The market research company NPD Group has released its findings for 2018’s software and hardware sales in the US, finally concluding the battle for top spot between developers.

December is an important month for the gaming industry, as sales go through the roof over the Christmas period, making the number one spot for this time a medal of honor. Undoubtedly, Nintendo was crowned king of Christmas 2018, having four console exclusives make the top ten.

Here are the best selling games of December 2018 in the US:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  4. Battlefield V
  5. NBA 2K19
  6. Mario Kart 8
  7. Madden NFL 19
  8. Super Mario Party
  9. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!
  10. Marvel’s Spider-Man

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s killer month also saw it reach the fifth spot for the year overall (even without the title’s digital sales, which Nintendo do not release), as well as taking the accolade for the best-selling exclusive launch month in history; stealing the throne from 2010’s Halo: Reach.

Unsurprisingly, this dominant December reflects Nintendo’s year as a whole. The Switch became the best selling console in 2018, in terms of both unit and dollar sales.

Nintendo Switch with Red and Blue JoyCons

The real race though was between Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for the highly coveted annual number one spot. The pair have been trading blows since release, with RDR2 claiming both November and now December, but ultimately playing catch up to Black Ops’ unreal October, which meant it still held the lead going into the final month.

Here are the best selling games of 2018 in the US overall:

  1. Red Dead Redemption 2
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  3. NBA 2K19
  4. Madden NFL 19
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  6. Spider-Man
  7. Far Cry 5
  8. God of War
  9. Monster Hunter: World
  10. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Well howdy cowfolk, the wild west simulator takes it! Call of Duty fans can take solace in the fact that the shooter’s figures also do not include digital PC sales, which almost definitely give the title the number one spot. We wait with bated breath for the exact figures to be released.

Elsewhere, sports titles continue to crush sales numbers (what a shock), and does anyone else find it a bit depressing that there is only one completely new property on the list? Just me? Give the people what they want, I suppose.

Overall, gaming had a fantastic year. With a 13% increase in spending on the previous year, the industry generated over $16.7 billion. This is due to the gluttony of amazing titles released last year, as well as the emergence of the plug-in consoles such as the PlayStation Classic (which perform well all year), aiding hardware sales.

Here’s to a just as hotly contested 2019!

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