The Top 10 Best-Selling Video Games of 2022 So Far

Here is a 2000+ word blog post analyzing the top-selling video games of 2022 so far across all major platforms:

The video game industry continues to thrive, with consumer spending on games reaching new heights in recent years. According to market research firm NPD Group, total spending on gaming in 2021 exceeded $60 billion in the United States alone, far surpassing the previous record of $56.9 billion set in 2020.

These soaring numbers demonstrate that video games are more popular than ever across all demographics. And the titles that sell the most copies offer great insight into current gaming trends – which franchises and genres are capturing player interest, which platforms dominate the market, and what styles of games have the most mainstream appeal.

To analyze the pulse of the gaming world in 2022 so far, let‘s dive into the top 10 best-selling video games across all platforms in the first half of the year, using NPD Group‘s authoritative sales tracking:

#10 – Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: January 28, 2022
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Action RPG
Sales (As of June 2022): 12.64 million copies

The latest release in the enormously popular Pokémon franchise, Pokémon Legends: Arceus finally took the series in an exciting new direction after years of minor iterations. With an open-world environment based on feudal Sinnoh region and a revamped battle system, the game earned critical acclaim for its fresh take on the Pokémon formula.

Fans turned out in droves, driving Legends: Arceus to the milestone of fastest-selling Pokémon title with over 12 million units moved in its first few months. Its success bodes well for further innovations in the storied Nintendo property.

#9 – MLB The Show 22

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment/MLB
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
Genre: Sports
Sales (As of June 2022): Over 2 million copies

The latest entry in Sony‘s long-running baseball sim series, MLB The Show 22 sold briskly across PlayStation and Xbox platforms. While exact sales figures are not provided by Sony, VGChartz estimates the game has cleared 2 million units globally as of June. Strong initial sales were driven by subtle gameplay tweaks, improved online stability, and cross-platform availability.

However, MLB The Show 22 took the notable step this year of expanding to Nintendo Switch as well – marking the first non-Sony platform for the series. Baseball on the go clearly resonates with gamers, which could propel sales further as more casual Nintendo fans get drawn into the series.

#8 – Gran Turismo 7

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: March 4, 2022
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5
Genre: Racing Sim
Sales (As of June 2022): 3.4 million copies

The long-awaited return of Sony‘s leading racing sim series after a 9-year wait, Gran Turismo 7 raced its way to over 3.4 million copies sold in its first 3 months – setting a new franchise record.

Offering stunning visuals and extremely realistic driving physics, GT7 won widespread praise as the new high-watermark for simulation racing. Despite some criticisms for aggressive microtransactions, fans flocked to the title in masses to drive their dream cars across meticulously crafted tracks. This major release will continue selling well throughout the racing game-starved PlayStation community.

#7 – Horizon Forbidden West

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: February 18, 2022
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5
Genre: Action RPG
Sales (As of June 2022): Over 5 million copies

One of the most anticipated open-world games in recent memory, Horizon Forbidden West built on the enormous success of its predecessor to set new records. By April, the PlayStation exclusive had already shipped 5 million units globally – making it one of Sony‘s fastest-selling new IPs ever.

Set in a beautifully rendered post-post-apocalyptic America replete with robotic dinosaurs, Horizon leveraged the red-hot appeal of its lead heroine Aloy and vibrant sci-fi setting into a breathtaking sequel. Glowing critical reviews praising its combat, story, and exploration certainly boosted its popularity amongst PlayStation owners as well. Forbidden West will likely sell several million more copies through the holidays and into 2023.

#6 – Elden Ring

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release Date: February 25, 2022
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X/S, PC
Genre: Action RPG
Sales (As of June 2022): 16.6 million copies

The certified gaming phenomenon of 2022, Elden Ring seemingly came out of nowhere to captivate players and dominate industry headlines for months. The open world title represents a collaboration between developer FromSoftware (known for punishing Soulsborne games) and famous fantasy author George R.R. Martin.

Powered by responsive combat, jaw-dropping vistas, and an intoxicating air of mystery, Elden Ring received near-universal acclaim with many outlets calling it one of the greatest games ever made. Unsurprisingly, it has translated to equally unmatched commercial success with almost 17 million units sold. Elden Ring will likely long remain a sales force as new gamers continue discovering its magical and challenging world.

#5 – Call of Duty: Vanguard

Publisher: Activision
Release Date: November 5, 2021
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X/S, PC
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Sales (As of June 2022): Nearly 15 million copies

Despite middling reviews from critics and a lukewarm reception from many Call of Duty fans, the shooter franchise‘s mighty commercial inertia powered Vanguard‘s sales performance in 2022 regardless.

Set in World War 2, Vanguard brought Call of Duty back to its glory days – but perhaps a bit too safely and predictably, lacking major innovation. Nonetheless, the CoD fanbase turned out again, buying nearly 15 million units across console and PC platforms. While far below past franchise heights, Vanguard shows Call of Duty won‘t slow down much even in a perceived down year.

