'Grand Theft Auto V' Is the Decade's Best-Selling Video Game in U.S.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Key Art - H 2013
Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto 5 Key Art - H 2013

The 2013 title from Rockstar Games beat out a slew of 'Call of Duty' franchise entries for the top spot.

A new report from industry analysts at NPD Group has revealed that Rockstar Games' 2013 hit Grand Theft Auto V is the best-selling title of the past decade in the U.S. based on total dollar sales.

Of the top 10 games of the decade on any platform, Call of Duty franchise titles took up seven of the spots, with 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops the highest charter in the No. 2 slot (this year's Modern Warfare did not make the top 10 list). Meanwhile, Rockstar Games scored two spots on the decade's top 10 with Grand Theft Auto V taking the No. 1 position overall and 2018's Red Dead Redemption 2 landing at No. 7. Minecraft was the No. 10 seller of the 2010s.

The new report also included figures for overall video game spending in the U.S. in December and 2019. Sales dropped sharply in the final month of the year when compared to 2018's numbers.

Total video game sales in December totaled $2.9 billion, a 13 percent decline from 2018's $3.5 billion over the same period. As has been the case all year (due in large part to the late stages of the current console generation), software made up the bulk of spending with $1.1 billion of the total while hardware sales accounted for $973 million and accessories tallied $869 million.

Although the total number was down from 2018, the holidays did give December a boost as the month outearned November's $2.3 billion total (which itself was a 19 percent downturn year-over-year).

Both hardware and software spending fell year-over-year, to $3.9 billion (22 percent) and $6.6 billion (9 percent), respectively. Nintendo's Switch console was both the best-selling system in December and 2019 as a whole, while Sony's PlayStation 4 was the best-seller of the decade (PS4 and Xbox One debuted in 2013, Nintendo Switch launched in 2017).

The month's top-seller was once again Infinity Ward and Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the third straight month the shooter was atop the list of hot titles. The "reimagining" of the 2007 game ends 2019 as the year's best-selling title and extends the Call of Duty series' streak of being the best-selling franchise to 11 consecutive years.

In the No. 2 slot for the month was Respawn Entertainment and EA's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which also held the second spot in November. It finishes 2019 as the sixth-best-selling title of the year and has now become Respawn's best-selling game of all time by full-game dollar sales. Madden NFL 20 and NBA 2K20 took the No. 2 and No. 3 spot, respectively.

Nintendo, however, was perhaps December's biggest victor, as the Japanese gaming giant accounted for half of the top 20 best-sellers last month: Luigi's Mansion (No. 5), Pokemon Sword (No. 6), Mario Kart 8 (No. 7), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (No. 8), Pokemon Shield (No. 9), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (No. 16), Link's Awakening (No. 17), New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (No. 18), Super Mario Party (No. 19) and Ring Fit Adventure (No. 20).