NPD retail analysts confirmed what those at Activision have been trumpeting from their shiny and expensive rooftops: Call of Duty: Black Ops was an absoulte sales monster in 2010, becoming the United States' best selling video game in just two months.
National sports passions were revealed as Madden NFL 11 took second place and NBA 2K11 was tenth. Nintendo's home fitness title Wii Fit Plus, released October 2009, was sixth.
Xbox 360 exclusive Halo: Reach marked the end of the Bungie studio's time at the series helm, finishing the year in overall third.
Wii titles New Super Mario Bros. and Wii Fit Plus proved their enduring appeal with chart appearances for the second year running. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 did the same, though has now been superceded by Black Ops.
Annual 2010 Top 10 Games, USA (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC)
1) Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, DS, PC, PS3)
2) Madden NFL 11 (360, DS, PC, PS3, Wii)
3) Halo: Reach (360)
4) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
5) Red Dead Redemption (360, PS3)
6) Wii Fit Plus (Wii)
7) Just Dance 2 (Wii)
8) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PC, PS3)
9) Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3)
10) NBA 2K11 (360, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii)
The equivalent chart for 2009 was a little different. Though Modern Warfare 2 on the 360 was top, the following six places were dominated by the Wii: Wii Sports Resort, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Play.
This year's chart performers attain their positions on the basis of combined performance - no separate entry further down the list for Black Ops on the PS3, for example - and though that wouldn't change the top half too much, there may be greater variety further down because of it.
Nintendo responded by proclaiming its Wii and DS the best-selling systems of 2010, with an eye on the 3DS's introduction in 2011; Microsoft named 2010 the biggest year in Xbox history, with tremendous console sales growth; Sony emphasized the importance of its Move controller and looked forward to late January's LittleBigPlanet 2 on PS3.