Just ahead of the new year, Valve has revealed the biggest Steam games of 2021. Broken down into categories such as top sellers, most-played, and new releases among others, the rundown gives us some good insight into what’s been a hit with PC players over the past year. While there are plenty of the usual performers about, there are also some indie game breakouts in the mix.
Viking game Valheim is one such example. The plucky indie hit from developer Iron Gate has made it into the ‘platinum’ section of Steam’s 100 top-selling games, which is “measured by gross revenue”. That puts it among some hefty company, being one of 12 games in the section which also includes regulars such as CS:GO, PUBG, Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Rainbow Six Siege, and Apex Legends.
This means Valheim has naturally landed in the platinum slice of top new releases by gross revenue, but it’s also earned itself a top-tier place in Steam’s most-played of 2021, having hit a peak player count of over 200,000 in the past year. The real number is significantly beyond this, as SteamDB records that the game hit a peak of just over half a million concurrent players back in February. Phwoar.
Other hits on Steam this year include Amazon Games’ MMORPG newcomer New World, which has made it into the same three platinum categories, and hit a storming 913,634 peak players in early October, according to SteamDB. Dead by Daylight has also made it into the platinum top sellers, while in new releases, Age of Empires VI, Farming Simulator 22, Forza Horizon 5, and Resident Evil Village are among the top this year.
Announcing the Best of Steam 2021! Take a look at this year's top sellers, new releases, most-played games, and more!
Curious which games had the highest peak concurrent players? The answer to that and more in this year's list!
— Steam (@Steam) December 27, 2021
The top Early Access graduate category (also measured by gross revenue) features the action-adventure survival game Subnautica: Below Zero, World War II shooter Hell Let Loose (which we really enjoyed in our review at that link), hilarious and chaotic physics battler Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, and survival-horror FPS game GTFO, among others.
There are also best of VR and controller-friendly categories you can check out if those are your thing, as well as a blog post from Valve outlining how it arrived at the winners in each section. If you’re after what we reckon are the ten best PC games of 2021, as decided by a staff vote, or the best PC games of all time, you know where to click.