Online gaming has come a long way since the early days of online RPGs in the 1980s and 90s – advancements in technology, changes in consumer preferences and the rise of esports have all markedly changed the way we think about, and play, video games online.
With so much diversity in both platforms and game-types now available to gamers, it can be difficult to know which titles are truly worth your time and attention. There are multiple ways this can be solved however.
For one, it’s possible to look at what games are particularly highly rated on review sites like IGN. Likewise, a cursory look at shortlists of games that have done well recently at major awards ceremonies can quickly result in you finding some truly memorable titles to explore.
There’s also the court of public opinion, which is seldom wrong. Generally, the more people playing a game at once can be thought of as a reliable indicator as to that games appeal, replay value and overall quality.
In light of this, we’re going to take a look here at the most popular games being played in 2023 across all platforms. From top tier FPS’, to enduring casino classics, there’s bound to be something here to tickle your fancy.
Apex Legends – 15 million players
A relative new kid on the block in the esports space, Apex Legends is winning fans and advocates from across the competitive gaming spectrum thanks to its novel blend of battle royale elimination gameplay and hero shooter mechanics.
At 15 million players, Apex has considerably smaller player counts than some of the titles on this list, but it’s growing consistently year on year and many in the esports scene believe it’s the next big thing.
Among Us – 50 million players
The intergalactic who-dunnit Among Us catapulted to popularity in the early months of 2020 and has remained the world’s favourite party game ever since.
Its accessibility, anarchic fun and great strategic elements all conspire to make it a game with sensational replay value in spite of its simple design.
Online Slots – 56 million players
Collectively, online slots are arguably the most popular type of game played online today across the globe. The secret of their success lies in their accessibility, broad cross-platform availability, and compelling gameplay.
While precise measurements are virtually impossible, it is thought that there are tens of thousands of individual slot games in circulation online today.
Fortunately, this dizzying variety all share some basic underlying mechanics, meaning that helpful resources detailing their basic format are broadly applicable to all of them – this is, after all, a key factor in how they have become so successful.
Fortnite – 80 million players
The world’s favourite battle royale, Fortnite is one of the few esports to have broken through to mainstream awareness.
With highly publicised collaborations with franchises and IP from across the geek spectrum – from Star Wars to Dragon Ball Z, Fortnite’s inimitable sense of fun and relative accessibility has made it an enduring classic with a huge and faithful following.
League of Legends – 117 million players
The world’s premier esport, League of Legends has catapulted the MOBA genre into the stratosphere with a huge global audience backed by one of the largest and best funded grass-roots competitive circuits of any game.
With mobile spin-off Wild Rift climbing the charts, and the immensely successful Arcane Netflix series renewed for a second season, there’s no telling when League of Legends’ vast player pool will peak.
Minecraft – 140 million players
Minecraft is a world unto itself – part Lego, part survival sim, it has been the most widely played online game for over a decade and counting.
In addition to its huge player count, Minecraft holds the accolade of being the best selling game of all time with some 238 million units sold to date – nearly double that of the second highest selling title, GTA V.