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Here are the best-selling and most-played games on Steam in 2021

From new releases to old classics, here’s the best that Steam had to offer in 2021.

Steam logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Like every other year, Steam has released its comprehensive list of the best-selling and most popular games on the platform in 2021.

Steam is a sort of one-stop shop for PC gamers, containing thousands of games all organized into one marketplace.

The platform released its annual best-of list in a blog post on the company’s website earlier this week.

The list includes categories like top sellers, top early access graduates, and most played games. Each category contains about 100 games, and they’re separated into four different sections.

READ MORE: Thousands of gamers are watching ducks float in viral Steam game

The lists are made up of ‘Platinum’ games, which are the first 12 games in any given category, followed by ‘Gold’ for games 13 through 24.

Then there’s ‘Silver’ for the next 16 games, while the ‘Bronze’ section is for games 41 through 100.

Steam’s top sellers of 2021

Steam best-sellers 2021
Screenshot: KnowTechie

Valve kicks things off with its ‘Top Sellers’ list. This list celebrates the games that earned the most revenue in 2021, through game sales or in-game microtransactions. Here are the 12 games that made this year’s Platinum Top Seller’s list:

  • Dead by Daylight
  • Destiny 2
  • Battlefield 2042
  • Valheim
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • PUBG: Battlegrounds
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • New World
  • Dota 2
  • Apex Legends

This year’s top sellers list contains a few familiar names. PUBG: Battlegrounds has been a hugely successful game on Steam for several years now and Rockstar has been raking in the cash for Grand Theft Auto V for what seems like a lifetime now.

But the list also includes some newcomers. The popular survival game Valheim took the gaming world by storm earlier in the year and Amazon finally saw some success with its debut MMO, New World.

Top new releases in 2021

Steam top new releases in 2021
Screenshot: KnowTechie

In addition to recognizing the platform’s best-selling games, Valve also celebrated the new guys. The ‘Top New Releases’ category celebrates all of the best new games that were released on Steam this year.

The company breaks new releases down by month and November was this year’s busiest, with five of the top 25 games of 2021 coming in November. Here are this year’s Platinum New Releases:

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Battlefield 2042
  • Halo Infinite
  • Naraka: Bladepoint
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Valheim
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Age of Empires IV
  • New World
  • Farming Simulator 22
  • Outriders
  • Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

After looking at this list, I realize that it has actually been a pretty decent year for gaming, all things considered. Valheim was a breath of fresh air earlier this year, and 2021 rounded out with some pretty decent action. Forza Horizon 5 was absolutely gorgeous and we finally got our hands on Halo Infinite in November.

Steam stayed pretty busy in 2021

Steam games peak players 2021
Screenshot: KnowTechie

As I said before, Steam is a platform that is almost synonymous with PC gaming. In addition to these two previous categories, the platform listed its ‘Most Played Games’ of 2021, and the numbers were pretty impressive. 10 different games reached an insane peak of more than 200,000 players during 2021.

That list was built up of a lot of familiar titles like Grand Theft Auto V and PUBG: Battlegrounds as well, but there were still some surprises on the list. Halo Infinite was only released in November but it already reached that impressive mark, and Valheim soared in popularity in the months following its release.

Steam also has a complete list of all of the best games that made it out of ‘Early Access’ this year. A lot of games tend to live in that “early access” phase for eternity, so it’s definitely a triumph to make it on this list. You can also check out Steam’s ‘Top Selling VR Games’ and ‘Top Controller Games’ for 2021.

While 2021 has definitely been a strange year for video games with tons of delays and pushbacks on release dates as we try to figure out this new world we live in, Steam’s list actually shows that the year hasn’t been all bad for gaming. Several exciting new games were released this year and plenty of already released titles saw great success and improvements.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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