[Top 15] Bestselling Adventure Games of All Time (Ranked)

Adventure games!
Come take a look at the bestselling Adventure Games!

15. Myst - 1993

Back in the nineties Myst was a major cultural touchstone and landmark release, advancing the adventure element of games into a new world of mystery and puzzle solving.

Its low level of interactions required from the player initially proved controversial leading some to question if it could even be considered a traditional game, yet years later this lackadaisical style of design would become hugely popular expressed through browser games and dominating the mobile market. 

Total Sales: At least 6 million copies.


14. The Legend of Zelda - 1986

Surely one of the most vital games ever released, The Legend of Zelda was the first game of note that truly sought to tap into what it really feels like to go on an adventure - the essence of journey permeates every layer of its design as well as significant danger.

By taking early adventure design staples and applying them with maximum player freedom, the game showed that exploration in video games need not be prescriptive, introducing non-linearity and discovery as ideas games are still remixing today.

Total Sales: At least 6.51 million copies.


13. L.A. Noire - 2011

One of the more striking adventure driven titles of the modern era, LA Noire channels classic point and click staples under a familiar Hollywood Noire trapping that was yet unexplored in gaming.

Famous for its groundbreaking facial animation technology that lended authenticity to its many mysteries (and enlisting actual actors to be rendered in game) showed that the hallmarks of classic adventure games - uncovering a narrative and item scavenging still draw a modern audience.

Total Sales: At Least 7.5 million copies.


12. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - 1998

Released during a significant transitional period for games, Ocarina of Time was a major moment where adventure could be synergised with real time action in a 3D space while still focusing on those core Zelda ideals of adventure and discovery.

With its expansive world rich with puzzles and hidden goodies, suddenly the formula for the modern template of action-adventure would be born. Its timeless and iconic soundtrack will never leave the cerebellum of any hero embarking on this journey.

Total Sales: At Least 7.6 million copies.


11. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 2008

Following the bold and controversial stylistic departure of Wind Waker, the series would return to recontextualise the classic Ocarina of Time for a new generation of consoles and offer a significantly darker approach to the world and tone.

Focusing on the core adventure elements that defined the series with an “it’s not broken” mentality allowed the game to have some of the strongest puzzles and areas to explore in the 3D era it had entered into with such impact.

The game also adds  motion controls as a first for the series agame was a major success across both generations it spanned. 

Total Sales: At Least 8.7 million copies.


10. Ghost of Tsushima - 2020

This brand new IP from Sucker Punch showed that the open world adventure formula currently practiced today still has new stories to tell and settings to be explored.

By applying a minimalist approach and focusing on keeping the player's focus in the game world as opposed to endlessly rifling through icons on a map screen, the game brought its adventure elements to the forefront with its many environmental secrets and puzzles.

Among the many open world adventure games released today Ghost of Tsushima somehow feels perhaps the most adventure driven, though its brutal action combat and sweeping narrative are equal parts factors in its success. 

Total Sales: At Least 9.73 million copies.


9. Marvel's Spider-Man - 2018

What possible better venue for exploring New York City and all its colorful stories could there be than donning the mantle of Spider-Man? By faithfully recreating the city and allowing the player to undertake the web swinging, Marvel's Spider-Man thrives on exploration at breakneck speeds (and dizzying heights) and plenty of punk-crunching action.

It also stands on its own as a great Spider-Man story, and with the zeitgeist primed for superhero content the game instantly became a top seller.

Total Sales: At Least 13.2 million copies.


8. The Last of Us - 2013

This much celebrated classic is the very epitome of a classical adventure tale, spanning across the entire American lands in a brutal and tragic post-apocalyptic setting where nature has returned as the dominant force of being, ravaging the modern world and bringing humanity to its lowest point.

Its survivalist action sells the desperation and nihilistic tone, and while the title is typically discussed for its narrative achievements it is in equal measure an adventure title about exploration and environmental traversal, even featuring puzzles and inventory management. The Last of Us shows that adventure games can be transcendent and complicated.

