Guitar Hero III
Guitar Hero III is the Highest-Grossing Game of This Generation
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Despite Activision recently canning its Guitar Hero franchise, there was a time when music games ruled the world and according to a market research report from NPD Group, that time was 2007, as Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has been named the highest-grossing video game of this console generation in a list largely dominated by Activision.

Apart from Harmonix's first Rock Band, the entire top ten is wholly comprised of Activision and Nintendo titles, and predictably those Acti games are instalments in both the highly lucrative Guitar Hero and Call of Duty franchises. Guitar Hero III heads up the list making $830.9 million in sales to date, while Guitar Hero World Tour also makes an appearance. Bear in mind that these are US gross figures, so Guitar Hero III cost somewhere in the region of $90-$100 upon release, whereas Black Ops cost about $60.

Of the Call of Duty games, the most recent iteration, Black Ops, is the top-grossing, while both entries in the Modern Warfare series are also well represented. And Black Ops is actually only $43.5 million behind the leader, as of February according to the US NPD data - not adjusted for inflation - which was passed on to CNBC.

Take a look at the NPD top ten highest-grossing game of this console generation:

  1. Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock (Activision)
  2. Call Of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
  3. Wii Fit (Nintendo)
  4. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision)
  5. Rock Band (MTV Games)
  6. Wii Play (Nintendo)
  7. Guitar Hero World Tour (Activision)
  8. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo)
  9. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo)
  10. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision)


User Comments

Forum Posts: 454
Comment #1 by Caramel Cardinal
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 07:54:30 AM
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assuming this includes dlc Black ops may over take it at some point
can honestley say i'm shocked it is although when think about it not surprising with guitars + game + all the dlc for it makes for alot of money

the fact the top 10 consists of band game, cod and casual wii games amuses me though :D

Forum Posts: 98
Comment #2 by Frankyg88
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 07:55:17 AM
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All activation do is release games till they destroy themselves as we get sick of them, just pure greed.

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #3 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 07:57:32 AM
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@ 1 - Not really b/c this is one of the few "All Around Demographic" kinda games. It's great for kids, teens and adults of all ages. If DLC was included, i would say Rock Band takes the lead but Guitar Hero started the genre and does have more side-games than supported DLC. I never thought of it as a learning tool b/c I play guitar (not professionally or even amazingly good - I play by ear for kicks) and you really can't compare the two. You cannot learn to play real guitar from this BUT it does have the ability to increase your interest in doing so.

Forum Posts: 8524
Comment #4 by Nozza XBA
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:01:06 AM
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After that it went all down hill!

Forum Posts: 111
Comment #5 by The Bamshizzle
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:06:33 AM
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@2 dont you mean CoD series ? i think you do. they are too quick to pump out the same game with a new name. and of course all the kiddies snatch them up like they are going out of style. same thing with the halo series

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #6 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:15:39 AM
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@ 5 - That's why I love pissing off COD fans with why I like Reach. They added way more stuff than any COD product combined. Better matchmaking, more playslists, updated challenges, no stupid Prestige (sorry, I earned my rank and don't base it around the weapons i will lose once Prestigin') and so on. Everyone slams the new abilities but they added more counters and variations to how you approach/defend against the opposing team. As usual, it's all personal preference. If it keeps you playing, why bother comparing or paying attention to the game?

Forum Posts: 60
Comment #7 by CJLewis
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:19:04 AM
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This is because #3 was the best one, best setlist, best dlc. All after jus had nothing in comparison. PLUS 3 HAD DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA!!!

Forum Posts: 336
Comment #8 by Poisonheadcrab
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:20:15 AM
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does "This console generation" NOT imply the time where these 3 console have titles releasing for them... this generation is over? Silly!

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #9 by nM Ch33zy NiNjA
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:24:14 AM
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ahah I just played this like 2 hours ago... amazing game!

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #10 by meager
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:31:31 AM
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Do the figures for GH3 not include the PS2 version, since this is a top-grossing list of this generation? A lot of people were still clinging to their PS2 at the time. If it really doesn't include those PS2 figures, then those sales numbers are pretty impressive.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #11 by Spongebrick
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:34:22 AM
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really impressive wouldnt of thought it would beat the COD franchise

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #12 by TimTam AU
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:34:39 AM
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Note that Black Ops was released late 2010.
GH3 was released 2007, with peripherals.

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #13 by RTRD_Mayhem
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:37:34 AM
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no Halo Reach? odd.

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #14 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:39:28 AM
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@ 10 - Even if it's purchased for a previous Gen system, it's still considered a Next Gen game. Just how she goes.

Forum Posts: 28
Comment #15 by Rex Ruudi
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:42:37 AM
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GH3 was great =D Except for the cheevos, they were as shitty as it gets cause they didn't stack. Kinda surprised there's no GTAIV though...

