2020 has been a strange year everyone, including the gaming industry. For a majority of the year, people have been encouraged to stay home, and the gamers of the world rejoiced in this. With entertainment at a premium, familiar gaming brands surged in success, with game sales increasing in every area over the last 12 months.
We also received the next-generation of consoles, with Xbox Series X and Series S releasing in early November, followed closely by the PlayStation 5. The consoles have paved the way for the new generation of games, holding performance capabilities we've never seen on a console before.
Everything has not been smooth sailing however, with a number of high-profile delays and setbacks to multiple games bringing disappointment to eager fans. Halo: Infinite, originally set to release in tandem with Microsoft's new console launch, has now been pushed back to sometime in 2021. Along with this, the much-anticipated release of Cyberpunk 2077 was hampered by performance issues on the last generation consoles, with CD Projekt Red forced to refund a number of unhappy customers.
Following the turbulent year that 2020 provided us with, it's time to take a look at the best-selling games of the year in the U.S.
NPD has revealed the best-selling games of 2020 in the U.S. Activision has topped the list for this year, with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which is closely followed by the franchise's previous release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Interestingly, this is the first time since its release back in 2013 that GTA 5 has not topped the list, falling out of the top 20.
Other notable additions include Game of the Year winner, The Last of Us Part II, as well as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which released back in 2017.
You can check out the full list of the best-selling games of 2020 in the U.S below.
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
4. Madden NFL 21
5. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
6. The Last of Us: Part II
7. Ghost of Tsushima
8. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
9. Super Mario 3D All-Stars*
10. Final Fantasy VII: Remake
11. Marvel’s Avengers
12. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
13. NBA 2K21*
14. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
15. FIFA 21
16. Mortal Kombat 11
17. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
18. MLB: The Show 20
19. Cyberpunk 2077*
20. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
* Digital sales not included
WHAT THIS MEANS
It's somewhat unsurprising that Activision is able to top the list with the yearly addition to the Call of Duty franchise, given the huge success of their battle-royale mode, Warzone. As the mode has continued to run across both games, it isn't particularly shocking to see both games placing highly.
Nintendo also seems to have shocked many this year, having 3 games placed within the top 10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm back in March, almost serving as the perfect game for those coming to terms with the pandemic, so seeing the success translate into sales is always a positive.
The recent release of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla tied in with the release of the next-generation consoles, coinciding with the games' revitalization of the series which has had a successful launch. Cyberpunk 2077 also managed to make the list towards the bottom, somewhat surprising given the delayed release date of December 10th and the controversy that came with it.
Needless to say however, 2021 promises to improve on these numbers even more, and hopes to provide us with even more great games to play.