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Revealed: The 100 best-selling UK boxed games of 2017

As always, Call of Duty and FIFA dominate. But there are a few surprises, too

Last year, sales of boxed games in the UK stopped declining.

Although the number of physical games sold (23.8m) was 0.4% down over 2016, the revenue figure rose 2.1% to £792m.

This was helped by a stronger Christmas period, with boxed game sales across November and December rising over 5% compared with the year before - driven by a stronger performance of Call of Duty.

The result has helped the games retail marketplace, with UK retailer GAME reporting a more than 5% growth in sales at the end of last year (although that was also boosted by improved console sales).

Now, courtesy of GfK and UKIE, we can reveal the 100 best-selling boxed games that were sold during 2017, and the most successful boxed video game publishers, too.

EA Market Share Slips As Activision Grows

EA accounted for more than 22% of all boxed games sold in 2016, but that fell to 17% in 2017. That was partially due to falling sales of the boxed version of FIFA, but also the under-performance of its key shooter title - Star Wars: Battlefront II (which sold below 2016's Battlefield 1).

Activision clawed back market share year-on-year (up 3.5%), primarily due to strong sales of Call of Duty: WWII (significantly up compared with 2016's Infinite Warfare), but also due to the No.6 game of 2017 - Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy.

Considering the strong success of Switch, it's not surprising to see Nintendo rise from No.4 to No.3 in the publisher rankings (market share up over 3% year-on-year), driven by the success of Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, none of these games managed to break into The Top Ten. 1-2 Switch and Splatoon 2 also made the Top 50.

The Top Five publishers accounted for more than 60% of the entire boxed games market, as the market continues to consolidate around the big titles and the major publishers.

Some of the biggest movers in the boxed charts include Capcom - up 8 places thanks to the success of Resident Evil VII (no.19 for the year). Meanwhile, indie boxed publishers Sold Out, Team17 and Maximum Games leapt into the Top 20 publishers in terms of units and value.

Top 20 UK Games Publishers - Units

Last Year This Year Company Name Software Market share (Units)
1 1 Electronic Arts 17%
2 2 Activision Blizzard 15.7%
4 3 Nintendo 11.3%
3 4 Ubisoft 9.8%
6 5 Sony 7.9%
7 6 Warner Bros 6.9%
5 7 Take-Two 6.1%
9 8 Bethesda 5.1%
8 9 Microsoft 4.9%
10 10 Square Enix Europe 1.9%
19 11 Capcom 1.8%
12 12 505 Games 1.4%
11 13 Bandai Namco 1.4%
15 14 Codemasters 1.2%
16 15 Sega 1.2%
13 16 Tell-Tale 0.7%
24 17 Team17 0.6%
32 18 Sold Out 0.6%
14 19 Konami 0.5%
27 20 Maximum Games 0.4%

Top 20 UK Games Publishers - Value

Last Year This Year Company Name Software Market share (Value)
1 1 Electronic Arts 22.2%
2 2 Activision Blizzard 18.2%
5 3 Nintendo 12.5%
3 4 Ubisoft 9.7%
6 5 Sony 6.9%
8 6 Warner Bros 5.6%
4 7 Take-Two 5.1%
9 8 Microsoft 3.8%
9 9 Bethesda 3.2%
16 10 Capcom 1.7%
10 11 Square Enix 1.6%
11 12 Bandai Namco 1.4%
12 13 Codemasters 1.3%
18 14 Sega 1%
13 15 505 Games 0.7%
32 16 Sold Out 0.7%
15 17 Konami 0.5%
14 18 TellTale 0.5%
26 19 Team17 0.4%
New Entry 20 Studio Wildcard 0.4%

FIFA Dominates again, but Call of Duty comes close

FIFA 18 ended the year as the UK's best-selling game - a fact that will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed UK game sales over the past five years.

However, boxed FIFA sales fell year-on-year. Indeed, Call of Duty sales came closer than it has done in a long time to EA's major sports franchise. Call of Duty: WWII has already sold more copies than 2016's Infinite Warfare. In fact, Call of Duty: WWII was the best-selling Xbox One game ahead of FIFA 18.

In terms of exclusive games in the charts, it was dominated by PS4. Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy is at No.6, Gran Turismo Sport at No.8 and Horizon: Zero Dawn at No.10. Horizon: Zero Dawn is also the best-selling new IP of 2017 (in terms of boxed sales, we're sure PlayerUnknown Battleground's would disagree otherwise). The next biggest exclusive was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at No.11 for Nintendo Switch.

It wasn't a great year for new IP generally. There are 7 new IP in the Top 50 boxed charts, and only 4 of them were released in 2017.

Remarkably, Grand Theft Auto V continues to sell huge numbers, and was the third best-selling boxed game last year - beating Assassin's Creed: Origins and Star Wars Battlefront II. Crash Bandicoot also beat Destiny 2 to become Activision Blizzard's second biggest boxed game of the year (note: Destiny 2 sold strongly digitally).