Forum Posts: 288
Comment #16 by ONI recon 111
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:44:15 AM
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Guitar Hero 3 was by far the best of the Guitar Hero franchise, and the last good one at that.

Forum Posts: 2773
Comment #17 by jtr1gg3r
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:45:08 AM
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I couldn't give a fuck how much Activision have robbed people lol

Forum Posts: 222
Comment #18 by xbfrittsox360
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 09:03:43 AM
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@13, no because it's an xbox exclusive. If this was a list of best selling xbox games all Halo titles would be much higher.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #19 by thejester1888
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 09:05:12 AM
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ive said it long before and will say it again. guitar hero is now dead after being the biggest franchise in the market, cod will be next.

Forum Posts: 98
Comment #20 by Frankyg88
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 09:18:22 AM
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@5 nope, sure they abuse cod like god knows what but I'm sure they released about 7 guitar hero games in one year, from aerosmith to metallica.

Great way to make money but a sure way to kill off your Market and in this case an entire genre! Cod will take years to die and that's even if it does, they will eventually realise you can only pump out the same game in a different box for so long before sales drop. So far the fps genre is split into three monster games, halo, cod and battlefield. With people playing bf and even cod battlefield 3 has hit the radar hard and if not yet will do in the coming months, yet the amount of changes not to mention a new engine being implemented is huge, if cod doesn't change soon it's Market will rapidly drop. Halo has no competition in it's genre because I doubt anyone even dares try and this coming from someone who's allergic to halo......

Forum Posts: 120
Comment #21 by alklein35
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 09:33:02 AM
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@13 Because it hasn't even been out a year. Even great sales wouldn't put it on the top 10, notice how long all others except CoD:BO have been out. A console exclusive will never take top 10 that fast.

The only ones that surprised me were the 2 guitar heroes. I was under the impression that from 3 on it didn't do well in sales... don't remember where I saw that but apparently it did amazing! I still think that it went downhill from 3 though... disappointment after disappointment in music selection.

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #22 by xtkbilly
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 09:53:08 AM
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@21: You also have to factor in the fact that CoD is a yearly-released game. In less than 12 months, there will probably be a new CoD out, and the amount of CoD:BO sold will decrease pretty dramatically (assuming the advertising for the next game is done well. I had never heard of CoD:WaW until 7months or so after it came out, and looky here: that's not on the list).

Kind of surprised that there isn't a single Halo on the list. Guess it's not as popular as I thought it was.

Forum Posts: 129
Comment #23 by Earth Djinn
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:00:56 AM
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And activision still managed to run the series into the ground. God damn they are stupid over there.

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #24 by Afc JoNNy Rfc
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:05:19 AM
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Thank god there's no Halo crap on that list. GH3 was by far the best GH game, but GH: WoR is not bad to :D

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #25 by Deathly Warlord
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:22:26 AM
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I love how this has become another Call of Duty VS Halo argument... I personally prefer Halo games but still enjoy playing a bit of Black Ops or World at War as Halo and CoD are both good games in there own right. I also really agree with what Zoidberg said (I played against you a few days ago lol)

Forum Posts: 1003
Comment #26 by Dr Popodopolus
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:29:27 AM
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Fuck Nintendo, Wii Fit, Wii Play and Wii Fit Plus should not be considered games. Oh looky there, the only real game they have is a Mario game, what a surprise! Mario Kart Wii was yet ANOTHER bundle game..

Activision, well enough has been said on them, Guitar Hero (NOW A DEFUNCT FRANCHISE) and Call of Duty, no surprises there.

Being serious... where is Halo 3? The top selling xbox 360 title of all time..

I guess even the top of the top selling exclusives can't even make this list due to it being filled up with shitty bundle games.

So really, not only is this list no surprise whatsoever, but it is rather insignificant.

Forum Posts: 64
Comment #27 by S Luker 92
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:31:41 AM
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Wow. Good for Activision.

Forum Posts: 215
Comment #28 by TH3 XB0X G3N1U5
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:37:44 AM
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and thats because Gh2 and GH3 were the best Gh games out there. like others have said, they ruined it from GHWT and on.

good to see that Galo is not on here like others wanted to see, that game sucks.

@ 6, how do you counter armor lock, huh? thats what i thought.

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #29 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:53:42 AM
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@ 28 - Don't get me wrong, I'm not the biggest fan of Armor Lock outside of vehicle maps. It's very cheesy that it "flings" your sticky abck at you. However, the key is getting them to use Armor Lock so it drains the ability b/c notice that when you use it and let go, half the ablility is gone. That and people using AL are usually focused on someone attacking them. That's where my use of Active Camo comes in and I just sneak behind em and shanski. Not foolproof at all but it works from time to time.
But I love using Armor Lock against fools trying to splatter me.

