Welcome back to our year-end stats roundup regarding the most played games on TrueAchievements for 2016. If you missed the first half of the countdown, you can catch up here
. Go ahead. We'll wait.
All set? Alright, then we're on to the top ten!
10. ZHEROS - 42,247 Players
One of the first Games with Gold titles of the year got the program off to a terrible start. We reviewed it very negatively
, giving it our lowest awarded score to date at a 1/5. The team at Rimlight eventually patched the game and resolved several of its glaring issues, but they couldn't save poor mechanics and tedious level design. It cracked the top ten though, so apparently our scathing review didn't scare many people away, or perhaps you just couldn't look away from this trainwreck.
9. Titanfall 2 - 43,133 Players
Respawn's much anticipated sequel to 2014's TA Staff Game of the Year has surprised many by being the highest rated shooter released this holiday season, and the second highest for the whole year behind only Overwatch
. The addictive mix of Titans and parkour feel more fluid than ever and to the delight of many, the sequel adds a true campaign mode. The game's been quite a hit on TA judging by the numbers, though to be fair, these figures were influenced by the recent free multiplayer weekend EA ran. Its sales might be down compared to other juggernauts in its genre, but anyone who has played Titanfall 2
would likely agree that these titans are well worth remembering.
8. DOOM - 45,252 Players
After Bethesda declined to send out advance copies of its fast-paced shooter to media outlets, fans and critics alike grew concerned that the maneuver was an acknowledgment of mediocrity for the game. The end results couldn't have been further from that truth, however. DOOM
is one of the highest rated games of the year and these numbers indicate that fans figured that out for themselves. The multiplayer modes haven't been a huge hit, but no one is short-changing the merits of the game's single-player mode. It's been a huge success. A trial period helped it get to this spot on the charts, but that's been true for the majority of games charting, so you can only attribute so much to that factor. Simply put, going to hell has never been more popular.
7. Quantum Break - 46,369 Players
Fun fact: Quantum Break
is one of just two games on the top 20 that is both a new IP and
was never released for free via any platform or limited promotion. Every other game on the list is either part of an established franchise, offered itself up for free at some point, or both. That should speak to the power of a well crafted single-player game. The TA community has always seemed to prefer solo games to online lobbies in general, so Remedy's long-time-coming time travel tale was a hit with this community. The at-large gaming world's reaction was mixed, with some reviews praising it, like ours
, while others weren't nearly as enthused. Now the creators have fans wondering how to manipulate time until a sequel is available.
6. Forza Horizon 3 - 49,074 Players
Recent winner of best sports/racing game at The Game Awards, FH3 makes back-to-back appearances for Microsoft first-party exclusives. The game hasn't been free at any point, so you can attribute its high placement here to hype and the pedigree at Playground Games. They've established Horizon
as arguably the better and preferred version of the Forza
name. We gave it one of just four 5/5
review scores in 2016. Heck, I'm not even a racing fan myself and I've found FH3 to be enthralling and addictive. Forza
is the pinnacle of racers right now and it is the metric by which all competitors are judged.
5. Overwatch - 57,037 Players
Speaking of The Game Awards, here's its overall Game of the Year winner. Blizzard doesn't make a lot of games. What they do is make a small handful of meticulously crafted games that last for years. Overwatch
is one of several games as of late that can be called hero shooters. For more on what those are and how they've found their popularity, check out our editorial
on the emerging genre from earlier this year. This game isn't going anywhere, it seems. If you weren't one of those that jumped on it for purchase or at least sampled during its multiple free weekends, what are you waiting for?
Wait, I'm one of those people.
4. Battlefield 1 - 73,633 Players
And there it is. Completing the October-November triple threat of military shooters comes DICE's acclaimed WWI title. Combining the TA player counts of Infinite Warfare
and Titanfall 2
gets you close
to BF1's numbers, but amazingly doesn't surpass them. Its trial in the EA Access program has helped some, but for it to chart this high confirms what you may have suspected: people have been clamoring to return to the battlefields of bygone eras. There's been such an emphasis on modern and future warfare that studios have almost completely disregarded the decades past. It was once true that these historical shooters wore us out too, which is what spawned the rise of futuristic alternatives. The pendulum has clearly swung all the way back now.
3. Gears of War 4 - 75,266 Players
Yet another Microsoft first-party title opens up the top three. Other than Halo
there's no homebrewed franchise more popular than Gears
. This year's sequel got a facelift in several ways -- a new studio, new protagonist and supporting cast, and new online modes -- and in total it helped Gears of War 4
become one of TA's biggest games. We gave it a favorable review ourselves, scoring it a 4/5
. There haven't been any free weekends for this game yet, so these impressive figures are all natural, unlike I assume Marcus Fenix to be. Seriously, his muscles have muscles.
2. Rocket League - 79,966 Players
One of the most anticipated migrations of the year was Psyonix's indie mega-hit, Rocket League
. The driving-soccer mash-up plays smoothly, looks and sounds great, and has the type of staying power of an all-time great multiplayer game. At least one TA staffer has controversially called it "the closest thing to perfection games have ever seen." Okay, fine. I said that. A free weekend months ago boosted its numbers to soar to runner-up on this list, but more than that it seems its one-of-a-kind gameplay offering and a stadium's worth of hype from PS4 and PC led to Rocket League
finding another huge fanbase on Xbox One and TA.
1. Tom Clancy's The Division - 95,586 Players
Who guessed it? The oft-delayed Ubisoft online shooter finally hit stores last March and went on to blow out the competition for most played game of the year among TrueAchievements users. We loved the game in our review
, and as a whole its reception has been positive. Interestingly, a closer look at the numbers reveals a great majority of its players came within the first month. On April 7th, exactly a month from its release, over 70,200 TA gamers had already logged the game to their profile. Since then, it's been a slow and steady climb for the shooter to put it where it is now. This sort of big bang followed by a slower trickle is of course common across the industry, so it's fair to say the game wouldn't have reached the top if it weren't for its March release providing such a head start over other obvious blockbusters like Battlefield 1
and Gears of War 4
. Still, with a steady stream of DLC and title updates continually supporting the game all year and into 2017, The Division
has plenty of staying power in its own right.
With that we conclude our look back on the most popular games of the year. What did we learn? Well, for one, giving players a name they recognize certainly helps, though it's not always as helpful as giving them free stuff. Also, highly reviewed games tend to attract more players, but some mediocre or worse games can still find their way onto plenty of hard drives due to either an attractive price, simple gamerscore to be had, or a trainwreck-like intrigue that compels you to look. New IP struggles to break into as many homes, but with the right circumstances (and some impressive E3 showings) an unfamiliar title or two can join the ranks of the year's biggest.
We have more to discuss regarding the gaming year of 2016 in our annual Game of the Year
awards ceremony. Voting is open through the end of the calendar year so follow the link and fill out your ballot!