There’s no question that video gaming remained at the forefront of entertainment in 2018, and every sign points to more of the same for 2019. Global financial analyses reveal a whopping 1.5 billion dollars spent on the industry in the United States alone! Formats rise and fall in popularity (consoles are down, mobile devices are up) but video games remain a tentpole industry in the global economy.
Lots of gamers debate which games are the best of all times, and there are many different criteria for that. You may never find two lists that match.
But which games are the most popular games right now? Popularity, unlike overall quality, can be fairly measured in sales, so we’ll use that as our principle criteria. But reviews and a certain fan-phenom factor are important too, so we’ll do more than just through a bunch of sales figures. Fair enough? Then let’s take a look at the top ten video games right now, at the turn of 2018/2019.
Fortnite is number one right now, and by a pretty wide margin. The game is a sales phenomenon. The game has made more than 1 billion dollars, having chalked up over $300m in sales in a single month, handily outselling Pokemon Go, which was released the same year. It’s also outgrossed major motion pictures like Spider-man: Homecoming and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
2) Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is a multi-platform open world game with amazing graphics and details, ground-breaking gameplay, and international renown. Immersive details include various radio stations for a wide-ranging soundtrack. It’s the crown jewel of the GTA franchise and has a place on our list of the ten most popular video games of all time. There are even Youtube channels dedicated to streams of gameplay by world-class players.
3) Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical shooter available on various platforms. Cooperation between players and massive collateral damage to property make this game one of the best of its kind. Players can also go solo, play as attackers or defenders, and engage in many different kinds of missions, including defusing a bomb or rescuing a hostage.
Overwatch is also a first-person shooter, and relies heavily on team play, dividing players into two teams of six people each. Players choose characters from four general categories: Offense, defense, tank, and support. The characters have become so popular that they’ve become the subject of cosplay enthusiasts and internet conspiracy theorists.
5) PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is not only one of the ten most popular games right now, but it’s also one of the most popular video games of all time, with over 50 million copies over several popular platforms. It’s a kill-or-be-killed survival game which drops the players into a deserted cityscape to collect and use any weapon they can find to kill the other players, all of whom compete for resources and survival. It can be obsessively addictive, so you’ve been warned. Some gamers play PUBG professionally, so you’ve been warned about that too.
Minecraft remains one of the most popular games around. Players can explore, gather materials, meet and engage in combat with others, all in a Lego-like block world which has a certain appeal in today’s world of detailed and often gory graphics. This counter-marketing proved a stroke of genius for the designers of Minecraft and for Microsoft, which bought the IP rights for an amazing 2 billion dollars.
7) Red Dead Redemption II
Though the sequel to Red Dead Redemption wasn’t released until October, sales and player reviews were off the charts, outselling Avengers: Infinity Wars in its opening weekend. The Western-themed, open world, the first-person shooter also features stunning graphics of vistas, saloons, amazingly detailed sets and costumes and characters which provide hours of intrigue just hanging by the bar, a-drinkin’ and a-fightin.’ Red Dead Redemption II also offers complex, multiple storyline narratives which is remarkably satisfying, better than some films or TV shows. Watch for RDR II to be tentpole game for 2019.
8) League of Legends
League of Legends online battle arena for multiple players is free to play, which could be one reason it’s so popular. Like other games on this list, LoL has leagues of cosplay fans and professional gamers, a Reddit account with over 2 million followers, and a Twitter account with almost 4.2 million followers, further driving its popularity and profitability.
9) Rocket League
Rocket League is a hybrid of game genres, cleverly combining the driving aspects of popular games like the Grand Theft Auto, and also the gameplay aspects of virtually any popular sports game. In Rocket League, players drive rocket-powered cars to knock a soccer ball across the field and into the goal. Points are scored, and teams fail or prevail, just like in the real-life Rocket League. Well, maybe not yet …
10) Call of Duty: Black Ops III
It would have been hard to imagine a list of the most popular games right now without including a title from this popular series. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is a multiplayer first-person shooter published across various platforms. It offers traditional multiplayer mode plus three new modes plus blackout mode. A sequel to 2015’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III, BO III is the fifth installment in the Black Ops subseries and the 15th entry in the Call of Duty series.
These are the biggest sellers and most revered games during the winter season of 2018/2019. While there’s no telling what titles will rise up as surprise hits, such as the next Minecraft, it’s fair to say that the first-person shooters, open world formats, and multiplayer gameplay will remain popular or even become more popular. Console gameplay may be on a slight decline, but mobile device gameplay is way up. But video games are here to stay, and these ten are the most popular games right now. Next year? Who knows, but millions of gamers all over the world are bound to have a great time finding out.