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GameSpot: Best of 2008

NPD: San Andreas caps US best-seller list

Grand Theft Auto and Madden NFL franchises dominate industry-tracking group's top 10 list of all-time domestic sales leaders through April.

As part of its positive second-quarter earnings announcement earlier today, Take-Two Interactive said that the recently released Grand Theft Auto IV had logged 8.5 million units in worldwide sales, as of May 31. Released on April 29 in North America, the game's $310 million first-day haul shattered records to become "the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment," as recognized by the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition.

Given the franchise's sales track record, the feat is hardly surprising. As reported by Forbes earlier this week, the Grand Theft Auto franchise leads the list of top 10 best-selling non-PC games ever in the US, according to industry-tracking NPD Group. (NPD classifies PC games as PC software and ranks them separately.) With 9.4 million copies sold domestically, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas tops the list, followed by its predecessors Vice City at No. 4 with 7.3 million and GTAIII at No. 9 with 6.2 million. According to Take-Two, the GTA franchise has sold more than 65 million units globally through 2007.

GTA finds itself in familiar company atop the sales-rankings charts. At the No. 2 slot is Activision's Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which took the stage on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii, PC, Mac, and mobile platforms last year. The last four installments of EA's annual Madden NFL gridiron franchise have been good to the publisher, with the '07 edition hitting slot 3 with 7.7 million units, '06 at No. 5 with 6.7 million, '08 at rank 7 with 6.6 million, and '05 rounding out the top 10 with 6.1 million units.

Activision's other massive hit from last year--the Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare--landed in the 8th slot with 6.25 million units sold. Earlier this week, the publisher said that the fourth Call of Duty has been answered by 10 million gamers globally. And finally, Bungie's Halo 2 for the original Xbox and PC has logged 6.61 million units sold in the US, scoring slot 6 on the NPD Group's list.

The NPD Group's top 10 best-selling games of all time in the US through the end of April is listed below.

1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas--9.4 million
2. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock--8.2 million
3. Madden NFL 07--7.7 million
4. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City--7.3 million
5. Madden NFL 06--6.7 million
6. Halo 2--6.61 million
7. Madden NFL 08--6.6 million
8. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare--6.25 million
9. Grand Theft Auto 3--6.2 million
10. Madden NFL 2005--6.1 million


  • jimmmzerx

    Posted Oct 13, 2008 3:19 pm PT

    That's a good list, I didn't realize Madden NFL was that popular.

  • cuneofamily

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 8:30 pm PT

    ".... Oh - let me guess - then the truth would be out about how bad PC gaming is doing maybe?"

    Well HumorGuy, go look at a sales chart for any sims game pretty much

    And I'm sure WoW tops San Andread, and Spore will top that

  • Losarii

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 5:08 pm PT

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    The consumer decides what products are released onto the market. Well said.

  • GrgSpunk

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 1:24 pm PT

    Well, there's your reason why EA hardly ever changes the Madden series: No matter how much you idiots complain about it, you still end up buying it anyway. Why should a company like EA, whose purpose is to make money, listen to your complaints if you buy their products anyways?

    In the business world, dollar votes speak louder than words. I suggest you morons learn a thing or two about "consumer sovereignty" before you buy a game from a series that you've been complaining about.

  • gpvs posted Jul 7, 2008 10:20 am PT (does not meet display criteria. login to show)


    Posted Jul 7, 2008 10:20 am PT (hide)

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Idiot Gangsters -

    Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock - Idols wanne'bees -

    Madden NFL - Utter GRAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! , aint there enough footbal on TV -

  • BNation

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 9:47 am PT

    You have to sell the game to have someone subscribe...

    The problem with that is those subscriptions are worldwide, not juse the United States...which is what the NPD tracks....

    It also started tracking this much more recently then when the original Mario Bros. came out....or for that matter even after Super Mario Bros. 3.

  • paul25

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 9:45 am PT

    WoW didnt sell 10 million it just has over 10 million subscriptions.

  • jmills1099

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 9:37 am PT

    The article is for US numbers only, thats why its so "american" with GTA and Madden. Also, its why GTA4 and COD4 have less than their worldwide totals.

  • dadeda

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 9:33 am PT

    WoW sold 10 million World Wide yes.. This was a US only list.

  • Mcderby4

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 9:22 am PT

    Apparently not Blazius2

  • Blazius2

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 8:41 am PT

    WoW sold 10 million...

  • nickythenewt21

    Posted Jul 7, 2008 8:13 am PT

    I thought Super Mario Bros. sold 40 million...*looks confused*

  • techmaster330

    Posted Jun 28, 2008 6:11 pm PT


  • abeard424

    Posted Jun 19, 2008 11:16 pm PT

    didn't realize madden did so well every year

  • Humorguy_basic

    Posted Jun 14, 2008 11:47 am PT

    So let me understand - NPD lists best selling PC games separately - so why not have them in this article for comparison purposes?!

    .... Oh - let me guess - then the truth would be out about how bad PC gaming is doing maybe?

  • lil_luz_10

    Posted Jun 9, 2008 12:38 pm PT

    Damn right San Andreas is number 1. Turf wars, car modding, making CJ fat, and all the rpg like elements are what made that game the best. Vice City probably had the better story...since it was a complete rip off of Scarface, but San Andreas improved the character customization and running through neighborhoods gunning people down never got old.

  • Superdude475

    Posted Jun 9, 2008 11:45 am PT

    Wait I'm confused, is this only for games after 2000?

