An in-depth look at the top performing Steam games of 2016 reveals that games from 2015 have outperformed the new generation of games, allowing 2015 to dominate the charts yet again.

It’s a rarity these days to find a PC gamer who doesn’t use the Steam gaming platform, which makes tracking Steam game usage a suitable way to see which games are performing well. Now that 2017 has taken hold, many analysts are taking a deep dive into the statistics that 2016 left behind, and some of the Steam data from the past year harbors some real surprises.

According to an analysis by GitHyp, games from 2015 dominated the top 2016 Steam performers, and most notably took each of the top five spots for players per hour. 4 of these top 5 titles also made the shortlist last year, and Team Fortress 2 even managed to improve upon its spot in the top players per hour titles of 2016.

Interested gamers can take a look at the list below:

  1. Dota 2 / 636,607 avg. players per hour (#1 in 2015)
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 360,600 avg. players per hour (#2 in 2015)
  3. Team Fortress 2 / 50,802 avg. players per hour (#4 in 2015)
  4. Grand Theft Auto V / 40,258 avg. players per hour (#5 in 2015)
  5. Sid Meier’s Civilization V / 37,885 avg players per hour (#9 in 2015)

It’s not surprising to see major e-sports heavy hitters like DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike hold the top spots, and the revenue-generating machine that is GTA: Online has continued to keep fans stealing cars on the streets of Los Santos en masse. While Civilization 6 only had a few precious months in 2016 to stake its claim, it ultimately failed to beat out its predecessor when it came to the average player count.


If players take a look at the peak player counts of simultaneous players , the top 5 list begins to show evidence of 2016’s creations. Here, the top title that is actually from 2016 is none other than No Man’s Sky, the controversial space exploration title which quickly lost steam as the fanbase became split on whether the game ultimately delivered on its lofty promises or not. While the game may be a divisive topic, there’s no doubting that the buildup for the game’s release had many gamers going out and buying it on day one – though it probably won’t be making any 2017 lists.

Here’s a look at 2016’s Top Games based on peak player count:

  1. Dota 2 / 1,286,617 peak players (#1 in 2015)
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 845,806 peak players (#2 in 2015)
  3. No Man’s Sky / 212,321 peak players (new)
  4. XCOM 2 / 132,834 peak players (new)
  5. Dark Souls III / 129,922 peak players (new)

It’s clear that the ultimate winner of the last two years – based on Steam metrics, anyway – has been DOTA 2, which retained the top spot for both average players per hour and peak players, finishing leagues above the nearest competition in both categories. Valve recently released a massive update for the popular title, and one could expect DOTA 2 to remain in good contention to keep the coveted #1 spot for 2017 as well.

What do you think about the lack of 2016 games making a dent when put up against last year’s successful titles, Ranters? Do you think any 2017 titles will provide stiff competition?