Digital Marketing

Steam’s Best of 2023 Reveals Its Highest-Selling and Most-Played Games of the Past Year

Valve has unveiled its annual ‘Best of 2023′ list on Steam, revealing which titles dominated sales on PC. The titles haven’t been numerically ranked, but have been grouped into tiers — Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze — based on data collected from January 1 through December 15, 2023. The Top 12 category is populated by both free-to-play multiplayer games and the biggest launches, with the award-winning Baldur’s Gate 3, Starfield, Cyberpunk 2077, and Hogwarts Legacy emerging as the best-selling titles. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which was disliked by both fans and critics alike, also made it to higher echelons, thanks to a dedicated fanbase wanting to experience its multiplayer segment.

The usual suspects like Counter-Strike 2, PUBG: Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, Dota 2, and Destiny 2 also made it to the Platinum rank — the last of them is getting a new expansion, ‘The Final Shape,’ in June, this year. Meanwhile, the Gold tier contains some absolute bangers like the Resident Evil 4 remake, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Elden Ring, for which the last-reported sales number was 20 million copies across all platforms. Its popularity was highly instrumental in plunking Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, a lesser-known FromSoftware franchise, among the top 24 best-selling games on the platform. Even FIFA 23 from last year made the cut, which shouldn’t be surprising considering its follow-up EA Sports FC 24 launched mid-year.

In addition to an overall Top-Sellers field, Steam has additional sections for New Releases by gross revenue, Most Played, Early Access purchases, and more. Multiplatform games that were received poorly seem to be the centre of attention among the latest releases, with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and Payday 3 emerging on top, with the latter being criticised for lack of content. As you’d expect, multiplayer games held the highest player count (above 300,000 minimum), though some single-player affairs like Goose Goose Duck and Hogwarts Legacy charted alongside Baldur’s Gate 3, which at one point, peaked at over 800,000 concurrent players on Steam. Developer Larian Studios only anticipated 100,000, given the game had been out for nearly three years in early access. At the time of writing, over 176,000 concurrent players are logged into the expansive RPG, which is placed fourth among the most-played games on the platform.

2023 was also a great year for studios to test out their games in early access and gain feedback on them. The ocean exploration and fishing game from Mintrocket, Dave the Diver, was among the favourites, even turning out to be one of the most played games on the Steam Deck. While it’s only natural to expect less graphically intensive games like Vampire Survivor and Half-Life on there, somehow Starfield made it to the top despite its lack of optimisation causing heavy stutters in crowded areas like New Atlantis and the Wild West-themed Akila. Beat Saber and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR emerged among the favourites in virtual reality gaming, along with Half-Life: Alyx, pitting you in a vicious fight against the alien Combines.

Currently, Steam also has its annual Winter Sale going on, bringing steep discounts on new and returning games. It runs until January 5 at 10:30pm IST.


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