The Most Impactful Video Games by Sales: An Analysis

The Most Impactful Video Games by Sales: An Analysis

21. October 2023 by Valentin Pasetti

Video games have not only transformed how we entertain ourselves, but they have also significantly impacted pop culture, digital economies, and the fabric of society. Here’s a rundown of the most iconic games based on their sales figures and the legacy they’ve carved.

1. Minecraft – 300 million units

Minecraft isn’t just a game; it’s a cultural phenomenon. Transcending the simple definition of a sandbox game, Minecraft has shaped an entire generation’s perception of digital entertainment. Its influence on platforms like YouTube and Twitch is undeniable, with communities worldwide rallying around its limitless creative freedom. The game’s creator, Notch, didn’t just make a game; he created an everlasting digital imprint.

2. Grand Theft Auto V – 185 million units

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) doesn’t just offer players a virtual city; it serves a fully-realized universe of possibilities. Its sales records, particularly earning over 815 million dollars in its first 24 hours, are a testament to its anticipation and impact. A decade after its launch, GTA V continues to be relevant, showing no signs of slowing down.

3. Tetris (EA) – 100 million units


A timeless classic, Tetris, remains iconic in the gaming world. Although the game has been revisited countless times, EA Mobile’s 2006 rendition for mobile devices showcased how classic games could find new life (and sales) on modern platforms.

4. Wii Sports – 82.900 million units

Remember the numerous stories of broken televisions because of Wii Sports? This game epitomized motion gaming, bringing families together (and sometimes causing minor household accidents). Its success lies in its accessibility, making gaming a family affair.

5. PUBG: Battlegrounds – 75 million units

Credited alongside Fortnite for the Battle Royale frenzy, PUBG: Battlegrounds reshaped multiplayer gaming. Its immersive, edge-of-the-seat gameplay made it as fun to watch as it was to play, solidifying its status on platforms like Twitch.

6. Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 63.920 million units

Mario Kart 8 stands as a testament to Nintendo’s enduring game design prowess. Its sales figures speak volumes, showing that sometimes, revisiting and refining an old formula can be just as effective as inventing a new one.

7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 60 million units

Skyrim became synonymous with RPG excellence, so much so that its countless re-releases have turned into an internet meme. Still, its steady sales over the years underscore its beloved status among gamers.

8. Super Mario Bros. – 58 million units


This title isn’t just a game; it’s the foundation stone of platform gaming. Super Mario Bros. introduced the world to the quintessential platformer elements, with Mario becoming a household name.

9. Red Dead Redemption 2 – 55 million units

Red Dead Redemption 2 showcased what narrative depth in video games could achieve. Its painstaking attention to detail and rich storytelling set new benchmarks for open-world games.

10. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – 50 million units

From books to the mega-popular game series, The Witcher 3 showcased how rich narrative and deep gameplay could combine to produce a true masterpiece, catapulting CD Projekt Red into the limelight.

A top That is Difficult to Change

While sales figures provide a quantitative measure of a game’s impact, it’s the qualitative influences, from shaping platforms like Twitch and YouTube to impacting popular culture, that truly underscore their significance. These games have not just sold well; they’ve changed the landscape of entertainment.