The Games People Buy 2007

The Games People Buy 2007

What were the 100 best selling games in North America last year? Next-Gen has compiled a list, with all platforms aggregated, as well as full analysis on the issues facing publishers and developers as they strive to maximize sales. Click through for more…

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Next-Gen has compiled a comprehensive list and detailed analysis of the 100 top selling games of the last 12 months. Our in-depth look at the game industry’s top 100 sellers includes chart-analysis on game quality, the most successful publishers, release dates, genres and platforms.

The list pulls together sales of games across all platforms, offering a unique insight into consumer buying preferences and publisher strategies for success. The analysis looks at how sales are affected by platform-picks, review scores, on-sale dates and genre as well as a look at the publishers that are making the smartest moves.

You can get to the analysis here.
You can get to the Top 100 List here.
You can see the games ranked according to average review scores here.
Or just click through the pages for the full experience as it was meant to be enjoyed!

Our analysis shows that game consumers are broadly predictable in their choices of games; sports games and licenses make up 43% of the games on this list, heavily skewed towards the top end of the chart. New IP is not abundant, mostly to be found in the lower reaches.

It also shows that consumers know quality when they see it. Only three games in the top 20 scored an average of less than 75%.

However, license-based games that are of a poor quality tend to pick up plenty of sales regardless. Seven of the lowest scoring ten games are licenses; given that licenses (non-sports) make up one in four top 100 selling game releases, this is a problem. Mostly, these games sell to non-hardcore gamers – the type of people who we’re supposed to be working hardest to impress.

In the last 12 months, the exclusive platform release was still alive and well, with 35% of the top-sellers released on just one platform.

This probably does not tell the entire story – many Xbox 360 exclusive games did not make the top 100 (a base sale of 200,000 units was required). Many Xbox 360 games sold between 100K and 150K; respectable performance on one platform, but no cigar for this list.

Any would-be game publishers looking at these stats would come away with one of two strategies. Either, to create an absolutely amazing game on few platforms (Gears; Zelda; Oblivion; New Super Mario; Guitar Hero) or to sign up an animated movie and release it on every platform conceivable.

The top 100 list is a useful look at the game industry in transition. Many of the games on this list are there because they sold a lot of copies on PlayStation 2 and did well on Xbox 360. Or they were released on DS.

Wii and PS3 have not been a factor; they released too late in the year. Apart from a few exceptions, Xbox and GameCube barely register. Gameboy and PSP made up the numbers.

The PC market has been included here as an illustration of its comparative size to the console market. Apart from PC megahits of WoW or Sims proportions (neither of which were released last year), PC games were not a major factor.

Click through for Some Charts and Analysis
Go straight to the Games List


   1. The stats were compiled using NPD stats as well as various public, analyst and publisher figures and dead reckoning.
   2. Reviews were compiled via Metacritic and Gamerankings using the average rating for highest selling platform.
   3. Reviews snippets are chosen for representing general view and corresponding with average score. No value is attached to the review chosen. Thanks to those journos and outlets whose snippets we have used.
   4. Genres are very broadly defined for analysis purposes.
   5. Games or platform versions of games released prior to January 1st 2006 are not included. Expansion packs, remixes and reissues not included. Games released after January 1st 2007 are not included.
   6. We have not been able to gain reliable stats on downloaded games. These sales are not included. Games not available at retail are not included. Mobile phone games are not included.
   7. Do bear in mind that games released late in the year likely to sell more copies in the months ahead, while those released a year ago are probably just about done. There is nothing ‘final’ about this list.
   8. If we have made a mistake, please let us know.