What are the best-selling PlayStation consoles of all time?

One stands far above the rest.

Image via Sony

It’s hard to believe that the first PlayStation console launched almost 30 years ago. Since that very first day, Sony’s flagship console brand has done exceptionally well, handily taking on huge rivals like Microsoft and Nintendo. The PS1’s visual aesthetic is so iconic that game designers are still using it today in indie games, and many of its biggest franchises are still going today.

With the widespread acclaim of the company’s most recent console, the PlayStation 5, it’s clear that PlayStation isn’t going anywhere. While it’s fun to look into Sony’s future and wax poetic about all the amazing experiences to come, it’s equally interesting to look back at its past to get an idea of just how successful the PlayStation brand has been. Many of its consoles are easily among the best-selling of all time.

Here are the best-selling PlayStation consoles of all time as of July 2022, according to @zuby_tech.

Best-selling PlayStation consoles of all time

7) PlayStation Vita/PlayStation TV – 15 million units

The PS Vita console.
Image via the Vanamo Online Game Museum

The PlayStation Vita is the least successful of all of Sony’s consoles. While it boasted impressive visuals and a suite of interesting games, its high price tag, low battery life, and strange control gimmicks turned many players off. The PlayStation TV was a lesser-known version of the Vita that allowed players to play Vita games on their TV, but even this advancement of the platform couldn’t pull up its sales. 15 million units sold is still nothing to sneeze at, but it pales in comparison to the sales numbers of Sony’s other consoles.

6) PlayStation 5 – 21.7 million units

Photo via Sony

It might come as something of a surprise to modern gamers that the PlayStation 5 isn’t one of Sony’s top three bestselling consoles. There are two reasons for this: the PS5 is relatively new and Sony suffered from chip shortages.

The PS5 only came out in November 2020, so it hasn’t had as much time to accumulate massive sales numbers as some of its predecessors. As for the chip shortages, Sony and other console manufacturers have struggled to keep up with demand due to this pandemic-related factor. The PS5 has frequently sold out, resulting in very low sales numbers for its first few years of life. It remains to be seen just how high the PS5 will rise now that chip shortages have eased somewhat.

5. PlayStation Portable – 82 million units

A black PSP laid flat.
Image via the Vanamo Online Game Museum

While Sony’s handhelds have never sold as well as its flagship consoles, the PlayStation Portable still made a name for itself with a respectable 82 million units sold. The PSP was available on sale in Japan for a whopping 10 years and was still doing well even when compared to the Nintendo DS, its main competitor at the time. Though the PSP has mostly been forgotten in the wake of mobile gaming, Sony still saw fit to bring back a decent chunk of its library to its revamped PlayStation Plus Premium.

4. PlayStation 3 – 88 million units

A black PS3 laid flat.
Image via the Vanamo Online Gaming Museum

The PlayStation 3 had some enormous shoes to fill. Coming hot on the heels of the PlayStation 2, one of the world’s most popular consoles, the PS3 was expected to advance Sony’s first-party franchises in bombastic, over-the-top ways. While it didn’t burn up the worldwide charts at 88 million units sold and faced stiff competition in the form of the Wii, which sold 101.63 million units over its lifetime, it’s still fondly remembered as one of the most complex consoles ever created. Because of the PS3’s extremely complicated architecture, it’s very difficult to emulate its games on newer consoles.

3. PlayStation – 102.49 million units

A gray PS1 laid flat.
Image via the Vanamo Online Gaming Museum

This is the console that started it all. Originally designed in a collaboration with Nintendo, Sony eventually branched out and made the PlayStation its first flagship home console. The PS1 was home to some of gaming’s best-known titles, including Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, and Crash Bandicoot. Its charmingly polygonal character models and environments are still used in indie games today, and it was the route by which many a child fell in love with gaming back in the day. While it might not be the absolute best-selling Sony console, it still holds a special place in many players’ hearts.

2. PlayStation 4 – 117.2 million units

A PS4 and matching controller laid flat.
Image via the Vanamo Online Game Museum

The PlayStation 4 sits in the coveted second rank on this list thanks mostly to its stellar lineup of games and the perception that it “beat” Microsoft’s Xbox One console and the Wii U, a distant third, during that iteration of the console wars. The PS4 had an arguably better lineup of first-party games, easier-to-use and more intuitive menus, and better consumer perception than the Xbox One. Microsoft has turned that perception around now with a big push into Xbox Game Pass, but Sony was the clear winner a decade ago, and it shows in the PS4’s sales numbers.

1. PlayStation 2 – 159 million

The PlayStation 2 laid flat.
Image via the Vanamo Online Game Museum

The PlayStation 2 isn’t just the best-selling PlayStation console of all time; it’s the best-selling video game console of all time, period. The PS2 eclipsed everything before it and even everything after it, coming in with an incredible 159 million units sold. The console was actively manufactured from 2000 until 2013, pushing it well into the lifespan of its PS3 successor and giving it one of the longest production windows of any console. The PS2’s incredible selection of games, strong brand recognition, established fanbase, and little competition in the form of the underpowered GameCube and the original Xbox gave it the power it needed to rise to the top worldwide.