How many of you are sat right now drinking a cup of tea and wondering which the best selling original Xbox games of all time are?
I’m hoping the answer is all of you, otherwise you might have stumbled up on this website by accident.
The Xbox had some incredible titles and produced some series that are still going strong today.
From super-soldiers in the 26th century to fast-food royalty getting all stealthy, there’s certainly something for everyone in the list below.
And the amount of hours I put into Number 4 doesn’t even bear thinking about!
Enough waffle; let’s crack on and discover what the best selling original Xbox games of all time are and see how many you have in your collection!
10. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2005)
- Total Sales – 1,460,000
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas kickstarts this list of the best selling original Xbox games of all time. It’s one of the lewdest, crudest games in the series, and man is it awesome!
Take a trip back to 90s LA and a time where real life street gangs were causing havoc. Ok, so the game is technically set in the made up town of San Andreas instead, but you get the idea.
We’re talking fast cars, sex, drugs, guns, more drugs, more guns, more fast cars… repeat.
GTA games are designed to shock and push boundaries, as is every Rockstar Games title. But with the uber controversial Hot Coffee Mod, this one could be the most bad-ass of the bunch!
The talent in this game as far as voice acting goes is phenomenal too. Spot the dulcet tones of David Cross, Ice T, Samuel L. Jackson, and of course Young Maylay taking the main role.
If you’ve never played San Andreas, it’s a full on anything-goes-title with anything and everything on the table as an action.
Burgle, steal, kill, and defile every law going!
9. Ninja Gaiden (2004)
- Total Sales – 1,500,000
Enter Ryu Hyubasa, aka Ninja Gaiden!
Before Ghost of Tsushima, Ryu was the gnarliest Ninja in town. It still holds the accolade of being one of the hardest games on the original Xbox, a feature that seems to be prevalent in every other Ninja Gaiden game since too.
The enemies in the game are what makes it so damn difficult. They’re predictable to an extent in the sense that you can learn their moves, but they certainly don’t go down without a fight.
So what’s the story here?
Well, the Dark Dragon Blade has been pilfered, and Ryu is on a mission to get it back. He’s got some impressive moves up his sleeve too, not to mention elemental powers.
That’s right; harness fire, thunder, and ice as you attack enemies on all fronts.
Pull of Prince of Persia-esque moves by running up walls and across water, and purchase weapons and items that will enhance your powers as you progress.
8. Counter Strike (2003)
- Total Sales – 1,560,000 million
Back when Xbox Live allowed for online play on the original Xbox, Counter Strike was a multiplayer goliath.
The main premise of this game is deathmatches and multiplayer action, whether playing with friends of solo.
The single player mode follows a very similar feel to the multiplayer battles, just replacing your mates with bots. It’s very much an early version of Fortnite with Overwatch meets GoldenEye 007 vibes.
There are 20 maps to chose from in this Xbox version of the original Half-Life mod – 13 classic maps and 7 original for the Xbox.
Choose from two different play scenarios; hostage rescue and bomb diffusal, and compete again and again to become the best.
This isn’t one for those looking for a story-led game, more a way of blowing off steam after a long day at the office. Still, it’s a classic and one that over 1.5 million people couldn’t get enough of!
7. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (2003)
- Total Sales – 1,580,000
I’m incredibly surprised this game didn’t sell more copies, but I’m so glad Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic is still featuring in our best selling original Xbox games list.
Out of all the games, this one is my favourite. We’re not talking a film remake either; it’s a wholly original story with exciting characters, all set 4,000 years before the Galactic Empire was even formed.
And, players choose whether to turn towards the Light or Dark side of the Force… though Dark is way cooler, obviously.
Pick a Jedi that falls into one of three classes; soldier, scout, or scoundrel, the last being something I’ve always wanted to be but never really had the temperament for.
To continue the RPG-licious vibes, you can recruit other players into your fight and build upon your use of the Force as the game progresses.
There are a whopping 300+ characters to interact with, making up a total of 1,500 lines of original speech written for the game. It’s an immersive title dripping in the kind of quality that only Lucas Arts can produce.
6. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2002)
- Total Sales – 2,400,000
The original Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell takes the 6th spot in this best selling original Xbox games list.
There are some serious Metal Gear Solid vibes around Splinter Cell, with Sam Fisher taking on role of espionage master, lurking around the shadows and stealthily moving through levels.
If anything, I would say that the Splinter Cell games require even more stealth than the MSG canon. These games are less about combat and more about moving in the shadows, getting from A to B without ever been detected.
