Steam, the popular PC gaming platform, has recently released its highly anticipated annual “Best of 2023” list. The list showcases the top-selling games on the platform, providing insight into the gaming trends and preferences of the year. In this article, we will analyze the games that dominated sales on Steam in 2023 and explore the factors that contributed to their success.
The Platinum tier features the best-selling games on Steam, and it is no surprise that multiplayer titles dominate this category. Games like Counter-Strike 2, PUBG: Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, Dota 2, and Destiny 2 have solidified their positions as favorites among the gaming community. Interestingly, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a game that received criticism from both fans and critics, managed to secure a place in this prestigious tier. Despite the backlash, dedicated fans still flocked to experience its multiplayer segment, showcasing the power of a loyal player base.
The Gold tier comprises a mix of highly popular games that have achieved significant commercial success. Among them are the Resident Evil 4 remake, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Elden Ring, which sold a staggering 20 million copies across all platforms. A notable inclusion in this tier is Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, a lesser-known franchise from FromSoftware. Its surprising popularity can be attributed to the success of Elden Ring, which created a newfound interest in the developer’s catalog.
While the Platinum and Gold tiers feature expected titles, some games managed to stand out and surprise the gaming community. Baldur’s Gate 3, Starfield, Cyberpunk 2077, and Hogwarts Legacy emerged as the best-selling games, showcasing the demand for immersive RPG experiences. Baldur’s Gate 3, in particular, exceeded expectations with over 800,000 concurrent players on Steam. Larian Studios, the developer behind the game, anticipated only 100,000 players, given that the game had been in early access for nearly three years.
2023 witnessed an abundance of games releasing in early access on Steam, allowing developers to receive valuable feedback and refine their titles. One standout success in this category is Dave the Diver, an ocean exploration and fishing game from Mintrocket. The game resonated with players and gained popularity, even becoming one of the most played games on the Steam Deck. Additionally, the early access trend allowed studios to experiment with new ideas and engage with the gaming community, fostering a collaborative development process.
Virtual reality (VR) gaming continued to gain momentum in 2023, with several titles becoming favorites among players. Beat Saber, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, and Half-Life: Alyx were among the standout VR experiences, immersing players in captivating virtual worlds. These games demonstrated the potential of VR technology and its ability to revolutionize the gaming industry.
As the year came to a close, Steam’s annual Winter Sale provided gamers with the opportunity to enjoy steep discounts on new and returning games. The sale, which lasted until January 5, 10:30 pm IST, allowed players to expand their gaming libraries and try out titles they may have missed throughout the year. This event further contributed to the success of Steam and highlighted the platform’s commitment to providing value to its user base.
Steam’s “Best of 2023” list offers valuable insights into the gaming landscape of the year. It showcases the dominance of multiplayer games, the success of highly anticipated titles, and the rise of early access and virtual reality experiences. As we look forward to the future, it will be fascinating to see how new releases and advancements in technology shape the gaming industry and the next iteration of Steam’s “Best of” list.