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Kingdom Hearts 3 is the best-selling game of 2019 (so far) – CNET

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Kingdom Hearts for the win.

Square Enix

It took Square Enix over five years to make Kingdom Hearts 3. That appears to have been a worthwhile investment for the Japanese gaming giant.

A quarter into 2019, Kingdom Hearts 3 is the US’ best-selling game of the year so far, according to NDP, a firm which compiles monthly video game sales reports. Not only that, Kingdom Hearts 3 is also the best-selling game in the franchise, outdoing the original from 2002.

After Kingdom Hearts 3, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the second highest seller of the year. The critically panned Anthem followed in third place while the expertly reimagined Resident Evil 2 is so far in fourth place. Red Dead Redemption II, Rockstar’s 2018 colossus, rounds out the top five so far.

NDP tracks only the US market, but Kingdom Hearts 3, with just under 800,000 units sold, is also the top-selling 2019 game in Japan. The game also topped European charts upon its release.

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Kingdom Hearts 3 was released on Jan. 29 and shipped 5 million units within a week. Tuesday’s news coincides with a free DLC update for the game, with Square Enix adding a ultrahard Critical Mode for completionist Keyblade warriors to go back and complete.

The game received praise upon release, with Gamespot rating it eight out of 10. In CNET’s review, Jackson Ryan called it “a joy to play for 40 hours.” Gamespot heaped more praise on The Divison 2, Kingdom Hearts 3’s biggest commercial rival thus far, giving it nine out of 10. 

Kingdom Hearts 3 will be challenged for its leading position later in the year mainly by Nintendo games. Pokemon Sword and Shield are surefire hits, as is The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

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