What were the top five best selling video games in 2012? With 2013 under way, it’s time to find out which games sold the most over the course of the 12 months of 2012, a year that was a strange year for the video game industry. In the United States, consumers spent 22% less on video game hardware, software and accessories than they did in 2011: that’s $3.73 billion all told! Some experts chalk this up to ‘gamer fatigue,’ otherwise known as the grace period between console generations. Game players are spending less in stores, and spending more on their phones, tablets, computers, and the digital storefronts on their consoles. If you run a game retail business or gaming kiosks then perhaps you may want to sell DVDs online for cash and minimize your loss from the ever-falling prices of these game titles while we all wait for the next generation of games!
Add this to the fact that 29% fewer games were released this year and you’ve got the rationale for these diminished numbers. In spite of these facts, the games that sold well did so in droves: here are some of the best and brightest.
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
The unstoppable Call of Duty series continued to sit comfortably atop charts in 2012 with its polished blend of gorgeous 3D environments, frantic pace and advanced multiplayer engine. Gamers young and old rejoiced with new maps, new weapons and new ways to dispatch adversaries around the world — an effortless headshot for CoD as the best-selling game of 2012.
2. Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U)
Proving emphatically that franchise gaming is the way forward, Madden 13 (by sports-simulation giant EA Sports) continued to raise the bar in terms of graphics and gameplay. Over 8,000 hours of announcer audio by CBS commentary crew Jim Nantz and Phil Simms keep things fresh as players navigate full-season play. Impressive AI, an overhauled passing/handoff interface and over 200 gorgeously rendered cinematic cut-scenes are the icing on EA’s cake.
3. Halo 4 (360)
Like CoD, the internationally acclaimed Halo series has big shoes to fill, which Halo 4 does in spades. IGN called it the best game of 2012 and the best 360 game of all time; criticisms of linear or nonsensical storylines paled by comparison to the sheer joy of the gameplay. Over 1 million players signed on to play Halo 4 on Xbox Live during the first 24 hours of its release and the series remains a landmark for the power of effective branding and engaging cinematic sci-fi. It’s high sales figures are telling, given that it was only released for Microsoft’s console.
4. Assassin’s Creed III (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
The best selling non-sports non-shooter title of 2012 by a landslide, Assassin’s Creed III was a dramatic return to form for Ubisoft, who proved once again that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Time travel, enormous and fully realized 3D environments, phenomenal graphics and engaging story made this title. Add to that list a redesigned parkour engine for more fluid city-running, an inventive use of historical subject matter and the franchise’s trademark use of stealth and subterfuge and Ubisoft has on their hands a real winner.
5. Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
Just Dance 4 is no exception to its predecessors, and if you like this kind of game then you are not likely to be disappointed by Ubisoft’s latest offering. Continuing perhaps one of the biggest success stories on the console, Just Dance 4 attacks with three prongs to try and keep you interested: single player, multiplayer and fitness. If you have a group of friends that like to bust a groove, Just Dance 4 may be the party game for you.
However, not all other video games that were released were as lucky and overall 2012 was a slump year for gaming industry with many games joining the list of once popular but now forgotten video games. As the current generation of video game consoles comes toward the end of its lifespan, and video players anxiously await what’s next and this fact largely contributed to the slow-down in video game sales. Add to that the fact that far fewer games were released in 2012 (29% fewer, in fact), and it’s not hard to see why 2012 was not friendly to the video game industry.