US games spending hit a record amount in 2021, with US $60.4 billion (AU $83.6 billion) spent on video games, consoles and accessories. According to data firm The NPD Group, this represents a whopping 8 per cent increase year-on-year – a statistic likely buoyed by the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
85 per cent of this money was reportedly generated by game sales, with Call of Duty: Vanguard noted as the top-selling game of the year, followed swiftly by Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. It seems the Call of Duty franchise is more popular than ever, and despite changes at publisher Activision Blizzard, it’ll likely continue to dominate game sales going forward.
In terms of console exclusives, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales proved to be wildly popular on PlayStation, while Pokemon Brilliant Diamond / Shining Pearl was the top seller for
And speaking of
Overall hardware sales reached US $6 billion (AU $8.3 billion) in 2021, a 14 per cent increase on 2020. While that makes sense, given the late 2020 ‘next gen’ console releases, it’s important to note this statistic was majorly hampered by ongoing console shortages.
In addition to reporting sales stats for the US, NPD also released figures identifying the top 20 games sold in 2021, which features some surprising additions – including Mario Kart 8, which is still going strong seven years after it was first released. While rumours of a new Mario Kart title are heating up, it’s becoming increasingly clear that
Here are the top 20 best-selling games in the US in 2021:
- Call of Duty: Vanguard
- Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War
- Madden NFL 22
- Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond / Shining Pearl
- Battlefield 2042
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Mario Kart 8
- Resident Evil: Village
- MLB: The Show 21
- Super Mario 3D World
- Far Cry 6
- FIFA 22
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- NBA 2K22
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Back 4 Blood
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Forza Horizon 5
Global statistics tend to align pretty close with US sales, so while this isn’t indicative of trends within Australia, many (or all) of these games will likely be on local best-selling lists as well.
2021 proved to be a massive year for video games overall, and we can expect 2022 to be no different as escapism becomes more popular in the ‘work from home, play from home’ era, and gaming continues to grow.