It’s been just over two years since the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One.
The two titan video-gaming platforms have been head-butting against each other for a while now, and while the PS4 leads by miles in-terms of overall sales, there’s more to it than just the number of units the world has bought (since the most popular isn’t always the best).
For this very reason, exclusives play a massive part in determining the reputation of a console. Sadly, neither consoles have had an overwhelming number of exclusives, and out of the few that have been released, not many have managed to sell more than 1 million copies.
We’re going to have a look at Xbox One vs. PS4 exclusives that have more than 1 million sales worldwide, and see which console comes out best so far since its release. Note that timed exclusives have also been considered in this article.
Note: All exclusives are listed on the basis of physical copies sold only. Digital sales and bundles are not a part of the data. The data provided is subject to change, and the numbers could be tweaked based on latest reports. Currently, numbers updated by the end of December 2015 are being used.
Dead Rising 3
One of the launch titles on the Xbox One, Dead Rising 3 stayed as an X1 exclusive for a long time, until finally being ported to PC after one year. The game scored decent reviews – nothing absolutely exciting, but it’s 1.47 million sales put it in the ‘successful’ category as far as exclusives are concerned.
Arguably the best racing simulator out there at the moment (though some folks would argue Gran Turismo is just as good), Forza series alongside Halo and Gears of War has really given the Xbox consoles their own identity.
The Xbox One has seen three Forza titles released in the span of just over two and a half years, and all three have managed well over 1 million sales. The most successful was the first Forza on the Xbox One, Forza Motorsport 5, which managed 2.11 million sales.
Forza Horizon 2, released in 2014, recorded 1.21 million sales, while the latest Forza Motorsport 6 – released just last year – has managed 1.04 million sales.
That’s a combined total of 4.36 million sales in total of the Forza titles on the Xbox One, making it one of the best exclusive franchises out there, and the most popular racing franchise on the market.
What’s even more commendable is that Forza titles almost always command high praise, scoring high ratings and producing excellent reviews.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Who doesn’t want to experience a remastered version of the infamous 3rd person shooter Gears of War franchise. It started off as one of the early titles on Xbox 360, turning into an iconic exclusive heavily loved by all fans who had experienced it.
Gears of War has come a long way, and the Ultimate Edition brought all Gears games released on Xbox 360 in a remastered edition on the Xbox One. The remaster collection has managed 1.68 million sales so far.
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5: Guardians released at a dangerous time – merely a month prior to the big video-gaming month of November 2015 that saw AAA titles like Fallout 4, Black Ops 3, and others.
Despite this, it has managed an impressive 3.14 million sales globally so far. That’s a good number consider how it was surrounded by some hot titles.
It’s no coincidence though – Halo is, and will remain, the defining franchise of the Xbox console. It’s even bigger than Forza and Gears, as its legacy dates back to the original Xbox, and is certainly the game that gave the Microsoft console enough oomph to be considered as anything close to a competitor to the all-time greatest selling PlayStation 2 platform.
The sales numbers, by comparison with previous Halo games, are a little overwhelming, but nevertheless Halo 5 is one of the brighter, more successful Xbox One exclusives.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
What’s better than bringing all the games (except Halo 5) in the greatest Xbox franchise in a remastered, single pack? Not much, I tell you. The Master Chief Collection was released in November 2014, and since then has managed 2.91 million sales. That’s pretty impressive for remastered collections, and those don’t often produce such high numbers normally.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome was supposed to be the benchmark of Xbox One’s hardware prowess, showing off the console’s power through the amazing CryEngine 3.
Sadly, the game could only do that much. It was a real obsession with fantastic visuals, but little else. The plot wasn’t great, and the gameplay, though initially intriguing, soon became lackluster.
Nevertheless, just for its impressive graphics and initial appeal, Ryse: Son of Rome sold 1.28 million copies worldwide. Not a bad feat for a title with such mixed reviews.
Arguably the best PlayStation 4 exclusive yet, Bloodborne didn’t need a history other than the reputation of Miyazaki to be an extremely successful game.
One of the best games to come out in 2015, the challenging action-RPG has been the dim, glowing light in what was a disappointing year for Sony’s flagship console as far as exclusives are concerned. Bloodborne has received extremely high ratings from every renowned critic out there, and it’s not hard to tell why.
The game has managed 1.87 million sales as of now, and is still going strong due to its impressive The Old Hunter DLC that has added so much more depth and new weapons/items.
Infamous: Second Son
The open-world action adventure game Infamous: Second Son was released in March 2014, and managed to impress, receiving good ratings from reviewers. The title built on the success and reputation of the previous Infamous titles released on the PS3.
