The top 10 best-selling video games (retail and digital) in the United States (US) for January 2023 were recently revealed by market research company The NPD Group.
Topping the list was first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II from Activision Blizzard. A sequel to the 2019 Modern Warfare reboot, the game features, “a globe-trotting single-player campaign immersive multiplayer combat and a narrative-driven, co-op Special Ops”, its website stated. Released in October last year, the title is also described as dropping players “into an unprecedented global conflict that features the return of the iconic Operators of Task Force 141”.
The next three spots on the list were dominated by Electronic Arts (EA), beginning with Dead Space, a recently released remake of the 2008 game of the same name, in second place.
This sci-fi survivor horror title set in the future follows the story of Isaac Clarke, “an everyman engineer on a mission to repair a vast mining ship, the USG Ishimura, only to discover something has gone horribly wrong. The ship’s crew has been slaughtered and Isaac’s beloved partner, Nicole, is lost somewhere on board. Now alone and armed with only his engineering tools and skills, Isaac races to find Nicole as the nightmarish mystery of what happened aboard the Ishimura unravels around him”.
The third and fourth places on the list were occupied by two sports simulation titles – Madden NFL 23 and FIFA 23.
Taking the fifth spot was tactical role-playing game Fire Emblem Engage (digital sales not included) from Nintendo. As the game’s Nintendo page explains, “In a war against the Fell Dragon, four kingdoms worked together with heroes from other worlds to seal away this great evil. One-thousand years later, this seal has weakened and the Fell Dragon is about to reawaken. As a Divine Dragon, use rich strategies and robust customisation to meet your destiny – to collect 12 Emblem Rings and bring peace back to the Continent of Elyos.”
Bandai Namco Entertainment’s action role-playing game Elden Ring was next, ranking sixth on the list. The game was developed by FromSoftware and sees players embark on an epic adventure set in a new fantasy world created by Hidetaka Miyazaki, creator of the influential Dark Souls video game series, and George RR Martin, author of the best-selling fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The title has received significant acclaim, winning multiple awards, including ‘Game of the Year’ at The Game Awards 2022 in December.
Seventh place went to Square Enix’s recently-released action role-playing game Forspoken, which follows the journey of a young New Yorker named Frey, who is “transported to the beautiful and cruel land of Athia. In search of a way home, Frey must use her newfound magical abilities to traverse sprawling landscapes and battle monstrous creatures”.
The list continues with God of War: Ragnarok from Sony in eighth place. A sequel to 2018’s critically acclaimed and award-winning God of War, the November 2022 released Ragnarok is a sequel that continues the story of protagonist Kratos and his son Atreus, and sees them “embark on an epic and heartfelt journey” as they “struggle with holding on and letting go”.
As the PlayStation website describes, “Fimbulwinter is well underway. Kratos and Atreus must journey to each of the Nine Realms in search of answers as Asgardian forces prepare for a prophesied battle that will end the world. Along the way they will explore stunning, mythical landscapes, and face fearsome enemies.”
Occupying the ninth spot on the list is One Piece Odyssey. This turn-based role-playing game from Bandai Namco Entertainment is part of the long-running One Piece franchise, which originated as a manga series before being adapted into film, anime and video games. The premise of One Piece Odyssey as described on the game’s website is, “During their voyage along the Grand Line, Captain Monkey D Luffy and the Straw Hat Crew are caught in a sudden storm at sea. When the storm subsides, they find themselves stranded on a lush, but mysterious island called Waford, becoming separated from each other in the process. The crew sets out on a new, daring adventure filled with marvels of nature, powerful enemies, and strange encounters with island locals.”
The final spot on the top 10 list went to Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet (digital sales not included) from Nintendo. In Scarlet and Violet, players are tasked with catching, battling and training Pokémon in the Paldea Region, “a vast land filled with lakes, towering peaks, wastelands, small towns and sprawling cities”. Players “explore a wide-open world” and “traverse land, water and air by riding on a form shifting Legendary Pokémon – Koraidon in Pokémon Scarlet and Miraidon in Pokémon Violet”.