Gaming is how many people prefer to spend their free time these days, and given that, the market has exploded. There are new game titles coming out every day, to the degree that it can be difficult to decide what to play. However, over the past year, some front runners stole the show on Steam, so let’s dive into the top titles of 2022 thanks to data provided by Valve’s Best of 2022
It’s hard to pin exactly which game grossed the most this year as Steam lists them in categories ranging from ‘platinum,’ which covers 1st place through 12th in no particular order, down to bronze which covers 51st-100th.
Of course, though, there are a few notable mentions in the platinum category which likely did really well, such as:
Call of Duty Modern Warfare II
Call of Duty Modern Warfare II
was released in October of 2022 from Infinity Ward and Activision, and in that short time rose to the top. The game follows the operators of Task Force 141 through global conflict and turmoil and allows players to duke it out with their friends or fight alongside them in multiplayer or co-op respectively. The full game is available on Steam
for $59.49, which is 15% off the regular price until January 5th, the end of the Steam Winter Sale.
is potentially this year’s biggest hit
, taking the Game of The Year, Best Game Direction, Best Art Direction, and Best Role Playing awards at The Game Awards earlier in 2022. It is a fantasy action RPG from FromSoftware. Inc was released in early 2022 and shares a similar rise to fame as Call of Duty
. It follows a player who enters a vast world in an effort to “brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between.” It is available to purchase on Steam
for $41.99, which is 30% off regular price through the end of the Steam sale.
The top sellers list also includes games from prior years, so the top new releases list pares that back to just the top gross revenue earners of 2022. Of course, Call of Duty
and Elden Ring
are on this list, as they also came out this year. However, we would be remiss if we relisted those and did not mention games such as:
Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Dying Light 2 Stay Human
from Techland was released in February of 2022, around the time of Elden Ring
, which sidelined this game a bit, sadly. It is set 20 years after the ‘zombie’-like virus won and kicked humanity back to the Dark Ages; how fitting, right? The player has to use their skills, agility, and combat prowess to survive and help reshape the world in its post-humanity state. This thriller of a game is available for $29.99
, a whopping 50% off the regular price, through the end of the Steam Sale.
feels like a game that just kind of came out of nowhere and subsequently stole everyone’s hearts. Released in July 2022 by BlueTwelve Studio, it follows the player who is a stray cat separated from their family and all alone. As a cat, you must “untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city,” while you befriend a drone known as B-12 which helps you along the way. This emotional rollercoaster of a game is available for $23.99
, which is 20% off the regular price through the end of the Steam Sale.
Of course, you can be a top seller and a top-played game as well, which is what we found for all previously mentioned titles when going through the Most Played category of 2022. This category measures peak concurrent players in 2022. This list has some free-to-play games as well, such as:
Released at the end of 2020 by Respawn Entertainment, this game seems to make any ‘top of’ list whether you like it or not. Apex Legends
is a free-to-play hero shooter and battle royale game with different characters and powerful abilities that can make or break a fight in the arena. As we mentioned, this game is available for free
through the end of time.
Counter-Strike Global Offensive
Again, this is just one of those games that always floats to the top. CS:GO
was released in 2012 by Valve and is still going rather strong with updates and new content being added. This is likely aided by its strong esports following, but CS:GO
is still a great game to play overall. In any event, this title is also free to play
through the end of time.
Early Access Graduates
Besides all the games that come out of the gate swinging, there are games that come out as early access titles that graduated this year and started drawing in some serious attention and cash. Namely, we want to highlight the following games which went from early access to full game status and did well:
We are fans of games that change your point of view in a game, and Grounded
does just that by making you feel smaller, or rather literally makes you smaller. Released in September of 2022 by the team at Obsidian Entertainment, Grounded
follows a player who was shrunk to the size of an ant and must survive the backyard in a sort of “Honey I Shrunk The Kids
” motif. This game is available for $26.79
, which is a saving of 33% only through the end of the Steam Sale on January 5.
is another game that is a bit different than most and is a ton of fun with friends. Released in June of 2022 by Redbeet Interactive, Raft
is an oceanic survival game where you can play alone or with friends, sail the open seas, gather debris, and build a floating home while you follow the history of what happened in this world. You can be a shark mage, engineer, or combat specialist with bountiful opportunities and experiences. Raft
is available for $13.39
, which is 33% off the regular price through, you guessed it, the end of the Steam Sale.
Best of VR
It’s hard to put VR games in with other titles because it is simply hard to put the experiences of either side by side. There is nothing like putting on a headset and fighting off foes, following a storyline, and interacting in first-person with virtual reality. Subsequently, Steam decided to put the best of VR games in its own category, measured by the top VR-exclusive games’ gross revenue:
When it comes to VR, there are some game-changing titles out there in terms of industry advancement and development. This includes Half-Life: Alyx
from Valve, which was released in March of 2020. It is a continuation of the popular Half-Life series, which started way back in 1998, following Alyx Vance fighting against the Combine, a vicious alien race colonizing Earth. This title, provided you already have a VR headset, is available for $23.99
, which is 60% off the regular price through January 5th.
is another one of those game-changing titles, hailing from Stress Level Zero in September of 2022. It follows its older brother, BONEWORKS
, with outstanding gameplay and very positive reviews across the board. Called an “Experimental Physics VR Adventure,” players use weapons, tools, and objects to fight through various ‘sets’ and locations. You can jump in and start bashing skulls in for $31.99
, 20% off the regular price, through the end of the Steam Sale.
Finally, some games stood out on their own because they were the most played on Valve’s Steam Deck. These games were put into the Steam Deck category which is measured by Daily Active players, and there are some surprises such as:
With great power comes great responsibility, or in the case of the Steam Deck, with great power comes great gameplay with Spider-Man Remastered
from Insomniac Games in August of 2022. You play as Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man fighting crime throughout Marvel’s New York City. You can swing into this title
for $44.99, which is 25% off the regular price through the end of the Steam sale.
No Man’s Sky
No Man's Sky
is a title that feels like it has been around forever now. The ambitious game has been improved and worked on significantly since the troubled original release. In any event, Hello Games has done pretty well with this title since its release in August of 2016, providing regular content and updates
to this space-faring exploration and survival game. If you haven’t managed to give this a try or returned it early on, maybe it is time to give it another go
for $29.99, which is 50% off through January 5.
There have been a lot of great games this year, too many to list, in fact. Thus, we will certainly have missed some in this very incomprehensive list, but you can sound off in the comments with your favorite titles of 2022. In the meantime, we look forward to what 2023 will bring for the gaming industry.