Steam Reveals Most-Played, Top-Selling Games of the Year

Photo courtesy of Valve

Steam has released its Best of 2021, revealing the top selling and most played games of the year on its platform.

The categories include the year's top sellers, top-selling new releases, top-selling Early Access-to-full release titles, top-selling virtual reality-exclusive games, the most played games, and the most played controller games. The sales were measured and compared using gross revenue, while most played was determined by peak concurrent players and top played controller game by daily active controller players.

The individual categories are divided into tiers, rather than presented in a numbered list. The top-sellers category includes the top 100 selling games, with the following games in its Platinum tier (listed here in alphabetical order):

The New Releases category applies the same rubric, but only includes games released in 2021. Here are the Platinum New Releases in alphabetical order:

  • Age of Empires IV
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Battlefield 2042
  • Farming Simulator 22
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Halo Infinite
  • Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • New World
  • Outriders
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Valheim

Early Access Grads further narrows down the top selling games to include only those games that left Early Access and entered full release. The Platinum tier is as follows:

  • Breathedge
  • Chernobylite
  • Draw & Guess
  • Endzone: A World Apart
  • Hell Let Loose
  • GTFO
  • Medieval Dynasty
  • Skul: The Hero Slayer
  • Solasta: Crown of the Magister
  • Subnautica: Below Zero
  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
  • Wildermyth

Then there are the VR-exclusive experiences, measured in the same way. Here are the top sellers:

  • Arizona Sunshine
  • Beat Saber
  • Blade & Sorcery
  • Boneworks
  • Hal-Life: Alyx
  • Hot Dogs, Horseshoes, & Hand Grenades
  • Into the Radius
  • Pavlov
  • Superhot VR
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
  • The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
  • VR Kanojo

The Most Played category is on slightly shakier ground from a methodology perspective. Highest peak concurrent players is certainly one way to measure it, total hours played would be a more representative stat. Either way, here are the games that peaked at over 200,000 concurrent players:

  • Apex Legends
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • DOTA 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Halo Infinite
  • New World
  • PUBG: Battlegrounds
  • Rust
  • Valheim

Finally, here are the top controller-friendly games:

  • Apex Legends
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • eFootball 2022
  • FIFA 21
  • FIFA 22
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Guilty Gear -Strive-
  • Halo Infinite
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Tales of Arise
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth