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The Most Popular Video Games in the World

Most Popular Video Games in the World

Last year, Americans spent around $36 billion on video games. This year, that number can only go up.

Gaming has come a long way since the early Atari and Nintendo consoles in the ‘80s. In the three decades since, there have been hundreds of thousands of game releases. Some failed, some did reasonably well and some went on to become the most popular video games in the world like Tencent Games. The graphics, controls and even the platforms have continued to evolve. But our love for gaming only continues to grow, raising the bar higher each year. Video game tournaments get more attention than the Winter Olympics!

The most popular video games in the world

What makes a game popular? Is it the number of copies it sells and the revenue it generates? Not for me. A game may be developed by the best studio in the world and still be crappy. A game developed by an indie studio may be a cult classic and have a loyal following. In my book, a video game is popular:

  • If a non-gamer can name the said game
  • How fondly we look back on our recollections of playing that game

Here are the top games in my book that win for popularity:

  1. Dota2
  2. World of Warcraft
  3. Skyrim
  4. The Sims
  5. Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
  6. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  7. Street Fighter 2
  8. Doom

Here’s a look at what makes each game popular.


Dota was originally a multiplayer map designed by IceFrog for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The map was hugely popular right from the beginning, and many young high school and college students got hooked. The map also featured in Warcraft 4: The Frozen Throne. Some years later, Dota or Defense of the Ancients moved to Valve. After intensive development, improved graphics and UI, Dota2 was released on gaming platform Steam. The original fanbase was thrilled as well as entirely new players aged 12 and above. The game recently went through its third most ambitious update. In total it now features 120 heroes with unique abilities and talents. The game is free to play. All you need is a reliable connection like Cox internet packages. Dota2 is arguably one of the most popular video games in the world to date.

World of Warcraft

If we are talking about popular MMO games, we can’t forget the RPG masterpiece, World of Warcraft. WoW is the most played and most popular MMORPG game. It has over 12 million players globally and its servers have been running since 1994. Blizzard really outdid themselves with this 4th installment in the Warcraft series. Enter the fantasy World of Warcraft, customize your playable character and you’re ready to go. You can be a solo adventurer or play with a group of friends. Kill, fight, level up, buy items and keep getting stronger. WoW is a game that absolutely deserves to be on this list. Here’s a helpful guide to help you get started.


If you mention dragons and magic in the presence of a millennial, they will most probably think Skyrim. Unless they think Game of Thrones. The Elder Scrolls saga was already hugely popular before the 5th installment, Skyrim in 2011. Enter the mythical province of Skyrim, in the world of Tamriel. You play as the Dragonborn, a prophesized warrior who can kill a dragon and absorb its soul. You can use these souls to learn dragon abilities and overpower just about anything. Just be careful around the giants! Fus Ro Dah!

The Sims

Who hasn’t spend countless hours on this game? My Sim was more successful in life than I was at that time! He had a job, a car, a house, and a family! He even had a Jacuzzi! We have all spent time building our houses, customizing our Sims and going nuts with both. The Sims originally intended as an architectural aid. People could theoretically see their future homes in 3D. But the game became massively popular with the general public at its release in 2000. Fond memories make this a worthy addition to our list and one of the most popular video games in the world.

Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

If you haven’t heard of the Witcher 3, you must have been living under a rock in 2015. The game became insanely popular thanks to its graphics, combat sequences and storyline. So popular in fact, Netflix is making a live-action TV show on the Witcher franchise. Henry Cavill will be portraying Geralt of Rivia. The Witcher 3 takes us through monsters, ghosts, bandits, and much more on our quests. You’ll be spending a lot of hours on this game, you have been warned.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

This 2011 addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise is arguably the best in the series. Following the events of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Desmond Miles is in a coma. To regain consciousness, he must relive the last memories of his ancestor Ezio Auditore. In these memories, Ezio has grown much older. He journeys far and wide to find the lost library of the Assassin’s and hopefully, wisdom! A thrilling game with enough innovation to keep you on your toes. All while keeping the gameplay in line with the franchise. Popular game? Undoubtedly!

Street Fighter 2

Let’s wind back the clock to 1991 and Street Fighter 2: World Warrior. Following on the heels of Street Fighter 1, World Warrior has first developed for arcade as well as NES and Mega Drive platforms. The game was immensely popular right from its release. It had special moves based on command sequences and multiple characters and fighting styles. World Warrior was so popular, it generated a gross revenue of $1.5 billion! An iconic game that hits you right in the feels with a Hadouken! World Warrior is one of the most popular video games in the world for sure.


While we are in the ‘90s, we can’t ignore one of the most iconic games of all time. Doom was a genre-defining game far ahead of its time. It did not invent the first-person-shooter genre but is perhaps the best known FPS of its time. The 1993 gore-filled game gave birth to the term “deathmatch”. It gave us a taste of the true potential of a first-person-shooter. Doom has a lasting legacy, with a continuation in Doom 2 in 1994 and the heavily revamped Doom 3 in 2004. In 2016, the fourth installment, Doom 4 released for Windows, PS4 and Xbox One.

Today’s games are much more advanced than many games on this list. For some, you simply can’t do without Spectrum internet plans. For others, you need hundreds of GBs of memory. But the video game industry isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Let’s see if next year produces any games that can be included on this list.

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