By Don Spencer

75% of American homes now have at least one gamer in the household, with 7.8% of all gamers clocking in over 20 hours of gaming each week.

On top of that, gaming has demonstrated over the last couple of decades that it is by no means a juvenile pass time, with figures now showing a majority of gamers aged between 35 and 44.

With the advent of subscription style models like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Premium, there's more choice than ever before and it seems that a gaming eco-system is taking the place of individual purchases.

Despite this, some games just won't budge from the podium of bestsellers. Today we take a look at the immovable chart-busters of the gaming world.

Red Dead Redemption II (2018) - 46 million copies sold

After working diligently for 8 years on the follow up to 2010's Wild West open world Classic, Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar games delivered a visual masterclass that pushed eighth generation gaming systems to the absolute limit.

Red Dead Redemption II follows Arthur Morgan and his gang of outlaws on the run after a botched robbery, with the federal government hot on their tails.

As internal turmoil ensues within the gang, Arthur must pursue his freedom by any means necessary, whilst trying to negotiate his own changing circumstances amidst the end of the Wild West. What made Arthur's story so great was the complexity of his character arc.

We cannot mention RDRII without acknowledging the achievement of it's presentation. This game was, and still is, the best looking game of all time. Every detail from the blades of grass to the worn textures of in game props have been crafted with not only precision, but with a degree of consistent cohesion that makes the open world feel authentic, vast and lived in. As always, this game is best played on a high end PC

The slow burn structure of Red Dead II ensures the player is enveloped in the mastery of it's design. impeccable sound production alongside a masterful musical score creates a level of immersion still unrivalled to this day.

Red Dead II's missions feel meaningful to the tale, and a plethora of side missions and activities eat into hundreds of hours of hunting. Sometimes you'll sink 8 hours into robbing trains, kidnapping foes and slaughtering rivals, other times you'll just as gladly explore the beautiful countryside in search of legendary beasts to hunt down and kill.

Regardless of how you spend your time, RDRII boasts one of the best entertainment experiences in history.

Pokemon Gen 1 (1996) - 47 million copies sold

1996 is where it all began for the ubiquitous Pokemon series. A simple handheld game that went on to spawn a multimedia franchise of games, tv series, manga, card games and even an upcoming Netflix live action series.

Pokemon's first generation offered itself initially as Pokemon: Red and Pokemon: Blue, the same game on the whole but with different exclusive Pokemon that could be obtained.

Pokemon Gen 1 commenced with a top down perspective as you explore Kanto, a land of friends you must harness and foes you must dispense of to become a master of Pokemon battling.

Once you reach the checkpoint in the game of Celadon City, the world begins to open up and you can make your own adventure. This willingness to allow for player freedom whilst also maintaining linear elements is something that was well received, especially at a time where games were particularly 'on rails.'

Whilst later editions of Pokemon brought 3D visuals, even complex plot elements and more fleshed out lore, the iconic status of the original is near impossible to de-throne.

Pokemon Gen 1 boasts not only the introduction of the legendary mascot Pikachu, but also the much adored favourites in the form of Charizard, Gengar, Meowth and Dragonite.

Indeed, Pokémon has evolved into a different beast entirely since its inception, but the first generation of Pokémon came charging out of the gates - no surprises that it is a best seller, even after all these years.

Super Mario Bros (1985) 48 million copies sold

The fact that an NES platformer game from the mid 1980's boasts such huge sales figures is testament to just how revolutionary this game was at the time.

The early 1980's presented a difficult time for gaming due to a saturation in the market, but Super Mario Bros helped revive a market that hasn't slowed down to this very day.

Super Mario Bros follows Mario in his search to rescue Princess Toadstool from arch-nemesis Bowser. To do so he must traverse the treacherous Mushroom Kingdom and its many obstacles.

Much like Pokémon, Super Mario Bros went on to produce numerous multimedia instalments of the same title as well as more advanced spin offs and sequels.

Despite it's simplistic core experience, the game was praised for its precise control system as well as the canonisation of a certain Italian plumber, who has become one of the most recognisable characters in media, having now appeared in over 200 games. A study in 1990 showed that young children found Mario to be more recognisable than Mickey Mouse, and Nintendo have continued to refresh and refine these games over the last three decades.

Overwatch (2016) 50 million copies sold

Despite the Multiplayer FPS market having no shortage of products, Overwatch proved once again that we must never underestimate the vision of Blizzard Entertainment, the studio that brought the world the likes of World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. From the outset it was destined for greatness.

Overwatch's release in 2016 set a standard that many others have adopted since. Overwatch helped to popularise the use of specific operators and heroes as part of your deployment, previously championed in its spiritual sister game, Team Fortress 2. It also normalised the release of multiplayer only game models, where the lore of the world is told through other mediums.

Overwatch's high saturation, cartoon style colour scheme has been adopted in games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. The beautiful art style allowed the player base to fall in love with its presentation as each teaser was released. In doing this Overwatch cemented its instantly recognisable but never surpassed art style.

Overwatch demands a degree of mechanical skill that other more straight forwards shooters do not, in doing so it attracts the likes of hardcore gamers and young aspiring players alike.

The game has spawned a ruthless e-sports culture, including an annual Overwatch World Cup. A free-to-play sequel was released in 2022, which introduced new content but also incorporated the original game within.

Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2014/2017) 56 million copies sold

Whilst the Xbox, Playstation and PC world of gaming offers unrivalled graphics and technology, nothing before or since has rivalled the singularity that is Nintendo gaming. Fun for all the family and a jump-in jump out approach.

Mario Kart 8 and its enhanced and expanded re-relase Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has harnessed the mastery of the Nintendo format perhaps better than any other game.

Like previous instalments of the series, MK8 is a head to head racing game set in the Mario universe, featuring its characters and lore. The player must race and sabotage their way to the finish like against friends, family, or just NPC's.

What made MK8 great wasn't necessarily an overhaul of its core game, but rather that it was simply the biggest and most expansive manifestation of the tried, tested, and oh so loved formula.

There are of course, a few extra features that helped rejuvenate MK8, such as anti-gravity racing where the player can race on walls and ceilings, whilst getting a boost from bumping opponents. The deluxe edition included all the characters, courses and components included in the original DLC, as well as enhanced visuals and loading times.

PUBG: Battlegrounds (2017) 75 million copies sold

When you think of multiplayer gaming these days, what first comes to mind are the near ubiquitous battle-royale monoliths such as Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex: Legends and Fortnite. Whilst mostly free to play, this format of gaming has become one of the most lucrative industries on earth due to the popularity of weapon skins and operator aesthetics.

Whilst battle royale modes have grown into larger than life spectacles, we must not ignore where it all started - PUBG.

Formally titled Player Unknown: Battlegrounds, the multiplayer classic originally came to life as a mod for Arma 2 and 3, made by Brendan Greene who went on to help work on another battle royale game, H1Z1. After finally coming to life under Greene's direction, PUBG opened up a new world of online gaming.

PUBG's gameplay manifests at a last man (or last team) standing mode of head to head combat taken place across a large map. Players are parachuted into the battle zone and begin the battle on an equal footing - empty handed.

The players must scavenge locations and fallen enemies for equipment such as weapons, armour, and explosives. Every few minutes the 'safe' location of the map gets smaller, forcing remaining players to battle it out within an ever-closing location, or risk succumbing to death by bombing.

What separates PUBG from its imitators is the realistic shooting mechanics, greater variety of maps and its grounded tone. PUBG is a far darker and less glamorous battle royale game, compared to the cheerful, comedic and gore-free delights of Fortnite.

Wii Sports (2006) 82 million copies sold

If you were around in 2006, you may well remember your grandmother playing tennis in your living room at Christmas, for better or for worse.

