Modern Warfare 3 most wanted game this holiday, says Nielsen

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the most wanted game this holiday season, according to a Nielsen Video Game Tracking survey. The stats show Activision's big-budget shooter on 27% of participants' top 5 anticipated titles, beating its two closest competitors (Gears of War 3 and Madden NFL 12) by a margin of 8%.

Assassin's Creed Revelations and Batman: Arkham City round out the top five, at 17% and 15%, respectively. And while Battlefield 3 has certainly gained a lot of attention, it places under The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and tied with Just Dance 3.

But while the numbers might be good fodder for healthy internet debates about the comparative merits of games, Nielsen's results also provide interesting data on trending topics for each of the titles. Modern Warfare buzz is about launch parties and a darker mood, while AC Revelations discussion revolves around the beta release. Zelda fans are hoping Skyward Sword brings back that Ocarina of Time magic, and Arkham City conversation seems fueled by Batman's rogue's gallery of villains. Battlefield 3's entry is telling: "many feel this title is superior to competing titles in the genre."

Check out the full list with percentages below. Remember, this isn't the percentage of gamers who want the games; it's the percent of gamers that put it in their top five.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (27%)

  • Gears of War 3 (19%)

  • Madden NFL 12 (19%)

  • Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (17%)

  • Batman: Arkham City (15%)

  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (14%)

  • Battlefield 3 (12%)

  • Just Dance 3 (12%)

  • NBA 2K12 (9%)

  • Need for Speed: The Run (9%)

  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (9%)

  • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (8%)

  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (8%)

  • FIFA Soccer 12 (8%)

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (8%)

  • Dead Island (7%)

  • Kinect Sports: Season 2 (6%)

  • Resistance 3 (4%)

  • Dance Central 2 (4%)

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution (3%)