As 2016 is now officially over, the NPD Group has released its yearly overview of the best selling video games of the year. And, as usual, sports and shooters continue to become dominant in the video game world.
The list below represents total physical sales and some digital (including Steam but not others like Origin).
1. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a first-person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. It is the thirteenth primary installment in the Call of Duty series and was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 4, 2016.
Development of Infinite Warfare began during 2014. It is the first title by Infinity Ward under the new three-year development cycle for the Call of Duty series. The game’s campaign is centred around a battle for the Solar System, which the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), a hostile force who are the main antagonists, are attempting to take over. The player takes control of Captain Nick Reyes of the Special Combat Air Recon (SCAR). They have their own transforming fighter, named “Jackal”, that they can customize as well as a central hub world named Retribution.
2. Battlefield 1
Similar to previous entries in the series, Battlefield 1 is a first-person shooter that emphasises teamwork. The game is set in the period of World War I, and is inspired by historic events. Players can make use of World War I weapons, including bolt-action rifles, automatic and semi-automatic rifles, artillery, flamethrowers, and mustard gas to combat opponents. Melee combat was reworked, with DICE introducing new melee weapons such as sabres, trench clubs, and shovels into the game. These melee weapons were divided into two groups: heavy and light. Players can also take control of various armored vehicles, including light and heavy tanks, armored trucks, torpedo boat, biplane aircraft, train, snowmobiles, truck, battleships and zeppelin, as well as ride horses into battle.Destructible environments and weapon customization, features present in the previous games, returned in Battlefield 1 and are more dynamic
3. Tom Clancy’s The Division
Tom Clancy’s The Division is an online-only open world third-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft, with assistance from Red Storm Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was announced during Ubisoft’s E3 2013 press conference, and was released worldwide on 8 March 2016. The Division is set in a near future New York City in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic; the player, who is an agent of the eponymous Strategic Homeland Division, commonly referred to as simply “The Division”, is tasked with helping the group rebuild its operations in Manhattan, investigate the nature of the outbreak, and combating criminal activity in its wake. The Division is structured with elements of role-playing games, as well as collaborative and player versus player online multiplayer.
NBA 2K17 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. It is the 18th installment in the NBA 2K franchise and the successor to NBA 2K16. It was released worldwide on September 20, 2016, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Players who pre-ordered the game received it on September 16, 2016. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers is the cover athlete for the regular edition of the game, while Kobe Bryant is the cover athlete for the ‘Legend Edition’. In Italy, the cover athlete is Danilo Gallinari, and in Spain, the cover athlete is Pau Gasol. A version of the game for iOS and Android was released on September 23, 2016.
5. Madden NFL 17
Madden NFL 17 is an American Football simulation game published by Electronic Arts.
6. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. The game was released on 17 September 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, on 18 November 2014 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and on 14 April 2015 for Microsoft Windows. It is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008’s Grand Theft Auto IV. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three criminals and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a government agency. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas’s open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released in May 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Black Ops III takes place in 2065, 40 years after the events of Black Ops II, in a world facing upheaval from climate change and new technologies. Similar to its predecessors, the story follows a group of black ops soldiers. The game’s campaign is designed to support 4-player cooperative gameplay, allowing for bigger, more open level design and less corridor shooting. As the player character is cybernetically enhanced, players have access to various special activities. The game also features a standalone Zombies mode, and a “Nightmares” mode which will be unlocked after the player completes all campaign missions.
9. FIFA 17
FIFA 17 is a Football simulation game published by Electronic Arts.
10. Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV takes place on the fictional world of Eos. All the world’s countries—bar the kingdom of Lucis—are under the dominion of the empire of Niflheim. Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the Lucian throne, goes on a quest to retake his homeland and its magical Crystal after it is seized by Niflheim on the eve of peace negotiations between the two nations.
As you can see from this list, Call of Duty has dominated the year again. Many analyst thought that due to the sheer number of dislikes the first Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Youtube Video received, the sales of the game would be lackluster. But clearly that wasn’t the case. And even though Activision mentioned that its Call of Duty Infinite Warfare sales were down 50% than compared to previous Call of Duty titles, it still managed to outperform any other game in 2016.
What’s more surprising on that list is Call of Duty Black Ops III. It seems the popular FPS will not be going away soon.
Also, coming in at number 2, Electronic Art’s Battlefield 1 did remarkable as it changed up the setting to the World War I era. Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division continues to do well as well as some sports titles such as FIFA 17, NBA 2K17 and Madden NFL 17.