Whether it’s the emergence of the Battle Royale genre or groundbreaking multiplayer survival games, PC gaming often serves as the frontier for the latest trends and innovations in the gaming landscape, often resulting in massive concentrations of gamers.
But of all the PC games that have ever appeared on the Steam charts, few have enjoyed the exceptional popularity of those at the top of Steam’s most played charts. Based on the maximum number of concurrent players ever held by any game on Valve’s platform, here are the 15 most played Steam games of all time.
15. Fallout 4
Concurrent player record: 472,962
As a long-awaited sequel from the studio that recently released The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the anticipation for Fallout 4 was undeniable at launch. So much so, in fact, that within days of its debut it rose to the top of Steam’s player charts and set a record that still ranks among the top 15 of all time to this day. .
With an endless number of settlements requiring the help of players, it’s no wonder this game’s player count has stood the test of time.
14. Capcom Arcade Stadium
Concurrent player record: 472,791
Hilariously, Capcom Arcade Stadium rose to the top of the Steam charts and was the third most played game at some point (above even Apex Legends and PUBG) long after its initial release. For what? The answer, after Pavel Djundik who is an expert on Steam metrics is that bots have flooded the game and been idle in it in order to farm Steam trading cards.
Steam Trading Cards are digital collectibles on Valve’s platform that can be exchanged for monetary value, and pretending a bot is playing a game is apparently a way to acquire cards to sell. The fact that Capcom Arcade Stadium can be downloaded for free makes it a prime target for such shenanigans.
Maybe we shouldn’t count this one, as it was mistakenly boosted by the presence of fake players, but the story is a little too good to ignore. We matter – you’re welcome, Capcom.
Concurrent player record: 489,886
As one of the best-selling games of all time (nearly 45 million copies sold by some accounts), it’s no surprise to see Terraria make the list of most-played Steam games. The pixelated survival and building RPG, which is sometimes compared to Minecraft, is wonderfully hard to pose and perfect for playing with friends, and is affordable enough to offer a fairly low barrier of entry for those curious to give it away. . A try. With nearly 500,000 concurrent players at its peak, it’s clear that many of those buyers were hooked.
12. Call of Duty: Warzone
Concurrent player record: 491,670
Call of Duty games have always been more popular on consoles than Steam (which seems to favor the likes of Counter-Strike), but with the advent of the battle royale genre, which has seen huge popularity on the PC platform, Warzone easily makes it cut. As last-man games entered a new level of maturity and saw AAA iterations enter the fray, Warzone became a fixture at the top of Steam’s player charts alongside other battle royale peers. like Apex Legends.
Interestingly, Warzone is the only Call of Duty game to make it onto this list, although the series sees massive success and popularity with each annual release.
Concurrent player record: 502,387
Survival games have a history of doing extremely well on Steam, and one of the most recent examples to skyrocket onto Steam charts is Valheim: Iron Gate’s challenging Nordic-inspired game. With overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam and a ton of hype in the weeks and months after its initial launch, it was common to see nearly all of your Steam friends tuned in during the height of its popularity.
10. Apex Legends
Record number of concurrent players: 624,473
Apex Legends remains one of the most popular Battle Royale games to date, so it’s no wonder it landed in the top 10 most played Steam games of all time. Obviously it’s an incredibly polished shooter from the studio that made Titanfall 2, but it’s also important to remember that this is and always has been a free-to-play game, which makes it incredibly accessible to anyone. looking to jump. Even now, Apex Legends retains hundreds of thousands of daily players, so it’s likely to stay in the top ten for quite some time.
9. Goose Goose Duck
Record number of concurrent players: 702,845
Surprisingly, there’s only one social deduction game to make this list, and it’s not Among Us. Instead, it’s Gaggle Studios’ Goose Goose Duck, where you and your fellow geese try to identify ducks infiltrating your ranks before they take you down.
The reason for the rise in popularity of the game? The star power of one of its first players. After K-pop star Kim Taehyung, better known as V of BTS, streamed himself playing the game, it absolutely exploded on Steam, overwhelming the indie developer’s servers in no time. . Even today, its player base remains large with tens of thousands of people logging on every day, but one has to wonder if it would have ever reached such great heights without a small push from BTS.
8. Hogwarts Legacy
Concurrent player record: 879,308
As one of the most popular fictional worlds ever created, one would expect to see a game set in the world of witchcraft and sorcery to make the list – and one would be right. Hailed as the first truly good Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy broke sales records and concurrent player records in the days following its Steam debut.
Hogwarts Legacy is also the newest game on this list, having been released earlier this year just a few months ago. It’s also worth noting that Hogwarts Legacy is one of only three games on this list that doesn’t feature any multiplayer, which makes its accomplishment all the more impressive.
7. New World
Concurrent player record: 953,426
The first of two MMORPGs to make the list, New World was Amazon Games’ first big hit, the online shopping network’s game to break into the gaming industry. The MMO put players in the boots of a mid-17th-century explorer sent to colonize a fictional new continent, and tasked players with scavenging for raw materials and crafting to colonize the savage land.
A strong initial launch saw its astronomical rise to the top of the Steam charts which saw a dramatic 90% drop a few months later, although it still enjoys a fairly large following to this day.
6. Elden Ring
Concurrent player record: 953,426
A FromSoftware game directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki with world-building by George RR Martin is about the most search engine optimized thing I can imagine, so the latest masterpiece is only expected to soulslike work of the creator of the genre dominates the lives of gamers around the world for as long as possible. long as he did.
With nearly one million concurrent players at any given time, Elden Ring would win IGN’s Game of the Year award for 2022, along with many other accolades.
Concurrent player record: 1,054,388
Despite a rocky launch on consoles, CD Projekt RED’s single-player sci-fi RPG Cyberpunk 2077 was incredibly popular on the PC platform, with over a million players online at one time at its peak. As a follow-up project to the studio that developed the legendary Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the hype behind Cyberpunk certainly helped propel it to the top of the Steam charts. To this day, it remains the most played Steam game that has no multiplayer functionality of any kind.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, the game’s next DLC is expected to arrive in September 2023.
4. Dona 2
Concurrent player record: 1,295,114
The only multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA, to make it into the top 15 most-played games on Steam is one of the biggest of its kind: Dota 2. Created by none other than Valve, Dota 2 has stood the test of time. the test of time, regularly hosting more than half a million players every day. At its all-time peak, it had well over 1.25 million players, earning it the coveted fourth position on Steam’s most played charts.
3. Lost Ark
Record number of concurrent players: 1,325,305
The third most played Steam game in history is also the most played MMORPG on the list. Lost Ark, an action role-playing game that found success in South Korea in its regional debut by developer Smilegate, was later launched internationally to become one of the most popular MMOs out there.
While its daily player count has dwindled since its peak, at its peak it garnered interest from over a million players at once – that’s a lot of giant dragons and oversized swords!
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Concurrent player record: 1,818,773
In the history of Steam, few games have impacted the platform quite like Counter-Strike. Indeed, Steam may not be the industry-leading platform it is today were it not for the continued success of the series which, to date, still reaches over one million concurrent players. on an almost daily basis. At its peak, Global Offensive, the last in the series, had nearly 2 million concurrent players, which miraculously isn’t many more concurrent players than it regularly hosts. It’s hard to imagine how much of a sensation the recently announced Counter-Strike 2 will cause when it finally releases.
1. PUBG: Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds
Concurrent player record: 3,257,248
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, was the progenitor of the world’s most popular genre in recent times: battle royales. While many iterations have since sprung up and been incredibly successful (a few of which even make it onto this list), the attention garnered by the original authentic item is unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.
With over 3 and a quarter million concurrent players, PUBG nearly doubles as the next most-played Steam game and far surpasses most of the other behemoths on this list and is by far the most-played Steam game of all time. of a mile.
Travis Northup is a writer for IGN based in San Francisco. He’s been writing about games for over a decade and loves everything from strategy games and platformers to shooters and open-world RPGs.