3. Minecraft (2009 alpha / 2011 official)
Total worldwide sales: 33M
How'd they do it? Blood, sweat, and bricks (but mostly bricks). Released in its alpha state by a (then) unknown coder named Markus Persson in May 2009, the indie title found an immediate following amongst its PC crowd who fell in love with its low-res style and deep, build-a-world mechanics. Their support helped Minecraft sales skyrocket, granting Persson the funds and popularity to quit his day job and develop Minecraft full time. Soon after, he founded Mojang Studios alongside partner Jakob Porser and released Minecraft's official “we're-done-testing-this-thing-out” commercial version in November 2011.
Markus Persson (aka “Notch”) has since left Mojang in the care of Jens Bergensten to pursue other projects, but that hasn't slowed Minecraft's march to world domination. By late 2013, the original PC version had sold close to 12 million copies, while the combined sales of mobile versions (2011), an Xbox 360 version (2012), and PS3 version (2013), elevated its total franchise sales to 33 million and climbing. With Xbox One and PS4 versions on the horizon, expect that number to to grow even more nuts. In the meantime, see what wonders Minecrafters have already created in our gallery of 50 Stunning Minecraft screenshots.
Source: Minecraft non-console stats, IGN