I’m sure it comes as a surprise to nobody that the FA cup’s flagship football video game is by far and away the game that has sold the most units in 2021. The gargantuan franchise which rakes in many hundreds of millions every year for its publisher, selling approximately 2.3 million units in 2021 alone. For any who are not familiar, the FIFA video games are the biggest sports video game franchise on the planet. They allow you to take control of a football team, either local or national or your own custom one, and lead them to victory in matches which take place over several gamemodes, including its popular online.
The Call of Duty games have long been the most popular FPS (First-Person Shooter) games in the UK, with previous entries such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 being among the best-selling games of all time. Vanguard is seemingly no exception to the franchise’s overwhelming popularity, selling just short of a million units in 2021.
That’s right - a game which released in 2013 continues to be one of the most popular games by units sold in the United Kingdom. While the game itself is rather old, the online has been continuously updated since its release and the game has been re-released on current gen consoles. Due to the open-world, freeform nature of its online, the game is extremely popular to this day with 967,000 units sold in 2021 - just a few thousand units behind the previous entry, Call of Duty: Vanguard.
One of the most critically acclaimed and fondly remembered family-friendly franchises of all time made its return to the shelves with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which released with the Nintendo Switch in 2017. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes all of the optional, pre-paid content that Mario Kart 8 did and begins the game with everything unlocked, offering the ultimate Mario Kart experience. The game sold 600,000 units in 2021.
The spin-off to Insomniac Entertainment’s much loved Spider-Man videogame released in 2018, which released to a wildly, massively popular reception by critics and fans alike has attained a similar level of success to its predecessor in 2021. In this game, you take control of Miles Morales - a young superhero under the tutelage of Peter Parker, the previous Spider-Man, as you venture through New York City to do what a superhero does best: saving civillians and stopping supervillains. The game sold 500,000 units in 2021.
The Animal Crossing series is perhaps less well-known than Nintendo’s other big hit franchises such as the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda games, however its latest release, New Horizons attained a level of success and mainstream popularity that the series had never really seen before. The soothing, real-time island management with a cutesy, adorable aesthetic has been a huge hit among gamers. The game sold 457,000 units in 2021.
A game that doubtless needs no introduction, Minecraft continues to be a bestseller since its release all the way back to 2010. Every year since its release it has made at least the top fifteen best-selling games in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. It remains immensely popular among children and adults alike, selling 445,000 units in 2021.
Red Dead is Rockstar’s second magnum opus after the Grand Theft Auto series, bringing to life the Wild West in a way that no other media has quite managed to do. Acting as a prequel to the story of Red Dead Redemption that released in 2010, it received heavy praise for its revolutionary physics engine, its amazing cast of characters and its fantastic story. It sold 395,000 units in 2021.
Another EA sports title to fill the list, the Formula 1 2021 video game franchise has you accelerate your career as a driver in the thrilling gamemodes it has to offer, which include a fantastic story experience, a career mode and an offline and online versus for you to race against your friends. It sold 371,000 units in 2021.
Having released a game almost every year since its debut in 2008, the Assassin’s Creed franchise is a series of immensely fun, beautifully detailed open-world games in which you take control of a member of the shadowy Assassin’s Order in a number of historical epochs. The latest release, Valhalla, has you take control of a Viking assassin during the era of King Alfred the Great, letting you explore 9th century Scandinavia and England as part of the single player campaign experience. It sold 358,000 units in 2021.