EA, Gameloft Dominate The App Store’s Best-Selling Games Of ’09

Choosing the “best” iPhone games of 2009 is a subjective a task — the definition of “fun,” “great graphics” or “cool” functionality varies from one player to another. But there’s no disputing the winners when it comes to sales, and despite the App Store being a huge equalizer in terms of exposure for both indie developers and big game publishers — two big publishers dominated the best-selling ranks: EA and Gameloft (EPA: GFT).

EA’s The Sims 3 has been the best-selling iPhone app of the year in terms of gross sales thus far, and it only launched five months ago. Neither EA nor Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) would offer up actual sales stats, but the game, which originally cost $10, has been rated nearly 16,000 times. Gameloft’s The Oregon Trail took the second spot; the $4.99 app garnered over 13,000 ratings. Of the top 10 top sellers of the year, EA boasted four, including Need for Speed: Undercover and Madden NFL 10; Gameloft had two, with Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles, as its other best-seller.

Of course, The Sims 3 was one of the most expensive apps available, which skewed the top-grossing list in EA’s favor — but even a well-marketed, expensive game wouldn’t continue to do well if it didn’t deliver a high-quality playing experience. Meanwhile, one far less expensive app managed to break into the top ten: Firemint’s 99-cent Flight Control game. Though it came in sixth place, the game garnered over 25,000 ratings — and Firemint says it was downloaded over 1.5 million times. Not bad for an indie developer.

Other indie notables in the top 20 include John Hartzog’s Stick Wars, and Mika Mobile’s Zombieville USA. For big publishers, Sega scored a top-grossing winner with Sonic the Hedgehog, PopCap scored with its classic Peggle, and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures TV had a big seller with Wheel of Fortune. Find the full list here (via iTunes).