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The Top 15 Best-Selling PC Games Of All Time

The Top 15 Best-Selling PC Games Of All Time

Putting together a list like this isn't easy. Sales figures are often released by title, with no breakdown across platform. Thus, it's actually really hard to assemble the best-selling PC games into order. Nevertheless, you're going to feel some nostalgia, a little bit of love, and a whole lot of angst because, even with a lot of deserving releases on this list, many get left off.

Without further ado, we present the top 15 best-selling PC (and Mac) games of all time, based on a long list of sources. There are some old favorites here, and some new classics-to-be. A few of the titles might surprise you, so have a look!

#15: Cossacks: European Wars

Sold: 4 Million Copies
(Source: GSC Game World)

Released in 2001 by GSC Game World, Cossacks: European Wars follows the traditional formula of the RTS genre. It features a large variety of factions (16 total) and military units to choose from. In addition, the cut scenes and the opening video are impressive. However, the main attraction is the opportunity to stage massive conflicts, as up to 8000 units can be on the battlefield at the same time.

#14: Diablo II

Sold: 4 Million Copies
(Source: Blizzard Press Release via GamesFirst.com)

Diablo II, released in 2000 by Blizzard Entertainment, is a fantasy/horror-based action role-playing game. This title expands on the features of the original Diablo with new characters, settings, and advanced combat. We're eagerly awaiting the release of Diablo III later this year.

#13: Counter-Strike

Sold: 4.2 Million Copies
(Source: GPS Facebook Page)

Released in 1999 by the Valve Corporation, Counter-Strike started as a fan-made Half-Life mod. It broke new ground on the first-person shooter multiplayer scene with its counter-terrorists vs. terrorists team-based gameplay and, according to GameSpy, is still the most played Half-Life mod. The number of copies sold above doesn't include the Steam-generated sales of the 2004 updated re-release (Counter-Strike: Source).

#12: StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Sold: 4.5 Million Copies
(Source: GameReplays)

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is, obviously, the sequel to StarCraft. Released in 2010 by Blizzard Entertainment, many call StarCraft II one of the best RTS titles of all time. This one currently has a 93% aggregate score on Metacritic, celebrated for its refinements of the original's classic gameplay.

#11: Riven

Sold: 4.5 Million Copies
(Source: Los Angeles Times Interview)

Released in 1997 by Brøderbund, the sequel to Myst features more complicated puzzles and improved graphics compared to its predecessor.

#10: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Sold: 4.7 Million Copies
(Source: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm was released in 2011 by Blizzard Entertainment, and is the latest expansion of the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. You can tell that a game is big (or that a publisher has deep pockets) when Mr. T and Chuck Norris do commercials for it during prime time. In addition to a new storyline, areas, quests, instances, and raids, it features an extensive overhaul of the original World of Warcraft world, including flying mounts over the Eastern Kingdoms.

#9: Half-Life

Sold: At Least 5 Million PC (9.3 Million Copies Across All Platforms)
(Source: Gamasutra, Amazon Reviews)

Valve Corporation's Half-Life is still considered one of the best and most genre-defining first-person shooters of all time, only rivaled in its significance by Doom and the original FPS, Wolfenstein. Released in 1998, it put Valve Corporation on the map, and managed to win 50 Game of the Year awards.

#8: SimCity 3000

Sold: 5 Million Copies
(Source: Electronic Arts)

Before The Sims franchise, there was SimCity. As the third major installment in Electronic Arts' city-building simulator, SimCity 3000, released in 1999, featured improved graphics and a more complex array of city services, such as waste management.

#7: Battlefield 3

Sold: At Least 5 Million
(Source: MKM Partners)

Released in 2011 by Electronic Arts, Battlefield 3 boasts amazing graphics able to tax the latest-generation graphics cards. Take a look at this first-person shooter's performance on the PC.

#6: Minecraft

Sold: 5.3 Million Copies
(Source: Mojang)

Minecraft, released only last year by Mojang, has already sold enough copies to make it to #8 of our Top 15. This is particularly remarkable since it's an indie game. Minecraft is a sandbox-building game that allows you to choose between a few different gameplay styles.

  • pckitty4427
    I thought Flight Simulator would be on here.
    Reply
  • GI_JONES
    I'm first..maybe
    Reply
  • Um, you have a screenshot of Starcraft 2, instead of one for Starcraft.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    Chuck Norris does not play w.o.w. he just stares at the monitor and the enemy gets instantly destroyed.
    Reply
  • CoolBOBob1
    I would assumed that if Cataclysm was up there that every expansion of WoW would be up there. Since there was at least 12 million players during Wrath of the Lich King and whether or not they had the expansion they needed to have at least the original version.
    Reply
  • acku
    Before we hear a lot of complaints, I'm going to head off some concerns. Like most PC game sale reports, we're looking only at retail sales. This doesn't count digital distribution networks or subscription figures. Those numbers are not publically available nor can they be confirmed with original sources. Second, we're counting the sales made at some store, be it online or physical, but it will be the box not the digital copy. Third, we treated expansion packs as separate titles.

    I don't mind a bit of lively debate, but please keep your comments constructive or they will be deleted. Personal attacks do not help. If you want to call our choices into account, I'll be happy to listen and perhaps create a part 2 of this series.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
    Reply
  • builder4
    That first picture would have been better suited to the iPad review.
    "It's exactly the same as the iPad 2 except for the screen, but is heavier, thicker, runs hotter, has reduced battery life..."
    "Shut up and take my money!"
    Reply
  • lahawzel
    Why is the screenshot for StarCraft BW... StarCraft II?
    Reply
  • acku
    9548877 said:
    Why is the screenshot for StarCraft BW... StarCraft II?

    Forgive me if I inserted the wrong picture, but I do believe the title says StarCraft II, which matches the StarCraft II picture.
    Reply
  • Onikage
    Dune 2 to me is the greatest PC game ever made !
    Reply