Steam’s best of 2021 breakdown reveals top games of the year

2021 through the lens of Steam analytics

Valve has released a best of 2021 list that covers best sellers, new releases, and player counts to reveal the best games of 2021 on Steam.

The first list is the best sellers, based on total revenue earned throughout the year. A blog post explains that “to get the total revenue, we look at game sales, in-game transactions, and DLC sales for every app on Steam from January 1, 2021, through December 15, 2021.”

Steam mainstays, Dota 2, CS:GO, and Grand Theft Auto 5 have remained in the top spots for six straight years. PUBG: Battlegrounds, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege has reached the top spots for the first time this year, and Destiny 2 has been in the top section for three years since it was released on the platform in 2019.


To create the list of most played games, Valve has “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.”

In the top spot of most played games, with over 200,000 peak players, are New World, Apex Legends, Halo Infinite, and Cyberpunk 2077. Indie super hit Valheim also sits in the top section after its successful launch earlier this year.

Valve also created a list of the top VR games on Steam. The games chosen had to be solely designed for VR, with several games that offer supplemental VR modes being excluded. “The VR catalogue continued to grow in 2021, with over 500 new VR-only games released throughout the year. Many of these releases made their way onto this year’s top-selling list, which features dozens of titles making their debuts. However, the stalwarts at the top remain unchallenged this year, with only one new game appearing in the Platinum category (Into the Radius).”

In other news, Persona 5 developer Atlus has teased something significant will be released in 2022.

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