The Nintendo Wii was the first console that allowed for gesture recognition integrated into the console and controller, and Wii Sports lent itself spectacularly to that feature, despite the occasional broken window.

Wii Sports included five sports games - tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing. Each game utilised motion technology to correspond to the gamers actions with their controller. Whilst fairly cursory by today's standards, Wii Sports really set itself apart back in the late 2000's.

Wii Sports was included in the box of the Wii at launch. As well as being a showcase of new hardware, Wii Sports was extremely accessible for sports fans who ordinarily would not want to get to grips with the complex control systems of individual sports games such as PGA Tour, Fifa, NBA etc.

Another aspect that made Wii Sports so popular was the degree of connectivity it offered to its users, after all, what better game to boot up for a house party? That said, we wouldn't recommend baseball after a few shots of Jameson.

Grand Theft Auto V (2013) - 170 million copies sold

There was simply no way this wasn't going to make the list. GTA V stands today as the most successful entertainment product of all time in terms of gross figures. To this day, GTA V online still rakes in a whopping £1,000,000 per day, which is why it's no surprise we've barely heard a whisper about it's sequel.

Released by Rockstar Games in 2013, GTA V sees you take on the role of not one but three main protagonists working together to score big stake heists in Los Santos and the surrounding countryside, which is Rockstar's fictionalised and highly satirical take on modern day Los Angeles.

The open world first person RPG allows you to play as Franklin Clinton, a one-bit gangster growing weary of the gangbanger lifestyle; Michael De Santa, an aging retired ex criminal trying to leave his past behind and live out his days in the sun; and Trevor Philips, unhinged psychopath and sadist who is more content cannibalising hitchhikers than running in a crew.

This colourful and hilarious casts fates become intertwined and despite their contrasting lifestyles manage to develop a chemistry that leaves a memorable mark on the player. The highly detailed world is interwoven with radio, billboard and character driven satire that takes a stab at modernity, consumerism, the far left, the far right and big tech - which most likely wouldn't fly if it were released in 2022.

Such is the adoration of GTA V that it has now spanned three console generations, and will be tough to surpass in terms of revenue until the next edition.... Come on Rockstar...

Minecraft (2011) - 238 million copies sold

You'd have to be living under rock (no pun intended) for the last decade if you haven't heard of Minecraft.

With survival, crafting and exploration elements incorporated in this procedurally generated world, Minecraft offers possibly one of the most diverse and dynamic gaming experiences out there.

Minecraft is possibly the best game out there in terms of creativity and expression. You can create enormous cities and share them with friends - people have spent years creating incredibly detailed games in this world. It has a very distinct blocky art style which may appear outdated, but can be tweaked and enhanced depending on your PC settings. Get your spec here.

Minecraft really can be whatever you want it to be - fight in factions with friends on your own server, get your dopamine rush exploring for hidden loot or just explore the ever expanding world crafted by your fellow players. Minecraft isn't hours of fun, it's years.

Tetris (1984) - 520 million copies sold

A game which is mostly played on mobile nowadays may not have been your first guess at the number one spot.

Russian scientist, Alexey Pajitnov probably had no idea of the reach his idea would have when he developed Tetris in 1984. What he did say was that he wanted to harness the power of computing to 'make people happy.' Bravo, Alexey - you succeeded.

The classic puzzle game has a simple concept but a high level of skill is required at the highest level of difficulty. So if you're looking to be a Tetris champ you'll need to ensure there are no distractions. The objective of the game is to move and rotate falling geometric shapes to form complete rows at the bottom of the game board.

Tetris's relatively easy concept means almost anybody of any age can pick it up and start to play. Once in flow, Tetris is extremely engaging and borders on addictive. Tetris has been praised for its excellent pacing, meaning the player can easily anticipate the speed of the challenge depending on how many blocks they move at a time.

The immense success of Tetris has spawned many iterations, and we expect Tetris to remain at the number one spot for decades to come.