One week after the launch of Gears of War 3, Microsoft and Epic Games have some news to be very, very excited about: Gears of War 3 has sold over three million copies. According to the game's publisher, that locks Gears 3 as, currently, the biggest game of 2011.

Modern Warfare 3 might knock it out of first place, we'd assume.

Still, three million units sold is an incredible stat to report after the game saw an overwhelmingly positive critical response from publications all around the world. Gears of War 3 has pulled in a ton of perfect scores and currently sits at a Metacritic rating of 91 out of 100 across 80 reviews.

Even further, Microsoft announced that these figures have pushed the entire Gears of War franchise sales total past $1 billion. That, as they say on the streets somewhere, is bananas.

The release included a nice round of public relationing from Microsoft Corporate Vice President Phil Spencer:

"Gears of War was the first killer app for Xbox 360, and the series has continued to contribute directly to the overall success of the platform ever since…

…Gears of War 3 kicked off the biggest Christmas period in Xbox history, setting the standard for the kind of amazing, action-packed experiences gamers should expect on Xbox 360 this year."

Spencer is definitely right on both counts. Gears was the first Xbox 360 exclusive IP to really push fans towards the console back when it first released. Moreover, Gears 3 is just one of many must-have gaming titles to enter, frankly, any platform for the holiday of 2011. These next few months will be bonkers for our wallets.

With that, we turn to you, readers: is Gears of War 3 one of the best games to release so far this year? Did you wind up heading out to the store and picking it up during its strong first week of sales?

[via CVG]