Pokémon Scarlet Violet Klawf
Image: The Pokémon Company

Famitsu has released its annual sales charts for 2022, and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet — unsurprisingly — has topped the year's sales, selling an incredible 4,338,931 units since its release in November (thanks, Nintendo Everything!).

If you've been following the headlines and the weekly Japanese charts, then this won't come as a surprise to you. Pokémon always does well — in 2021, Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl was the second best-selling game of the year, for example. Scarlet & Violet sold over 2.5 million copies in its first week, and the momentum hasn't really stopped.

You probably shouldn't be surprised, then, that Splatoon 3 takes second place. Splatoon 3 broke multiple sales records when it launched in September and sold just shy of 2 million copies in its launch week. Its total 2022 sales equal 3,687,814 units, which is absolutely not a number to sneeze at.

Right behind Splatoon 3 with 2,314,806 units sold is another Pokémon game — this time, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This new twist on the Pokémon formula also sold a staggering number of copies in its first week, almost cracking 1.5 million units. Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Nintendo Switch Sports round out the top five — and Kirby isn't far off of 1 million, either. Only one non-Switch game made it into the top ten, which is FromSoftware's Elden Ring.

Enough from us, then — here are the top ten best-selling games in Japan in 2022:

  1. [NSW] Pokemon Scarlet & Violet (The Pokemon Company, 11/18/22) – 4,338,931 (New)
  2. [NSW] Splatoon 3 (Nintendo, 09/09/22) – 3,687,814 (New)
  3. [NSW] Pokemon Legends: Arceus (The Pokemon Company, 01/28/22) – 2,314,806 (New)
  4. [NSW] Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Nintendo, 03/25/22) – 969,047 (New)
  5. [NSW] Nintendo Switch Sports (Nintendo, 04/29/22) – 887,722 (New)
  6. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo, 04/28/17) – 742,018 (5,014,375)
  7. [NSW] Minecraft (Microsoft, 06/21/18) – 548,415 (2,960,006)
  8. [NSW] Mario Party Superstars (Nintendo, 10/29/21) – 485,594 (1,114,132)
  9. [NSW] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo, 12/07/18) – 441,053 (5,065,191)
  10. [PS4] Elden Ring (FromSoftware, 02/25/22) – 356,711 (New)

In another unsurprising stat, the Switch is also the best-selling console of the year in Japan. Combining the original model, the Lite, and the OLED, the console sold 4,804,549 units in 2022 — more than four times that of the PS5, which sold over 1.1 million units over the same period. This was the year that the Switch outsold the 3DS in Japan, too, and we think 2023 will be another record-breaking year for the Switch.

  1. Switch (incl. Lite and OLED) — 4,804,549 (27,724,047)
  2. PlayStation 5 (incl. Digital Edition) — 1,154,054 (2,377,389)
  3. Xbox Series X|S — 269,737 (398,395)
  4. PlayStation 4 — 22,823 (9,417,767)
  5. 3DS — 10,449 (24,597,897)

Are there any surprises for you in Japan's best-selling games? Share your thoughts in the comments!

[source famitsu.com, via nintendoeverything.com]