One in the US during December, while Microsoft boasted that its console was the top-seller over the second half of 2016. Today's NPD report added that Xbox One sales were up 10 percent in December compared with December 2015.

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In a statement shared with GameSpot, Nintendo talked up the performance of 3DS (while making no mention of Wii U). It didn't share specific hardware sales numbers, but it did say 3DS enjoyed year-over-year growth for the seventh month in a row during December. It also noted that 3DS was the only game system to sell more in 2016 than it did in 2015. NES Classic Edition sales were up 14 percent in December as compared with November (when it launched), according to the NPD Group.

As for software, first-party 3DS games sold 7.3 million units in the US during the final three months of 2016. Nintendo said this makes it the best-selling quarter for 3DS software sales ever. It attributed this to new releases Pokemon Sun/Moon, Super Mario Maker, and Mario Party: Star Rush, as well as older titles like Mario Kart 7 and Super Smash Bros. Sun and Moon have combined to sell 4.5 million units in the US so far.

You can see all of the lists NPD shared below. For a comparison, you can check out the best-selling games in November 2016 here and all of 2015 here.

These lists are ranked in terms of dollar sales and combine physical sales with digital sales from select publishers (notable absences include Nintendo and sales through in the US. Games marked with an asterisk are those that don't include digital sales. December's charts cover November 27 through December 31, while the full-year chart runs from January 3 through December 31.

2016 Top 10 Games

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. The Division
  4. NBA 2K17
  5. Madden NFL 17
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Overwatch (no sales)
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  9. FIFA 17
  10. Final Fantasy XV

December 2016 Top 10 Games

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Final Fantasy XV
  3. Battlefield 1
  4. Madden NFL 17
  5. NBA 2K17
  6. Watch Dogs 2
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. Pokemon: Sun*
  9. FIFA 17
  10. Pokemon: Moon*

December 2016 Top 10 Xbox One Games

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. Final Fantasy XV
  4. Madden NFL 17
  5. NBA 2K17
  6. Watch Dogs 2
  7. Titanfall 2
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Forza Horizon 3
  10. FIFA 17

December 2016 Top 10 PS4 Games

  1. Final Fantasy XV
  2. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  3. Battlefield 1
  4. Watch Dogs 2
  5. NBA 2K17
  6. Madden NFL 17
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. FIFA 17
  9. The Last Guardian*
  10. Titanfall 2

December 2016 Top 10 Wii U Games

  1. Paper Mario: Color Splash*
  2. Pokken Tournament*
  3. Minecraft*
  4. Just Dance 2017
  5. Skylanders Imaginators
  6. Super Smash Bros.*
  7. Super Mario Maker*
  8. Lego Dimensions
  9. Splatoon*
  10. New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U*

December 2016 Top 10 Portable Games

  1. Pokemon: Sun*
  2. Pokemon: Moon*
  3. Super Mario Maker*
  4. Pokemon: Sun & Moon dual pack*
  5. Mario Party: Star Rush*
  6. Super Smash Bros.*
  7. Mario Kart 7*
  8. Kirby: Planet Robobot*
  9. Pokemon Omega Ruby*
  10. Pokemon X*

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