The 10 most popular games of all time
Before the dawn of the Internet, people of all ages played different types of games as a way to relax, entertain, and have fun with friends and family. Games were also used as a way to entertain and teach children. Thanks to computers and mobile devices, games have evolved over the years from the first known game (mancala) of 6,000 BCE to the popular video and mobile games we have today.
The global gaming industry is now estimated to be around $188 billion market, down from its record of $191 billion in 2021. Today, more than 2.5 billion people around the world play games. According to estimates, there were 3.09 billion video game players worldwide in 2022. That number is expected to rise to over 3.3 billion gamers by 2024.
In addition, the number of games has exponentially in the last five from thousands of games to millions. It is estimated that there are over five million games in existence. With a plethora of games to choose from, the question then becomes, finding the best games to play is like looking for a needle in a haystack. That’s why we scoured the internet to bring you the ten most popular games of all time.
To determine the most popular games of all time, our team reviewed sales data of over 100 video games based on publicly available data from reliable sources on the Internet. From Fortnite to solitaire games and everything in between, these games stand out from the rest.
Some of the games on our list – such as Super Mario Bros and Tetris – are extremely old relative to newer games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). While game popularity changes from year to year, these games have stood the test of time. They’re fans’ favorites that have led to the creation of multi-billion merchandise, movies, and even popular snack foods. So, here is a list of the ten most popular games.
The #1 most popular and best game of all time is Minecraft. Mojang Studios first released the game back on 18 November 2011. With over 238 million copies sold across all platforms, according to Mojang, Minecraft is hands-down the best-selling and most popular game in the world. Why is the game so successful? Minecraft allows tens of millions of games to unlock their creativity, and explore their imagination on an unprecedented scale. But over the years, the game has gone through a number of peaks and troughs in terms of its popularity. Microsoft bought Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014. Minecraft is now published by Xbox Game Video, a part of the Microsoft Gaming division.
Grand Theft Auto V
It has now been eleven years since Grand Theft Auto (GTA) V was revealed to the world. Today, GTA V is still remarkably popular. It was an action-adventure game developed in 2013 by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the seventh main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. In February 2022, GTA V reached an all-time high of over 220 thousand peak concurrent players on Steam. According to Steam Charts, GTA Online hit an all-time peak player count of 360,761 in April 2015. Since its launch about a decade ago, Grand Theft Auto V has sold 169 million copies, cementing it as the second bestselling game of all time after Minecraft.
Tetris is a puzzle/block video game created in 1984 by Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov. I have to confess that I was addicted to Tetris during my free time in college. Tetris was later developed by EA Mobile and published by Electronic Arts for iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and Windows Phone. By 2010, the game had reached 100 million paid downloads, making it the best-selling paid mobile game of all time and the third best-selling game of all time altogether.
Wii Sports is a collection of five sports simulation video games developed in 2006 and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. It was designed to demonstrate the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote. The five sports included are tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing.
In addition, Wii Sports also offers five distinct sports experiences, each using the Wii Remote to provide a natural, intuitive and realistic feel. Players can use their own Mii caricatures in the game and play them against their friends’ Miis for a more personalized experience. As players improve, their Miis’ skill levels will increase, so that they can see exactly how much better they’ve become. Wii Sports was well-received by critics and audiences. By the end of 2017, the game sold over 82 million copies, making it the best-selling single-platform game of all time and the fourth best overall.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
PUBG is a battle royale game developed and published by PUBG Studios. The game was inspired by the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale. PUBG took the world by storm when it was first released back in 2017. It quickly became the most popular game of all time while it was still in beta. As of the end of 2021, PUBG has sold over 75 million copies on personal computers and game consoles. It is currently the best-selling video game on PC and Xbox One, and the fifth best-selling video game of all time. PUBG Mobile’s global version also accumulated more than 1 billion downloads and grossed over $8.42 billion on mobile devices, making it the fourth highest-grossing mobile game.
Solitaire is unique from all the other games on the list. Also known as Patience, Solitaire is one of the classic card games that has always been fun to play alone or with a team. What makes Solitaire stand out from the other game is a calm game designed to reduce stress. With the ongoing global crisis, Solitaire could as well be described as the “best calm game for stressful times.”
The origins of Card Solitaire are unclear. The earliest records appear in the late 1700s across northern Europe and Scandinavia. The game of Solitaire was reported to have been invented by a French aristocrat during his imprisonment in the Bastille. Solitaire is the collective term for hundreds of card games and activities requiring only one person.
