Amazon UK is celebrating its 25th anniversary and, to celebrate, it has revealed the best-selling games for each year since the retailer first listed them on its site.
Some are obvious, others less so. And reading through the list is like travelling through time.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that, while they do feature, FIFA and Call of Duty haven't always topped the charts. In fact, Nintendo has somewhat taken over in recent times – repeating its mid-2000s success with titles that just about every Switch owner must have bought.
So, without further ado, here are the top selling video games on Amazon UK since 1999 (when it first started to sell them).
The best-selling games on Amazon UK year-on-year
Let's start at the beginning with something a little obscure...
1999 – X-Tension (X Mission Pack)
Yep, the first big seller for Amazon UK was actually an expansion pack for X - Beyond The Frontier on PC.
The THQ action/strategy title was hugely popular at the time and this expansion added "hundreds of new missions" and plenty more besides. Bet you weren't expecting that.
2000 – Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
The the first big seller of the new millennium was... Who Wants to be a Millionaire? on the PC. Yeah, we're a little underwhelmed too.
The TV show was huge at the time, so it kind-of makes sense. And as it had questions asked by then host Chris Tarrant, it wasn't a bad adaptation, we suppose.
2001 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
There have been several Harry Potter-themed games over the years, with this action adventure coming long before Hogwarts Legacy.
Electronic Arts released a few of them, with this one being based on the first movie. The PC version was quite different to others released around the time and actually played okay.
2002 – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Now, this is more like it. Arguably the best GTA game topped the charts in 2002, with the PlayStation 2 exclusive really setting the stall for the series going forward.
Set in Rockstar's version of Miami and based in the 80s, it was also the first to feature a speaking lead character.
2003 – FIFA Football 2004
And so FIFA enters the fray for the first time. It was only just starting to look like the game series we know today, but was still ground breaking for its time.
There was no Ultimate Team though... which some might actually see as a bonus.
2004 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Rockstar was back with a bigger and bolder GTA game – the last to be released on the PlayStation 2 – and it sold in bucket loads.
We still play it today through the Definitive Edition trilogy collection released a couple of years ago.
2005 – Football Manager 2006
Perhaps surprisingly, this is the only time Football Manager makes it onto the list. The perennial favourite had only changed its name the year before (from Championship Manager) after Sports Interactive split from the publisher at the time, Eidos Interactive.
That FM 2006 would be so successful the following year was (and still is) testament to the excellent management sims SI Games has put out year after year.
2006 – Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain
This Nintendo DS classic came with claims that it could make you smarter if you played it every day. That in itself is the smartest thing about it.
The fast-paced puzzles that suited the handheld's touchscreen were addictive though, and Dr Kawashima is still devising brain training efforts to this day.
2007 – Wii Sports (as part of Nintendo Wii console bundle)
Nintendo had done it before, with Tetris on the Game Boy, but bundling Wii Sports with every Wii console was a masterstroke.
Not only did it teach use how to use the Wii Remotes from the get-go, it brought motion gaming to our living rooms in a way that wasn't possible before.
2008 – Wii Sports (as part of Nintendo Wii console bundle)
Yep, Wii Sports and the Wii in general was so popular it topped Amazon UK's charts for two years running.
With almost 102 million Wii consoles sold worldwide in the end, you would never have thought Nintendo would be able to beat its own record. Little did we know.
2009 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
And now the gaming juggernaut that is the Call of Duty franchise enters the list for the first time.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was not without its controversy – the section near the start of the campaign, whereby the player participates in the massacre of innocent travellers in an airport, faced a lot of criticism at the time. It's still awkward to play through it today, which was the point developer Infinity Ward was trying to make.
2010 – Call of Duty: Black Ops
COD continued to be hugely popular (still is, of course) and Black Ops kept the series at the top of the best-sellers charts for a consecutive year.
The Zombies mode really made it for us this year, as while it had featured in the franchise before, it really hit its stride in Black Ops.
2011 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Not to be confused with the forthcoming MWIII, this Call of Duty outing wrapped up the trilogy storyline and presented one of the best multiplayer experiences in the series yet.
It yet again featured a scene where the player is involved in the killing of civilians, but at least players could skip it to avoid any upset.
2012 – Halo 4
Arguably the weakest Halo in the series, Halo 4 was nonetheless extremely popular – as its placing on this list shows.
