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These were the biggest games on Steam (and Steam Deck) in 2023

Valve reveals this year’s top sellers and most-played games

The druid companion Halsin speaks to a character offscreen, holding his hand aloft in explanation, in Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios via Polygon
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Valve offered a peek behind the curtain of Steam’s biggest games of 2023 on Wednesday, revealing which titles dominated the sales charts on PC gaming’s biggest digital platform. Valve also divulged which games Steam users — and Steam Deck owners — played the most this year, with Baldur’s Gate 3, Hogwarts Legacy, Starfield, and Sons of the Forest appearing in multiple top-12 lists.

Some of the data won’t be too surprising to Steam users who pay attention to Valve’s publicly available stats; perennial Steam favorites like Counter-Strike 2 (née Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), Dota 2, PUBG: Battlegrounds, and Apex Legends are well represented in the best-selling and most-played games lists. But 2023 brought new contenders, like The Finals and Lethal Company, to Steam’s most-played games.

Valve doesn’t provide specific sales figures or numbered rankings, but rather reveals the top-100 Steam games across multiple categories, breaking each 100-game list into multiple tiers based on sales or play performance:

  • Platinum: 1st - 12th
  • Gold: 13th - 24th
  • Silver: 25th - 50th
  • Bronze: 51st - 100th

The company’s data spans Jan. 1 to Dec. 15 of this year, so high-performing 2023 latecomers like The Finals mostly missed out on higher rankings on Valve’s lists. Here’s a breakdown of the biggest, most-played, and best-selling games on Steam this year.

Bestselling games on Steam in 2023

The top 12 (platinum-tier) games on Steam, based on total gross revenue earned in 2023, includes plenty of free-to-play titles like Apex Legends and Lost Ark, alongside paid premium games like Hogwarts Legacy and Starfield. (Publisher Activision also lists Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, and Warzone as simply Call of Duty on Steam, to explain that naming convention.)

  • Apex Legends
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Call of Duty
  • Counter-Strike 2
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Destiny 2
  • Dota 2
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lost Ark
  • PUBG: Battlegrounds
  • Sons Of The Forest
  • Starfield

Appearing just outside of the top 12, in the “gold” sales tier, are stalwart games like Dead by Daylight and Grand Theft Auto 5, alongside newer releases like the Resident Evil 4 remake and EA Sports FC 24.

Bestselling new games on Steam in 2023

Only a third of the top-12 bestselling games on Steam this year were actually released in 2023, so Valve highlights the new-release bestsellers separately. It also bases the following list on the first two weeks of revenue after launching.

  • Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Cities: Skylines 2
  • EA Sports FC 24
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Payday 3
  • Remnant 2
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Sons Of The Forest
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Starfield
  • Street Fighter 6

Notable 2023 new releases like Dead Space, Mortal Kombat 1, and Party Animals ranked in the gold tier, while Diablo 4, Lies of P, and Six Days in Fallujah ranked in the silver tier. (Valve did not reveal bronze-tier data.)

Most played Steam games of 2023

The most-played Steam games of 2023 is a mostly familiar list, with venerable favorites Counter-Strike 2, Dota 2, and Destiny 2 ranking in the top 12. Newcomers on the most-played list include big hits like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Hogwarts Legacy, alongside challengers like Goose Goose Duck.

Here are the top-12 most-played Steam games of the year, all of which peaked at more than 300,000 concurrent players. (Valve said it excluded games with “brief spikes in player counts due to things like giveaways and free weekends.”)

  • Apex Legends
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Counter-Strike 2
  • Destiny 2
  • Dota 2
  • Goose Goose Duck
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Lost Ark
  • PUBG: Battlegrounds
  • Sons Of The Forest
  • Starfield

Most played games on Steam Deck in 2023

Steam users played a lot of familiar favorites on the go this year, including blockbusters Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield, alongside smaller fare like Dave the Diver and Vampire Survivors. The original Half-Life also made it to the top 12 most-played Steam Deck games, almost assuredly because Valve made it free for its 25th anniversary.

Valve says the list of most-played Steam Deck games was measured by “daily active player counts throughout the year.”

  • Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dave the Diver
  • Elden Ring
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Half-Life
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Starfield
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Vampire Survivors

Just outside of the top-12 Steam Deck games are notable 2023 releases like Diablo 4, Dredge, and Risk of Rain Returns.

More 2023 Steam data, including the most-played Steam VR games and which games players most played with a controller, can be found at Valve’s Best of 2023 page on Steam.

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