The Definitive Ranking of 2023’s Most Played Games on Steam: Did Your Favorites Make the Cut?


Steam recently revealed its annual list of the most played games on the platform in 2023, giving insight into what PC gamers around the world have been obsessed with over the past year.

As always, the rankings showcase a diverse mix of esports titans, brand-new sensations, and enduring classics that millions just can’t stop coming back to year after year.

From long-awaited sequels like Baldur’s Gate 3 finally exiting Early Access to the shocking rise of a wacky multiplayer goose game, there’s certainly no shortage of surprises in what games managed to break through the noise and dominate Steam this year.

Let’s dive deep into the full-tiered rankings covering over 300,000 peak players down to 40,000 to see what games ruled 2023 and if your personal favorites managed to make the cut!

The Epic 12 Giants of Steam’s Platinum Tier

Kicking things off at the very top, Steam’s Platinum tier celebrates the absolute biggest beasts on the platform that pulled in over 300,000 simultaneous players at their peak this year.

While longtime juggernauts like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 continue their ironclad reign near the summit, they do face fresh challengers.

Most notably, Counter-Strike successor Counter-Strike 2 bursts onto the scene, immediately dethroning its predecessor for Steam bragging rights.

The other headline stealer? Goose Goose Duck, is an indie party game where you play as honking geese that has to be seen to be believed. It beat out elites like Destiny 2 for a top 5 spot!

The full Platinum tier roster of games that attracted over 300,000 peak concurrent players in 2023 includes:

  • Apex Legends
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Counter-Strike 2
  • Destiny 2
  • Dota 2
  • Goose Goose Duck
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lost Ark
  • PUBG: Battlegrounds
  • Sons Of The Forest
  • Starfield

Gold Tier: The Best Sellers and Veterans Still Going Strong

Dropping down a tier, Steam’s Gold category for games surpassing 150,000 simultaneous player peaks reveals what other titles had standout years.

Several brand new 2023 releases like mech shooter Armored Core 6 managed to quickly build up dedicated followings and drive huge sales.

Then you have enduring mainstays like Grand Theft Auto 5 that continue hovering near the top solely on the strength of their evergreen long-tail appeal, a full decade after first launching!

The full Gold tier lineup includes:

  • Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
  • Call of Duty
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Lethal Company
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • Path of Exile
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Rust
  • Team Fortress 2
  • The Finals

Silver Linings: Which Sleeper Hits Made Top 80,000 Peak Players?

In Steam’s Silver tier for games peaking over 80,000, suddenly multiplayer survival sandboxes like ARK: Survival Evolved start rubbing shoulders with giants like Elden Ring.

And while the sports powerhouses of FIFA and NBA 2K are still fixtures, newcomer EA Sports FC signals the beginning of an era defined by competition for virtual soccer supremacy.

Some personal picks that stand out are city builder surprise hit Cities: Skylines 2 and roguelike Deckbuilder Remnant 2, suggesting PC gamers have been itching for captivating new single-player adventures between the usual competitive esports fare.

The full Silver-tier list:

  • 7 Days to Die
  • ARK: Survival Ascended
  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • BattleBit Remastered
  • Battlefield 2042
  • Battlefield 5
  • Cities: Skylines 2 πŸ™οΈ
  • Dave the Diver
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Don’t Starve Together
  • EA Sports FC 24 ⚽
  • EA Sports FIFA 23
  • Elden Ring
  • Football Manager 2023 ⚽
  • Football Manager 2024
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Party Animals 🐷
  • Phasmophobia πŸ‘»
  • Remnant 2
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization 6
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • Unturned 🧟
  • Valheim
  • VPet Simulator 🐱
  • War Thunder ✈️
  • Warframe

Bronze Overachievers: Hidden Gems with Over 40,000 Players

Finally, Steam’s Bronze tier collects eclectic sleeper hits across genres that managed to bring in over 40,000 peak players.

This features everything from farming simulators to Yu-Gi-Oh! It marks an interesting snapshot of more niche gaming passions that still manage to foster incredibly dedicated communities.

Standouts include the simulation game Crab Game which became a viral meme sensation and titles like Risk of Rain Returns and Rocket League demonstrating the ongoing popularity of indie games done right.

Meanwhile, even gaming veterans like Skyrim and The Witcher 3 show up here, emphasizing their incredible staying power even many years post-launch.

The full bronze tier list:

  • Age of Wonders 4
  • Cities: Skylines πŸ™οΈ
  • Crab Game πŸ¦€πŸ‘Š
  • DayZ 🧟
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 🚚
  • Farlight 84
  • Farming Simulator 22 πŸ”«πŸšœ
  • Final Fantasy 14 πŸ—‘οΈ
  • Garry’s Mod πŸ› οΈ
  • Hearts of Iron 4 βš”οΈ
  • HoloCure – Save the Fans! πŸ’ƒ
  • Hunt: Showdown πŸ”ͺ🎯
  • Last Epoch
  • Lords of the Fallen
  • Love is All Around πŸ’•
  • Monster Hunter Rise πŸ—‘οΈ
  • Monster Hunter: World πŸ—‘οΈ
  • My Hero Ultra RumbleπŸ‘ŠπŸ’₯
  • NBA 2K23 πŸ€
  • New World 🌎
  • Overwatch 2
  • Payday 2 πŸ’°πŸ”«
  • Payday 3 πŸ’°πŸ”«
  • Project Zomboid 🧟
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 πŸ€ πŸ”«
  • Risk of Rain Returns β˜”οΈ
  • Rocket League βš½πŸš—
  • Sea of Thieves 2023 Edition πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor πŸ—‘οΈπŸ”₯
  • Stardew Valley 🌾
  • Street Fighter 6 πŸ‘ŠπŸ”₯
  • Terraria πŸͺ“⛏️
  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition πŸ‰πŸ—‘οΈ
  • The Forest 🌳
  • The Sims 4 🏠
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt πŸΊπŸ—‘οΈπŸ”₯
  • tModLoader
  • Total War: Warhammer 3 βš”οΈπŸŽ‡
  • V Rising πŸ§›β€β™‚οΈπŸ©Έ
  • VRChat πŸ‘₯
  • Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty πŸ‰πŸ—‘οΈ
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel πŸƒ

Key Takeaways: What We Learned From the 2023 Steam Top Games Lists

Steam holding up a mirror to the entire PC gaming landscape reveals some illuminating trends.

Clearly there remains a strong appetite for competitive online titles whether battle royale shooters, MOBAs, or sports games.

But equally surprising is the ascension of more casual party games like Goose Goose Duck that offer wackier takes on the multiplayer formula.

In terms of favorites that continue standing the test of time, Rockstar’s index-breaking Grand Theft Auto 5 persisting near the top earners and most-played nearly a decade later demonstrates the enduring lucrative appeal of certain AAA franchises.

And while the usual heavy hitters understandably dominate higher tiers, uncovering hidden gems down in Bronze reveals intriguing niche passions that continue fostering lively player bases for farming simulators, medieval card battlers, dancing anime girl rhythm games, and so much more.

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