New consoles from Sony and Microsoft have finally arrived in stores. Regardless if you greet that news with excitement or a nonchalant shrug, it’s still a fairly momentous event to see the PS5 and Xbox Series X hit the market. Sure some of the emphasis of the gaming world has shifted to PC, and perhaps even mobile gaming. And, indeed, some are claiming that the console is becoming obsolete. Nevertheless, the arrival of the next-generation consoles will bring some much-needed cheer at the end of a tumultuous 2020.
In saying that, it’s also worth noting that a console is only as good as the games it offers. And, if we are honest, some of the line-up available for PS5 and Series X is a little underwhelming. Big-hitting games like Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be available on PS5 until 2021, for example. On the other hand, we don’t even which games will be looked upon as the most popular a decade from now. Perhaps Cyberpunk 2077 will stink the place out, and something like Godfall will define a generation’s gaming on console. But we just don’t know what will be the big-hitting titles until after the fact.
Of course, when it comes to calculating the most popular games, the measurements can vary. For instance, would you count free downloads of games like Pac-Man or Tetris? We do know that the most downloaded game of all time is Minecraft, which has around 200 million ‘sales’. As for casino games, it’s difficult to get reliable figures, but we would hazard a guess that blackjack still remains number one. After all, there are literally 100s of blackjack games in the Play Store.
But, given that we can count unit sales, the figures are a little easier to publish for the seven major consoles from Sony and Microsoft; and, that’s what we are going to look back at here. Starting with the console that really kickstarted the modern gaming era, the Sony PlayStation:
PlayStation – Gran Turismo
The title that set the benchmark for modern racing games, Gran Turismo sold 10.85 million copies. It received critical acclaim at the time, and it has now been acknowledged as one of the greatest video games in history. Gran Turismo narrowly beat out Final Fantasy VII (which is excellent), Gran Turismo 2 and Final Fantasy VIII as the biggest game on PlayStation.
PlayStation 2 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
IGN called GTA: San Andreas the “defining piece of software” for PS2, and that’s saying something for the revered console. San Andreas sold 17.33 million copies on PS2, soundly beating Gran Turismo 3 & 4, as well as GTA Vice City.
PlayStation 3 – Grand Theft Auto 5
Okay, we are going to be seeing a lot of GTA from now on. What to say about GTA 5? Well, for a start, it’s broke several records, including becoming the “fastest-selling entertainment product in history”, although Fortnite may have broken that record (as we said, these things are getting harder to measure accurately. 21.3 million GTA 5 copies sold for PS3, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.
PlayStation 4 – Grand Theft Auto 5
Yep, the biggest selling game on PS3 was also the biggest selling game for PS4 – that’s quite the achievement for Rockstar Games. Arriving over a year after the PS3 release, fans couldn’t wait to get their hands on GTA 5 for PS4. It sold 20 million copies, beating the brilliant Uncharted 4: A Thief’s Tale as the top PS4 game.
Xbox – Halo 2
A change of pace now with the Xbox, which really hung its hat on the Halo series as it fended off competition from the mighty PS2. Halo 2 sold 8.45 million copies (five PS2 games beat that total), but it arguably merited more as it was one of the best games of the decade.
Xbox 360 – Kinect Adventures!
The best-selling Xbox game of all-time is not GTA 5 or Halo, but the Nintendoesque Kinect Adventures. It demonstrated that Microsoft could challenge Nintendo in the family games market, with 24 million copies sold for the Xbox 360. However, it received fairly mixed reviews, and it doesn’t leave much of a legacy.
Xbox One – Grand Theft Auto 5 Here it is again, with 8.72 million copies sold for Xbox One. GTA 5 actually sold more tha double that for the Xbox 360, but it was beaten into top spot by Kinect Adventures. Nevertheless, it shows the awesome draw of GTA 5, which is the best-selling video game on three separate consoles. The biggest takeaway? We can guarantee that GTA 6 is going