Best Selling Video Games of 2015: Ranked
Once again, we find ourselves in a year that highlights the gaming industry’s remarkable growth, largely driven by well-known franchises raking in colossal sales. However, there’s a noticeable shift as gamers seem less inclined to fervently embrace the routine releases, giving room for fresh IPs to make their mark. While yearly sales might not perfectly capture the essence of the best games, it’s encouraging to witness a departure from unwavering loyalty to predictable releases.
Not surprisingly, the top performers mostly include the latest releases from longstanding gaming franchises, and in a few cases, multiple titles from the same series have secured spots. So, let’s delve into the list of top-selling games and take a journey from the least to the most popular as we explore the top 10 best-selling video games of 2015.
The Top 10 Best-Selling Video Games released in 2015
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Developer: Kojima Productions
Sales: 5.6 million
The latest, and potentially final, installment in Hideo Kojima’s beloved, intricate, and groundbreaking series concluded with a bang, immersing players in a vast sandbox playground set in the Afghan mountains. Here, we stealthily navigated, experimented with futuristic gadgets, and constructed the mercenary army headquarters of our wildest dreams. Metal Gear Solid V’s sales reveal a notable contrast between its success on the PS4 and Xbox One. Surpassing 3 million units on Sony’s console, the game struggled to gain the same traction on Microsoft’s platform, with only 600,000 copies sold—an alarming gap, even considering the PS4’s overall sales dominance over the Xbox One. Speculation arises as to whether Metal Gear Solid’s historical association as a ‘PlayStation’ franchise played a role in this divide, or if the emergence of PC sales significantly impacted the Xbox One’s market share, as gamers eagerly explored how MGS would fare in its PC debut.
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Developer: Visual Concepts
Sales: 6.5 million
One of the best-selling video games of 2016, NBA 2K16 featured a unique MyCareer mode directed by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. The mode, titled “Livin’ Da Dream,” provided a narrative-driven experience, allowing players to follow the journey of a young player named “Frequency Vibrations” from high school to the NBA. The game included enhancements to the MyLeague and MyGM modes, offering deeper customization options, more control over franchise management, and the ability to relocate teams to new cities. The art of defending has undergone refinement, with opposing teams showcasing a heightened ability to adapt to your playing style. Their strategies dynamically shift in response to your own, injecting a new layer of strategic depth into the gameplay.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Sales: 6.7 million
Batman: Arkham Knight served as the conclusion to Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy, bringing closure to the story arc that began with Arkham Asylum.The game introduced the Dual Play combat system, allowing players to seamlessly switch between Batman and his allies, such as Robin, Nightwing, and Catwoman, during combat encounters. This feature added variety to gameplay and showcased the teamwork dynamic among the characters. Arkham Knight served as an early indication that financial success doesn’t always correlate with deserving acclaim. The game’s launch was nothing short of chaotic, particularly leaving PC gamers in a state of frustration. While it may be acknowledged as the series’ pinnacle by those fortunate enough to experience it without encountering game-breaking bugs and dreadful framerates, the negligence of the publishers in outsourcing the PC port to a smaller developer under impossible deadlines is a significant stain on its reputation.
Grand Theft Auto V
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Developer: Rockstar North
Sales: 8.2 million
It’s hardly a shock that the best-selling video game of all time continues to amass impressive sales well into the subsequent year after its initial release. This is especially unsurprising when considering that GTA V made its debut at the close of 2014 for the PS4 and Xbox One, followed by an early 2015 release for the PC. In almost every aspect, GTA V has rightfully earned its outstanding success. GTA V’s astronomical sales figures for 2015 spanned across all consoles, with PS4 sales approximately doubling those on the Xbox One (9.7 million to 4.1 million), solidifying its status as a monumental success in the gaming industry.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Developer: CD Projekt
Sales: 8.3 million
One of the best selling games released in 2015, The Witcher 3 is known for its expansive open world, which is about 35 times larger than the one in its predecessor, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The game features diverse landscapes, including cities, villages, forests, mountains, and swamps. The Witcher 3’s almost unanimous acclaim as the Game of the Year, including everyone’s recognition, aligns perfectly with its lofty position in the bestsellers’ charts. While its forerunner solidified the franchise as a formidable RPG contender, the fact that The Witcher 3 competes admirably with well-established series in terms of sales is truly impressive. However, less reassuring for Microsoft, the PS4 version outsold the Xbox One version by a ratio of almost 3 to 1. Notably, when CD Projekt disclosed the sales figures for the PC version, it too was convincingly outselling its Xbox One counterpart.