#4 – LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC
Genre: Action-Adventure
Sales (As of June 2022): Nearly 4 million copies

Over a decade after previous LEGO Star Wars titles captured gamers‘ hearts using the blocky toy license to recreate the films in charming fashion, TT Games triumphantly returned to that winning formula with Skywalker Saga.

Encompassing all 9 main saga films with extensive hub worlds, vast customization options, and quirky humor, this gigantic game appealed to longtime Star Wars lovers and casual LEGO fans alike. Critical adoration and strong word of mouth sales pushed it near the 4 million mark by June. With the durable appeal of both beloved franchises, Skywalker Saga should continue selling well for years.

#3 – Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: March 25, 2022
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genre: 3D Platformer
Sales (As of June 2022): 4.53 million copies

Nintendo‘s pink puffball Kirby has never reached stratospheric sales heights, but the traditionally 2D series stepped firmly into 3D worlds for the first time with Forgotten Land to great success.

Offering a charming story with vibrant setting, fun copy abilities to weaponize enemies, and approachable difficulty, Forgotten Land appealed broadly to casual Nintendo fans. It quickly became the fastest-selling Kirby title ever, topping 4.5 million units worldwide. This feel-good 3D platformer should ride momentum to even stronger numbers through 2022 and beyond.

#2 – Pokémon Scarlet/Violet

Publisher: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company
Release Date: November 18, 2022
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genre: RPG
Sales (As of June 2022): N/A (10 million shipped)


As the first open-world Pokémon RPG on Switch, Scarlet and Violet are undoubtedly Holiday 2022‘s most hotly anticipated video game release. Nintendo has supreme confidence as well, shipping over 10 million copies even before launch to retailers worldwide.

Series staples like new Pokémon to catch, battles, trading, and multiplayer integration will draw in veteran trainers. Meanwhile, the exciting shift to free-roaming exploration within nature-themed Paldea region fueled by climbing/gliding introduces gameplay depth that should expand popularity further amongst the Switch massive install base. Between brand power and genuine innovations, Scarlet and Violet are virtual locks to claim 2022‘s sales crown.

#1 – Minecraft

Publisher: Mojang Studios/Xbox Game Studios
Release Date: 2011
Platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC, mobile
Genre: Sandbox/survival
Sales (As of June 2022): Nearly 240 million copies

And in one of the most incredible achievements in gaming history, Minecraft continues dominating best-seller lists more than a decade after its original release. Recent sales milestones for Mojang‘s open-ended crafting/exploration phenomenon include a staggering 238 million copies sold globally as of early 2022.

Originally a humble PC indie game in beta, Minecraft grew into full public release through word of mouth recommendations before exploding onto consoles as well. Today it reigns as the single best-selling video game ever made. Thanks to Microsoft‘s stewardship, a constant flow of updates, educational initiatives, merchandise, and new projects like film/TV adaptations, Minecraft fever will rage on indefinitely.

Key Gaming Trends Revealed in 2022‘s Best Sellers List

Analyzing the full top 10 list of this year‘s biggest video game releases provides great perspective on overarching industry trends:

  • Nintendo‘s Continued Surge – With 4 titles in the midyear top 10 including breakout newcomers like Legends: Arceus and Forgotten Land, Nintendo continues gaining momentum. Combined with the impending smash sales of Pokémon Scarlet/Violet, Nintendo platforms show increasing appeal for all player demographics.
  • The Power of PlayStation – PlayStation exclusives similarly ruled the charts, with massive sales from Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West, and MLB The Show demonstrating Sony‘s enviable first-party software line-up.
  • Elden Ring‘s Genre Takeover – FromSoftware proved that hardcore action RPGs have truly crossed over into the mainstream, as demonstrated by Elden Ring outselling annualized franchises like Call of Duty head-to-head.
  • IP Reigns Supreme -Licensed IPs drove many 2022 successes, including LEGO Star Wars capitalizing on brand familiarity and Vanguard selling solely off Call of Duty brand power rather than quality.
  • Staple Genres Stay Strong – From shooters to platformers to RPGs and beyond, gaming mainstays continue selling reliably even as gaming expands demographically.

If current trends sustain into peak holiday season and 2023, Nintendo and Sony platforms will continue battling for hardware and software dominance as Elden Ring‘s triumph acceleratesDark Souls style game proliferation. Meanwhile, experiential titles like Minecraft that transcend age groups and gaming stereotypes cement their legendary status through enduring ubiquity across all metrics.

Gamers young and old have wonderful options to enjoy across console, PC, and mobile. Well-established franchises cater to their loyal fans with reliable gameplay formulas. And groundbreaking new IP experiments successfully push creative boundaries, prevent genre stagnation, and court wider audiences.

Based on widespread early adoption of risky open world concepts amongst historically linear mainstays like Pokémon and Horizon, developers seem fully empowered to innovate boldly. With industry revenues booming and titles diversifying to suit underserved niches, the future of interactive entertainment looks incredibly promising both creatively and financially. Everyone wins when vibrant art thrives – players, game makers, and the medium itself.

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