The Year's Ten Best-Selling Games

by Mark Asher and Tom Chick


You've seen best game lists. You've seen worst game lists. You've seen dubious achievement lists and you've seen surprise lists. If you're one of W's confidants, you've seen short lists of cabinet appointments. If you're one of Al's friends, you've seen lists of good vacation spots. You may have even recently rented Schindler's List. We're a bit tired of lists, so we went for a simpler list that didn't require us to make a lot of value judgments. We asked PC Data to give us the hard numbers on the software sales of PC games. So here they are, PC Data's bestselling games for the year through the end of October.

We do want to remind you that PC Data's numbers, while perhaps the best figures anyone can get outside of cracking open a game company's books, do not cover 100% of the North American market and cover nothing elsewhere in the world. From talking to different publishers, we've been told that when you factor in the world market and niche outlets in North America that PC Data doesn't cover, you can double PC Data's figures to get a good rule of thumb idea of actual sales. So think of the numbers we present as more of a weathervane than a precise data point.


Nah, you won't find this game on our list.


And you really won't find this game on our list.

Before we get into our countdown, we thought we'd highlight some interesting numbers for games that didn't make our list. For example, Hoyle Casino 2000 from Havas didn't make our list, but it did a brisk business, selling 230,365 copies and netting $6,151,369. That will buy you a lot of pulls on the slots in Vegas. Centipede from Hasbro Interactive proved that oldies are goodies, selling 176,713 copies and making $2,220,057. That will buy a lot of sneakers for those poor centipedes. Jane's WWII Fighters did a good job of trying to convince us that flight sims aren't dead, selling 166,971 copies for a net of $2,500,126. And that will buy you a lot of Betty Grable posters.

Vampire sucked? Most reviewers liked it on balance, and it did decent box office, mesmerizing 111,193 people to grab it and spend $4,884,922. Most reviewers didn't like Imperium Galactica II, but it did fairly well for a complex strategy game — 50,843 copies sold for a gross of $2,021,773. And maybe there is some justice after all. After all, Pong only sold 50,794 copies for revenues of $738,802.

So are you ready to see numbers 10 and 9? On to the games!


Special thanks to PC Data for supplying us with these numbers.