Most played games in PC are not just equal to other gaming platforms but similar in community of people. It is safe to say that the gaming industry had a successful year in 2023, with the release of new games like Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarök, which quickly became contenders for Game of the Year. While some games did not perform as well, the overall gaming scene has never been stronger, and there are multiple reasons for this. This can be attributed to the popularity of certain games that have gained a strong presence in the gaming community over time. Although none of the single-player games made the top 10 most played games in the PC list, the multiplayer scene is thriving, with a noticeable presence in esports for several of the listed games. The top 10 best-performing games of 2023 were chosen based on their overall player base throughout their lifespans. These games have gained a devoted following, with players returning to them daily.
10 Most Played Games in PC (2023)
Apex Legends, created by Respawn Entertainment, has emerged as one of the most widely played games this year. This free-to-play shooter game has a battle-royale style and is available on multiple platforms including PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and the Nintendo Switch, with crossplay enabled by default. The game’s popularity skyrocketed, resulting in the development of a mobile version this year, taking the already massive player base to new heights. The Apex Legends
Initially, many players compared Apex Legends to Fortnite, but as the game continued to receive updates, it distinguished itself and created its own identity. This was evident when the game attracted over two million players in its first month and continued to grow, now boasting a player base of over 60 million in 2023.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Valve’s Counter-Strike game, which propelled the gaming platform to prominence, has continued to climb the ranks, spawning two sequels, Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The final game in the series, commonly referred to as CS:GO, has taken the franchise to new heights, boasting a player base of over 30 million in 2023.
Although not a battle-royale game, this classic team-based first-person shooter satisfies players’ tactical preferences. Each side has its own playstyle and objectives to win the match, and with relatively short rounds, players remain refreshed between matches. The widespread popularity of the series resulted in a peak of 1.3 million concurrent players in 2020, with the player base still maintaining an average of almost a million concurrent players throughout 2023.
Call of Duty: Warzone
CoD: Warzone, which stands for Call of Duty: Warzone, is the top battle-royale first-person game currently played. It is part of a long line of Call of Duty games that began in 2003, and like its predecessors, it focuses on the diverse range of weapons and gadgets available for combat. With its fun and frenzied gameplay, the game has attracted over 90 million players.
As most Call of Duty games are first-person shooters that lack a battle-royale element, Warzone is considered to be the successor to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and its “Blackout” mode. Being a free-to-play game has only added to its popularity, drawing both casual and hardcore players back to the series. Additionally, the game’s availability on various platforms is a major advantage.
Epic Games’ Fortnite is considered the company’s most successful game and is often credited with pioneering the battle-royale genre that has become popular today. Whether or not you agree with this claim, the game is currently ranked second among the top three most played games in PC 2023, with a massive player base of over 250 million.
The game’s peak concurrent player count was recorded in 2020 during Travis Scott’s Astronomical Concert, with over 12 million players simultaneously active. The game also has three distinct modes for players to enjoy. In addition to the battle royale mode, players can choose to play Fortnite: Save the World, a tower defense mode, or Fortnite Creative, a sandbox mode that allows players to create their own worlds.
Genshin Impact is an RPG developed by miHoYo, which has become their most successful game. It is a free-to-play game set in an open-world environment and is known for its anime-style graphics and user-friendly controls. The game has seen consistent updates and events that keep the player base engaged and excited. The story is original and has been developed over time with new chapters and regions being added to the game. The popularity of the game continues to grow, with over 60 million players in 2023.
League of Legends
Riot Games, the developer behind two of the games on this list, has a real hit with their popular MOBA, League of Legends. With a player base exceeding 100 million, it’s the most played MOBA on the market. In 2019, the game hit a peak of 8 million concurrent players, showing no signs of slowing down. One reason for its popularity is its fast-paced gameplay, setting it apart from other MOBAs like Dota 2 and Smite.
Initially dismissed as a clone of the original Dota: Allstars, League of Legends proved its worth under the guidance of Steve “Guinsoo” Feak, a former developer for Dota. Even after his departure in 2016, Riot Games continued to increase the game’s popularity with music videos, a competitive esports scene, and a successful Netflix series called Arcane, which has received high praise.
Minecraft, developed by Mojang Studios, is a game that harks back to classic sandbox-style games of the 1980s and 1990s. It offers players complete freedom to do whatever they please within the game’s world. Despite its humble beginnings in 2009, the game quickly became incredibly popular, and it now holds the title of the best-selling game of all time, with a player base exceeding 150 million. The game has been ported to numerous platforms over the years to accommodate its fanbase.
In the game, players begin with nothing in a procedurally-generated 3D block-style world and must work their way up by collecting resources found naturally in the game’s world. They can then use these resources to construct structures, upgrade their tools, and eventually automate their production. The game also offers multiplayer and a wealth of user-generated custom content that players can add to their worlds, providing even greater freedom and creativity.
When it was launched in 2017, PUBG: Battlegrounds gained an instant following. The game is free-to-play and takes inspiration from the Japanese cult classic film Battle Royale. The gameplay design and aesthetic choices were based on the movie, and the game’s popularity grew to have its own cult following. Currently, it is the most-played game in 2023, with over 350 million players.
Other games have tried to emulate PUBG’s success, but only Fortnite, developed by Epic Games, has been able to compete. However, PUBG remains more popular than Fortnite, and its popularity has continued to rise since its release on multiple platforms, particularly mobile platforms, which have made it highly accessible.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
This game is a classic that has aged well and is perfect for those who are nervous about flying. By playing the game and learning how to fly, cruise mid-air, and land flights in difficult conditions, it helped reduce the writer’s flight anxiety. The game is incredibly detailed, including controls inside the aircraft, the recreation of popular aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, and the airports you’ll be taking off and landing at. It’s possible to fly anywhere, including iconic destinations such as New York and far-off lands such as Sydney, Australia. You can customize your assisted settings, but turning assists fully off is as close to the real thing as you can get. You can use the Xbox One controller, but a dedicated joystick is recommended for more accurate control. However, there is a steep learning curve, and airplane-specific training is only possible during take-off and landing challenges. The game is available on Xbox Game Pass, so it’s worth trying if you have an active subscription.
Riot Games’ second game on this list is VALORANT, which is a newer release compared to League of Legends. Although the player base is not as large as League’s, it is still impressive with over 20 million players having played the game, despite it only being released a little over two years ago. The game is heavily influenced by Valve’s Counter-Strike series, as evidenced by various in-game mechanics such as the buy menu, spray patterns, and inaccuracy while moving.
VALORANT’s popularity was further boosted by its strong esports scene, which picked up within the first year of the game’s launch. Due to its popularity with streamers all over the world, it is expected that VALORANT will continue to rise in the ranks of the tactical shooter genre.
In conclusion, the gaming industry has witnessed a surge in popularity and engagement from players around the world. Games like Fortnite, Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Minecraft, and PUBG: Battlegrounds have all contributed to the immense growth of the industry, with their massive player bases and engaging gameplay experiences. The success of these games has paved the way for more creative and innovative games to be developed and released in the future. With the advancements in technology and the increasing accessibility of gaming platforms, it is exciting to see what the future holds for the gaming industry and the players who are passionate about it.
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