Top Ten Best-Selling US Games of 2015 and December Revealed

Call of Duty leads the way.

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The NPD Group today released its monthly sales report for December 2015 and the full year, detailing the best-selling new, physical sales at retailers in the US for the last month and full year.

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GS News Update: PS4 and Call of Duty Top Best-Seller Lists in 2015
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On the software side, Call of Duty: Black Ops III came out on top for December 2015 and the full year. Rounding out the top five were Madden NFL 16, Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, and Grand Theft Auto V.

The Call of Duty franchise has now been the best-selling series in North America for seven years in a row, Activision said in a statement sent to GameSpot. However, on a single-game basis, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling game of the year in 2013, according to the NPD, which only tracks physical sales.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the top selling title of 2015 globally by a wide-margin in both units and dollars sold-thru," Activision senior vice president Rob Kostich said. "This also marks the seventh year in a row that Call of Duty has been the No. 1 selling franchise in North America, according to NPD. In fact, Call of Duty has surpassed 250 million units sold life-to-date worldwide. This achievement is thanks to the amazing experiences created by all of our development teams, and would not be possible without the incredible passion from the Call of Duty community. We congratulate Treyarch on creating an incredibly engaging and an enormously fun game with Black Ops III and look forward to what's to come in 2016."

Interestingly, Black Ops III and Star Wars Battlefront sold better on Xbox One than PS4, though the fact that these games were included in PS4 bundles may have something to do with that. Bundled game sales are not counted in NPD's report. Rainbow Six Siege also moved more physical units on Xbox One than PS4, while all Minecraft games sold better on Microsoft's console than Sony's.

In terms of hardware, the PS4 was the best-selling console of December 2015 and the full year, Sony announced earlier today before the release of NPD's report. The Xbox One had a strong December, too.

December 2015 was the "best month yet for Xbox Live global engagement and Xbox One sales in the U.S." the company said in a statement to GameSpot. "The total number of hours spent gaming on Xbox One worldwide nearly doubled compared to December 2014 and Xbox One exclusive game sales in the U.S. between July and December 2015 were up 61 percent compared to the same period in 2014."

The Xbox Live "Countdown" sale was also a huge hit.

"Revenue from Xbox Store's Countdown, the biggest Xbox Store sale ever, broke records with 69 percent growth year-over-year when compared to results from last year's sale," Microsoft said. "Xbox One is the best place for gamers and the only console that has all top 10 best-selling titles of this generation that launched in 2015. With an incredible catalog of first-party and third-party games on Xbox One and available through Xbox One Backward Compatibility, 2015 was a tremendous year for gamers, and we're looking forward to making 2016 an even better one."

Below are the Top 10 software charts for December 2015 and the full year. Note that the order of platforms in the list below indicates which platforms it sold most on.

Best-Selling Physical Games in US for December 2015:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  2. Star Wars Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  3. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  5. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  6. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
  7. Rainbow Six Siege (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  8. Minecraft (360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  9. Minecraft: Story Mode (360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3)
  10. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)

Best-Selling Physical Games in US for All of 2015:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  2. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  3. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  4. Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  5. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
  6. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  7. Minecraft (360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
  8. Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One)
  9. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)

In all, new physical software sales for December 2015 decreased by 4 percent compared to December 2014, falling from $1.28 billion to $1.23 billion. NPD's Liam Callahan said this downturn was attributed to a massive 40 percent decrease in portable game sales; console software sales fell just 1 percent.

For the full year, new software sales slid 3 percent, dropping from $5.47 billion to $5.29 billion. During that period, the 2 percent rise in console software sales and the 52 percent jump in Xbox One/PS4 game sales were not enough to offset portable software sale's 34 percent decline and the 53 percent drop in Xbox 360/PS3 new software sales.

"December 2015 was the best month on record for PS4 and Xbox One, and the second-best for the Wii U in terms of new physical software unit sales," Callahan said. "This also meant that it was the best month of total eighth generation new physical software sales. 2015 was also the best year so far for total eighth generation new physical software sales."

For more NPD coverage, check out the stories below.

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