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Best-Selling Video Games of 2016: Top Releases

19 Jun, 2024
Written by
Mariya Chernenko
Mariya Chernenko
Best-Selling Video Games of 2016: Top Releases

The year 2016 was a landmark for the gaming industry, marked by a series of blockbuster releases that captivated players around the globe. From groundbreaking advancements in graphics and gameplay to immersive storylines and innovative mechanics, the best-selling video games of 2016 set new standards for what interactive entertainment could achieve.

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 Platforms Release Date Sales
1 Minecraft: Xbox One Edition Minecraft Sandbox, Survival Mojang Studios Mojang Studios Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, iPadOS, Xbox 360, Raspberry Pi, Windows Phone, PlayStation 3, Fire OS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Apple TV, tvOS, Nintendo Switch, New Nintendo 3DS, ChromeOS November 18, 2011 17,432,222
2 FIFA 17 FIFA 17 Sports, Simulation EA Vancouver, EA Romania EA Sports Microsoft, Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One September 29, 2016 14,944,551
3 Battlefield 1 Battlefield 1 First-person shooter DICE Electronic Arts PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One October 21, 2016 12,590,716
4 Pokémon Sun and Moon Pokémon Sun and Moon Role-playing Game Freak Nintendo Nintendo 3DS November 18, 2016 12,034,530
5 Grand Theft Auto V Grand Theft Auto V Action-adventure Rockstar North Rockstar Games PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X/S September 17, 2013 10,446,525
6 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare First-person shooter Infinity Ward Activision PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One November 4, 2016 9,987,441
7 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Action-adventure Naughty Dog Sony Computer Entertainment PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows May 10, 2016 8,499,371
8 Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 First-person shooter Treyarch Activision PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, macOS November 6, 2015 7,177,376
9 NBA 2K17 NBA 2K17 Sports Visual Concepts 2K Microsoft, Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, iOS September 20, 2016 5,529,038
10 Tom Clancy's The Division Tom Clancy's The Division Action role-playing, Third-person shooter Massive Entertainment Ubisoft PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One March 8, 2016 5,203,772

As the industry continued to grow and evolve, these top releases not only pushed the boundaries of gaming but also left an indelible mark on popular culture. In this article, we delve into the best-selling video games of 2016, exploring what made them stand out in a crowded market and how they managed to capture the hearts and minds of millions of gamers worldwide. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the scene, join us as we revisit the top titles that defined a year of exceptional gaming experiences.

Best-Selling Video Games of 2016: Top Releases

Top 10 Best-Selling Video Games

1. Minecraft

Minecraft

Genre: Sandbox, Survival

Developer: Mojang Studios

Release Date: November 18, 2011

Sales: 17,432,222

“Minecraft” is a highly influential sandbox game where players explore, build, and survive in a pixelated, procedurally generated 3D world. Offering both Survival and Creative modes, the game challenges players to either gather resources and maintain health or build limitlessly with an unlimited supply of materials. Minecraft’s distinctive blocky graphics and open-ended gameplay enable players to construct anything from simple structures to complex automated machines. The game also supports multiplayer options, allowing collaboration or competition in expansive, dynamic environments. Renowned for fostering creativity and problem-solving, Minecraft remains one of the most popular video games globally, appealing to players of all ages.

2. FIFA 17

FIFA 17

Genre: Sports, Simulation

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania

Release Date: September 29, 2016

Sales: 14,944,551

FIFA 17 is notable for being the first game in the series to use the Frostbite engine, enhancing its graphics and realism. It introduced “The Journey,” a single-player story mode following the career of fictional footballer Alex Hunter. The game features extensive official licenses, providing an authentic football experience, and improved gameplay mechanics. FIFA 17 offers numerous brand placement opportunities through its collaborations with major football leagues and clubs. The game’s large global following allows for effective promotion of related products and services. Its popularity in eSports and strong social media presence provide platforms for targeted marketing campaigns and influencer partnerships.

3. Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1

Genre: First-person shooter

Developer: DICE (Digital Illusions CE)

Release Date: October 21, 2016

Sales: 12,590,716

Battlefield 1 is notable for its setting during World War I, a less commonly explored era in video games. It received praise for its historical accuracy, immersive graphics, and engaging multiplayer modes. The game’s single-player campaign, divided into “War Stories,” offers varied perspectives on the war, adding depth to the narrative. Battlefield 1 presents numerous opportunities for brand placements and partnerships due to its strong association with historical authenticity and military themes. Its large and dedicated player base provides a platform for promoting related products or services. The game’s success in both traditional sales and digital engagement, coupled with its strong social media presence, offers fertile ground for targeted marketing campaigns and influencer collaborations. Additionally, the popularity of Battlefield 1 in the eSports community allows for brand engagement through sponsorships and advertisements in competitive gaming events.