It's perhaps an even bigger feat considering that it was the Xbox 360 version that sold the most that year. It's not really something subsequent Halo games have or will ever match, considering they appear on day on as part of an Xbox Game Pass subscription.
2013 – Grand Theft Auto V
It's mad to think that GTA 5 was first released a decade ago and for the PS3 and Xbox 360. We've since had two remastered versions for a couple of console generations and there's no sign of the multiplayer game, GTA Online, slowing down.
Along with the most wonderfully crafted open world yet, Rockstar hit a true peak with its story telling. And in Trevor, we found the most interesting character yet.
2014 – FIFA 15
And that's FIFA back in the fold. FIFA 15 was a fairly unspectacular entry to the franchise, with few additions or extras.
However, it proved one of the most popular releases to date and several new features being added to Ultimate Team gave us a glimpse of how that mode was to take over in later years.
2015 – FIFA 16
Yep, FIFA had started to dominate the charts, especially around holiday season, and FIFA 16 avoided upsetting the apple cart – at least when it came to on-field play.
The main changes came in Ultimate Team, where the Draft Mode was introduced for the first time.
2016 – FIFA 17
And you guessed it, FIFA 17 secured a third consecutive top slot for the footy series.
However, things started to look different with EA's Frostbite graphics engine being used for the PS4 and Xbox One versions for the first time. Plus, the game introduced us to Alex Hunter, star of the franchise's first story mode: The Journey.
2017 – FIFA 18
FIFA continued its dominance into 2017, with the latest also taking top spot. Bookies had even stopped taking bets on what game would be Christmas number one by this point.
The Journey continued, while manager likenesses were added for the first time to make the touchlines as authentic as the on-field action.
2018 – Red Dead Redemption 2
What's that, it's not FIFA? We'll blow us down with a feather.
Let's face it, Red Dead Redemption 2 is arguably one of the best games of the decade so it'd be a massive shame if it hadn't been quite so embraced by one and all. It certainly deserves its spot in the limelight here.
2019 – FIFA 20
Well, that didn't last long. FIFA took top spot back in 2019, even though Electronic Arts decided against releasing a version for older consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3) for the first time. It pushed out a port for Nintendo Switch instead., which is likely to have helped sales.
One new mode to be released this year is Volta – the street football game that has taken on a life of its own in more recent times.
2020 – Animal Crossing: New Horizons
It might have taken a while but Nintendo returned to the top in 2020 with a game that anyone can play.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is part life sim, part builder and as addictive as heck. You cannot help but pick it up on a daily basis once you get going. Genius stuff.
2021 – Pokémon Scarlet
Pokémon Scarlet wasn't actually released until the following year, but such was the wealth of pre-orders that it topped Amazon UK's list of best-sellers long before Switch owners could get their hands on it.
It was eventually released alongside Pokémon Violet in November 2022, with the two titles having gone on to sell over 10 million copies.
2022 – Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
To prove just how popular Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have been, they topped the charts for a consecutive time last year. At least they were available then, of course.
Game Freak and Nintendo have since announced that new content will be coming to the games soon, so those who did buy it (of which there are many) will be able to revisit either game.
2023 (so far) – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
We have a way to go before 2023 is up and there are some big releases on the horizon, but they'll have to go some way to beat The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in the sales stakes.
The long-awaited sequel to Breath of the Wild proved to be every bit the worthy follow-up, adding the ability to build machines and a much bigger scope than before. Nintendo Switch owners have never had it so good.
Amazon UK's top 25 selling games of all time
As well as the best-selling game for each year, Amazon has given T3 its list of the 25 top-sellers full stop.
These are the titles that have sold the most amoiunt of copies in total since Amazon UK started selling video games in 1999. They are listed in alphabetical order. Maybe one or two of your own favourites are there.
- Animal Crossing New Horizons
- Assassin's Creed franchise
- Battlefield franchise
- Call of Duty franchise
- Crash Bandicoot franchise
- Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain
- Fallout franchise
- FIFA franchise
- Grand Theft Auto franchise
- Just Dance
- LEGO Collection
- Mario Kart 8
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
- Pokémon franchise
- Red Dead Redemption franchise
- Spyro franchise
- Star Wars: Battlefront
- Super Mario Odyssey
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Last of Us
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Zumba Fitness
So that's it – a fairly comprehensive look at the most successful games across two decades and a bit. Let's hope we're treated to another 25 years of outstanding entertainment.