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #30 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:54:43 AM
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@ 28 - And maybe you should wait for a response, right or wrong before you just assume I have nothing to say. But then again, your such a G3N1U5. Perish the thought you be wrong.

Forum Posts: 118
Comment #31 by Cyano Khaar
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:55:09 AM
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I can't believe Wii Fit and Wii Play made this list. Most of the people I know who bought Wii Fit don't even use it. They like the idea of losing weight, but they never actually do it.

Forum Posts: 91
Comment #32 by bearmod
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:55:43 AM
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kinda suprised that mario kart wasn't higher up

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #33 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:59:07 AM
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@ 31 - B/c nobody takes into account that Wii is a much wider demographic - kids, adults and even the elderly. They have Wii and the Wii Fit in nursing homes for crying out loud. It's not a hardcore console but it's played by a lot more than people expect. I'm a skinny fark so I have little to no use/interest for the fitness jargin. Damn my metabolism. I'm going to drink one milkshake when I turn 40 and BAM - 300lbs lol.

Forum Posts: 221
Comment #34 by solo07
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 11:07:26 AM
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People forget the Wii has been the top selling console since its release because of the casual audience it's definitely a force to consider.

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #35 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 11:09:04 AM
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@ 34 - Pricing too. How many price drops has it had since debut? Not as many as each version of each console (MS mostly - Arcade, Core and Elites). It's not my favorite Nintendo console at all but Nintendo will always be my first console love. Nothing beats releasing a system with prepackaged game. Sheentendo = Full of win.

Forum Posts: 277
Comment #36 by Boots Orion
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 11:21:18 AM
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Anyone else surprised that GH World Tour outsold RB2? I would have never guessed this (even though I have both). To GH failed, not in the gameplay which is largely the same as RB...or even the fact that Activision completely milked the franchise; GH failed due to how poorly Activision implemented, priced and released the DLC.

Forum Posts: 122
Comment #37 by Samurai Kadaj
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 11:32:58 AM
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@33 Yup, that's what happens. 160 pounds all through high school, then two years later, BAM! 210 pounds. Sucks ass, and pairing that up with video gaming doesn't help either. But that's why I like Kinect; now I actually do have to "work" for my achievements lol

OT: I'm just happy to see that someone beat Black Ops! I simply don't understand the driving force that Black Ops has behind it. It's not. That. Good. And like Guitar Hero, you've played one Call of Duty, you've played them all. Plus, I agree with #6; I'm not fond of losing all the shit I earned just for another custom slot.

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #38 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 11:37:50 AM
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@ 37 - NO!!! I know it's going to happen but I don't want to believe it. I'm a picky plain eater but I still pack away a good couple meals a day and eat everything they try to tax for obesity - candy, chips, fast food - and I'm afraid lol bc I recently got into gaming on the regular in the past 3 and I still have an issue breaking 125 lbs (like I said, I'm a skinny bastard). Problem is, I'm 28 and everyone told me I'd see a major weight change by 25. *sigh*

Forum Posts: 1843
Comment #39 by TakahashiDemon
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 11:42:06 AM
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Top 10.. and I dont own one of those (not anymore, got rid of GHIII, it was the beginning of GH going bad).
Wii stuff shouldn't be included -_- but what odds, it'll probably just be more Activision/EA crap.

@24 I wished Halo was on this list.. so you call Halo crap but are ok with CoD being on the list?

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #40 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 11:44:51 AM
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@ 39 - Sir, who cares if it's on a list? Those lists are just like any statistic and can be made up by anyone. Not calling them inaccurate or whatnot but I go by the line -
"Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that." - Homer Simpson

It's a popularity contest I have 0 interest in. If you like it, that's what's important. It just a shame that people can't admit to things as if their life would end if they did.

Forum Posts: 951
Comment #41 by Chaosflare
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 12:13:57 PM
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Considering how many times it had been released, and on how many platforms, it's not much of a surprise.

Forum Posts: 659
Comment #42 by Blueprotoss
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 01:15:51 PM
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@ 2 and 5. Every Company does that with their products while you forget that the Business World is all about Greed because nothing is really Free. You also forgot that EA does more milking then most of the Gaming Industry, which includes Activision.

@ 18. Agreed.

@ 37. You're better off going to a gym then playing Kinect or Wii to lose weight. If you do want to lose wieght by playing games then play DDR or ITG because it works your whole body.

@ 39. 24 is just a Hypocrite.

Forum Posts: 100
Comment #43 by MundyGG
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 02:08:37 PM
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Glad to see Nintendo do well, I'm surprised there's no GTA4 though.

