Video game sales are down in 2019 as the industry prepares for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, but that didn't stop this year's best-sellers from setting new records


Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Cover

  • Video game sales have been down this year, but that hasn’t stopped popular franchises from reaching record revenue numbers.
  • The Nintendo Switch dominated hardware sales all year while Microsoft and Sony prepared to launch their new consoles during the 2020 holiday season.
  • These are the best-selling games of 2019, as of November 30, based on data from the NPD Group. We’ll be updating this list once more when the final sales numbers for December are released.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s the end of another busy year in the gaming business, and 2020 is looking especially exciting with Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X on the horizon. Overall, the anticipation of new consoles has driven video game sales down this year by about 12%, but the best-selling games of 2019 still managed to set new records, especially popular franchises like “Call of Duty” and “Pokémon.”

According to data from the NPD group, eight of the top 10 best-selling games of 2019 were direct sequels. The other two games are “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” which launched a month before the end of the latest blockbuster “Star Wars” film trilogy, and “Anthem,” a new franchise from the creators of the critically-acclaimed “Mass Effect” and “Dragon Age” games.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” earned more than $600 million during its opening weekend in October and had the best digital launch of any “Call of Duty” game to date. The franchise is a perennial best-seller and this year’s reboot of the 2007 classic “Modern Warfare” brought nostalgic fans back to the series.

With Microsoft and Sony prepping for the future, the Nintendo Switch dominated video game hardware sales throughout 2019. The release of the $200 Switch Lite in September helped pushed the console’s lifetime sales over 40 million units, making the Switch one of the fastest-selling video game consoles of all time.

It’s worth noting that Nintendo’s “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” are two versions of the same game, but they count separately on the sales charts. If counted together, the “Pokémon” games would have outsold “Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order” and “Anthem” and earned at least the eighth spot on the year’s list of best-sellers. Together “Sword” and “Shield” managed to achieve the highest grossing launch of any “Pokémon” game to date.

These are the top 10 best-selling games of 2019 as of November 30, according to data from the NPD Group:

SEE ALSO: ‘Call of Duty Mobile’ has been downloaded 172 million times for free, but “Call of Duty Modern Warfare” still made $600 million during its opening weekend

10. “Anthem (Electronic Arts)

9. “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” (Electronic Arts)

8. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (Nintendo)

7. “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” (Ubisoft)

6. “Kingdom Hearts 3” (Square Enix)

5. “Mortal Kombat 11” (Warner Bros. Interactive)

4. “Borderlands 3” (Take 2 Interactive)

3. “Madden NFL 20” (Electronic Arts)

2. “NBA 2K20” (Take 2 Interactive)

1. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”