When it comes to the top ten computer games played so far in 2023, it is no surprise to see that the list is dominated by some timeless classics, at least as far as video games are concerned.
Only one has been released in the past three years, and that was a spin-off in itself of another very popular title.
PUBG (Player Unknown Battle Grounds for the uninitiated) is a competitive shooter game in which players are dropped into a wide open space, and must fight to the death against up to 100 assailants whilst a battle rages all around them. The last man – or woman – standing wins.
A fan favourite since it was first released in 2018, because of its realistic gameplay and high quality graphics, it is currently the most popular in the world. It has been played more than 100 million times so far this year.
PUBG gives players rewards at the end of each game in the form of crates which they can unlock containing items like player equipment and customised weapons.
Minecraft was first released back in 2011, but it is still going strong via its subsequent variations. It is a sandbox game which gives players a great deal of creativity when playing for it, a big element behind its continuing popularity.
It is the biggest selling game in history, with nearly 240 million copies sold worldwide, and it offers players multiple modes – survival, adventure, creative and spectator.
3. Apex Legends
The best ranked super-hero themed game from last year, Apex Legends has maintained its appeal for millions of players, especially those who enjoy battlefield games.
It consists of six teams of players, whilst three must remain on an island where their task is to scavenge for food and weapons to fight other teams.
The game has two modes – “Battle Royale” and “Arenas”, and is set in the same universe as another popular game series, Titanfall.
4. Fortnite Battle Royale
Although this game has declined in popularity since its peak in 2018, it still attracts a significant number of players.
The concept of the game is simple – 100 players skydive onto an island and must then hunt for gear to defend themselves from other players. They can fight alone or in teams with four other players.
When it was first released it became a cultural phenomenon thanks to celebrity endorsements from the likes of Drake and Marshmello. One drawback, compared to PUBG, is that its appeal is primarily limited to boys.
5. CS: Global Offensive
CS (Counter Strike) Global Offensive is a multiplayer shooter game focused on terrorism and counter-terrorism. The aim of the game is to plant and disarm bombs, eliminate terrorists and secure the release of hostages whose location can be found on a map.
Players earn rewards by disposing of enemies and completing mission objectives.
The game is also played by an active esports community, with teams competing in professional leagues and tournaments.
A major update to the game has recently been announced, and is scheduled for release this summer.
Originally released under the name Heroes of Warcraft because it has many of the same characters as the earlier Warcraft series, this is a card-based game between two players, each of whom takes it in turn using a deck of 30 cards, along with a selected hero, with unique powers.
The aim of the game is to use the cards to try and bring down the other person’s hero.
Like CS, Hearthstone has also made the cross-over into esports, with cash prize tournaments hosted by the game developer Blizzard Entertainment and other organisations.
7. League of Legends
The fact that this game, which was first released back in 2009, still features in the top ten, is a tribute to the enduring popularity and high-end graphics and animation of this RPG action game for multiple players.
The game sees two teams of five players battle in person to person combat, as they look to defend their half of the map, and attack the other half, with the help of a champion, who has various unique abilities and differing play styles.
Often cited as the largest esports game, League of Legends is played in various international and regional leagues, and there is an annual World Championship, which is broadcast live on streaming services like Twitch, YouTube and Bilibili.
8. Call of Duty Mobile
This is the mobile version of the evergreen Call of Duty, which is a first person shooter game.
When it was first released in 2003, Call of Duty focused on games set in World War 2, but has since expanded its timeframe to include the Cold War, the modern day, and futuristic worlds.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, this is the biggest selling first shooter game ever, with close to 450 million copies sold worldwide.
It is also the most successful video game ever created in the USA.
9. Among Us
Inspired by the party game Mafia and the science fiction horror movie The Thing, Among Us had a slow start, but then experienced a boom in popularity during the Covid pandemic, with many YouTube streamers and social media influencers playing it online.
It is a space themed game where the main characters are colourful astronauts, with players taking on two roles, either as crewmates or imposters. Crewmates work to carry out assigned tasks and try to root out the imposters, who, in turn, are trying to kill them.
10. Call of Duty: Warzone
Another spin-off from the Call of Duty series, is the most recent release in the top ten, having come out in 2020.
It is a free to play battle royale game which allows online multiplayer games of up to 150 people (some limited game time modes can see this increase to 200 players).
There are two main modes – Battle Royale and Plunder – and players can utilise an in-game currency system that can be used at various “Buy-In” Stations located around a map.
Cash can be traded for custom classes but also for objects like gas masks and “killstreaks.”
A mobile version of the game is currently in development.
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