Top 10 Most Expensive Games Ever

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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 []



New member
Oct 9, 2008
I can see one game up there I actually enjoyed. A couple I haven't played, but the rest disappointed me to no end.


New member
Apr 15, 2009
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.

Jack and Calumon

Digimon are cool.
Dec 29, 2008
One of my most favorite games ever is up there, Metal Gear Solid 4.

Calumon: But a Digimon is priceless! Yay!


New member
Mar 18, 2009
I've only played 2 of those games, and I haven't finnshed either of them. This is pretty interesting though

Stabby Joe

New member
Jul 30, 2008
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.


New member
Feb 8, 2008
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.


New member
Jul 14, 2008
It doesn't mention anything about being expensive to [i/]play[/i].

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.

Gildan Bladeborn

New member
Aug 11, 2009
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.


Late Reviewer
Nov 29, 2007
Do these figures relate actual production costs, or do they include the marketing expenses?


New member
Jul 14, 2009
"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.


Bored at Work
Jan 30, 2009
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.