Steam Charts: A New Dawn

Hello. I’ve had this brilliant new idea! Each week I shall tell you which are the top 10 selling games on the PC gaming outlet Steam. No, no, this is nothing like Alec’s idea that he had – he did it on a Tuesday. This is entirely different.

This is going to be easy – I’ve no idea what Alec was complaining about! It’s just writing about some popular games on a weekly basis – I’m sure with the ever-changing, ever-churning nature of game releases, these charts will be a fresh new delight every time! H1Z1 isn’t even in there! Right, let’s see what we’ve got.

10. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam – Digital Deluxe

See, this is the business! Released just a few days ago, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is the sequel to Rising Storm, a stand-along spin-off expansion pack for Red Orchestra 2: Heroes Of Stalingrad, the sequel to Red Orchestra, the total conversion mod of Unreal Tournament 2004, the fourth multiplayer shooter based on the 1998 game Unreal. This time, instead of being set on Na Pali, Rising Storm 2 takes place on Earth, in the aforementioned Vietnam war.

64 players, interestingly imbalanced weaponry, and of course helicopters, fun is – wait for it – an Oliver Stone’s throw away!

Gosh, this is so easy. Meer did make a fuss.

9. ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK slipped out of the charts about seven or eight weeks ago, bigger boys like H1Z1 and Plunkbat presumably squeezing it downward. But now it sneaks back in, possibly due to a recent update that makes pooing in a toilet give you extra XP.

That isn’t a joke.

That’s my favourite thing I’ve ever written about a game. They also added hyenas, more reptiles, and “megasloths”, but I think we can all agree its chart presence is thanks to poo poo.

Right, this is a synch. What’s next…

8. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam

Released just a few days ago, Rising Storm 2: Vietname is the sequ… UH WHAT? Oh god, was he right? It’s happening? Already? But… But he said it would happen week after week, not minutes into the first week!

Right, so, Rising Storm 2 is selling two different versions. This is the vanilla, the one listed above comes with – oh for goodness sakes – some hats. “Hats” is the term we use for mocking DLC, people. This is literally an extra £3 to have two floppy camo hats, and unlock a headscarf, “lowland erdl”, “camo ushanka” and “darkhouse pilot helmet” a bit earlier. Not real hats. Pretend hats. Not pretend money. Real money. Hats.

So, anyway, onto something fresh and new…

7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Oh gosh, now, this is interesting. A five year old game back in the charts – I wonder if there’s a special promotion on or what sorry pardon? It’s always in the charts? Every week? But – but who hasn’t bought it yet? Who? And how are there so many of them that they number enough to keep it in the top 10 week after week after week? Crowds of people saying, “You know what? That game that everyone bought five years ago? I think I’ll buy it now. We’ll ALL buy it now.” Surely there has to come a day when everyone’s bought it who’s going to buy it? Or at least in numbers big enough to keep it in the top sellers? Still, a few weeks ago saw the arrival of Operation Hydra that’s obviously getting it a bit of fresh attention.

6. Fallout 4

Fallout 4 had its free weekend over a week ago, and is back up to a completely ridiculous £40 for a two year old game. Yet still hanging around in the charts. That means people are even now picking it up after their taster, and happy to fork out the full price to do so all this time after release. While it’s not on GOG (where you can get the far superior FO3 and New Vegas for ten bucks), it’s also £40 on Humble, but Green Man Gaming has it for £35 and the console versions cost just a tenner in most physical stores. So blimey.


A new game! I’m already excited this is possible! Of course it’s the tenth Tekken game. Which, just as I’m all ready to be a grumpy man about, is actually incredibly restrained! Ten games over 23 years is positively meagre for an arcade fighting franchise. Street Fighter has had over thirty-seven thousand different versions in the same space of time. In fact, it’s been eight years since Tekken 6, and indeed it’s the first time the series has graced the PC at all. So let this shine as a gleaming diamond of freshness in the market.

Right, we’re on a roll. Let’s go…

4. Grand Theft Auto V

It’s exactly like he said it would be.

GTAV plays an odd role in my life these days. Having a toddler, people warned me that YouTube was going to be a thing. I was like, “No! CBeebies is enough!” CBeebies is not enough. Especially if you would rather throw yourself through an upstairs window rather than watch Everything’s Rosie again. Seeing the same episode of Everything’s Rosie twice is realising you’ve entered a special new circle of hell. YouTube offers the most extraordinary collection of #content that toddlers utterly adore, videos so vacuous and terrible that the commissioning editors of children’s programming must uncontrollably weep. There they are, putting together carefully balanced and moderated educational and entertaining original broadcasts, while some guy on YouTube films himself pushing toy tractors into a swimming pool and it’s immediately my kid’s all-time favourite thing.

