We're back with the reveal of our top ten most played games of the year. If you've missed them all week you can also catch similar stats stories on the most popular DLC
, most popular ID@Xbox games
, and the first half of this top 20
. Some of the list below should surprise no one, while a few others very well may. What do you think of 2018 as a whole?
10. Fallout 76 - 33,263 Players
Maybe reviews don't matter, at least not to early adopters. Critics and many players slammed Fallout 76
for its mess of a launch, and since then it's been one bad PR story after another for the game and studio. Several patches deep now, the game still maintains its fans, and will hopefully continue to improve and redeem itself.Odyssey
carries the torch of 2017's Origins
and goes even further down the path of making Assassin's Creed
a true RPG. The change may have felt subtle in retrospect but when you really think about what this series used to be and what Odyssey
has become, it's remarkable really. We're in uncharted waters for this series now and the future is very interesting.
Many players across TA decried the lack of a story mode in this year's game, and while that does show up in the lower numbers for this year's installment compared to 2017's these numbers are still much higher than 2016's Infinite Warfare
. It seems the no-story experiment is working for Activision, and we may just see it become the new norm.
The first huge game of the year, Monster Hunter World
invigorated the series with levels of polish and ambition the series had never before achieved or even attempted. It made the series a household name for the many players who weren't keeping up with it on the 3DS where it's spent most of its life, and it continues to receive great support and acclaim today as every outlet discusses their Game of the Year awards.
6. Far Cry 5 - 72,836 Players
The latest in Ubisoft's open world, first-person, action-adventure RPG-lite shooter (man, genres are wild these days) took players to Montana and made it just as dangerous as the many previous exotic locales. With more megalomaniacs to meet, it kept the usual gameplay loop intact, before its DLC brought players all over the aesthetic map.
Despite being criticized often by the heart of TA that seems to often despise multiplayer and battle royale in general, PUBG still rose to the top five spot in a top-heavy year of Xbox gaming. It recently launched in Game Pass too, which certainly helps, but more so it was likely the fact that battle royale, like it or not, is a pop culture phenomenon right now, and as the progenitor of this trend, PUBG deservedly gets lots of attention.
Xbox's debut with first-party day-one launches into Game Pass started this year with Rare's pirate adventure MMO. Its style isn't for everyone, but the game has found a dedicated community of passionate pirates and has grown tremendously since launch with frequent free content updates big and small. Rare has teased that there's a lot more to come in 2019 too.
Despite launching two months later, State of Decay 2
beat out its day-one Game Pass pal above in these rankings for, we believe, two reasons. Zombies and achievements. While Thieves
' achievements were an eyesore for most of the year, State of Decay
's list was very generous. Secondly, zombies are just more popular than pirates. That's basically a fact, though we don't have stats this time to back that up.
Doubling its 2016 predecessor's total players in this story, FH4 has surged Playground Games into one of the most consistent development studios on the planet. Horizon 3
felt like the closest thing to perfection and somehow this year's sequel was even better. With one DLC chapter out now and another still to come, plus a service game model in full force, there remains plenty to see in this latest masterpiece.
Surely no one had any doubts. In the three years since we've been doing this feature, Red Dead
is the only game to ever eclipse 100,000 players by year's end, and it did it in just two months. For perspective, 2016's biggest game, The Division
, launched in the spring and closed at 95,000 players. Last year's Destiny 2
topped off at only 77,000. There's simply no one that stops the world quite like Rockstar Games.
This concludes our year-end stats stories, but we'll have more 2018 retrospectives coming in the days ahead so stick with us as we continue our long goodbye to one of gaming's greatest years ever.