Star Wars Battlefront
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Developer: EA DICE
Sales: 12.4 million
Star Wars Battlefront was seemingly designed as a cinematic cash grab from the outset, but with DICE at the development helm, there was a glimmer of hope for a satisfying outcome. From a mechanical standpoint, it performs adequately, though it fails to reach the heights of gaming sensation – essentially resembling a diluted version of the Battlefield series. However, its irresistible Star Wars facelift has undeniably lured in millions of purchasers. In the grand scheme, Battlefront comes across as a game strategically crafted to meet the demand for a Star Wars experience coinciding with the release of The Force Awakens in cinemas, offering little beyond that immediate need.
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Sales: 14.3 million
FIFA 16 marked a significant milestone by introducing women’s national teams for the first time in the history of the FIFA series. Players could choose from 12 national women’s teams, including the United States, Germany, France, and England. The game introduced a new training mode called “FIFA Trainer.” It was designed to help both new and experienced players enhance their skills by providing on-screen prompts and tutorials during matches. This feature aimed to improve player understanding of the game mechanics. FIFA 16 focused on delivering a more authentic broadcast presentation, with improved commentary, camera angles, and crowd animations to enhance the overall matchday experience. The top-selling game availability on previous-generation consoles further solidifies its advantage over much of the competition, a fact that EA undoubtedly welcomes.
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Sales: 15 million
Bethesda’s return to the post-nuclear landscapes of America was destined to be a major event. The game featured a dynamic dialogue system, where players could engage in conversations with non-player characters (NPCs) using a wheel of dialogue options. This system allowed for a more fluid and immersive interaction with the game world. Similar to previous Fallout games, Fallout 4 featured a branching narrative with multiple endings, allowing players to make crucial choices that significantly impacted the outcome of the story. Bethesda has a long-standing commitment to modding in their games, and Fallout 4 continued this tradition. The game’s modding community created a vast array of user-generated content, ranging from graphical enhancements to new quests and gameplay features.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops III
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Sales: 21.7 million
Black Ops III is set in a dystopian future in the year 2065. The top-selling game explores the concept of bioenhanced soldiers, cybernetic enhancements, and the integration of technology into warfare. The game introduced a cooperative campaign mode that allowed up to four players to join forces and play through the story together. This cooperative gameplay added a new dimension to the traditional Call of Duty campaign experience. BlOps 3 implemented a more fluid and realistic movement system, including the introduction of thruster packs for enhanced mobility. Players could now perform advanced maneuvers like wall running and power slides. While Black Ops 3 might not be a strong contender for the overall Game of the Year title, it undeniably stands out in providing substantial value for money. However, it’s doubtful that the devoted Call of Duty enthusiasts are prioritizing this aspect when eagerly pre-ordering the game in staggering numbers.
2015 Gaming Odyssey: Unveiling the Triumphs
From the captivating expanses of Fallout 4 to the enduring popularity of Grand Theft Auto V, the year boasted diverse offerings that catered to the varied tastes of gamers worldwide. The Witcher 3, standing as a pinnacle of RPG excellence, not only claimed the title of Game of the Year but also resonated strongly in the realm of sales, showcasing the enduring impact of a well-crafted narrative and immersive gameplay. Notably, best-selling video games released in 2015 showcased a mix of fan-favorite series and ambitious newcomers, each leaving their distinct mark on the gaming community.
As we reflect on the standout performers and intriguing sales dynamics of 2015, it becomes evident that the gaming landscape is a dynamic tapestry, constantly shaped by the interplay of player preferences, industry innovations, and the unpredictable nature of game development. The year’s top-selling games not only entertained but also paved the way for the industry’s future, leaving enthusiasts eager to see what the next gaming era would bring.
What defined the top-selling games of 2015?
The top-selling games of 2015 were characterized by a mix of well-established franchises and ambitious newcomers. Titles such as Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, and The Witcher 3 showcased the enduring appeal of captivating narratives, immersive gameplay, and the occasional emergence of groundbreaking series.
Were there any notable patterns in sales dynamics among gaming platforms?
Yes, the sales dynamics of 2015 revealed interesting trends. For instance, The Witcher 3 notably outperformed on the PS4 compared to the Xbox One, emphasizing the game’s widespread popularity on specific platforms. These insights shed light on how gaming preferences varied across different consoles.
What impact did 2015’s best-selling games have on the gaming industry’s future?
The standout performances of best-selling games in 2015 not only entertained but also set the stage for future industry developments. These titles, ranging from fan-favorite franchises to new contenders, showcased the dynamic nature of the gaming landscape, leaving enthusiasts excited about the innovations and experiences that lay ahead.