NPD: Call of Duty, Star Wars, PUBG, and GTA V lead sales for December

A great end to 2017 for the industry.

2017 was a huge year for the gaming industry, pulling in $3.29 billion dollars in hardware, software, and accessory sales in December 2017 alone (10% up from $3 billion in December 2016). Thanks to the industry-tracking firm The NPD Group, we have all sorts of fancy stats for what the best selling games and consoles were in December 2017.

For starters, the Nintendo Switch is the best selling console in a 10 month period in history.

“On a time-aligned basis through the first 10 months on the market, Nintendo Switch has sold more consoles than any other platform in history,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

The best selling console of 2017 was ultimately the PlayStation 4 given the fact it had a 2-month edge since the Switch dropped in March 2017. This was a really extraordinary year for hardware, likely given that Xbox launched a more powerful Xbox One with the One X, and of course the ever popular Nintendo Switch. Hardware sales are up 27% from 997 million in December 2016, meaning $1.27 billion was spent in gaming hardware alone.

“Over the first 50 months in market for each console, the combined hardware installed base of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One now exceeds that of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by 18 percent, and that of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox by 4 percent,” said Piscatella.

Call of Duty: WWII led the charts as expected after a strong first month in November, it’s the eighth year in a row Call of Duty has topped the NPD in December. Star Wars: Battlefront II followed right behind the military shooter, managing to pull through despite major controversies surrounding the game’s multiplayer and in-game microtransactions. The game had several significant limited time price drops during December, especially around the time Star Wars: The Last Jedi released so it’s likely that’s how it managed to work its way up the charts.

Other notable inclusions include PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which launched on Xbox One in December as well as having the PC version leave early access. The game has boasted incredible numbers with a record-breaking 3 million concurrent players on Steam, over 25 million players total with over 3 million players on Xbox One alone.

Rockstar Games’ ridiculously popular crime thriller Grand Theft Auto V also managed to hang on to a place in the top 10 best selling games of the month, not losing its strong hold on the charts even four years after it originally launched.

Three Nintendo games also cracked the top 10, all Switch exclusives like Mario Kart, Super Mario Odyssey, and the game of the year winner, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. More on how the Switch performed in December further down the article. You can find the top 20 best sellers in December 2017 below.


  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. Star Wars: Battlefront II 2017*
  3. Super Mario Odyssey**
  4. NBA 2K18
  5. Mario Kart 8**
  6. Madden NFL 18
  7. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds*
  8. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  10. Grand Theft Auto V
  11. FIFA 18*
  12. Destiny 2*
  13. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2
  14. Splatoon 2**
  15. Need for Speed: Payback*
  16. Xenoblade Chronicles 2**
  17. Just Dance 2018
  18. The Sims 4*
  19. Pokemon: Ultra Sun**
  20. Pokemon: Ultra Moon**

* No PC Digital sales
** No Digital sales

You can view the breakdown for the ten best selling games across each console in December below.

Xbox One 

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  3. Star Wars: Battlefront II 2017
  4. NBA 2K18
  5. Madden NFL 18
  6. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. FIFA 18
  9. Destiny 2
  10. Forza Motorsport 7

PlayStation 4

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. Star Wars: Battlefront II 2017
  3. NBA 2K18
  4. Madden NFL 18
  5. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. FIFA 18
  8. Need for Speed: Payback
  9. Destiny 2
  10. Horizon Zero Dawn

Nintendo Switch**

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  4. Splatoon 2
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  6. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  7. Pokken Tournament DX
  8. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  9. ARMS
  10. Just Dance 2018

Nintendo 3DS**

  1. Pokemon: Ultra Sun
  2. Pokemon: Ultra Moon
  3. Minecraft
  4. Mario Kart 7
  5. Mario Party: The Top 100
  6. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
  7. Super Smash Bros.
  8. Super Mario Maker
  9. Miitopia
  10. New Super Mario Bros. 2