Forum Posts: 1756
Comment #44 by Flibbity Floid
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 02:39:37 PM
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@ 43 - Support on GTA4 is pretty much done I'd say. I don't think it's prime for another DLC update but Red Dead took the reigns over after Gay Tony dropped. I'd still take DLC for RDR since I haven't had a drive to throw it back in recently.

Forum Posts: 206
Comment #45 by SasileUchiha92
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 02:48:41 PM
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No Halo? Dang.

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #46 by Tim 13
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 03:09:27 PM
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WOW. The number one and two spot games are both Activision games that did nothing but coast on the success of their fucking predecessors. Guitar Hero 3 was a massive piece of shit, but it sold like hotcakes because all the Guitar Hero games prior to Harmonix's sale of the franchise were fantastic. And what's number two? Oh, Black Ops. I can basically just copy and paste my entire rant, like so: "Black Ops was a massive piece of shit, but it sold like hotcakes because the Infinity Ward editions of Call of Duty that came before the Treyarch editions were fantastic." This is two separate instances of game developers handling an already established franchise, taking a dump in a box, and saying "Who gives a fuck? We're still going to get paid."

Also, to all the people who noted the absence of GTA4 and Halo 3, I am equally astonished, that's a shocker. Everybody I knew went apedick at midnight on their respective release dates. lol

Forum Posts: 132
Comment #47 by Udak
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 05:06:33 PM
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wrong wrong wrong. Check your citations on wikipedia, because they are complete rubbish

Blops has over 12 million units sold from 360 ALONE. The game hasn't even been out for five months.
Halo 3 has just under 12 million, and it only took 4 years.

Halo's fun but you guys have to note the true sales figures and not go off wikipedia's garbage entries.

Blops has the most sales of any 360 game, it just beat out Mw2 in february.


Forum Posts: 8
Comment #48 by kfitz9
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 05:29:37 PM
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Fuck all of you guitar hero haters... There was never more than 3 GH titles released in any one year on xbox 360/ps3 and even that only occurred ONCE... Stop bashing a game that most of you have never even played, The game seriously appeals to fans of real music and I know it broadened my taste in tunes..... SO ONE BIG LAST FUCK YOU...... GHIII RULES :)

Forum Posts: 12521
Comment #49 by Spanish Assault
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 05:46:21 PM
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I've owned 7 out of the top 10...I want my money back...Black Ops 2nd is just plain sad. Love Rock Band though.

Forum Posts: 61
Comment #50 by TheRetroAntonio
Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 10:37:51 PM
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I love how everyone uses the excuse of GH3 being a bundle....anyone remember that Halo 3 had a Legendary Edition and CoD Black Ops had the Prestige edition, both more expensive than the guitar and game...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #51 by MAJOR PR3D4TOR
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 01:01:05 AM
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I thought Halo 3 or Reach would've been up there

Forum Posts: 114
Comment #52 by dj115
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 04:51:49 AM
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i cnt even believe there is no sport franchise in that list cause all types from madden, fifa, pes, nhl, nba surely this list is incorrect....i agree with post above not even halo games....

Forum Posts: 659
Comment #53 by Blueprotoss
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 07:03:14 AM
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@ 52. You do know that this list is based on game titles not game franchises and games released in the years of 2000 to 2010, which would make this list to be very accurate.

Forum Posts: 114
Comment #54 by dj115
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 09:33:43 AM
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@53 i understand that i put the wrong word i meen in regards to number of titles sold then there are still huge games like halo and fifa for example which didn make the list jus a bit shocked..... you think of all the massive games that was released over the last 10 years its phenominal...

Forum Posts: 78
Comment #55 by _Nosferatu_
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 11:52:06 AM
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Wow, not that surprised to be honest. Guitar Hero III is the best GH game ever, I know so many people who have that game.

Forum Posts: 491
Comment #56 by Rickmassacre
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 09:18:28 PM
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Forum Posts: 4
Comment #57 by Elliot Pierson
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 11:34:05 PM
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WOW AWESOME!!! its actually more than black ops!! its kina gay and sad how the music genre is basically nomore and to make it worse a shitty non-good i guess game takes over(COD) well atleast Battlefield 3 kick cods ass in october/november

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #58 by xContritiox
Sunday, July 24, 2011 @ 01:38:18 PM
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You may THINK Battlefield 3 will beat Call of Duty, but no way in sales terms will it beat CoD, as Modern Warfare 3 same as every other CoD title (no matter how much you love it or hate it) will beat Battlefields sales by MILES, same with the next CoD next year and so on, whether you like it or not.

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Game Info


US October 28, 2007

Resolution: 1080p
Sound: Dolby 5.1 Surround
Players: 1-2
Online Players : 2
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