Infamous: Second Son managed an impressive 2.53 million sales, making it one of the more successful exclusives in the 2-year history of the console.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
The first Killzone was a decent shooter released on PlayStation 2 – a console that had no shortage of quality games.
First-person shooter was primarily considered as a PC only genre, and Killzone definitely was one of the pioneers of changing that concept.
With the forth Killzone title acting as a launch title for the PS4, it was expected to be an amazing display of graphics, gameplay, and experience, just like Killzone 2 on PS3. It was certainly brilliant eye-candy, but sadly did not live up to the expectations of its predecessors, largely receiving mixed reviews.
Yet, because of the franchise’s reputation, the game managed an impressive 2.43 million sales, making it one of the better selling exclusives in this two-and-a-half-year period.
Knack was a beat em’ up platformer and one of the launch titles of the PS4. The game was a fine representation of Sony’s intent of bringing genre versatility on its console.
The game received praise for its unique (and admittedly strange) design and style, and an intriguing and fun campaign. Its success as a game itself is reflected by its sales – the title managed to sell 1.53 million copies worldwide.
LittleBigPlanet is one of the most entertaining, well-known modern platformers. The two games in the wonderful series managed to do quite well on the PlayStation 3, so it was only reasonable to launch the final peace.
In making sure the transition from PS3 to PS4 was smooth, Sony released LittieBigPlanet 3 for both the consoles. The PS4 version did quite well, and although it’s not a true exclusive, it can be considered one as the franchise is exclusive to PlayStation. The adorable platformer managed 1.53 copies sold across the globe.
The Last of Us (Remastered)
The Last of Us was released in the final years of the PS3’s life cycle as Sony’s flagship console, and was regarded as the perfect going away gift from Naughty Dog.
Regarded as one of the best games on the PS3 ever, the post-apocalyptic stealth-action game told a touching story in a wonderful environment. It was so good – both aesthetically and gameplay-wise – that a remaster had to be released.
The remaster itself has been a huge success, selling a whopping 4.03 million copies since its release in 2014. You don’t get to witness such numbers on remasters often.
The Order: 1886
The Order: 1886 was supposed to be Santa Monica’s answer to Naughty Dog’s amazing titles on the PS3 and PS4. What it turned out to be was a game with beautiful graphics and good setting, but an absolutely terrible experience.
A short, tired, and half-hearted campaign with nothing other than good visuals to offer, The Order: 1886 received poor ratings and heavy critique. Despite all this, it managed 1.48 million sales, leaving a fine example of how good marketing can paper over a bad product.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
It’s no secret that Uncharted saved the PS3. At a time when the Xbox 360 was booming with successful exclusives and the PS3 greatly deprived, Naughty Dog conjured this Pitfall-ish title and turned things around for Sony.
Uncharted since then has gone on to release three main titles and several spin-offs. The Nathan Drake Collection takes Uncharted 1, 2, 3, adds a bit of glitter to them, and presents them in one remastered package. The result? 3.1 million sales of a collection of one of the best game franchises in the last decade.
Until Dawn is a drama adventure game that is heavily influenced by the players’ decision. It contains some excellent acting (motion capture) by renowned actors, a good story, and great graphics.
It’s not a game that most modern videogamers would associate themselves with, but true gamers don’t really care about the genre or style of a game – what matters is how good it is, and Until Dawn is pretty good. It’s gotten mostly positive reviews, with good scores for the larger part.
Since its release last August, the game has managed to sell 1.22 million copies – not bad for a title that wasn’t too heavily advertised, and wouldn’t attract a large variety of audiences.
Well, that’s about it as far as successful exclusives go for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. There are plenty of others, but those games (at the time of writing) managed less than 1 million sales, which doesn’t fit our criteria.
Xbox One stuck mostly stuck to its guns and released sequels of well-established franchises. The PlayStation 4 on the other hand was a bit braver in introducing new franchises, but suffered with some underwhelming titles like The Order: 1886 and Killzone: Shadowfall.
It’s hard to pick a winner. In-terms of pure sales, the PS4 trumps the comparison of all successful titles with above 1 million sales.
However, it’s important to note the quality of the titles, and original (no-remastered) games as well, in which case PS4 heavily relied on the success of the likes of The Last of Us (remastered) and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection to make the numbers.
Overall, it’s tough to say which one is the true winner, but the exclusives that have sold more than 1 million copies are right in front of you.
We’d love to know your opinion on the matter. Do share with us in the comments section below.