Top 10 Most Expensive Games Ever

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Top 10 Most Expensive Games Ever


Game budgets have ballooned in recent years, as this list of the most expensive game budgets proves.

Game publishers rarely disclose the exact amount of money that they put out to make the games that we love to play. This information is either pieced together from reports from developers or sometimes mentioned during investor conference calls. Because the cost is directly related to the amount of man-hours poured into making the game, the length of development time usually adds to the overall cost. That means that some of the games on the list are there because of delays or setbacks, but most of them are just really huge games.

Here's the list of the top 10 most expensive games to make, according to Digital Battle. Some of these games haven't been released yet, so it's entirely possible that their budgets could grow even higher. Also, it appears that cancelled games are not considered (I'm looking at you, Duke Nukem Forever).

10. Killzone 2 ($45 million)
9. Final Fantasy XII ($48 million)
8. LA Noire ($50 million)
7. APB ($50 million)
6. Halo 3 ($55 million)
5. Metal Gear Solid 4 ($60 million)
4. Too Human ($60+ million)
3. Shenmue ($70 million)
2. Gran Turismo 5 ($80 million)
1. Grand Theft Auto 4 ($100 million)

The sad truth is that a huge budget doesn't always seem to translate into quality games. Most people would agree that Halo 3 wasn't as good as its less expensive predecessors and that Too Human ultimately wasn't worth the expensive 11th hour switch from the Unreal 3 engine.

Also, a game's "size" seems to make for more expensive games. Shenmue boasted a huge world that cost a lot to craft, especially since its the only game on this list from the previous console generation, and the cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4 alone probably cost as much as it did to make most complete AAA games. Grand Theft Auto IV cost a boatload of money to make but that's because Rockstar had over 1,000 people working on the game for over 3 years. Not to mention the huge amount of licensed music.

As for the games that haven't yet been released, we'll wait to pass judgement on them. But they have some serious expectations to live up to.

Source: Digital Battle


I can see one game up there I actually enjoyed. A couple I haven't played, but the rest disappointed me to no end.

i stumbled a blog saying the same thing a while back, its not really interesting nor is it news, all of these games are 1+ years old.

One of my most favorite games ever is up there, Metal Gear Solid 4.

Calumon: But a Digimon is priceless! Yay!

I've only played 2 of those games, and I haven't finnshed either of them. This is pretty interesting though

Just goes to show I suppose. I didn't like any of those games.

Before anyone says "Too Human sucked, how could of it cost so much!?"

Too Human as we know it was NOT developed over a decade with a set budget of millions. It changed platforms, generations and developers, being built up from the ground every so many years only to start over. Like Duke Nukem Forever but was actually released.

What about Red Dead Redemption?

I'm not surprised at Halo 3. I've always said that while I think the Halo games are mediocre at best in the realm of FPS, they are the most polished games ever.

I wonder Gran Turismo 5's value takes into account the money spent on Prologue.

Final Fantasy XII and Too Human fall into the category of "wasted funds". Neither was great... nor even particularly good.

I am glad to see Shenmue represent. That title was truly revolutionary ten years ago. Now if they would only get around to making number 3 already.

It doesn't mention anything about being expensive to play.

Which would definitely have to be that mech game for the original XBOX that cost over $250 to buy the game and all the controllers. The game took up all for controller ports. For one person.

Huh, a list of games I don't own and have absolutely no interest in playing. Fancy that!

Makes me wonder what the figures for the game that I do have would be.

Wow... very few blockbusters on the list. How many of these actually made more money than they cost?

Do these figures relate actual production costs, or do they include the marketing expenses?

"The sad truth is that a huge budget doesn't always seem to translate into quality games."
So true, so true. The worst part about it is that it's used both as a marketing ploy and as a justification for raising prices on games. Indeed, despite having the worst (non)ending ever, Halo 2 was still a much better experience than it's follow up (essentially, what you said), yet at retail Halo 3 was more expensive upon it's release.

At least with GTA4 I can see where the money went, even if it wasn't all well spent.

I've not tried a single one of those games. Spending lots on development does not a good game make, and some of my favorites are some of the cheapest/easiest to make games ever...

