Steam Charts: Orcs, Orks and Uruks

“These charts are supposed to be weekly, Meer.” “I know, but I keep having to go away for unhappy reasons.” “Oh OK, but you’d damn well better tell me what were the top ten best-stelling Steam games last week, or I’m going to spraypaint pictures of bottoms onto your house.” “Alright, alright, here you go.”


I’ve just started playing Dark Souls III, and after hearing all these amazing things both about its world and its challenge, I’m deflated that it seems to primarily be a game about constant, precise use of the block and parry buttons. I find blocking kinda boring at the best of times, which I appreciate is my problem not its, but it does mean that I can no longer in good conscience say that Dark Souls is too ‘difficult’ – instead I must acknowledge that I simply don’t have the discipline for it. Anyway, sales-wise it seems to be strength-to-strength for a series once considered niche, at least within the resolutely anti-niche world of mainstream console-orientated gaming.

2.Rocket League

FUTURECARSSPORT somehow earns itself even more money, I believe thanks to the free basketball, or Hoops mode, update, plus assorted paid and gratis cosmetic items. Snooker mode by Christmas then, eh?

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

It is the year 2026. My name is Alec Meer, I am 47 years old, and every week for the last ten years I have tried and failed to find something new to say about CSGO still being in the Steam top ten.

4. Grand Theft Auto V

As far as I can tell this is still flying high thanks to its Inch by Inch adversary mode in April, followed by new maps for it and themed weeks peppered with new cars, various exp multipliers and in-game doohickey discounts. As a business, Grand Theft Auto V is conquering on all fronts.

5. ARK: Survival Evolved

Not that the online dino survival breakout hit every really went away, but I believe its latest tenure in these charts is down to the announcement of an official mod programme and a new, hand-made map at PAX. There was probably a discount too. There’s usually a discount.

6. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition

Assassin’s Creed but with Orcs-as-pro-wrestlers was reduced to $12 in a flash sale towards the end of April, which caused its re-entry here. It’s built up a ton of goodwill since its release a year and a half ago, and I guess there was a whole mess of people willing to make the plunge once the price was right.

7. Total War: WARHAMMER

The highest-profile Warhammer game since the ill-fated Warhammer Online is here on pre-orders alone – it’s not out until the 24th.

8. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Bit of a Games Workshop double-whammy, which is a strong achievement in a time when we’re being flooded by oft-forgettable Warhammer and 40K adaptations. The flying death-cathedrals RTS met with a warm reception and so here it is. Must admit that it was leaving me slightly cold when I dabbled with it just before I had to disappear for a while, but I didn’t make it far in – I must make time to go back.

9. DARK SOULS III Deluxe Edition

Add this on to the standard edition and DS3 is probably a country mile ahead of everything else in the charts. Oh by the way, if you’re a Souls fan, my friend and sometime RPS contributor Keza Macdonald has co-authored a book about the cult and community of Dark Souls.

10. Factorio

I want to say that this is the only ‘indie’ game in this top ten, but really Rocket League and ARK are too. At some point I guess I’m going to stop thinking of this wee small game about giant huge construction as indie too, as it’s been a mainstay of these charts for a couple of months now. Still warms my heart to see it here, though.


  1. SMGreer says:

    Highly recommend Keza Macdonald’s You Died book. Even if you’re intimately familiar with the games, there’s so much in it that made me appreciate whole new angles and depths to Dark Souls.

    • April March says:

      I don’t particularly care for the Souls series, but I’m glad someone wrote a book on it, and gladder they chose the perfect title.

  2. basilisk says:

    Hate to be that guy, but I finished DS3 without even once resorting to blocking and/or parrying. I find shields thoroughly boring and have never bothered learning how to parry, either. The combat system of these games is a lot more versatile than it might seem at first glance.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      sword-and-board style is like the beginner stage, and an intuitive choice for new players. Going for an untouchable dodge build is usually a choice for players well versed in the art

      • Koozer says:

        In I and II I always fell back on the old 100% block shield and fast sword combo, with an ample sprinkling of sorcery for the harder bits, but this time I’ve gone with an all-out pantsless greatsword-wielding rolling machine.

        I have died a lot of times.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    Rocket League probably got a huge boost from that free weekend (that RPS covered).

    Personally I’m glad I waited for it rather than boarding the hypetrain, since I found it as frustrating as all hell trying to bat a low-grav beachball around using RC cars.

    • FreeTom says:

      Jinx! I think I’ve enjoyed it more through joining as part of a big influx of new players. I’ve been winning a lot, which I probably wouldn’t have done had I bought it a month ago.

  4. FreeTom says:

    I bought Rocket League slightly over a week ago. I reckon its chart position is more to do with the Steam free weekend combined with a 40% discount than the hoops mode.

    Nine quid well spent.

  5. c-Row says:

    “Forget those charts, Meer – I want pictures of Spiderman!”

  6. Warduke says:

    The Games Workshop people must be pleased

  7. Zenicetus says:

    Wow…. TW Warhammer at #7 on pre-orders alone? There must be a lot of 40k fans who never played a Total War game, especially the last one.

    For all I know it could be a smash hit a year after release, when all the bugs and bad design decisions are cleaned up. But after Rome 2, I wouldn’t touch a new TW game on pre-release. Best of luck to those who are forging ahead and letting the rest of us know what it’s like.

    • mackemforever says:

      I actually have high hopes for TW Warhammer despite the mess that was Rome 2.