Some of the items Sam has at his disposal are epic too. Use fibre optic cameras to peak through locked doors, drop from the roof to attack enemies, and fire silenced weapons while using an enemy as a human shield.
That last one is a little brutal, but I guess it is a military game, after all!
5. Grand Theft Auto Double Pack (2003)
- Total Sales – 2,490,000
Rockstar Games have made some epic titles over the years, but they’ve been riding off Grand Theft Auto for some time now. The Grand Theft Auto Double Pack was essentially a ‘best of’ title featuring GTA 3 and GTA Vice City.
And if you haven’t played either of these games before, then you really need to question your commitment to the Xbox and the gaming world as a whole…
Let’s start with GTA 3. The main missions are car based, running jobs as you try to move up the criminal underworld. Still, you can get out and cause havoc on foot too, delving into the seedy world of Liberty City.
GTA Vice City sees a gangster fresh out of jail trying to make it up to his boss after a job goes wrong. Everyone’s out to get him, but you should never understimate a man who las lost everything and therefore has nothing left to lose!
Two crazy games for the price of one; what’s not to love?
4. Fable (2004)
- Total Sales – 3,000,000
Fable rightfully took the top spot in our best original Xbox games list. As someone who also writes fantasy novels, I couldn’t get enough of the story elements, world creation, and character development in this game.
It’s a work of art from start to finish, and playing through Albion while making moral decisions that shape the fate of you and the game never got old.
And I should know; I’ve played this game so many times that I could do it with my eyes closed!
Specialise in different abilities, choose between good or evil, complete side quests; Fable is the gift that keeps on giving you different ways to play.
I think I love this game so much because it feels like an amalgamation of tonnes of influential titles. There are elements of Black and White crossed with Zelda and Holy Magic Century.
If that’s not a cocktail for success, then I don’t know what is!
3. Sneak King (2006)
- Total Sales – 3,200,000
I guess one of the main reasons that Sneak King sold so well is that it was a Burger King promotional title, and we all love burgers.
Players take Burger King’s mascot ‘The King’ on a stealth mission. It’s nothing like Splinter Cell where you have to use human shields, far from it.
The King has to sneak up on hungry people and give them a hamburger before they pass out. Why is this not something that happens in real life!
I guess it’s almost like a version of Crazy Taxi where the food is fast instead of the cars. Points are awarded for how close you get to the person before giving them food, combo stealth deliveries, and how close a person is to fainting before you arrive.
And if you pull off a great delivery, then the King does a little dance.
I guess that’s enough reward in itself, right?
2. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
- Total Sales – 5,000,000
- Launch Title
I guess it’s unsurprising that the Xbox’s mascot is taking the silver medal in this list of the best selling original Xbox games.
I bet you can already guess what title is going to be at Number 1 now too!
This launch title changed shooting games forever. The map was the biggest I’d ever seen, with massive vehicles, massive landscapes, and the coolest super soldier in the world.
Yeah, it’s safe to say that this game had a big effect on me!
Let’s talk about the Master Chief. He’s a super-enhanced soldier from the 26th Century, battling on a world called the Halo. He comes with an A.I unit called Cortana, which many of you now know as the Xbox’s answer to Siri.
And while the single player mode was fun and had a great storyline, it was the multiplayer mode where the game really struck gold.
As mascots go, the Master Chief is up there as one of the toughest. This game was always destined to push the Xbox to great heights; who wouldn’t want a console promoted by a futuristic soldier, for crying out loud!
1. Halo 2 (2004)
- Total Sales – 8,460,000
Yep; you guessed it. With a whopping 8.46 million sales, Halo 2 takes the top spot in this best selling original Xbox games article! It’s the most popular game for Microsoft’s first console and built upon the success of the first title.
This game took Halo fever and sent it through the roof, spawning everything from kids lunchboxes to original novels that expanded the Halo world.
In essence, it’s more than just an Xbox game; it’s an Xbox institution!
Halo 2 can best be described as Metroid Prime on a cocktail of LSD and Steroids. Destroy The Flood as they run amok over the weaponised Halo.
Sorry if I’ve just dropped a major plot spoiler there.
And the maps on this game; we’re talking BotW style maps 13-years before the Switch even dropped. Thats madness!
Yep, the second game sealed the formula and secured Microsoft as a main contender in the console gaming world.
It’s the best selling original Xbox game an a pivotal title in the shooting world. Long may its reign of glory continue!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.