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Home / Articles

Best Selling FPS Games of All Time: Ranked by Sales 

19 Mar, 2024
Written by
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Best Selling RPGs: Ultimate List Ranked by Revenue [2024]


A first-person shooter (FPS) is a type of video game that focuses on firearms and other forms of weapon-based combat from a first-person viewpoint. In this genre, players experience the game through the perspective of the protagonist, as if they are looking through the character’s eyes.

How we calculate Our high-load parsers scrape the web and our marketing analysts process the data to provide up-to-date information for business.
Rank Game Genre Developer Publisher Platform Release Date Sales
1 PUBG PUBG Survival-Shooter, Battle Royale PUBG Corporation Krafton Windows, Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5. 2017 75,000,000
2 Overwatch Overwatch First-person shooter, hero shooter Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S 2016 50,000,000
3 Call of Duty MM Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 First-person shooter Activision Activision PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, Playstation 4, Xbox One 2019 30,000,000
4 Duck Hunt Duck Hunt Light gun shooter, sports, shooting gallery Nintendo Nintendo Nintendo Entertainment System, Arcade 1984 28,300,000
5 Borderlands 2 Borderlands 2 Action role-playing, first-person shooter Gearbox Software 2K Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, macOS, PlayStation Vita, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, Nintendo Switch 2012 28,000,000
6 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 First-person shooter Activision Activision Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii 2011 26,500,000
7 CoD Black Ops Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 First-person shooter Activision Activision Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U 2010 26,200,000
8 CoD Black Ops 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 First-person shooter Activision / Treyarch Activision, Sony Interactive Entertainment (PS3, PS4, Japan only), Microsoft (Xbox One, Xbox 360, Japan only) PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, macOS 2012 24,200,000
9 Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare First-person shooter Activision / Infinity Ward Activision Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, Wii 2007 5,700,000
10 Halo 3 Halo 3 First-person shooter Microsoft Game Studios Microsoft Game Studios Xbox 360 2007 15,000,000

The origins of the first-person shooter genre are often linked to the game Wolfenstein 3D, released in 1992, which established the foundational template for later games in this category. Following Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, launched in 1993, played a pivotal role in bringing the genre to the mainstream and setting the standard for its popularity.

Best Selling FPS Games

1. PUBG

Release Year: 2017

Sales Figures: 75,000,000 copies

Developer: PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of Bluehole

“PUBG: Battlegrounds” is a revolutionary title that popularized the battle royale genre within the broader FPS category. The game drops up to 100 players on an island where they must scavenge for weapons and equipment, and fight to be the last person or team standing. Its realistic graphics, vast open-world environments, and intense survival gameplay mechanics set a new standard for multiplayer experiences. “PUBG: Battlegrounds” not only amassed a huge player base but also became a cultural phenomenon, contributing to the rise of esports and streaming communities. Its success spawned numerous imitators and inspired a wave of battle royale games, significantly influencing the direction of the FPS genre and online gaming.

2. Overwatch

Overwatch

Release Year: 2016

Sales Figures: 50,000,000 copies

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

“Overwatch” is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter that stands out for its emphasis on character diversity and teamwork. The game features a colorful cast of heroes, each with unique abilities and roles, such as offense, defense, tank, and support. Players must work together, combining their heroes’ abilities to achieve objectives and win matches. Its vibrant art style, engaging gameplay, and regular updates with new content have helped maintain its popularity. “Overwatch” has had a significant impact on the gaming community, fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. Its esports scene, the Overwatch League, brought a new level of professionalism and global representation to competitive gaming. The game’s emphasis on teamwork and strategy, along with its approachable yet deep gameplay mechanics, have made it a staple in the FPS genre and a model for future multiplayer titles.

