Half the top ten most-played games of 2022 (so far) weren't released this decade


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In brief: What do you think was the most-played game of this year so far? Elden Ring comes to mind, given its huge popularity, but it only managed twentieth place on the list, beaten by numerous classics. Interestingly, half the top ten games didn't even launch this decade, while the three most recent titles were released last year.

The statistics come from The NPD Group's PlayerPulse and were shared by the company's Executive Director (and video game industry advisor) Mat Piscatella. He notes that the list is in chronological order, so while Minecraft's 2009 release makes it the oldest, it wasn't necessarily the most-played game last year.

Half the games in the top ten were released before 2020: Minecraft, GTA V, The Sims 4, Fortnite, and Among Us. The rest of the list comprises Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Warzone, Madden NFL 22, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and NBA 2K22. The most-played game itself wasn't revealed, but it's hard to imagine it being something other than GTA V, Call of Duty: Warzone, or Minecraft.

Piscatella notes that evergreen titles and huge live service games will always attract a lot of players' time, attention, and spending, making it hard for new titles to break through. Strong social communities also keep players engaged. He added that services like Game Pass and PlayStation Plus also play an important part, and that more AAA titles should be available on subscription services the same day they launch, thereby helping them get funded and take on evergreen titles.

Elden Ring, which sold 13.4 million copies as of April, was the twentieth most-played game, sitting behind older titles such as Rocket League, World of Warcraft, and Skyrim. But it's important to remember that the list is for Q1. This period is usually recorded as January to the end of March, so Elden Ring would have only been out for one month when the data was collected.

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George Keech

Posts: 219   +392
I mean is it not arguably statistics? How many games were released in the last 2 years? how many where released in the previous 20+?

Honestly it gives me faith that people don't just go for the newest games


Posts: 907   +785
TechSpot Elite
A) These are US only metrics and international trends can differ significantly
B) Who the damn still plays AC:NH? It was great at the start of the pandemic but endgame content was non-existent and Nintendo have effectively abandoned it


Posts: 389   +1,079
Not much of a gamer but all the games I play are old too:

World Of Warcraft Classic (2005)
Rome II: Total War (2013)
Civilization VI (2016)
Crusader Kings II (2012)

Funniest part is, I've spent many hours playing CKII and I didn't even buy it, Steam gave it to me for free in some official handout.


Posts: 806   +1,066
I'm a small statistical sample group, but I can attest to that: I never buy new games, as They are expensive and buggy. Also, while waiting for GPU prices to drop, I replayed old good titles and Epic freebies (also from previous decade). Look at the average Steam survey gamer: most people do not have a lot to spend on a beefy PC, new gen consoles also expensive, If available at all.
And last but not least, games mostly suck These days.


Posts: 6,308   +7,248
As powerful as my PC is, I spend most of my time playing Counterstrike GO, Chess .com and DCS: World.

Battlefield 2042 is OK but it's nowhere near as addictive as Battlefield 4. Most of the players, I've noticed are cross-play from PS5 or Xbox.

These new games are mostly boring now. Their multiplayers are nowhere near as addictive as older games - and that's assuming they came with multiplayer because many don't.


Most of the good video games were made by Nintendo before Iwata died, so it's almost like when Iwata died, gaming died with him.

Well, fully half of people make below average income.
Actually, exactly half of people make below the median income.

The average is skewed heavily by outliers (the extremely wealthy), so probably quite a bit more than half of people make below the average income.


Posts: 12   +10
Well, fully half of people make below average income.

By definition, half of people make less than median income. More than half of people make less than average (mean) income. In the US, looks like median is $84k and mean is $115k.

Insert ackchyually meme.


Posts: 315   +399
The list makes sense but the article is overly dramatic.(and comments)

current year sports games and current CoD will always be some of the most played games, its why they release them every year like clockwork, a nintendo title is a given and the others are pretty much pillars of gaming at this point.

minecraft and fortnite are almost religions, the sims will never go away, among us is super easy fun and GTA5 is a behemoth content wise, technically and in the scope of how its on 3 gens of consoles and PC and still looks better than games releasing this year....plus gta online.

And why is elden ring such a big focus, guess what? souls like games are for a very specific audience an audience that likes tough unforgiving games and that mantra just doesnt sound fun to the real masses. Everything on that list if you notice is pretty much big name famous games that rule their genres, "ol trusty's" if you will.

Are there better games? yep. but these titles are pretty much the standard at this point.

Stingy McDuck

Posts: 224   +164
I'm replaying plenty of old games because I recently bought a 144Hz monitor and I'm hooked on playing old games at 4K 144fps. Mostly because my GPU can't handle most modern AAA games at settings that I consider aceptable.


Posts: 196   +259
Theres no way some of these are paid because COD Vanguard is a dead buggy turd that Activision stopped releasing player stats for


Posts: 3,432   +5,740
These new games are mostly boring now. Their multiplayers are nowhere near as addictive as older games - and that's assuming they came with multiplayer because many don't.
New games suck, frankly. 2042 is a great example, mostly empty maps, only a shred of the content of its predecessor, tons of missing features, as in paragraphs worth, bugs galore, ece.

Halo infinite, fallout 76, COD vanguard are all the same way. New games suck, they are bloated with monetization and are so unfinished that half baked is an insult to garbage bread. And the creators...the last gen of developers could at least pay lip service to respecting games that came before, but the current trend is to burn everything and heel check the audience into submission.

the result? Gamers turn to older games that were not trash.


Posts: 1,166   +1,721
I don't follow all those games, but aren't the "older" games still regularly receiving new content? Is there really that much difference between Fortnite being first released in 2017 but getting regular additional content ever since, vs. "NBA 2K22" being released in 2021 but essentially being an annual update to the many yearly versions before it?


Posts: 175   +108
The list contains multiplayer titles because no single player experience will be that long actively played, excluding some rare examples like Skyrim (much thanks to mods I guess). Also, how do you accurately estimate which games are played the most since you can buy games from places like GOG that don't register your gaming sessions into any online service? Additionally, it's fair to note that you really can't distinguish many games of high production value from around 2015 from games of today, so I personally don't consider many last-gen games old yet, since they don't actually feel or look old at all. Yet, if there are successful titles that last the time, isn't that just a good thing for the fans of those games, while being shining results of the gaming industry for other developers to learn from? I am unable to view such staying games in a negative light, because they really don't take anything away from newer games.
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Posts: 345   +129
Meh I don't play any of those games I still like FO4 Skyrim Diablo II Grid series Half Life 1&2 (including Black Masa) I'm just not into playing with other people unless its a lan day with friends
I like games I can Mod and add new content infact the only new game I have is CP2077 I hate with a passion all the Online this n that PVP monetized cheater riden BS that's around today