Steam’s most-played games in 2016 all came out in 2015

By Sherif Saed
11 January 2017 12:49 GMT

2016 may have been Steam’s biggest year in terms of the number of games released, but none of them topped the most-played charts.

steam big picture

In 2016, Steam saw more game releases than any other year. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them failed to hold players interest beyond a few short days at launch, and for some, none at all.

Data trackers at GitHyp published a few interesting details about the state of Steam’s top games in 2016. Particularity when it comes to peak player numbers and, the even more crucial, number of players per hour for each game.

Judging the games purely on their peak player numbers, we get a top five list that does include three 2016 releases in No Man’s Sky, XCOM 2, and Dark Souls 3.

The top two spots were taken up by Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, to no one’s surprise. As you can see, both top games were also the top entries in 2015.

  • Dota 2 / 1,286,617 peak players (#1 in 2015)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 845,806 peak players (#2 in 2015)
  • No Man’s Sky / 212,321 peak players (new)
  • XCOM 2 / 132,834 peak players (new)
  • Dark Souls 3 / 129,922 peak players (new)

All three 2016 games made a dent enough to break through the top five at their respective launches. However, when you look at the number of players per hour, the list starts to look very different.

For one thing, no 2016 game managed to chart in the top five. All of the top five are made up of 2015 games, some of which even held their spots throughout. Fallout 4, which landed in the top five in 2015, fell out hard, ending the year at no.12.

  • Dota 2 / 636,607 avg. players per hour (#1 in 2015)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 360,600 avg. players per hour (#2 in 2015)
  • Team Fortress 2 / 50,802 avg. players per hour (#4 in 2015)
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 / 40,258 avg. players per hour (#5 in 2015)
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization 5 / 37,885 avg players per hour (#9 in 2015)

Interestingly, free-to-play shooter Paladins, was the year’s strongest new release based on the average of players per hour. It ranked at no.15 with an average of 22,809 per hour.

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