  • jimmulvaney

    Posted Jun 9, 2008 11:18 am PT

    I have to admit that although GTA IV is a great game in its own right, There is not much of an improvement (tech and specs aside) since Rockstar's proceeding crown jewel, San Andreas. Personally, I would rather play San Andreas' sequel. Even the ancillary characters of the past were more interesting than now. Nico Bellic is just so... meh

  • combatsoldier

    Posted Jun 9, 2008 10:46 am PT

    ya your right this article is bogus since cod4 has sold 10 mil and the new gta has already sold 9 mil. my favorite on this list is vice city.

  • metalkid9

    Posted Jun 9, 2008 7:31 am PT

    COD4 is technically number 1 since it sold 10 mill as of date

  • metalkid9

    Posted Jun 9, 2008 7:30 am PT

    I dont understand why there are 3 madden NFL games in the top ten??? who the hell buys these games??

  • AuronCloud7

    Posted Jun 8, 2008 11:21 pm PT

    LOL NO!

    Click Here

  • 1aRmAnDo1

    Posted Jun 8, 2008 7:42 pm PT

    Thats insane

  • ZombieViking

    Posted Jun 8, 2008 12:21 pm PT

    it's funny Guitar Hero 3, all the Madden games, and San Andreas suck.... so why do they sell the most. (note; I said san andreas not the rest of the GTAs)

  • roryk666

    Posted Jun 8, 2008 4:01 am PT

    gta rulezz allll bow down hoezzzzz

  • BigMace23

    Posted Jun 7, 2008 2:25 pm PT

    Go Guitar Hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • weilongli2003

    Posted Jun 7, 2008 7:05 am PT

    Just look at that. Many games out for a couple of years don't do as well as some that came out just last year. Shows you how many people are getting into video gaming.

  • taino1128

    Posted Jun 7, 2008 6:37 am PT

    Call of Duty 4 has only been out for a few months and it is already #8, go COD! MY favorite game of all time is #1. I also have Madden NFL 2005, GTA 3 and Vice City. Getting COD4 in a couple of weeks...
    4 Maddens and 3 GTAs, so American.

  • Avals

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 10:06 pm PT

    It isn't fair..COD 4 has been released for 8 months while GTA san andreas is 3 more years...in term of intensity, COD 4 sell far more superior than GTA:SA

  • darkfire201

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 9:47 pm PT

    madden.... dis is so american... got no comments... hey why not the whole world ah...

  • Sydwynder

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 7:11 pm PT

    I'm surprised Halo 3 isn't on there...........

  • xSiCKxCHAOSx

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 5:37 pm PT

    Wow, thats amazing. I can't believe there are that many copies sold of GTA San Andreas.

  • sdauz

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 5:00 pm PT

    master chief is god, hands down halo 1 was best game of all time

  • Disciple_Gamer

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 3:44 pm PT

    Congrats to Halo 2 for being the only game in there dedicated to one video game console. Thats right, I said console so please don't yell out "it on the pc".

  • Gifted_One

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 3:30 pm PT

    GTA may have had more sales, but you will get more playing time out of COD4.

  • akiwak

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 3:01 pm PT

    Madden Sucks!!! and yes Halo1 showed us what an FPS should be and Halo2 improved the formula.

    YES Halo3 is overrated. As owner of all 3 games I can say that! It still doesn't mean I'd trade them for anything.

  • hatieshorrer

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 2:16 pm PT

    PS3 fans have been telling us for years that Halo is all hype so whats Halo 2 doing on the top ten list of the best saling games in North America of all time.

  • BigSmitts07

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 1:36 pm PT

    sounds like a reasonable and true list

  • cooldude03

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 1:27 pm PT

    7 out of 10 are either Madden or GTA. I guess that means someone needs to make a Madden/GTA cross breed game. Imagine running over teams with cars and shooting the kicker before he makes a field goal. Sounds like a dumb idea. As far as Madden goes those are probably the same gamers buying it each year. I also notice these game are available on so many gaming platforms it reaches anyone who wants to play them.This shows that a top notch franchise will sell. That's why these companies bring out the same franchise year after year.

  • Cjb2442

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 1:24 pm PT

    Grand theft auto FTW!

  • sonofabear17

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 1:16 pm PT

    lol I have all those games

  • Lelio316

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 11:54 am PT

    "Nintendo really are hurting the progress of the gaming industry with their petty wii and Mario games"

    How, by developeing the GOTY?

  • prioritymail

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 11:53 am PT

    Uh.... where is Mario?

  • cajunstrike

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 10:35 am PT

    Agreed. The proposed Electronic Arts takeover of Take-Two Interactive would result in 70% of the top ten all-time best sellers in the United States being owned by a single company. Monopoly indeed.

  • Ardus

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 10:20 am PT

    Wow, there is an extremely large amount of stupid football fans with money to burn out there.

  • Sparky04

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 10:10 am PT

    Wow, I had no idea that Guitar Hero III sold that many copies. I figured it would be around 2-3 million.

  • RawhideSphinx

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 9:40 am PT

    I'm happy to say I have never bought a Madden game. What would it take for me to buy one? Take 4 years to create a unique and incredible football experience, then maybe I would buy it.

  • anarchy69yoda

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 9:33 am PT

    where's halo 3? whatever. all good games

  • jonzilla_basic

    Posted Jun 6, 2008 9:10 am PT

    Vice City was awesome

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