4. Pokémon Sun and Moon

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Genre: Role-playing

Developer: Game Freak

Release Date: November 18, 2016 (North America and Japan)

Sales: 12,034,530

Pokémon Sun and Moon are notable for introducing the seventh generation of Pokémon games, set in the new Alola region inspired by Hawaii. They brought significant gameplay changes, such as the removal of traditional gym battles in favor of island trials and the introduction of Alolan forms of existing Pokémon. The games also featured enhanced graphics and a more immersive story, adding depth to the Pokémon world. Pokémon Sun and Moon offer substantial opportunities due to the franchise’s massive and loyal global fanbase. The games’ fresh take on the Pokémon formula, combined with nostalgic elements like Alolan forms, appeals to both long-time fans and new players. This wide demographic reach allows for effective promotion of related products, from merchandise to tie-in media. The strong presence of Pokémon on social media and in competitive gaming circuits provides platforms for targeted marketing campaigns, influencer partnerships, and sponsorships. Furthermore, the game’s focus on exploration and discovery can be leveraged for creative marketing strategies that emphasize adventure and innovation.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Genre: Action-adventure

Developer: Rockstar North

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Sales: 10,446,525

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) is notable for its expansive open-world design, allowing players to explore the fictional state of San Andreas with unparalleled freedom. The game features three protagonists, each with their own unique storylines, adding depth and variety to the narrative. GTA V’s rich detail, immersive world, and engaging gameplay have made it one of the best-selling video games of all time. Its online component, Grand Theft Auto Online, continues to be a major success, offering a constantly evolving multiplayer experience. GTA V presents significant opportunities due to its massive and diverse player base. The game’s detailed and dynamic world allows for creative and immersive advertising campaigns. Brands can capitalize on the game’s popularity by integrating products and services into the gaming experience through in-game advertisements and partnerships. The strong community presence, bolstered by user-generated content, gameplay videos, and active social media engagement, provides fertile ground for targeted marketing campaigns and influencer collaborations. Additionally, the ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto Online offers long-term engagement opportunities through events, updates, and virtual economies, making GTA V a powerful platform for sustained marketing efforts.

6. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare

Genre: First-person shooter

Developer: Infinity Ward

Release Date: November 4, 2016

Sales: 9,987,441

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is notable for its departure from the traditional, historically grounded settings of the Call of Duty franchise, opting instead for a futuristic, space-based setting. The game features a campaign that takes place across the solar system, offering innovative gameplay mechanics like zero-gravity combat and space dogfights. Additionally, it includes the popular Zombies mode and a robust multiplayer experience with new features and customization options. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare presents numerous opportunities. The game’s futuristic theme and setting can attract tech-savvy and innovation-focused demographics, making it an ideal platform for promoting cutting-edge products and technologies. The large and dedicated player base of the Call of Duty franchise ensures a wide reach for marketing campaigns. The game’s active community and strong presence on social media platforms provide excellent opportunities for targeted marketing campaigns and influencer partnerships. Furthermore, the popularity of Call of Duty in the eSports scene allows for brand engagement through sponsorships and advertisements in competitive gaming events, enhancing visibility and brand recognition among a highly engaged audience.

7. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4 A Thief's End

Genre: Action-adventure

Developer: Naughty Dog

Release Date: May 10, 2016

Sales: 8,499,371

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is notable for its cinematic storytelling, stunning graphics, and refined gameplay mechanics. The game concludes the story of treasure hunter Nathan Drake, providing a satisfying end to the beloved series. It features rich, detailed environments and an engaging narrative that blends action, exploration, and puzzle-solving. Uncharted 4 offers several attractive opportunities. The game’s high production values and compelling story can align with premium and lifestyle brands looking to associate with quality and adventure. The loyal fanbase of the Uncharted series ensures a broad reach, making it a valuable platform for promoting related products, such as adventure gear, technology, and entertainment services. The game’s strong presence on social media and within gaming communities provides fertile ground for targeted marketing campaigns and influencer partnerships. Additionally, the cinematic nature of Uncharted 4 can be leveraged for cross-promotions with movies and TV series, creating synergistic marketing opportunities that appeal to fans of both gaming and cinematic experiences.

8. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Call of Duty Black Ops 3

Genre: First-person shooter

Developer: Treyarch

Release Date: November 6, 2015

Sales: 7,177,376

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is notable for its futuristic setting, innovative gameplay mechanics, and deep multiplayer experience. The game introduces new movement systems, such as wall-running and boost jumping, which add verticality and fluidity to combat. It features a cooperative campaign, extensive multiplayer modes, and the fan-favorite Zombies mode with an intricate storyline. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 offers numerous attractive opportunities. The game’s strong brand and large, dedicated player base ensure a wide and engaged audience. Its futuristic and high-tech setting aligns well with brands focused on innovation and cutting-edge technology. The active community and social media presence provide platforms for targeted marketing campaigns and influencer collaborations. Additionally, the popularity of Call of Duty in the eSports arena allows for brand engagement through sponsorships and advertisements in competitive gaming events, increasing visibility among a highly engaged demographic. The diverse gameplay modes, including the story-driven Zombies mode, offer unique cross-promotion opportunities with entertainment and tech products, appealing to a wide range of consumer interests.

9. NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17

Genre: Sports

Developer: Visual Concepts

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Sales: 5,529,038

NBA 2K17 is notable for its realistic gameplay, impressive graphics, and comprehensive simulation of basketball. The game offers various modes, including MyCareer, where players create and develop their own player, and MyTeam, which focuses on team building and management. NBA 2K17 also features an authentic presentation, including commentary, player animations, and real-life NBA environments. NBA 2K17 provides significant opportunities due to its strong association with the popular sport of basketball and its global fanbase. The game’s realistic depiction of the NBA and its players allows for authentic brand placements and partnerships with sports-related products, apparel, and services. The large and dedicated player base ensures a wide reach for marketing campaigns. The game’s active online community and presence on social media platforms provide excellent opportunities for targeted marketing efforts and influencer collaborations. Additionally, the popularity of NBA 2K in the eSports scene offers brands a platform for engagement through sponsorships and advertisements in competitive gaming events. NBA 2K17’s integration of popular music and culture can also be leveraged for cross-promotional opportunities with entertainment and lifestyle brands, enhancing its appeal to a broad audience.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division

Genre: Action role-playing, Third-person shooter

Developer: Massive Entertainment

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Sales: 5,203,772

Tom Clancy’s The Division is notable for its immersive open-world set in a dystopian New York City following a devastating pandemic. The game combines elements of action role-playing and third-person shooting, with a strong emphasis on cooperative multiplayer gameplay. It features detailed environments, dynamic weather, and a day-night cycle, enhancing the overall experience. The Division’s narrative is driven by its compelling setting and realistic depiction of a society in crisis. The Division offers numerous attractive opportunities. The game’s realistic and contemporary setting makes it an ideal platform for integrating brand placements that resonate with its urban, survivalist themes. The large and dedicated player base ensures extensive reach for marketing campaigns, particularly those related to technology, outdoor gear, and survival equipment. The game’s active community and strong presence on social media platforms provide fertile ground for targeted marketing efforts and influencer collaborations. Additionally, The Division’s popularity in the online multiplayer scene offers brands a platform for engagement through sponsorships and advertisements in cooperative and competitive gaming events. The narrative-driven and immersive nature of the game allows for unique storytelling opportunities, making it an appealing choice for brands looking to create memorable and impactful marketing campaigns.

Reflections on the Highest-Grossing Video Games of 201

The best-selling video games of 2016 have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the gaming landscape. These titles not only achieved remarkable sales figures but also pushed the boundaries of what games can offer in terms of storytelling, graphics, and gameplay innovation. From the immersive world of “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” to the adrenaline-pumping action of “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” each game brought something unique to the table, resonating with diverse audiences worldwide. As we reflect on these top releases, it’s clear that 2016 was a pivotal year for the gaming industry, setting new standards and paving the way for future innovations. The success of these games highlights the ever-growing demand for high-quality interactive entertainment, and their influence will undoubtedly be felt for years to come. Whether you’re revisiting these classics or discovering them for the first time, the best-selling video games of 2016 offer experiences that continue to captivate and inspire.

What were the standout titles among the best-selling video games of 2015?

The best-selling video games of 2015 featured some iconic titles, with notable mentions including the immersive action-adventure game "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," the strategic brilliance of "Fallout 4," and the critically acclaimed "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain."

How did the top-selling video games released in 2016 reshape the gaming landscape?

The top-selling video games of 2016 marked a shift towards innovation and diversity. Titles like "Overwatch" redefined multiplayer experiences, while narrative-driven games such as "Uncharted 4" and "Firewatch" showcased the industry's commitment to compelling storytelling and unique gameplay mechanics.

Were there any surprise hits or breakout titles in 2016's best-selling video games list?

Yes, 2016 saw some surprise hits and breakout titles. "Overwatch" by Blizzard Entertainment emerged as a major success, blending team-based shooting with unique characters.

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