These are the top 100 Steam games of 2017

Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games. But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol’ breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months.

Below is the full, hundred-strong roster, complete with links to our coverage if you want to find out more about any of the games, or simply to marvel at how much seemed to happen in the space of 52 short weeks.

They’ve got a few extra categories to browse over on Steam, including top new releases by month, the top-selling VR games (no comment) and the best-peforming graduates from the early access programme. The one we’re most interested in, though, is ‘top sellers’, which covers the games with the most gross revenue – i.e. including DLC sales, which is why there are a fair few free-to-play entries. This gives us a pretty clear sense of what people were most keen to play last year.

Valve don’t provide individual ranks for these games – so we don’t know, for instance, if Plunkbat ultimately sold more copies than CSGO did – but instead has arranged them into olden hit record-themed categories. Without knowing exactly what the criteria for each of these is, my guess is ‘owns a mansion on every continent’ – ‘takes regular private helicopter rides’ – ‘has live-in staff’ – ‘owns a Tesla’.

Without further ado, here we go. At the end of it all, I’ve rounded it up into a few key info-stats that give us a better sense of the shape of PC gaming in 2017.

‘Platinum’

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The latest incarnation of Valve’s deathless team shooter.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Ubisoft’s military shooter continues to do the business two years after release.

H1Z1

The sometime DayZ-rivalling survivo-multiplayer game from Daybreak Studios.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands

Open-world tactical shooting, again from the house of Ubi.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

CD Projeckt’s sprawling, beautiful, dirty fantasy RPG.

Rocket League

Instantly accessible car-football fun from Psyonix.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

Never heard of it.

ARK: Survival Evolved

Online dinosaur-bothering and survival.

Dota 2 (F2P)

Valve’s own take on the Warcraft III-derived moba.

Divinity: Original Sin II

Larian Studios hit big again with this traditional but expansive fantasy RPG.

Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar can spare a dime or two.

Waframe (F2P)

Digital Extreme’s free-to-play sci-fi MMO shooter, which saw some big updates over 2017.

‘Gold’

Fallout 4

Bethesda’s sandbox, combat-heavy post-apocalyptic RPG.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

The latest bout of turn-based world-ruling from Firaxis.

NieR: Automata

Square Enix’s heartstring-tugging and reflex-testing robo-everything game.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

Bethesda take the series that gave us Skyrim online – last year it returned to Morrowind, too.

Arma 3

Tactical military simulation at a huge scale from Bohemia Interactive.

Stellaris

Sci-fi 4X from Paradox.

Assaassin’s Creed Origins

Egypt-set shenanigans from Ubisoft’s parkour and daggers series.

For Honor

Vikings vs Samurai vs knights in this online brawler from Ubisoft.

Call of Duty: WWII

Activision and Sledgehammer return COD to its ’40s roots.

Total War: Warhammer

Sega/Creative Assembly meld the historical strategy series with Games Workshop goblins et al.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Sequel to Warner and Monolith’s Shadow of Mordor, a Lord of the Rings game about vengeful orcs.

Dark Souls III

The final bow for From Software’s peerless RPG/metroidvania.

‘Silver’

Final Fantasy XIV Online

MMO spin-off of Square Enix’s JRPG monolith.

Total War: Warhammer II

The recent sequel – earning less than its predecessor, interestingly.

Cuphead

Vintage animation-themed hardcore platform action game.

War Thunder (F2P)

Gaijin Entertainment’s free to play military vehicle MMO.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Capcom’s cabin in the woods-themed reinvention of the age-old Resi series.

Team Fortress 2 (F2P)

Valve’s stalwart online team shooter/hat collection simulator.

Black Desert Online

Big ol’ fantasy MMORPG with tons of living world stuff in addition to monster-bothering.

Path of Exile (F2P)

Hardcore, microtransacted ARPG in the Diablo vein.

Conan Exiles

Big pecs and swinging dicks in Funcom’s second bite of the Conan MMO cherry – this time as a survival affair.

Dead By Daylight

Serial killer-themed multiplayer/co-op survival game.

Cities: Skylines

Paradox and Collossal out-SimCity SimCity with their own town-building sim.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

Surprisingly zen-like haulage game/road trip bonanza.

Rust

The folk behind Garry’s Mod continue to make hay with their own online survival’n’sadism game.

Sniper Elite 4

Rebellion’s stealthy, slightly sandboxy World War II shooter.

XCOM 2

Firaxis’ turn-based, alien-battlin’ strategy sequel, which had a huge expansion in 2017’s War of the Chosen.

Planet Coaster

Elite studio Frontier take a break from space with this theme park building game.

‘Bronze’

Europa Universalis IV

Empire-building grand strategy from Paradox.

Oxygen Not Included

Space colony sim from Klei.

Stardew Valley

Tranquil farm’n’trade game in which you can pretend real life is not absolutely horrible.

Garry’s Mod

Half-Life 2 engine-powered DIY tomfoolery.

Hearts of Iron IV

WW2 grand strategy from Paradox.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Ubisoft’s post-apocalyptic, sandbox online game.

The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth

Twin-stick roguelike themed around gore and twisted religion.

Terraria

Procgen build-o-survival.

Age of Empires II: HD Edition

Remake of Microsoft’s vintage historical RTS.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamic’s latest Lara.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Olden COD, with a near-future theme.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse II

Anime-adapting multiplayer battler.

Just Cause 3

Sandbox, grappling hook-heavy carnage from Avalanche and Square Enix.

Don’t Starve Together

Klei take their scratchy survival game online.

Subnautica

Deep-sea survival and building from the makers of Natural Selection.

Rimworld

Colony management game with a million stories.

Hitman

IO Interactive’s glorious redemption song for Agent 47.

Tekken 7

Namco’s latest, glossiest version of the beloved fighting game series, now with even more absurd costumes.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Bethesda and Machine Games’ half-soulful, half-frenzied alt-history FPS.

7 Days To Die

Surviving and crafting mid-zombie apocalypse.

Doom

Another ancient FPS reinvention from Bethesda, high-speed in a very different way to its revered predecessor.

Sid Meier’s Civilization V

2010-vintage empire-building turn-based strategy from Firaxis.

Grim Dawn

Classical action RPG, which left early access in 2017.

The Forest

Murderous cannibal-themed surivo-craft ’em up.

Smite (F2P)

Free-to-play moba from Hi-Rez Studios.

Left 4 Dead 2

Valve’s co-op zombie-shooter, from way back when in 2009.

Payday 2

Overkill and Starbreeze’s co-op, heist-themed shooter.

Dishonored 2

Bethesda and Arkane’s delectable follow-up to the choose-your-path, stealth-or-chaos whalepunk classic.

Football Manager 2017

The version before last of Sports Interactive’s sheepskin coat sim.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Ninja Theory’s beautiful and dark, dark, very dark third-person fighter.

Paladins (F2P)

Free to play, toonish, Overwatch-rivalling team shooter from Hi-Rez.

Tales Of Berseria

Story-heavy JRPG from Bandai Namco, making its first bow on PC.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Ubisoft’s comedy’n’controversy RPG, based on the show.

theHunter: Call of the Wild

Wildlife murder simulator.

Northgard

Jolly, viking-themed RTS.

Football Manager 2018

And this is the newest Allardyce simulator.

Wallpaper Engine

Mysteriously successful desktop wallpaper-finding and-creating application.

Farming Simulator 17

Mad Skill | No Plow | 360 Crop Rotation |

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

The older, same say stronger LOTR battler from Warner.

Dying Light

Sandboxy single-player zombie survival game from Techland.

NBA 2K17

Basket-to-ball, this being the 2016 release.

Borderlands 2

Gearbox and 2K’s cell-shaded FPS-ARPG mash-up.

Shadowverse CCG (F2P)

An anime-style collectible card game that we have never actually posted about before now.

Watch_Dogs 2

Ubisoft’s more light-hearted sandbox hacking and killing sequel.

Prey

Bethesda and Arkane’s latter-day System Shocklike.

Crusader Kings II

Olden monarchy-themed historical strategy from Paradox.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

Much-anticipated but divisive sequel to Relic’s 40K RTS classics.

The Sims 3

EA are literally burning money by not putting The Sims 4 on Steam.

NBA 2K18

And here’s the 2017 release of 2K’s basketball series.

Factorio

Impossible machine-building that changes the way you think.

Hollow Knight

Beautifully-animated Metroidvania/action-platformer.

Endless Space 2

Sega and Amplitude’s sci-fi Civlike sequel.

Astroneer

Proc-gen space exploration and construction.

Killing Floor 2

Co-op, high-gore zombie-slaying.

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam

Realism-focused historical multiplayer shooter.

Friday The 13th: The Game

Jason Vorhees in a surprisingly good, though buggy, asynchronous online game.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Will 2018 be the year of Elder Scrolls VI?

Elite Dangerous

Frontier’s sprawling sandbox spaceship MMO.

Darkest Dungeon

Madness and perversion abide in this squad-based roguelite.

Right, let’s do some maths.

Most successful publishers*:
Ubisoft – 7
Bethesda – 7
Sega – 6
Paradox – 5
Valve – 4

*Purely based on number of entries. Total monies earned is an entirely different matter, which we have not been given data for.

Big publisher vs ‘indie’ split:

67:33

Note – this ratio could vary by up to 10 titles in either direction depending on your definition of the increasingly useless term ‘indie’, so let’s use it only as a working approximation.

Games primarily about killing things vs games not primarily about killing things

74:26

Well, those are the games that made the most money, but a slightly different and arguably more meaningful metric is which games most people are playing. I won’t do so many entries here or I’ll go mad, but here’s the top ten. No new names from the above in there, but these offer a good insight into how the Steam playerbase en masse tends to think. Guns/online/hats, in the main. The only game here that isn’t a shooter is Dota 2.

Games with over 100,000 simultaneous players

  • Ark: Survival Evolved
  • Warframe
  • Dota 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  • H1Z1
  • Payday 2
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

You can find a few more, in the 50,000/25,000/15,000 cateogries here, and those do house a few games that aren’t in the bestselling list. To save you a click, those are Absolver, Total War RoMe II, Clicker Heroes, Elex, No Man’s Sky, World of Tanks, Portal 2, Mount and Blade Warband, Deceit, Yi Gi Oh!, Life Is Strange: Before The Storm and Starbound.

Which leaves me with just one last piece of extremely important information to share with you before we get on with 2018 in earnest:

Happy new year, chums.

27 Comments

  1. StevieW says:

    Think somebody misses doing the steam charts each week…

    • Ghostwise says:

      Maybe that person just missed the Vengaboys. If such a thing is possible.

      • Tssha says:

        Oh it’s possible. It’s just inexplicable.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        If you miss the Vengaboys then may I suggest steadying your aim against a ledge or wall, or take up a prone posture.

        • Buuurr says:

          I agree. Said individual is clearly in shock and/or experiencing major blood loss.

  2. Kefren says:

    I was quite surprised how few of those I had any interest in. I already knew I wasn’t mainstream in my choices, but even so …
    I think there were two that I planned to buy, a couple I already own but haven’t played, and a couple I’ll buy if they remove Denuvo. The rest I know about but always think they look like awful games (for me, 100% subjective).

    • Someoldguy says:

      I was surprised I reached double digits in games-owned, but several of these are older games that only released DLC in 2017. Lots of hours invested in quality RPGs and Paradox titles, the rest gathered dust fast. Games sales can’t be doing too badly if Life is Strange: BTS shipped 320k units and didn’t get a look in.

      • napoleonic says:

        Like you I was surprised to reach 14, even in a year where I have been broke and bought very few games. Also like you, most of those are older games, mostly by Bethesda, Paradox and Firaxis, that are still selling.

        The hipster in me is even more pleased that I don’t own a single one of the games that went “platinum”.

    • MajorLag says:

      I myself own about 8 of these titles, and only 4 of those on purpose. I have to ask myself, am I out of touch? No. Clearly it’s the children who are wrong.

  3. Darth Gangrel says:

    Even with my disregard for what’s currently popular, because preferences and backlog, I’m still pleased to see that I have actually played one of these games: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

    I’m currently having a great time slaying orcs in many different ways, so I’m glad other people are still buying a game that I like playing.

  4. and its man says:

    “Games primarily about killing things vs games not primarily about killing things”

    Hi mob! I’ll end your life but don’t worry, this is of secondary importance!

  5. draglikepull says:

    The most interesting thing to me about the list is how few of the top-selling games on Steam in 2017 were released in 2017. By my count only about 1/3 of the top 40 games there were released in 2017. For an industry that’s often said to be driven largely by week 1 sales, there seem to be quite a few games with a good long tail on Steam.

    I’m curious why that is? One reason I can think of is price drops. IIRC in 2016, the year Civilization 6 was released, Civ 5 actually sold more copies. But then in 2017 Civ 6 is one of the best-selling games. Maybe there are lots of people interested in these games who just aren’t willing to spend the full $60USD but are interested at a lower price.

    I also wonder what effect it had that so many of the year’s biggest/most critically successful games were console exclusives. You couldn’t play Breath of the Wild or Horizon on PC, so maybe PC gamers just played more old games instead.

    • durrbluh says:

      Not to quibble on throw away comments, but you *could* play Breath of the Wild on PC, although it doesn’t tend to garner much in the way of sales figures for big N.

      • MajorLag says:

        True, and as one of those people who managed to play BotW on PC, if Nintendo released a PC version I’d be all over it. Hell, if there were a viable way to move my CEMU save to a Switch copy I’d still probably be all over it (I’d get to play Mario Odyssey too).

    • zagibu says:

      I never understood why so few developers approach the “game as a platform” model. Look at games like Mount and Blade, which are still selling copies years after release, and all the original developer had to do to enable this is release modding tools.

      • TrickyArmyMan says:

        The dev’s of Star Wars Battlefront II (classic) released the modding tools promptly after they walked away from the game. That is how I think the game retains its player base; through mods. A similar game would me ARMA II. There is well over 500GB (possibly upwards to 2TB) worth of mods for that game, most of them I’d say are worth downloading.

    • elder_pegasus says:

      I’m curious why that is? One reason I can think of is price drops. IIRC in 2016, the year Civilization 6 was released, Civ 5 actually sold more copies. But then in 2017 Civ 6 is one of the best-selling games. Maybe there are lots of people interested in these games who just aren’t willing to spend the full $60USD but are interested at a lower price.

      Worth noting steams charts by revenue, not sales, so extra copies sold from a sale still have to make up the revenue to outrank something higher priced.

      • welverin says:

        Also important to note that it is all revenue, not just sales of the game porper.

  6. Vasily R says:

    I’m happy to see Paradox doing so well :)

    • Gibster says:

      Yeah, moreover it’s good to see Stellaris doing well. While its not my favorite Paradox grand strategy (that award goes to CKII) it’s nice to see grand strats appealing to a wider audience and I do have hope that they can develop Stellaris into something that I might enjoy more.

      Paradox is probably my favorite publisher in general. They’re not perfect (especially with some of the pricey dlc they release) but they back their games up with long development cycles and have a more hands off approach when it comes to their publishing.

  7. TrickyArmyMan says:

    Now I know this is about “Steam” games, but technically Rocket League can fit into the 100,000+ simultaneous player category since it’s cross-platform with PS4 and the game has a huge player base there.

  8. Carra says:

    Divinity 2 being in the Platinum list makes me happy. Should give them the budget to make more great games.

  9. TheAngriestHobo says:

    2/3 of the “Platinum” list consists of shooters (mostly of the first-person variety). I’m not one of those “videogames breed violence” doomsayers, but the fact that immersive murder simulators are the greatest common videogame denominator kinda bums me out.

    • HiroTheProtagonist says:

      In fairness, the real draw of GTAV is real estate and automotive moguling, not pure murder simulation. But more than the killing aspect, the real draw of games like CSGO/H1Z1/R6:S/PlunkBat is the competition of others, with violence being a proxy for competition. The relative success of the Splatoon series shows that it’s entirely possible to ensconce that competitive spirit and game format (FPS/3rdPS) inside a setting less violent.

  10. mgsgta3 says:

    Of the top 3 things Ark survival evolved is, shooter is not one of them

  11. Apfelsaft says:

    No DDLC?
    I can’t believe anyone missed the game, or at least the memes around it (Just Monika). It’s easily one of the best Games created, especially if you count just last year.
    I guess you can’t put it in a proper category, but it for sure deserves a shoutout.

  12. Pinga says:

    I feel the article would be more informative if the title said “These are the top >selling< games […]", and it included the actual numbers with each game.
    Just my 2 cents.