The main objective of the game is to arrange a shuffled deck of cards onto the foundations in the same sequence and in the same suit, starting from the ace and going all the way to the king. Solitaire was so popular that Microsoft included the game as part of its Windows product line Windows 3.0 in 1990.
Today, Solitaire is used as a bonding game between teams. Solitaire also helps to improve productivity, especially after a long day of work. You and your colleagues could play the Solitaire game during work breaks to take your mind off work and get back into a good mood.
For example, employers can set aside some time for their employees to play games such as spider solitaire and klondike solitaire or create group-based games that engage entire teams at the same time. Also known as Canfield, Klondike is a variant Solitaire game for one player. It’s also the best-known and most popular version of the patience or solitaire game family.
It’s well over three decades since Super Mario Bros made its debut. Super Mario is a console game created by the Japanese electronic game manufacturer Nintendo Company, Ltd., in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was the first game in the series released for the NES.
The Super Mario games are set primarily in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom with Mario, depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber, as the player character. The games also consist of several sub-series in different genres, including racing, sports, role-playing, puzzle, and parties. Since his creation, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games. The game is also the biggest and the central series of the greater Mario franchise. There are more than 20 games in the series with at least one Super Mario game released for every major Nintendo video game console.
Overall, Super Mario Bros is a widely successful game in terms of sales and popularity. “As of March 2022, the Super Mario series has sold over 396.80 million copies worldwide and grossed more than $22 billion in estimated sales revenue. As of March 2022, the entire Mario franchise has sold over 776.80 units worldwide, making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time.”
Call of Duty
First made its debut about two decades ago, the Call of Duty video game is one of the most popular first-person shooter franchises available with sixteen different installments in the series. It was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision.
The franchise first started in 2003 as a World War II game that takes the participant through the European war experience starting with the Normandy invasion. But the series later expanded and transformed into a more modern shooter featuring futuristic worlds and weapons, and advanced technologies.
Since its launch, there have been a number of spin-offs and re-releases in the franchise, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered or Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. According to Activision, the Call of Duty franchise has grossed a life-to-date franchise revenue of more than $30 billion and sold more than 425 million copies since the series’ inception in 2003, claiming third all-time position behind only the Mario and Tetris franchises. The “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” is the 11th installment in Activision’s popular first-person shooter series.
Initially, there was a debate among our team members about whether Fortnite should be included on the list. But the immense success of this game cannot be denied. Going from obscurity to worldwide sensation within one year earns this game in the list of our ten most popular games of all time. Fortnite is highly addictive, especially among children.
Fortnite is a massive multiplayer online video game developed by Epic Games. It originally began from an internal game jam at Epic Games following the publishing of Gears Of War 3 around 2011. Then in July 2017, Epic Games released the electronic game Fortnite after many years of development. The game saw a meteoric rise in popularity in 2018. In its first two years, Fortnite made more than $9 billion in gross revenue for Epic in 2018 and 2019
Fortnite game comes in three different game modes: Save the World, Battle Royale, and most recently, Creative. The main game, Fortnite Save the World, is a Player versus environment (PvE) cooperative shooter-survival mode with up to a 4-man squad to fight off husks and defend mission objectives with fortifications and defenses. Fortnite Battle Royale is the free 100-player Player versus player (PvP) mode in Fortnite.
Fortnite game is wildly successful. Today, there are over 350 million registered Fortnite players. In addition, about 85% of Fortnite players are aged 18 to 35. The biggest Fortnite event had over 15 million concurrent players and over 13 million hours of Fortnite are streamed weekly on Twitch.
The tenth game on our list is Subway Surfers, an endless runner video game where you play as Jake (the game’s starter character), who sprays graffiti on a subway and then gets caught in the act by the inspector and his dog, who later starts chasing him. Jake later surfs the subways and tries to escape from the grumpy Inspector and his dog.
Subway Surfers was co-developed by Danish gaming startups Kiloo and SYBO Games in 2012. The first game was released on 24 May 2012 with updates based on seasonal holidays. Subway Surfers is available on Android, iOS, HarmonyOS, Kindle, and Windows Phone platforms and uses the Unity game engine.
Since its launch on the App Store over a decade ago, Subway Surfers has grown to become one of the most popular and best-known mobile game titles. The game also has a revenue-generating success story. According to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates, Subway Surfer’s revenue on iOS exceeds $80 million worldwide since its launch over a decade ago.
That’s not all. In 2019, Subway Surfers was named the most downloaded mobile game of the decade. Subway Surfers was the top downloaded title from 2010 to 2019. Surfers reached over 2.7 billion downloads in mid-2018 and was the first-ever game to reach 1 billion downloads on Android alone.
That’s it, folks. Let us know what you think about this list.