      I think with Rome 2 they were very secretive about it, there wasn’t really any gameplay footage that came out before release, nobody got their hands on the game before the review copies went out and so the fact that it was a broken, buggy mess wasn’t discovered until release.

      With this one however it’s already been in the hands of a lot of youtubers and games journalists, there’s a lot of gameplay footage out there already that has been recorded by people who aren’t affiliated with Creative Assembly and if it was completely broken it would have been seen in these videos by now.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Good point. I wasn’t aware that it was out in the wild for previews yet. So, not totally broken… that’s good.

        It’s still a big strategy game, and early looks often miss things that take a while to discover. The early reviews of Rome 2 missed a bunch of critical flaws in favor of being awed at the graphics (always a problem with TW titles). So I won’t pre-order, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

      • Tharoz says:

        mackemforever says:

        I actually have high hopes for TW Warhammer despite the mess that was Rome 2.

        I think with Rome 2 they were very secretive about it, there wasn’t really any gameplay footage that came out before release, nobody got their hands on the game before the review copies went out and so the fact that it was a broken, buggy mess wasn’t discovered until release.

        While I agree with you that Rome 2 was a mess, for a whole year after launch, I think you are suffering from a faulty memory about it’s launch.

        True, there weren’t a lot of review copies floating about before launch, but your comment about not much gameplay footage being available is incorrect. The pre-release gameplay footage was the cause of the first big complaint, as everyone had plenty of opportunity to see how awesome it looked in battles before launch. Then at launch, it became apparent that they had been somewhat dishonest, the game was not optimised as well as claimed and making it look anything like the pre-launch footage was an impossibility on anything less than a Cray supercomputer. In fact Rome 2 never got to look as good as the pre-launch footage. you had to wait until the overpriced expansion, Atilla before that happened.

    • Unsheep says:

      It’s one of the most popular strategy franchises around, if not THE most popular. So it shouldn’t be a surprise I think.

      There’s also the New Big Title effect, where mainstream people buy games simply because the hype is quite big. This happens regardless of genre; if it’s new and pretty people want it, not questioning whether they actually enjoy these genres in the long-run.

  8. Kingfisher95 says:

    Mr Meer – perhaps in DS3 try specialising in something big and two-handed?

    I too find the circle strafing block thingy quite boring but managed to have a lot of fun with a really high damage/risk strategy. Might just not be your thing but if you’ve sunk £35 into something might as well give it a go?

    Good to see Rocket League up so high again!

  9. Jabberslops says:

    It’s too bad Rockstar are clearly not interested in any form of actual anti-cheat for GTA Online. You just about cannot find a lobby without someone cheating whether just for money, killing everyone or dare I say, something even worse…

  10. Frosty says:

    I missed you around here Alec. I hope things are better.

    If, like me, you found Dark Souls just not your cup of tea I have to recommend watching a good playthrough of it. Kay plays is my absolute favourite, it really is one of the best games to see streamed by a patient rookie.

    • Unsheep says:

      Another ‘Kay Plays’ follower here. I like her slow and methodological approach to gaming. I saw that she just started with Dark Souls 3, awesome.

  11. Jeremy says:

    I once ate an entire hamburger without using my hands.

    • Jeremy says:

      This is fantastically out of place. I really wish I could edit posts.

      • FeloniousMonk says:

        I’m glad you can’t! RPS has a comment threading system that makes for all sorts of “accidentally posted to the bottom and I can’t edit this DRAT” mishappery, but occasionally you learn important things about people and their hamburgers.

  12. bamjo says:

    I am really confused about the continuing appeal of counterstrike. My first exposure was in college back when it was a half-life mod. It was really popular on dorm LANs, but I bounced off it and ended up enjoying the original Day of Defeat mod a lot more. Yet CS has stuck around for 15+ years now.

    I watched some recent youtube videos of CS:GO and the playerbase seems to be really young, like in the 12-16 range. Is it just young gamers finding CS for the first time that is driving the sales? Is it a peer group thing, where it is the place to hang out with your friends online? Because the game itself doesn’t seem that interesting to me, especially in the intervening years when fps games got more complex, like Battlefield, or sim-y like ARMA.

    • Ksempac says:

      As someone who doesn’t play CS:GO (barely played 1.6 and didn’t like it) but follow it as an eSport:
      – You have a skewed view of the player base, as Reddit polls (for what they are worth, but it’s still the best indicator we have) indicate the mean is around age 18-20.
      – To each his own in terms of gameplay/appeal of the game, but people who are into it seems to stick to it. There are tons of players (including pros) who have been around since the 1.6 days, transitioned to CS:S and then moved to CS:GO, so clearly it’s not just “younger generation discovering the old game”.
      – Compared to 1.6 days, the game is more structured around the competitive format (5v5 with limited round timers and a very limited map pool (7 maps in the main pool)). So it become more tactical than just “run around and get frags” which 1.6 often devolved into with huge player counts and/or unbalanced maps.
      – CS:GO is probably the #3 eSport of the moment (behind LoL and Dota 2) in terms of viewership and prize money. A mature scene with somewhat stable teams (at least more stable than what i saw in Dota 2). A game much easier to get into than any of the MOBA out there (“when you put shoot the guy in front of you he dies” is rather straightforward), and isn’t affected by huge balance patch that requires you to either play the game or get deeply involved to follow the meta (contrary to MOBA who gets a huge meta change every 6 months).

  13. MisterFactoryNewPotatohead says:

    Shadow of Mordor: “Assassin’s Creed but with Orcs-as-pro-wrestlers”
    The fuck did you just say ya little c***?? I’ll bash your f***** face!