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Best-selling PC Games: The Top List [2024]

09 Jan, 2024

The world of PC gaming stands as a testament to technological innovation, pushing boundaries from its humble beginnings of pixelated adventures to the mesmerizing realms of virtual reality. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, so does the fervor and fascination that surrounds it. Among the millions of gamers worldwide, the pursuit of the ultimate gaming experience has led to an undeniable curiosity about the crowning jewel—the best-selling PC game of all time.

Identifying this pinnacle amidst a myriad of the most popular video games is no small feat. With an abundance of games released over the years, singling out the ultimate title that has truly endured the test of time is a complex challenge. However, through meticulous analysis of sales figures and the enduring enthusiasm of players, it’s possible to unveil the unrivaled best-selling PC game that has secured its place in gaming history.

The Top 15 Best-Selling PC Games Of All Time

Minecraft

Minecraft

Release Date: November 18, 2011

Developer: Mojang Studios

Sales: 238+ Million copies

Minecraft has not only impacted the gaming world but has also influenced other sectors, including education. Its open-world sandbox nature has been integrated into educational curricula, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills among students. The game’s continuous updates and community-driven content have contributed to its longevity, ensuring that players always have something new and exciting to explore within the Minecraft universe.

The Sims

The Sims

Release Date: February 4, 2000

Developer: Electronic Arts

Sales: 200 Million copies

The Sims series has received numerous awards for its innovation, gameplay, and impact on the gaming industry, solidifying its place as one of the most successful and influential game franchises of all time. While The Sims series has expanded to various gaming consoles and mobile platforms, the PC remains the primary and favored platform for many dedicated players due to its versatility and extensive modding capabilities.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Developer: Rockstar Games

Sales: 150+ Million copies

GTA V is one of the best-selling video games of all time, having generated over $6 billion in revenue since its release in 2013. It raked in $800 million within 24 hours of its launch, setting an entertainment industry record. The game’s PC version has a vibrant modding community that has created a multitude of user-generated content, ranging from graphical enhancements to entirely new gameplay experiences, expanding the game’s lifespan and appeal.

Tetris

Tetris

Release Date: September 12, 2006

Developer: Electronic Arts

Sales: 100 Million copies

Tetris became a global phenomenon, gaining popularity due to its simple yet addictive gameplay. Over the years, there have been numerous iterations and adaptations of Tetris, each with its own unique features, including multiplayer modes, themed versions, and adaptations for various consoles and devices. Tetris has been the subject of legal disputes regarding licensing rights. The ownership and distribution rights to Tetris have changed hands multiple times, leading to legal battles and controversies over the years.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Release Date: December 20, 2017

Developer: PUBG Corporation

Sales: 80 Million copies

The game set a record on Steam for the highest number of concurrent players, with over 3.2 million players logged in at the same time in 2018, surpassing any other game on the platform at that time. PUBG’s popularity isn’t confined to any specific region; it has a massive player base worldwide. Its mobile version, PUBG Mobile, has been particularly successful in regions like Asia, contributing significantly to its overall player count.

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros.

Release Date: September 13, 1985

Developer: Nintendo Entertainment System

Sales: 50+ Million copies

Super Mario Bros. featured intricately designed levels, with hidden secrets, challenging obstacles, and memorable enemies like Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Bowser, the main antagonist. Mario, the iconic plumber, quickly became a cultural icon. The game introduced many elements that have become staples in gaming, such as power-ups like the Super Mushroom and Fire Flower.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release Date: October 26, 2018

Developer: Rockstar Games

Sales: 43+ Million copies

Among the top grossing video games, Red Dead Redemption 2 had an extensive development period spanning over eight years, with a team of around 2,000 developers working on the game. The game received numerous awards, including several Game of the Year awards, for its storytelling, graphics, open-world design, and attention to detail.

Pac-Man

Pac-Man

Release Date: July 1, 1980

Developer: Namco

Sales: 41 Million copies

Pac-Man quickly became a cultural phenomenon, transcending the gaming world. It became a symbol of 1980s pop culture, appearing in merchandise, cartoons, and even a hit song (“Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner & Garcia). The game’s success led to a phenomenon known as “Pac-Man Fever,” where the game’s popularity sparked widespread interest in arcade gaming.