Have to feel bad for Too Human. A very expensive game that was shunned by both critics AND gamers, and also holds Yahtzee's title of "Worst Game Ever" (at least as far as ZP goes.) At least the others on the list that were released were generally well-received games.

Hahaha Too Human!

59million dollar hype
1 million dollar game!

And it sucks ass! xDD

APB made the list?!? Holy shit, man! GTA4 isn't very surprising, but goddamn I had no idea APB had that much money behind it. LA Noire has been development hell if you ask me, I've been trying to keep track of that games progress since 2007 and there really isn't much to show for. They say it is going to hit this year though, I can only hope Rockstar can pull some profit out of this one.

I can't believe Shenmue is on there, amazing game just old.

FF12 cost more to make than 13?

I'm too lazy to go check (just woke up), but I wonder where MW2 and FFXIII fit in on there. I have a feeling they're pretty high up there...

Its funny how infinity ward argued that since MW2 cost so mcu hto make, they should be able to charge more. Yet it does not appear on this list of much lower priced games.

It doesn't mention anything about being expensive to play.

Which would definitely have to be that mech game for the original XBOX that cost over $250 to buy the game and all the controllers. The game took up all for controller ports. For one person.

Steel Battalion? My brother set himself up with that. Sure, it was pricey - but what it lacked in convenience, it made up for in emergency eject buttons.

Ah "Too Human" proof that awakeing a bastard horror of a game and shoveing money down its throat does not make it any good.

i am impressed with how much these games cost, but same type question if the numbers are not inflated a bit by tricky acconting. Probly not as much, but the movie industry to cut down on taxs and paying royalties and such will greatly overinflate production costs by more then 100% (meaning they double the cost) with accounting tricks like billing the enitre production for a set to the movie (despite the set being used in dozens of movies and television sets, each being charged for the full production cost), the only time i could really see this in a game would be like ID charging the entire cost of developing an engion to every game they make using the engine.

Rockstar has WAYYYYYYY too much money, lol.

I was having a feeling so mnuch that MewTwo would be up there!!!!

Although not surprised by the FF Title in there!

wow, it seems that the more money spent, the worse the game is.

I bet there's a sweet spot in or around 20-30 million that hits GREAT games. maybe?

I can't seem to find the budget for any other games to see.

What about Duke Nukem Forever? LA Noire hasn't been released yet, and DNF went through Engine switch after engine switch for something like 12 years.

And WoW spends $50 million on upkeep/maintenance every quarter.

Gotta love MMOs.

Wow! 100 million for GTAIV :S Damn! That's ALOT of money, especially for a game! Only played MGS4 and GTAIV.

MGS4 is great :) But to little gameplay, even for MGS standard :( I'm a hardcore fan so it didn't bother me that much tbh. But the gameplay was great so I wanted more, oh so much more. Oh well, Rising will have to make up for it :)

I haven't completed GTAIV. It's a juggernaut for a game. But I'm planning on playing it on PC this time around and actually complete it. I remember when I first played it, I was super disapointed. I didn't exactly care for the ultra virtual simulation they were going for. It felt like they had really forgot what it means to be a game and did not really understand what the word fun means (come on people! Playing pool, going bowling, throwing darts! I play games to do stuff I can't do in reality.) An interesting game none the less though. My favorite part was the combat. The only thing that actually "works". The combat really reminds me of the movie Heat. It's just so gritty and terrifying. Replaying it soon

If Duke Nukem' Forever is still being worked on; I would imagine that it's costing them hundreds of millions.. Or maybe even.. BILLIONS! *dun dun dun*

not bugget wise but action 52 costed 200 pounds to buy

Funny how none of those games are anywhere near my list of "classics". It's almost like games, in their relentless follow-the-leader quest to be more like movies, seem to want to say "hey look! We can spend way too much money on blockbusters too!"

It gets tiresome. I'd rather play Mount&Blade. Or Paradox's body of work. Pdox CEO Fredrik Wester is on record as saying that if Victoria 2 (out in Q2) sells 30,000 units---do the math, kids, that's ~$1.2 million US at $40 a pop---it will break even and every copy sold beyond that will be money in Paradox's pocket. I'll be one of those 30,000. You can have your eight-figure blockbuster games.

Too Human is on the list?! Damn i bet they lost ALOT of money from that!

Wow, Too Human, you well and truly failed.

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