NPD: San Andreas caps US best-seller list

Grand Theft Auto and Madden NFL franchises dominate industry-tracking group's top 10 list of all-time domestic sales leaders through April.

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As part of its positive second-quarter earnings announcement earlier today, Take-Two Interactive said that the recently released Grand Theft Auto IV had logged 8.5 million units in worldwide sales, as of May 31. Released on April 29 in North America, the game's $310 million first-day haul shattered records to become "the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment," as recognized by the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition.

Given the franchise's sales track record, the feat is hardly surprising. As reported by Forbes earlier this week, the Grand Theft Auto franchise leads the list of top 10 best-selling non-PC games ever in the US, according to industry-tracking NPD Group. (NPD classifies PC games as PC software and ranks them separately.) With 9.4 million copies sold domestically, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas tops the list, followed by its predecessors Vice City at No. 4 with 7.3 million and GTAIII at No. 9 with 6.2 million. According to Take-Two, the GTA franchise has sold more than 65 million units globally through 2007.

GTA finds itself in familiar company atop the sales-rankings charts. At the No. 2 slot is Activision's Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which took the stage on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii, PC, Mac, and mobile platforms last year. The last four installments of EA's annual Madden NFL gridiron franchise have been good to the publisher, with the '07 edition hitting slot 3 with 7.7 million units, '06 at No. 5 with 6.7 million, '08 at rank 7 with 6.6 million, and '05 rounding out the top 10 with 6.1 million units.

Activision's other massive hit from last year--the Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare--landed in the 8th slot with 6.25 million units sold. Earlier this week, the publisher said that the fourth Call of Duty has been answered by 10 million gamers globally. And finally, Bungie's Halo 2 for the original Xbox and PC has logged 6.61 million units sold in the US, scoring slot 6 on the NPD Group's list.

The NPD Group's top 10 best-selling games of all time in the US through the end of April is listed below.

1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas--9.4 million
2. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock--8.2 million
3. Madden NFL 07--7.7 million
4. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City--7.3 million
5. Madden NFL 06--6.7 million
6. Halo 2--6.61 million
7. Madden NFL 08--6.6 million
8. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare--6.25 million
9. Grand Theft Auto 3--6.2 million
10. Madden NFL 2005--6.1 million

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