Terraria

Terraria

Release Date: May 16, 2011

Developer: Re-Logic

Sales: 35 Million copies

The game offers extensive building and crafting options, allowing players to construct elaborate structures, create weapons, armor, potions, and various tools using resources gathered from the world. Despite its pixelated graphics, Terraria has gained a dedicated fanbase and has been praised for its addictive gameplay, depth, and the sense of accomplishment it provides to players.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Release Date: November 11, 2011

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios

Sales: 30 Million copies

The game emphasizes player freedom, allowing players to create their character, choose their path, and engage in various quests, activities, and storylines at their own pace. Skyrim has left a significant impact on gaming culture, spawning memes, parodies, and an enthusiastic fanbase. The phrase “arrow in the knee” became a popular internet meme due to the game’s guards mentioning it.

Diablo III

Diablo III

Release Date: May 15, 2012

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Sales: 30 Million copies

Diablo III shattered sales records upon its release, selling over 3.5 million copies within the first 24 hours, becoming the fastest-selling PC game at the time among the highest grossing games. While the game faced some initial criticism, it received positive reviews for its gameplay mechanics, graphics, and immersive world-building. It maintains a dedicated fanbase that continues to enjoy the game’s dark fantasy atmosphere and action-packed gameplay.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Release Date: October 25, 2019

Developer: Infinity Ward

Sales: 30 Million copies

Within its first three days of release, Modern Warfare generated over $600 million in revenue, becoming the highest-selling game in the Call of Duty series during that timeframe. Unlike some previous Call of Duty titles, Modern Warfare features a campaign mode that received praise for its storytelling, immersive experience, and realistic depiction of modern warfare. The game includes a robust multiplayer mode with various game types, maps, weapons, and customization options. It offers cross-platform play between PC and consoles, allowing players to engage in competitive matches.

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Sales: 30 Million copies

The game is praised for its narrative depth, offering complex storylines, morally ambiguous choices, and well-written quests that react to player decisions, affecting the game’s outcome. The Witcher 3 gained a dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim, leading to increased interest in the Witcher franchise, including the original books by Andrzej Sapkowski and the Netflix adaptation.

Human: Fall Flat

Human: Fall Flat

Release Date: July 22, 2016

Developer: No Brakes Games

Sales: 30 Million copies

The game revolves around open-ended puzzle-solving, where players control a customizable character named Bob and navigate through various dream-like levels, overcoming obstacles using physics-based mechanics. Human: Fall Flat offers a local and online multiplayer mode, enabling players to team up and solve puzzles together or engage in hilarious cooperative chaos as they attempt to navigate the game’s physics-driven challenges.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Release Date: October 26, 2004

Developer: Rockstar Games

Sales: 28 Million copies

San Andreas features a massive open-world environment, including cities, countryside, and deserts, offering a vast area for exploration and diverse activities. San Andreas introduced gang warfare mechanics, where CJ can lead his gang and engage in turf wars against rival gangs, expanding his territory throughout Los Santos. The game includes numerous mini-games and side activities, such as gambling, driving challenges, and arcade games, providing additional content and entertainment beyond the main storyline.

Reflecting on the Legacy: Best-Selling PC Games that Redefined Gaming

These best-selling PC video games have not only achieved staggering sales figures but have also transcended mere commercial success. They have fostered communities, inspired creativity through mods and user-generated content, and ignited conversations about gaming culture and its impact on society.

As technology advances and new titles emerge, the legacy of these best PC games remains firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of gamers, continuously shaping the industry and setting the bar for excellence in gaming experiences. Whether through groundbreaking mechanics, innovative narratives, or sheer entertainment value, these best-selling PC games have secured their place in gaming history as iconic and beloved titles.

FAQ

What defines a “best-selling” PC game?

A “best-selling” PC game refers to a title that has achieved significant commercial success by selling a substantial number of copies across PC platforms. The designation typically considers total sales figures and the impact a game has had on the gaming industry and culture.

Are these best-selling PC games only available on PC?

While many of the listed best-selling PC games originated on PC, several titles, such as “The Sims” series, “Diablo III,” and “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” have been released across multiple platforms, including consoles and mobile devices. However, the PC platform often remains a primary source for these games and their expansions.

Do these best-selling PC games continue to receive updates or expansions?

Yes, many of these best-selling PC games receive ongoing support in the form of updates, expansions, or downloadable content (DLC). Game developers often release patches, expansions, or additional content to enhance gameplay, introduce new features, and address community feedback, ensuring the longevity and freshness of the gaming experience.

Vladislav Osadchiy
by Vladislav Osadchiy
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