Now that 2022 is over (thank goodness), the NPD Group has done its job, collecting and processing all the resulting sales data. We can now look back over the past 12 months and see which games and consoles have sold the best, and how much money people have spent on that stuff. Shockingly, Nintendo had another successful year as elderberry ring almost topping the chartsbeating both God of the war and Mad.
Yes, it’s that time of year again when the NDP Group—a decades-old retail tracking and market research company—publishes data on what people bought last year. While the group tracks and monitors many different industries, since 1995 it has monitored the sale of video games and consoles in the United States, and typically releases some of this data monthly.
Nintendo is probably pleased to see that in 2022 the best-selling video game console in the United States was the Nintendo Switch. The NPD doesn’t publicly release specific sales numbers, so we don’t know how many Switch consoles were sold this year. but Nintendo’s aging console has outperformed the PlayStation 5, which was the second best-selling platform last year, and the Xbox Series X/S, which came in third. It’s also worth noting that the Switch was the best-selling console of December 2022, so it looks like the Switch is still the star item to get through Christmas. And two new Pokemon games in 2022 (even if they were bugged) probably helped too.
Late last week, the NPD Group also released their list of the 20 best-selling games of 2022. Before jumping into the list, remember that Nintendo does not share its digital numbers with the NPD, which could harm the ranking of its own games. Anyway, here are the NDP’s top 10:
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
- elderberry ring
- Madden NFL 23
- God of War: Ragnarok
- Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- Pokémon Scarlet/Purple
- FIFA 23
- Pokemon Legends: Arceus
- Forbidden Horizon West
- MLB The Show 22
While elderberry ring was on a roll this year and still ends up being the second best-selling game of 2022, it was unable to defeat the juggernaut that is Call of Duty. There’s a reason Activision continues to focus almost all of its resources and studios on Call of Duty: because it makes a lot of money. And as always, big-name sports games and console exclusives round out the rest of the roster. This data is also a great reminder that most people outside of people reading this or commenting below don’t care about bugs, because Madden NFL 23 and the new Pokemon the games launched in pretty tough states, but they still managed to crack the top 10.
Now that 2022 is over, it’s time to bet on the best selling game of 2023! The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom seems like a solid bet…assuming it comes out this year.