Total Sales: At Least 17 million copies.


7. God of War - 2018  

While a significant departure from the previous games, this new interpretation of the God of War mythos succeeds by expanding the explorative elements and redefining the fundamentals of its gore-filled combat.

The series transformed itself from a grindhouse take on a mythological revenge fantasy into an epic journey across the lakes and mountains of the Nordic gods. Cinematic and technically masterful, the game was a major success and showed that God of War was an action adventure series that could change with the times.

Total Sales: At Least 19.5 million copies. 


6. Horizon: Zero Dawn - 2017

Few games appear as fresh and exciting on premise alone like Horizon, which promised an adventure through a novel post-apocalyptic setting rife with mystery, discovery, and dangerous robotic dinosaurs.

How did the world end, and what is happening with the dangerous robot animal hybrids scattered throughout the lands? By providing such an intriguing setting for players to explore, and with action gameplay heavy on spectacle and tactics, Guerrilla Games were able to spawn a new franchise that would instantly enrapture gaming audiences worldwide. 

Total Sales: At Least 20 million copies. 


5. Red Dead Redemption - 2011

Influenced by classic Westerns and American history, Rockstar would diverge from its smash hit Grand Theft Auto series briefly to establish its new property - an action adventure title spanning the old west.

Tackling nuanced themes mixed with trademark Rockstar comedy, the gunslinging action gameplay and the experience of journeying across the free world of the states would make for a serious action-adventure critical darling.Few titles promise the AAA flourish of Rockstar with the distinct stylistic motifs of cowboy Americana, and the title became an instant success celebrated for its ambitious narrative and loveable cast of characters.

Total Sales: At least 23 million copies.


4. The Walking Dead - 2012

After decades of crafting licensed works in traditional adventure game style, Telltale finally hit it big with their heart wrenching and very human interpretation of hit media property The Walking Dead.

While classical adventure games are considered lax in interactivity, Telltale made the narrative and its numerous hard hitting choices the core of the emotional experience, popularizing the adventure format through the scope of interactivity expressed through narrative, and its success proved that point and click games still have their place in gaming culture.

Total Sales: At Least 28 million copies.


3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - 2017

After years of iterative sequels following the tried and true Ocarina of Time formula, Breath of the Wild saw the series return to its core question - what would a genuine adventure feel like? Surely it should be free, limitless in scope, and explored at one's own pace.

By channeling the core premise of the series established in the first game and reinterpreting its design principles from the ground up to focus on the sense of journey and discovery, Nintendo were able to craft a landmark title - truly original and full of content and mysteries ready to be organically explored.

Total Sales: At least 28 million copies.


2. Terraria - 2011

Landing alongside other indie smash successes like Minecraft, developer Re-Logic sought to bring the procedural world generation ethos to action adventure providing a more structured and goal oriented approach to exploring the infinite. Its success owed to its potency and simplicity,

Terraria would ride the wave of the early explosions of streaming and youtube culture becoming its own social phenomena.

Equal parts modern in its design and nostalgic in its presentation and adventure focused gameplay, Terraria experienced years of longevity and incredible sales.

Total Sales: At least 35 million copies.


1. Red Dead Redemption 2 

After generations of dominating the open world action adventure genre, Rockstar finally hit their storytelling and world-craft pinnacle with Red Dead Redemption 2.

Boasting a positively staggering attention to detail in both its world and narrative, this old west odyssey found its incredible success in tapping into the foundation of adventure: inhabiting a world completely, living with its characters and seeing its happenings first hand, showing exactly how potent it can be when following a precisely prescribed story in a masterfully crafted world.

Total Sales: At Least 45 million copies.

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Writing about games is really fun! But more importantly it allows me to avoid the inclement weather of the British isles, and provides a nice distraction from obsessing about Twin Peaks.
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Fortnite
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Dead Space

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