THE UK TOP 100 BOXED GAMES 2017 (UKIE/GFK)

Rank Title Publisher/Developer
1 FIFA 18 EA/EA Canada
2 Call of Duty: WWII Activision/Sledgehammer Games
3 Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar/Rockstar North
4 Assassin's Creed Origins Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
5 Star Wars Battlefront II EA/EA DICE
6 Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy Activision/Vicarious Visions
7 Destiny 2 Activision/Bungie
8 Gran Turismo Sport Sony/Polyphony
9 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
10 Horizon Zero Dawn Sony/Guerrilla Games
11 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe Nintendo
12 Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo
13 Forza Horizon 3 Microsoft/Playground Games
14 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Nintendo
15 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Activision/Infinity Ward
16 LEGO Worlds Warner Bros/TT Games
17 FIFA 17 EA/EA Canada
18 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Capcom
19 Fallout 4 Bethesda
20 Forza Motorsport 7 Microsoft/Turn 10
21 Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Sony/Naughty Dog
22 WWE 2K18 2K/Yukes
23 Rocket League 505 Games/Psyonix
24 Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Warner Bros
25 Mass Effect Andromeda EA/BioWare
26 Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Siege Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
27 Minecraft: Xbox Edition EA/4J studios
28 Doom Bethesda/id Software
29 Overwatch Blizzard
30 For Honor Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
31 Need for Speed Payback EA/Ghost Games
32 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Bethesda/Machine Games
33 Battlefield 1 EA/EA Dice
34 The Sims 4 EA/The Sims Studio
35 South Park: The Fractured But Whole Ubisoft/Ubisoft San Francisco
36 Injustice 2 Warner Bros/Netherrealm Studios
37 Dishonored 2 Bethesda/Arkane Studios
38 Minecraft: PlayStation Edition Sony/4J Studios
39 1-2 Switch Nintendo
40 Splatoon 2 Nintendo
41 Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
42 LEGO City Undercover Warner Bros/TT Games
43 Prey Bethesda/Arkane Studios
44 PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Microsoft/Bluehole Studio
45 PlayStation VR Worlds Sony/London Studio
46 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Warner Bros/TT Games
47 Pokemon Ultra Sun Nintendo/Game Freak
48 NBA 2K18 2K/Visual Concepts
49 F1 2017 Codemasters/Codemasters Birmingham
50 Overwatch: Game Of The Year Edition Blizzard
51 Pokemon Ultra Moon Nintendo/Game Freak
52 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Bethesda
53 Sonic Forces Sega/Sonic Team
54 Watch Dogs 2 Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
55 WWE 2K17 2K/Yukes
56 LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Warner Bros/TT Games
57 Just Dance 2018 Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
58 Mario Kart 7 Nintendo
59 Sniper Elite 4 Sold Out/Rebellion
60 Mafia III 2K Games/Hangar 13
61 Hitman: The Complete First Season Square Enix/IO Interactive
62 The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame Warner Bros/TT Games
63 Dirt 4 Codemasters
64 New Super Mario Bros 2 Nintendo
65 Pokemon Sun Nintendo/Game Freak
66 Tekken 7 Bandai Namco
67 The Evil Within 2 Bethesda/Tango Gameworks
68 LA Noire Rockstar/Virtuos
69 LEGO Movie Avengers Warner Bros/TT Games
70 Tom Clancy's The Division Ubisoft/Massive
71 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Sony/Naughty Dog
72 Steep Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
73 Hidden Agenda Sony/Supermassive Games
74 Gears of War 4 Microsoft/The Coalition
75 Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 Konami
76 Knowledge Is Power Sony/Wish Studios
77 Just Dance 2017 Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
78 Ark: Survival Evolved Studio Wildcard
79 Miitopia Nintendo
80 Final Fantasy XV Square Enix
81 Wipeout: Omega Collection Sony/Clever Beans and EPOS
82 Football Manager 2018 Sega/Sports Interactive
83 LEGO Jurassic World Warner Bros/TT Games
84 Pokemon Moon Nintendo/Game Freak
85 Minecraft: Story Mode - Complete Adventure Telltale Games
86 Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
87 Rayman Legends Ubisoft/Ubisoft France
88 Micro Machines: World Series Codemasters/Just Add Water
89 Mineraft: Story Mode - Season 2 Telltale games
90 Tomodachi Life Nintendo
91 Titanfall 2 EA/Respawn
92 Star Wars Battlefront EA/DICE
93 Halo Wars 2 Microsoft/Creative Assembly
94 Super Mario Maker Nintendo
95 Yooka-Laylee Team17/Playtonic Games
96 Farpoint Sony/Impulse Gear
97 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY Edition Bandai Namco/CD Projekt Red
98 NBA 2K17 2k/Visual Concepts
99 Halo 5: Guardians Microsoft/343 Industries
100 Persona 5 Atlus
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Author
Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 15-year games business veteran. He spent nine years at UK business weekly MCV, including five years as editor. He joined GI in 2016 and oversees editorial, sales and events worldwide. He is the architect behind Best Places To Work Awards and GI Live. And is a tiny bit obsessed with market data. He also writes for Doctor Who Magazine. Because Doctor Who is awesome.