Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 tops the list of North American gamers most wanted console video game this holiday season according to a recent report by ratings giant Nielsen.

The upcoming first-person shooter video game will be the third installment in the Modern Warfare series, a direct sequel to 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the eighth Call of Duty installment.

The game will released on November 8, 2011 on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.

The ratings giants compiled the list by examining a variety of consumer measures from Nielsen’s Video Game Tracking survey, including the top five titles active gamers are considering for purchase.

To qualify for the list, the games had to be releasing on at least one of the three major consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii) during the timeframe of late August to late November.

Interestingly, nineteen out of the top 20 are part of an existing franchise including Madden NFL and the Legend of Zelda which started over 20 years ago.

More than one quarter (27%) of active gamers said they wanted Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 making it the most wanted title. Microsoft’s Gears of War 3 and EA’s Madden NFL 12 tied for second with almost 1 in 5 gamers (19%) putting the game in their top five list.

The following is Nielsen's list of the 20 most wanted games this holiday season.
  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  2. Gears of War 3
  3. Madden NFL 12
  4. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  5. Batman: Arkham City
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  7. Battlefield 3
  8. Just Dance 3
  9. NBA 2K12
  10. Need for Speed: The Run
  11. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  12. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games
  13. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  14. FIFA Soccer 12
  15. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  16. Dead Island
  17. Kinect Sports: Season 2
  18. Resistance 3
  19. Dance Central 2
  20. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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