Guitar Hero III named US' highest grossing game of all time (some restrictions apply)

Call of Duty: Black Ops may hold the crown for bestselling videogame in US history, but a more recent study by retail analyst firm NPD has pegged Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as the highest grossing US title of all time. What's the difference? Cash money, yo. But like any study that claims to rank the best of anything, this particular report comes with a crap ton of caveats.

The list of top 10 best money makers was released this week, and shows Guitar Hero III edging out Black Ops by little more than $40 million. Here it is in full:

1. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock -- $830.9 million
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops -- $787.4 million
3. Wii Fit -- $736.6 million
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 -- $713.6 million
5. Rock Band -- $670.7 million
6. Wii Play (bundled with Wii remote)
7. Guitar Hero World Tour
8. Wii Fit Plus
9. Mario Kart Wii (with wheel)
10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

It's important to note the list reflects retail sales only, and neglects to include the dollar take for games sold in bundles. It also fails to count games sold before 1995, or adjust for inflation, the disparity in game prices, retail periods, and any monies earned from the sale of digital content (much to the chagrin of EA). If it did, this list would look a lot different, and games likes Super Mario Bros. (the original or the third, take your pick) would be kicking everyone's ass.

All said, this report is more of a snapshot of the last fifteen years than a summary of the entire history of gaming. And in its effort to provide relevant data concerning the current videogame market,  it's clear NPD chose to operate within very tight boundaries.

[Source: CNBC]

Mar 25, 2011

Got a news tip? Let us know at 

Call of Duty: Black Ops becomes best-selling game in US history 
Treyarch's latest knocks Wii Play from top spot in America

Nintendo DS now the best-selling game system in the US 
47 million units sold since the handheld system first launched in 2004

EA calls shenanigans over NPD's lack of digital game sales 
Company exec calls industry tracker data a "misrepresentation"


  • Shagnasty - March 27, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    Wow. Looking at that, you can kinda understand why these companies do all they can to rape the willing. The modern consumer will gladly shovel any shit into their mouth that has enough advertising behind it.
  • Spybreak8 - March 27, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    Oh forgot to say I then bought GH2 after 3, way better game.
  • Spybreak8 - March 27, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    To tell you the truth I got into Guitar Hero with 3, mainly due to it being available on the 360 (woooo I thought now I can finally play it). I got the guitar bundle, yeah. The biggest thing is the following Guitar Hero games were probably just bought game only because many people already had a guitar. I think I got another guitar with World Tour, (own 2 guitars total,grabbed the Drums later for Metallica and GH5). They shouldn't look at dollars really, that's just not reliable data.
  • Primed - March 26, 2011 12:58 a.m.

    I loved GH III. best of the series without a doubt but @Redeater I also have Okami and Enslaved which i loved more for the story and art style. As far as sheer mind numbing escapism though you can't do better then shredding GH III on expert.
  • Silentboy - March 26, 2011 12:19 a.m.

    Rock Band is the only game on the list that isn't owned by Nintendo or Activision. Wowzers
  • Redeater - March 25, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    Everytime you support Guitar Hero or COD........Amaterasu and Monkey die a little more inside each time.
  • yasmarc - March 25, 2011 7:35 p.m.

    Looks like Activision has raped the shit out of everyone and everything pretty hard over the last decade.
  • DanAmrich - March 25, 2011 6:31 p.m.

    When you say bundles, do you mean console hardware bundles? Because many of the games on this list -- GH3, WT, Wii Fit, Wii Play -- were, in fact, sold in bundles with their respective specialized controllers. Also, this list doesn't account for inflation, so it's possible that if it did, GH3 would simply have a wider lead. But calling out all the things the list doesn't cover makes it sound like it should all be discounted...which is kind of an insult to the people who made those games, as well as the people who bought those games and liked 'em. When you find research data that makes your personal favorite game "win," by all means, post it and claim victory.
  • HarryBalls - March 25, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    Huh, who'da thunk that Wii Fit was such a money maker. I had no idea.
  • FanofSaiyan - March 25, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    It seems GH3 as a whole is the most successful GH game to date... I'm just glad to see a sales record without the words "Call", "of", or "Duty" in it. ;)
  • twinkletitsMcGee - March 25, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    what country are you in?? they were $99 in U.S.
  • tiben36 - March 25, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    yeah, but GH3 units costed 150$

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