3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Release Year: 2019

Sales Figures: 30,000,000 copies

Developer: Activision

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” is a critically acclaimed installment in the long-running “Call of Duty” series. This title serves as a soft reboot of the iconic Modern Warfare sub-series, known for its gripping narrative and realistic portrayal of modern warfare. The game features a single-player campaign that tackles contemporary military conflicts with nuanced storytelling, alongside a robust multiplayer experience that includes classic competitive modes, a cooperative Spec Ops mode, and the introduction of the large-scale Warzone battle royale mode. The 2019 “Modern Warfare” reboot reinvigorated the “Call of Duty” franchise with its realistic graphics, advanced gameplay mechanics, and engaging multiplayer modes. It set new standards for the series in terms of narrative depth and multiplayer innovation. The inclusion of the free-to-play Warzone mode expanded the game’s reach and played a significant role in the resurgence of “Call of Duty” as a leading title in the FPS genre and esports.

4. Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt

Release Year: 1984

Sales Figures: 28,300,000 copies

Developer: Nintendo

“Duck Hunt” is a classic light gun shooter game that became one of the most iconic titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The game features simple yet addictive gameplay where players use the NES Zapper light gun to shoot ducks that appear on the screen. The aim is to hit a certain number of ducks to advance to the next level, with the challenge increasing as the player progresses. The game is fondly remembered for its 8-bit graphics, sound effects, and particularly the laughing dog that appears when players miss their shots. As one of the earliest successes in the shooting game genre, “Duck Hunt” has a special place in video game history. Its widespread popularity helped popularize the use of light gun technology in video games and contributed to the NES’s success in the mid-1980s. “Duck Hunt” is often cited as a nostalgic favorite and has been referenced and parodied in various media and other video games, cementing its status as a cultural icon.

5. Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

Release Year: 2012

Sales Figures: 28,000,000 copies

Developer: Gearbox Software

“Borderlands 2” is a critically acclaimed hybrid of first-person shooter and role-playing game elements set in the open world of Pandora. Known for its distinctive cel-shaded graphics, the game builds upon the success of its predecessor by offering a vast array of weapons, deep character customization, and an engaging storyline filled with humor and memorable characters. Players choose from one of several unique classes and embark on a quest for loot and glory, either solo or in cooperative multiplayer. “Borderlands 2” has left a lasting legacy in the gaming world with its unique art style, compelling loot-driven gameplay, and its blend of FPS and RPG mechanics. The game’s humor, characterized by witty dialogue and memorable characters like the villainous Handsome Jack, has set a high standard for storytelling in video games. Its success has spawned sequels, spin-offs, and even talks of a film adaptation, underscoring its significant impact on pop culture and the gaming industry.

6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Release Year: 2011

Sales Figures: 26,500,000 copies

Developer: Activision 

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” is a direct sequel to the critically acclaimed “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” concluding the epic storyline involving U.S. forces against an ultranationalist threat. The game is renowned for its cinematic single-player campaign, which continues the high-stakes narrative with globe-trotting missions and intense action sequences. The multiplayer component further solidifies its status, featuring a variety of maps, modes, and a progressive system that keeps players engaged. As part of one of the most successful video game franchises, “Modern Warfare 3” had a significant cultural impact, exemplifying the peak of military-themed shooters of its time. Its release was one of the biggest entertainment launches in history at the time, showcasing the massive appeal of the “Call of Duty” series. The game’s engaging multiplayer and narrative-driven campaign set new standards for the FPS genre, influencing countless titles that followed.

7. Call of Duty: Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Release Year: 2010

Sales Figures: 26,200,000 copies

Developer: Activision

“Call of Duty: Black Ops” takes players into the depths of the Cold War’s volatile geopolitical battle of the 20th century. The game is renowned for its gripping single-player campaign, which follows covert operations and deniable missions behind enemy lines, inspired by real historical events. The multiplayer mode introduces new features like the COD Points currency system, wager matches, and customizable player emblems, enhancing the competitive experience. Additionally, the game’s Zombies mode became a hallmark of the franchise, offering endless cooperative gameplay fun. “Call of Duty: Black Ops” marked a pivotal moment in the FPS genre with its engaging storytelling, innovative multiplayer features, and the introduction of the Zombies mode, which would become a beloved staple in future installments. The game’s narrative depth, combined with historical intrigue, captivated players and critics alike, making it one of the most memorable entries in the “Call of Duty” series. Its success further cemented the franchise’s status as a cultural phenomenon in the gaming world.

8. Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Release Year: 2012

Sales Figures: 24,200,000 copies

Developer: Activision / Treyarch

“Call of Duty: Black Ops II” innovates within the franchise by offering a storyline that spans both the Cold War and a futuristic 2025 setting, featuring branching storylines influenced by player choices, a first for the series. The game is praised for its ambitious narrative, complex characters, and advanced warfare technology in gameplay. The multiplayer component introduces new game modes and features, including the Pick 10 create-a-class system, allowing for deeper customization. “Black Ops II” also continues the popular Zombies mode with new expansive maps and game modes. With its forward-thinking approach to narrative and gameplay, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” set a new standard for interactive storytelling in the FPS genre. Its dual-timeline story, player-driven choices, and futuristic setting offered a fresh take on the military shooter formula. The game’s success reinforced the “Call of Duty” franchise’s dominance in the gaming industry and its influence on pop culture, further establishing Treyarch as a leading developer within the series. The innovative features introduced in “Black Ops II” would go on to influence future titles in the franchise and beyond.

9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Release Year: 2007

Sales Figures: 5.7 million copies

Developer: Activision / Infinity Ward

A groundbreaking entry in the Call of Duty series, “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” revolutionized the FPS genre with its realistic graphics, immersive narrative, and refined multiplayer experience. Set in a contemporary setting, it offered players intense and varied combat scenarios, ranging from stealth missions to large-scale assaults. The game’s success paved the way for future titles in the Modern Warfare series and solidified Call of Duty as a leading franchise in the gaming industry. “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” also set new standards for online multiplayer modes, introducing customizable classes, killstreak rewards, and a progression system that deeply influenced future multiplayer game design. Its legacy includes inspiring a generation of games that blend cinematic storytelling with engaging gameplay, maintaining a significant place in gaming history.

10. Halo 3

Halo 3

Release Year: 2007

Sales Figures: 15 million copies

Developer: Microsoft Game Studios / Bungie

“Halo 3” concludes the epic sci-fi trilogy, offering players intense interstellar warfare and a compelling narrative. Renowned for its cinematic presentation, engaging multiplayer modes, and revolutionary Forge map editor, it solidified the Xbox 360 as a leading gaming console. The game’s launch was a landmark event in gaming, setting records for entertainment sales and fostering a massive, dedicated community. Its innovative features and compelling story had a lasting impact on the FPS genre and gaming culture. “Halo 3” also played a pivotal role in popularizing online multiplayer experiences on consoles, setting a benchmark for community engagement, competitive play, and in-game events. Its legacy continues to influence the design and community aspects of current and future FPS games.

The Top-Selling FPS Games Through the Ages

The best-selling FPS games of all time showcase the genre’s immense appeal, blending immersive storytelling, cutting-edge technology, and community-driven multiplayer experiences. Titles like “Call of Duty,” “Halo,” and “Counter-Strike” not only defined gaming trends but also created vibrant communities. Their legacy, underscored by staggering sales, highlights the FPS genre’s enduring impact on gaming culture and its role in pushing the boundaries of interactive entertainment.

FAQ

Why do people engage in FPS gaming?

Studies indicate that engaging in competitive First-Person Shooter (FPS) games can enhance one's decision-making speed and accuracy. A significant number of participants reported noticeable improvements in their cognitive abilities following sessions of competitive FPS gaming.

Can FPS gaming be beneficial for cognitive functions?

Engaging in video games, particularly FPS games, exercises vital cognitive skills such as attention, memory, and sensory perception. These games demand quick, precise thinking, potentially leading to enhanced overall cognitive performance.

How do video games impact sleep?

Playing video games at night can lead to delayed sleep onset, reduced sleep duration, and lower sleep quality. Nighttime gaming can shift sleep schedules and even alter sleep architecture, affecting the restorative value of sleep.

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