In the midst of all this weirdness are the thousands and thousands of videos designed to catch toddlers’ eyes made in GTAV. Say, Spider-Man and Hulk repeatedly jumping to their deaths (4.3m views). Or Hulk beating the shit out of a terrified screaming Lightning McQueen (328k views). Absolutely NONE of them are in any way something I want my two year old watching, despite I’m quite certain his having a completely different response. Even the sweetest seem to descend into deeply sinister scenes that would be guaranteed to induce nightmares, or at least teach him a new volley of swears.

I mean, I assume it’s for making these videos that people keep buying this.

3. Friday The 13th: The Game

A second week in a row at number 3 for this relative newb. It’s had some server issues, but things seem to be improving, and resident horror man Adam is a big fan. And it’s a tremendous idea – one player is Jason, the other seven are camp counsellors, and everyone has to play their parts of dying or killing or perhaps even surviving. And best of all, it’s all about fear – the more scared your character gets, the more likely they are to give themselves away.

2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game Of The Year Edition

Looking at the names repeatedly scratched into the walls of Alec’s quarters in the Treehouse, scratched by his own fingernails as writing Steam Charts slowly converted him into the deranged lunatic we know and fear, The Witcher 3 doesn’t appear. H1Z1, sure! GTA V, deep and true. But CD Projekt’s RPG escaped the list. Perhaps it’s something to do with its rather erratic appearances, disappearing for weeks at a time before reappearing for some reason or other. Maybe it’s Gwent’s open beta. Maybe there was a midweek sale I missed. Either way, the goatyee edition did all it could to knock out the most freshly scratched name of all…


I think it’s important to acknowledge that the game’s name is in all caps, like a mad person shouting about it on Twitter, or an email from your mum. Honestly, I’m too afraid to play. I struggle with multiplayer at the best of times, and when it comes to your Rusts and your DayZs, I much prefer to hide away in my own tiny corner and live a hermit’s life, doing all I can to prevent other players from spoiling it for me. BATTLEGROUNDS (“Mum, the Capslock key is right by the A!”) poo-poos such cowardly play with its Battle Royale approach, forcing the one hundred or so starting players to confront each other by gradually reducing the safe play areas as numbers thin.

I think my approach, were I forced to play, would be to mimic the genre-inspiring film’s most noble characters, the two kids who hold hands and jump off the cliff right at the start.

A thought in no way driven by my first experience of compiling these lovely charts.

[Right – sweepstake on how many weeks before he starts using GIFs? – Ed]


  1. Stone_Crow says:

    Oh god John, what did you DO?! Did you drive up to the new owners’ house and shit on their front step? Kill their dog? Maim their child? Please for the love of all that’s good in the world don’t make him to the Steam Charts. I know he’s controversial at times but this is like getting Paxman to present the 60 second Celebrity News on channel 5.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Ok, now all I want is to see Paxo forced to read out celebrity news.

    • lglethal says:

      I would pay to see Paxman do the 60 second Celebrity News…

  2. Premium User Badge

    zinzan says:

    Oh a lottery type competition..

    I’ll go for 1 week max – Bring on the Gifs.

    Hang on a second – what is the prize, is it like a secret Santa and we all have to put a prize up?

    I’m nervous now….

  3. Stargazer86 says:

    I feel as if this will be similar to watching a horror film. John discovers the faded remains of the previous tenant’s incoherent writings and dismisses them as the ravings of a madman. Then, slowly, we’ll see his descent into lunacy as the dark forces at play warp his psyche until he suffers the same fate as all who have come before. The last shot will be of him in a padded psychiatric ward, encased in a straight jacket with “WE LIKE TO PARTY” somehow scribbled all over the walls.

    • shocked says:

      encased in a straight jacket with “WE LIKE TO PARTY” somehow scribbled all over the walls

      But that’s basically how they found him in the first place.

      No no, John will find the stability he so desperately needs in the weekly charts, it’ll be his comfy zen-garden of pillowy routine.

