Xbox Live most-played of 2011 topped by Call of Duty: Black Ops

The Call of Duty franchise occupies the three top spots in Microsoft's chart of the most-played games on Xbox Live in 2011, with Call of Duty: Black Ops claiming the throne. Microsoft has also shared the top-twenty charts for Xbox Live Arcade, Games for Windows Live, Xbox Live Indie Games, and Windows Phone.

This year's CoD installment, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, took second place, which is to be expected given that it was only released in November. Surprisingly, 2009's Modern Warfare 2 still managed to claim third. It was followed by Halo: Reach, Battlefield 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Gears of War 3, then FIFA Soccer 12.

2007's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare still came in at number 14, after all this time, while 2008's CoD: World at War clung to the twentieth spot.

The XBLA chart, which tracks full versions "purchased," is in fact led by a free game, Pinball FX 2, which costs nothing to download but charges for tables to play on. Microsoft's Full House Poker comes in second, followed by Castle Crashers, Fruit Ninja Kinect--though XBLA codes for it were also packed in with retail release The Gunstringer--then From Dust.

Over on Xbox Live Indie Games, Minecraft clone FortressCraft Chapter 1 sold the most.

While the main Xbox 360 charts can't track those who haven't gone online with Xbox Live, they do at least track all games and paint a solid portrait. Less useful is the Games for Windows Live chart, which only tracks the PC games that use Microsoft's maligned platform. Of those few, the free-to-play Age of Empires Online came top, followed by Grand Theft Auto IV and Batman: Arkham City.

And, of course, it's no surprise that Angry Birds was the most-played on Windows Phone.

Microsoft mouthpiece Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb has the full charts.