Microsoft entered the consoles wars 22 years ago with the original Xbox. But it wasn’t until the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005 that the company really began making inroads into the market. With a lifespan that effectively stretched all the way into 2016, the Xbox 360 was part of an era that introduced “slim” models, refining their design further. Eventually selling an estimated 85 million units in that lifetime.
That gave developers an exceedingly big window to sell their games, garnering some impressive unit sales themselves. So, what were the best selling games for Xbox 360? As you might expect, the Call of Duty franchise dominates with four entries, whilst Rockstars’ Grand Theft Auto pops up a couple of times. The number one spot might surprise you though.
The 10 Best Selling Xbox 360 Games of All Time
- Kinect Adventures!
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Call of Duty Black Ops
- Call of Duty Black Ops II
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
- Halo 3
- Grand Theft Auto IV
10 Best Selling Xbox 360 Games: What Do They Mean to You?
Kinect Adventures! – 24 Million Units Sold
Yes, that’s right, taking the number one spot for units sold isn’t COD or GTA, it is Kinect Adventures! Packaged free with every Kinect unit, Kinect Adventures! was designed to showcase the potential of the Kinect sensor. The videogame featured five mini-games, 20,000 Leaks; River Rush, Rally Ball; Reflex Ridge and Space Pop. All were designed to be fun, three-minute games that people could jump in and out of. They all supported two-player co-op and the Kinect would also take photos of players during the game which they could view later.
Grand Theft Auto V – 22.95 million Units Sold
It is hardly surprising that taking the number two spot is Grand Theft Auto V, a monster of a game that launched in 2013. The action-adventure title set in the fictional city of Los Santos allows players complete free roam to do almost anything they want. Developer Rockstar Games has continually expanded the title, so it is loved by fans to this day. Addons over the years have included features like GTA Online, where up to 30 players can join a world, cooperatively or competitively. GTA V has been so successful there’s still no launch date for its sequel, GTA 6, which is in development.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition – 21 Million Units Sold
No other world-building game has come close to the success of the sprawling Minecraft. Initially released by Mojang Studios in 2011, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition arrived the following year. It was such a success that Microsoft eventually bought the IP in 2014 for $2.5 billion. In the years since many editions have been released, even a VR version. If, by some weird event you’ve not heard of Minecraft, it is essentially a block-building game. Whereby you can build virtually anything you can think of. Players have built Star Wars Imperial Cruisers, actual working computers and much more. The benefit is that people around the world can team up to create immense projects together.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – 14.72 Million Units Sold
Time for the first of four Call of Duty instalments on this list, with the Xbox 360 era being a golden age for first-person shooters (FPS). The original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare heralded a new era for the franchise, but it was 2011’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 that proved to be the most popular when comparing units sold. Developed by Infinity Ward, this third instalment of the sub-series continued the narrative from its predecessor. Series stalwart Captain Price was joined by a new playable character called Yuri, as they take on a Russian terrorist.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – 14.55 Million Units Sold
Call of Duty: Black Ops was another subset of the franchise, this time developed by Treyarch. Taking a slightly different approach than the core Call of Duty games or Modern Warfare, Black Ops was a far gritty instalment set during the Cold War in the 1960s. Taking place across 14 maps, these locations include Vietnam, Cuba and the Soviet Union. However, what really cemented Call of Duty Black Ops in the hearts of players was the additional Zombies mode. Unlocked after completing the campaign, the mode first featured in COD: World at War. In Black Ops, it was revamped with three new maps and an expanded narrative.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – 13.7 Million Units Sold
Two years after Black Ops came Treyarch’s sequel Call of Duty: Black Ops II. With a new Call of Duty coming out every year telling them apart was getting difficult. Moving further down the timeline, Black Ops 2 was set in the 1980s and 2025, when a second Cold War had begun. Released in 2015, the game was a huge success, receiving praise from critics as well as grossing over $500 million on the first day of sale. The Zombie mode returned for a third time, adding new modes beyond the usual Survival, “Grief” introduced an 8-player co-op option.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 13.7 Million Units Sold
Just like Grand Theft Auto V, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one game that just refuses to die, even into old age. Bethesda’s epic fantasy open world has been a critical and commercial success since arriving on the scene in 2011 – even more than 2006’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Only five years between those games, a sequel to Skyrim has yet to materialize. Set 200 years after its predecessor, Skyrim is narrative-driven, where you play the Dragonborn on a quest to defeat Alduin the World-Eater. However, alongside the DLC, Skyrim offers players a rich world to explore and navigate however they wish, with seemingly endless secrets to discover.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 13.49 Million Units Sold
If you had an Xbox 360 then you would’ve had at least one copy of Call of Duty, with these sales numbers indicating Modern Warfare 2 would’ve been the least likely. Even so, it did big numbers after the initial release in 2009 and helped seal this new era of FPS games as the colossus we know today. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, continues the story arch over with the Ultranationalists now led by Vladimir Makarov, a protégé of the previous leader. As well as the campaign, MW2 featured a multiplayer and Spec-Ops, which featured 23 additional levels played either solo or cooperatively.
Halo 3 – 12.13 Million Units Sold
No matter how many COD games made the list, one franchise is synonymous with Microsoft’s Xbox, and that’s Halo. Halo 3 hit the Xbox 360 in 2007, completing the core narrative that began so epically six years prior. Developed by Bungie, Halo 3 had a great initial reception from fans, grossing over $300 million in its first week of sale. It continued the franchises’ support of couch co-op as well as improving the online multiplayer elements, so much so it does crop up in the greatest videogames of all times lists.
Grand Theft Auto IV – 11.1 Million Units Sold
Lastly, at number 10 with 11 million sales is Grand Theft Auto IV. Landing in 2008, GTA IV was, in fact, the eleventh instalment, following on from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Set within Liberty City, GTA IV was another high roller, grossing over $500 million in its first week and by 2013 had sold over 25 million copies across all supported platforms. You played Niko Bellic, an Eastern European war veteran trying to escape both his past and dangerous criminals.
So that completes our list of the best selling Xbox 360 games of all time. Which were your favourite titles? Let us know in the comments below! Or take a look at Best Selling PlayStation 2 Games of all time.
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