    • Aetylus says:

      My god, of all people why would you do this to John? The poor guy is the games journalist who doesn’t actually like games anymore – and certainly not any game that would be in Steam’s top ten. Then you wait until he at exactly the point where young-child-induced-madness reaches its peak… and then: this.
      (P.S. John, the youtube video you want is The Animal Sounds Song. So soothing for both father and child. 266,644,440 views and counting).

  4. Bullfrog says:

    Despite the fact that I couldn’t care less about the games appearing in this list I can’t help but enjoy reading the article every week. Charting the progress of John and his growing anger/ disdain should be fun.

    • Premium User Badge

      zinzan says:

      This, so This.

      It’s going to be proper Car Crash TV writing ;)

  5. iainl says:

    For the love of God, would you all stop buying GTA V? I’d rather like it to hit a fiver like the last one did so much more swiftly, then I can pick it up without feeling I wasted £20 on a game I just wander around admiring the scenery in.

    • frightlever says:

      The cost of GTA V is the price you pay to play GTA Online. I could see GTAO going free or cheap, as a standalone, but I doubt the main campaign will hit a fiver for a long time yet.

      As it is, GTA V is keeping itself in the charts from regular ban hammering in the online game.

      • Laurentius says:

        Nah. One of the biggest bestseller in history of video games is also best seller on PC, why is it so hard to accept? GTA5 is also almost constantly in Top10 on console charts , even being released earlier. Also Steam has right now way over 125 milion activer users, and China or Indonesia are huge growing markets.

  6. Zorgulon says:


    I hungrily anticipate the consumption of “Walker”.

    Here comes the Vengabus.

  7. Faldrath says:

    Quick! Get everyone you know to buy Myst!

    (not me though, because Myst is shit)

  8. Bull0 says:

    I thought CS:GO’s permanent chart presence (perchesence) was down to cheaters rebuying the game after being banned, and people buying secondary accounts so they can pose as a newbie to game the matchmaking system?

    • BlackRosePhoenix says:

      Yeah that’s what I thought, Cheaters just rebuy the game over and over as they get banned.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Well heck, I guess Valve doesn’t have a problem with that.

    • welverin says:

      Do in game sales count, if that were the case it would certainly help CS:GO.

  9. EasyStar says:

    Hooray! Glad to see the legacy continues.

    I expected this to become a sort of “hazing for prospective new RPS writers” but I guess they went the opposite direction.

    Good luck John, see you on the Vengabus

  10. dare says:

    I may not be John’s biggest fan, but it doesn’t mean I’d have wished this on him.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Big Dunc says:

    I’ve never seen Everything’s Rosie, but also having a (nearly) two year old, I imagine that John thinks of it like I think of In The Night Garden. The horror, the horror…

  12. Solidstate89 says:

    Looking forward to your descent into madness, John!

  13. teije says:

    Happy the RPS hivemind has chosen John as their sacrifice to the Steam chart gods. I started smiling as soon as I saw his name in the byline.

  14. melnificent says:

    First they didn’t give you enough money to pay your mortgage off and now this.
    It’s okay though there is one way to get through the charts, take the Vengabus.

  15. NetharSpinos says:

    Just remember, John.

    We like.

    We like. To party.

    We. Like. To party.

    tHe VeNgAbUs iS CoMiNg

  16. nakami says:

    is it really worth doing it once a week? not that im tired of it, but it doesn’t look much entertaining on the long term if the list barely changes…

  17. shoptroll says:

    *grabs popcorn*

    This is going to be fun to watch. Maybe if John makes it through a full year we can celebrate with a confetti cannon shooting bits of Myst CDs?

    In all seriousness though I’m still perplexed as to why this feature was started and has continued to this very day.

  18. Technotica says:

    Plunkbat, I like it!

    “Let’s play a round of Plunkbat!”
    “Plunkbat is really hard!”
    “Anyone heard of Plunkbat? It’s really fun!”
    “Yes! Hey mom! I just shot someone playing Plunkbat!”
    “Yes he is dead, I just killed him mom,that is what you do in Plunkbat!!”
    “Huh? No don’t call the police! It was just a game!”

  19. Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

    Someone already mentioned the similarities between this and horrors (House of Leaves springs to mind), but I’m hoping for a Divine Comedy version of the charts, in which Alec guides a lost John through the madness.
    The Circle of Cheaters has banned people condemned to eternally chase CS:GO’s loot crates.
    The Circle of Preorderers (sorry) has Warner Brothers executives standing in an orderly line, asking for food and receiving shards of broken glass.
    By the entrance, an ominous warning: