Steam Charts: Oh What’s The Point Edition

Why God, whyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Join us for our weekly skip through the bountiful fields of fresh gaming joy! Hold our hand as we guide you down the top ten selling games on Steam, to discover which heart-lifting original content has caught the attention of the enthused gaming public! Someone please help me!

Get ready to get demoralised by humanity, in what world-leading experts have labelled, “The worst Steam Charts of ALL TIME.” [their caps]

10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

It’s like Skyrim, but way more annoying to play! Why sit in the comfort of your chair, looking at the screen in front of you, with the option to look over at the clock, or say hi to a friend, with the convenience of a mouse and keyboard to control the complicated RPG system? THAT WOULD BE SO AWFUL!

Instead, you could wear half a ton of plastic on your head, tether yourself to a PC you can’t see by a weirdly heavy cord you can’t see, and then sort of be a bit amazed by the game being all around you even though it’s now far more inconvenient in every imaginable way! It truly is the future of playing seven-year-old games!

9. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Here is a list of amusing things one can say when losing a game of Vermintide 2:

“Oh rats!”
“Tails and whiskers!”
“That one will PLAGUE me!”
“That’s put a ro-DENT in my confidence!”
“I hate this stupid game about rats!”
“It was all that bastard noob’s fault!”
“Fuck this shit!”
[Something racist]
“I would like to formally apologise to all my viewers for my wholly unacceptable racist language, which was said in the heat of the moment and in no way reflects my views. Please advertise with me again now.”

8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

A half price sale caused the very last 34,967 people who haven’t bought Skyrim to buy their copies, and now everyone in the whole world owns it!

Congratulations to Bethesda, and to everyone in the world, and now we can stop writing about it!


7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Every single week. UNTIL YOU ARE SORRY.

6. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity Original Sin 2 presents me with a dilemma (great cars, by the way). It’s a truly wonderful game, probably the best game of last year, and I so desperately wish there were ways to create pockets in time so I could ever be able to finish it without getting five weeks behind on the rest of my life. But at the same time, any game that appears perennially in the Steam Charts really begins to annoy me, as I have to think of yet another thing to write about it that’s both hilarious AND insightful (cf. all the other entries here).

So what I’m asking is that everyone stop buying this really brilliant game that you will absolutely love. That seems reasonable.

4. Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

“But why do you even write these enormously popular columns full of jokes where you pretend to be so annoyed at having to write these enormously popular columns, if you don’t want to write them?”

Copy and paste it. Here to help.

I’m not pretending this week. Good lord, can you imagine a more dispiriting collection of obviousness? Quite how GTA V isn’t here this week I cannot understand. But there are still good things in the world!

3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – GOTYE

There was a big sale on Witcher games, and if you managed to work up the excitatory neurotransmitters to fire your neurons to trigger further glutamate receptors and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors on hearing this news, you might well have bought a copy.

Look, I know there were no major new releases last week or anything, but coooooooome oooooooooooooonnnn people.

5 & 2. Far Cry 5

I finished Far Cry 5 last week, and gosh it’s hard to have a glimmer of respect left for everything that’s genuinely great about it after that. It is by far the game I’ve hated enjoyed playing the most-least. What a colossal mess of lots of fun and absolutely no fun.

Generously allowing some other games in the charts this week, it’s only taking up two spots. And you know what? For that I thank it, because otherwise it’d have been GTA V, and I’d likely have started throwing furniture out of my window, and then screaming swears at passersby in the street below. So it’s not all bad!

1. Plunkbat

This week I am surviving by listening to Jon Hopkins, and so shall you:

The Steam Charts are compiled via Steam’s internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week.


  1. Flavour Beans says:

    Whoa whoa whoa wait a moment. How did you know I was surviving by listening to Jon Hopkins?

    • caff says:

      And me. That’s freaky. I’m listening to Immunity right now. And I googled whether he has a new album out this year. And he does. In May.

  2. Kefren says:

    I would have loved Skyrim VR if it had actually come up with a good new UI system that used the VR. E.g. your weapon goes on your belt when you’ve finished; you grab it when you want it again (same as Robo Recall). Pick up a potion or food and move it to your mouth to eat it. Cast spells with different gestures. Pull the bow and an arrow from your back. When I found out they had left in the desktop UI (that I find so awful it becomes unplayable) I could have cried virtual tears. VR is amazing when companies do stuff right, but frustrating when they only focus on the visuals to the exclusion of the other ways that it can become much more immersive.

    • haldolium says:

      ” E.g. your weapon goes on your belt when you’ve finished; you grab it when you want it again (same as Robo Recall). Pick up a potion or food and move it to your mouth to eat it. Cast spells with different gestures. Pull the bow and an arrow from your back. ”

      Well all of these sound like great game features, so obviously they’re not in a Bethesda TES game.

      • Nelyeth says:

        Just you wait, in 2023 we’ll have VR modders. Before that point, though, how about we agree that Bethesda and VR aren’t meant to be?

    • Zorgulon says:

      You mean it doesn’t have any immersive interactive features at all?

      Ugh, it’s depressing enough that people are still buying this ancient and lucklustre game for £40, but I didn’t realise the extent to which Bethesda weren’t even trying any more.

    • Jernau Gurgeh says:

      You just need to wait for Skyrim VR Super Smashing Great Edition to be released in 2020 to have those added features. Yours for just £39.99 again (which by then, post-Brexit, will be a budget price for a game.)

  3. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    No Sunday papers for 3 weeks. Half a month gone by with only 5 game reviews published, 4 of which are by freelancers.

    But at least I get the pleasure of watching one of my favorite gaming writers phone in a soul-crushing reminder that the same small handful of games are still selling really well on Steam, week after week.

      • wraithgr says:

        Touched more than a few nerves there, from your reaction…

        Hey, here’s an idea: top 10 newcomers or top 10 that haven’t been around in the last X months or something, anything. It hurts us to see you hurt yourself, John.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          I dunno, just looking at the Steam best sellers list made me want to hurt things:
          link to
          There’s maybe five games there I could find something interesting about?

        • John Walker says:

          You’re lazy and bad at your job.

          Hope that doesn’t touch a nerve!

          • DeepSleeper says:

            “We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community – you lot are great – and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is “be excellent to each other”.”

          • Premium User Badge

            subdog says:

            I don’t think you’re lazy or bad at your job, John.

          • skeletortoise says:

            What a bizarre interpretation.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            Good God, how is telling a writer his article is “phoned in” not an accusation of laziness and incompetence. When did people get so rude? Just drop the fucking bombs already.

          • skeletortoise says:

            When you’re talking about what is essentially busy work, as we are here. John could put his entire heart and soul into this column and, barring a change to it’s fundamental nature, it wouldn’t be that much better than phoning it in. Doing so isn’t laziness, it’s simply a more effective use of his time.

            And even if “phoning it in” was code for “being somewhat lazy”, he still didn’t personally attack John’s character, only how he handles this specific column.

          • John Walker says:

            No, it’s not a code “Phoning it in” is a phrase that literally means “lazy and lacklustre”. It’s not my bizarre interpretation!

            There isn’t an alternative to taking it as a personal insult when someone tells you that you’ve “phoned in” a piece of writing!

            What a ridiculous argument!

          • skeletortoise says:

            “There isn’t an alternative to taking it as a personal insult when someone tells you that you’ve “phoned in” a piece of writing!”

            There doesn’t seem to be for you, anyway, so I hope that attitude is a fruitful one.

          • wraithgr says:

            It doesn’t, as I am not actually lazy or bad at my job, something which you are in no position to evaluate in any case. You seem to be taking issue with criticism of your effort in this published article, on which you have invited comments. Saying something seems “phoned in” is not a personal attack, it means it is not representative of the usual level of quality for that person: we have seen you do much better, hence a possible explanation for this example is that you simply didn’t try as much.
            Also, yes: we get it, it’s supposed to be funny that you supposedly hate writing this. Part of what people are criticizing is that this time it wasn’t.

      • HotSoapyBeard says:

        Have the comments always had this negativity or have I just not been reading them much?
        For the sake of balance: 2.5 reviews a week in a quiet time for releases and just before a major event they’re pretty heavily involved with is pretty good going.
        P.S. The podcast is lovely, ta very much for that.

        • Premium User Badge

          Nauallis says:

          It’s not you, people are being extra nasty and depressing, and then acting like it’s perfectly normal when they get called out on their bullshit.

          • icarussc says:

            Exactly right — people act with unbelievable, would-never-say-it-to-your-face rudeness, and then attempt to justify their behavior with something other than “I am a socially destructive creep” or “I was wrong, I apologize.”

        • April March says:

          For what’s worth, I’ve been saying this column is A Bad Idea since its earliest days. I don’t know if being candid about why you don’t like a thing and think this thing is overall bad for everyone is what I’d call negativity.

      • Beefenstein says:

        Item no. 9 is, all by itself, a heartbreaking masterpiece of comedy + emotional overreaction + insightful parody of modern media practices.

        To dismiss the level of effort and beauty in this is callous.

  4. kud13 says:

    FYI, I still don’t own Skyrim.

    Or GTA V.

    Actually, I think I only own one game off this list (TW3, pre-ordered on GOG).

    • napoleonic says:

      Skyrim Special Edition is the only game on the list I own, and I got it for free (due to having the original with all the expansions).

      So, yet another week in which I’ve not bought any of the top ten.

    • aepervius says:

      If you are searching for a long game, try tower of time, article from rps a few page below. It is quite wonderful. I initially was not appealed , was quite negative but after having tried, i found that it was worth the 20 euro far more than some AAA game of the list above….

  5. Premium User Badge

    james.hancox says:

    I’m starting to feel genuinely conflicted about getting pleasure from reading a column that I think is honestly grinding down one of my favourite writers. The exasperation and sarcasm is what makes it a fun read, but it’s clearly coming from somewhere real.

    Let’s all make a pledge that we’ll stop clicking on and reading this column, so that John can finally be free from the pain of writing it. Sorry John.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I can never really tell if the person writing these (John or otherwise) is legitimately bored of the format or what.

    But if you are, I mean, do these columns really bring in so much traffic that you can’t go without it? I know the corporate overlords probably want good numbers and all, but what’s the use of that if the staff is miserable?

    • Tycow says:

      Judging by the people moaning in a recent Reddit thread about RPS tag spam and the Steam news functionally, I bet they get a fair bit of traffic from them.

      Agreed though, this needs to die off… As Kolbex said above, much better features have been abandoned sooner than this one.

    • John Walker says:

      Tsk, I even wrote the comment out for you to cut and paste, to save you time!

      What a waste.

      • skeletortoise says:

        I appreciate that that little comment was a joke, and a good one that I’d intended to paste comment, but I do feel like it buys into this idea I’ve never understood that if a certain reaction or behavior is predictable it’s somehow invalid or less valuable. If anything, if something is that consistent it’s probably more likely to speak to a deeper trend than a novel response might.

  7. geldonyetich says:

    I get that there is a need to exaggerate when confronted with the dreadful reminder every week that popularity is driven more by imitation than anything else.

    However, your exaggeration about Skyrim VR is identical to the silly kids that spam the Steam forum to mock people for buying the same game for the nth time. Or possibly mock VR in general. It’s an ignorant thing because, when you’ve actually played Skyrim VR, you come to understand there’s a lot more to it. And more than there would be more to a game of Tic-tac-toe if you played it with barbells attached to your arms.

    Now, here’s a thought for you for the Steam charts: only announce new entries that have appeared in the top 50-100 or so. Maybe that seems a bit disingenuous, but think, man! You could bullet them with their position number if you want to indicate how far down the list you are.

    More importantly, you would be free to promote the games that deserve it. Well, perhaps “deserve” is the wrong word to use considering you’ll likely encounter a lot of libido-inspired entries and often great games get overlooked completely. Uh… you would be promoting something different than the previous Steam charts, by design of this being the literal rule.

  8. Gothnak says:

    Still John, take heart you don’t have to do this for TV:

    1 Coronation Street 8,859
    2 Coronation Street 8,808
    3 Coronation Street 8,678
    4 Coronation Street 8,164
    5 Coronation Street 8,061
    6 Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway 8,027
    7 Coronation Street 7,917
    8 Emmerdale 7,312
    9 Emmerdale 7,136
    10 Emmerdale 6,937

    In short, the ‘average’ person is a fuckwit.

  9. MrEvilGuy says:

    I really hated Skyrim seven years ago, threw it out after a few hours of playing, complete trash. I must say that Skyrim VR with 260+ mods installed is quite good. I’ve never seen so much community effort put into a shitty game to make it good. The combat is still horrible, but exploration is wonderful.

    • Nolenthar says:

      Bethesda is quite good at modern slavery. Release a crappy game with potential, and let people fix it for free. Well, it’s not even for free, because those people buy the game. There is a genuine WTF part in that.

      • Zorgulon says:

        I don’t think it’s particularly apposite to compare unmet expectations in a video game and the voluntary efforts of the modding community to fix these issues to the very real problem of slavery in the modern world.

        • SaintAn says:

          Well no one seems to care about slavery in the modern world since everyone rabidly supports the products that keep slavery profitable and in existence, so why should he take the issue seriously enough to not make hyperbole comparisons?

      • geldonyetich says:

        It’s not slavery if it’s voluntary. Quite the literal opposite, you’ll find.

        To some extent, the ridiculous success enjoyed by some of the biggest games on the PC was made possible because the developers realized that facilitating community involvement is a powerful force that they can harness to perpetuate their games’ popularity. Is that unethical? That’s debatable. But is it smart? Yes, very; it’s legit e-Entrepreneur-level smart.

        The depressing thing is perhaps just how evident it is that people are creatures of habit. We saw it in the redundancy in the Steam charts. See now how it can be found in the success of games that literally were designed to put a yoke on it. And don’t even get me started on how much time I waste on forums on the Internet.

        If people are stupid, I guess that’s only the problem on the table. The answer, then, is to make stupid work for you.

    • Hoot says:

      You can say that you didn’t like it. You can even say that in your opinion it’s a trash game. But what you cannot say, at least with any real weight, is that Skyrim is an objectively bad game.

      The reason you can’t say that with any weight is that it’s just not true.

      Skyrim is a great game. Made better by mods for sure, but it’s still a great game in itself. Is it perfect? No. It’s flawed, but nowhere near enough to call it a “bad game”.

      • mitrovarr says:

        Yeah, I don’t really get why so many people say Skyrim was a bad game. I went into it with zero Elder Scrolls background and thought it was fantastic. It’s not perfect, it has huge balance problems and other issues, but I had a lot of fun with it. There’s really very little that tries to make the world feel like as much of a real, living place as a Bethesda RPG, for all of their flaws (many of which can reasonably be ascribed to technological limitations, the need to make it an actual game, and the need to make it approachable for new players).

        • Faxanadu says:

          People played Morrowind and Oblivion, then Skyrim arrives and has a shtty UI, floaty combat and crappy balance. You feel wronged, cheated, and really just wanna say “what a crappy game” even though that’s not really the case – it’s just not what you expected.

  10. SaintAn says:

    Far Cry 5 was cracked a few days ago so sales will likely increase now that we have a “demo”. Or they won’t increase because it’s a bad game and people will play it and see that. I was waiting on the crack, but I saw a video comparison of FC2 vs FC5 and FC5 was really poorly made in comparison so I don’t even want it for free anymore.

  11. mmandthetat says:

    I’m really into defending RPS from haters, but the fact that Unknown Pleasures ghosted and this feature keeps happening has dampened my resolve.

    • John Walker says:

      See, it’s about the STAMINA of the author. Those Unknown Pleasures weaklings pale in my shadow.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I like getting the steam charts every week, but I agree it’s a bit depressing how many other great columns that you don’t find elsewhere have faded out (like S.EXE). Meanwhile the number of games getting actual full WiT’s may go through peaks and troughs, but if anything RPS is, year on year, producing more content than ever. When they produce 20+ articles a day I tend to miss key ones in amongst the “Plunkbat ate my hamster” “Kerbal Space Program lands WWII bomber on moon” material. Case in point: No Truce With The Furies. Completely missed that first time around.

      One of these days we’ll get a website overhaul to find material with a better comment system too :)

      • John Walker says:

        It’s important to remember that some columns just have their day, and some come to a natural end.

        S.EXE was brilliant, but Cara changed jobs!

        I meanwhile will continue to be motivated to write Steam Charts for so long as people don’t get the joke and keep writing the comments above, even when I parody them in the article, and write comments like this madly explaining the jokes underneath.

        • caff says:

          It’s PUBG FFS. Everyone knows its PUBG its only you lot that call it Bunkplat.

          (this was sarcasm before I get banned)

        • Someoldguy says:

          Indeed. I just wish another columnist could be found to pick up the torch of discussing adult games intelligently and like to encourage it from time to time. There have been some articles about adult Visual Novels since, so RPS continues to explore some of the subject matter.

  12. sporkife says:

    hey i just wanted to stop by and share my shame that it took me this long to figure out what the CSGO image meant.

    thanks, have a great day!

  13. Lawsoneer says:

    But why do you even write these enormously popular columns full of jokes where you pretend to be so annoyed at having to write these enormously popular columns, if you don’t want to write them?

    Also, what will happen when Steam Charts functionality is destroyed?

  14. Premium User Badge

    keithzg says:

    To be fair, I honestly still don’t own Skyrim, so there’s at least some holdouts. Stay strong, fellow Skyrim-non-owners.

  15. Hoot says:

    I will keep reading RPS as long as there is a chance, no matter how slim, for me to read another honest review by John Walker. And hopefully one of these reviews will be so brutally scathing that it burns my eyes just to read it. I find it so refreshing for someone to just call a shit game, well, shit.

    These other columns taking the piss out of what we all know is madness within the industry are just the icing on the cake.

    Good work, man.

    I hope you are well.

  16. Mattsetback says:

    I’m loving the resurgence of all these old Amiga Power jokes. Hoping it’s leading up to you hiring Stuart Campbell.

  17. cookepuss says:

    While I have typically enjoyed John Walker’s columns in the past, I found this one to be both profoundly more jaded and poorly written. It is almost unintelligible at points.

    More over, with respect to the writer himself, I have found his thin skinned responses to the above comments to be equally disturbing. Though I am a professional CG artist and game developer now, I too was once a published writer and contributing editor. Speaking as somebody who has more or less done your job before, dial it back.

    I understand what it’s like to receive negative feedback. It can annoy, infuriate, and even hurt. That said, one should never take it to heart too much. As the old saying goes, opinions are like @$$holes. Everyone has one and they all stink. Criticism is par for the course. Just suck it up and take it as it comes. I did it for seven years. You can too.

    Should you continue to berate your readership, people will simply opt to ignore you and/or this site in general. It is because of the continued good will between the readers and the staff that RPS continues to exist. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, so to speak.

    You can tell me to go screw myself, insult my dead grandmother, tell me that I suck at my job, or otherwise malign me in hopes “getting me.” No big deal. I’ve heard it all before. I will offer no ill tempered retort. This just about all I have to say on the topic.

    Understand that I fully appreciate your work and dedication to the community. We are all thankful for your continued insight and contribution. Please don’t take your reader for granted, however. We’re here by choice and can just as easily choose not to be.

  18. fenrisulfr says:

    “Oh rats!”
    “Tails and whiskers!”
    “That one will PLAGUE me!”
    “That’s put a ro-DENT in my confidence!”
    “I hate this stupid game about rats!”
    “It was all that bastard noob’s fault!”
    “Fuck this shit!”
    [Something racist]
    “I would like to formally apologise to all my viewers for my wholly unacceptable racist language, which was said in the heat of the moment and in no way reflects my views. Please advertise with me again now.”

    Heh heh, that was good

  19. bretfrag says:

    Paraphrasing typical criticism of the feature doesn’t invalidate the criticism. I clicked on the article to read synopses of the top-selling Steam games, not for self-indulgent, histrionic whining. Either do it properly or not at all maybe?

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