Image: CD PROJEKT RED

Valve today shared its Best of 2021 listings for Steam, revealing what its digital storefront’s most popular and successful titles were over the last year in terms of revenue, highest peak concurrent players, and other commendable categories.

Despite being a hugely controversial title, CD PROJEKT RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 managed to make it to the Platinum section of the Most Played category, which is reserved for games that were able to attract over 200,000 peak players. Other titles that received this honor include Grand Theft Auto V, New World, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, all of which also happen to be among the year’s top sellers.

Here’s a roundup of the Platinum-awarded titles and their respective categories, with comments by Valve:

Top Sellers

  • Apex Legends
  • Battlefield 2042
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • DOTA 2
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Destiny 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Naraka Bladepoint
  • New World
  • PUBG Battlegrounds
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • Valheim

The Top Sellers list is exactly what it sounds like – a look at the 100 games earning the most revenue on Steam during 2021. To get the total revenue, we look at game sales, in-game transactions, and DLC sales for every app on Steam from January 1st, 2021 through December 15th, 2021.

Top New Releases

  • 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

If you follow Steam posts throughout the year, you may have seen monthly lists highlighting the Top 20 games released each month throughout 2021. We’ve assembled those lists in one handy spot, but have also generated a top 25 list of new releases looking at the entire year. The list is created by looking at the thousands of game releases of 2021 and showcasing the Top 25 based on the revenue they generated during the first two weeks following their launch.

Most Played Games

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

Unlike the lists that are based on commercial success, the Most Played list showcases games that achieved the highest numbers of players through December 15th, 2021. We’ve included every game that reached more than 30,000 players for the year, grouping them into buckets based on the number of players they reached. Like in previous years, we exclude player spikes caused by free weekends, giveaways, and other anomalous events.

Top Early Access Graduates

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

The Early Access list represents the top selling games that launched out of Early Access in 2021. We create this list based on all the revenue earned through December 15th, 2021 by any app that exited out of Early Access during that time.

Top Selling VR Games

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

The Top Selling VR list represents the 100 best-selling VR-only experiences of 2021. Like the Top Sellers list, these are based on revenue. While many games on Steam offer supplemental VR modes and experiences, we limit this list to VR-only to showcase games that are designed solely for the virtual realm.

Top Controller 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

This list represents the games that registered the most controller sessions during the year. Specifically, it’s a ranking of games based on the highest number of unique controller players that they reached through December 15th, 2021.

Valve has clarified that the games in each category are randomly sorted, as the company would prefer to keep revenue specifics ambiguous. Last year’s rankings can be found here.

Source: Steam

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5 Comments

  1. Cyberpunk may have had a rough launch, but it is still a great game. Not a surprise to me it would be getting a lot of playtime.

    GTA V on the other hand… I can’t believe people are still letting Rockstar milk that tired old game instead of giving them anything new…

    1. Some big twitch streamers still play the GTA V. People like the RP servers. Right now the game’s viewership is between Fortnite and Valorant at 66K.

  2. I’m surprised valve is considered the measure of success. I got more games via gog and epic than valve last year.

  3. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 45840, member: 215″]
    I’m surprised valve is considered the measure of success. I got more games via gog and epic than valve last year.
    [/QUOTE]
    I don’t know that it is – you’re missing some of the big profile titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, etc. that would otherwise probably be on a list like this if you were considering world-wide playtime. This is just the easiest metric to find since Steam makes it public, and Steam is pretty widely distributed, so it’s interesting to see trends.

  4. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 45840, member: 215″]
    I’m surprised valve is considered the measure of success. I got more games via gog and epic than valve last year.
    [/QUOTE]

    I know I’m an outlier, but I still get everything from Steam.

    I really don’t like the fragmentation of services. I want it all in one place.

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