What is the Most Popular Game Right Now? Most Played Games in 2022
While there’s no one-size-fits-all in gaming, it’s fair to say checking out some of the most popular options on the market is usually a good way to narrow down your choices. Trending games achieve their popular status for a reason, after all.
Notably, game popularity can vary depending on which console you’re using, where you are in the world, and when you’re looking for your next top title.
However, for right now, we’ve put together a list of the most popular games in the world (across channels), to help you pick your next 2022 hit. This top 20 list is based on the number of monthly active users in the game in the PC market. However, you can play many of these titles across various consoles.
Probably one of the most popular games of all time, particularly among younger games, Fortnite is the Battle Royale free-to-play game taking the world by storm. Launched in 2017, it’s available in three distinctive game modes, each with its own strengths.
The Fortnite Battle Royale mode is probably the best-known option, where 100 people fight, scavenge, and build structures with the aim of being the last man standing. There’s also the “Creative” mode, where you can build your own battle arenas and worlds, and Fortnite’s “Save the World” hybrid survival and tower-defense game.
Fortnite has grown into a massive cultural phenomenon over the years, earning more than 125 million players in less than a year. It’s available to play on everything from Windows and Mac to Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and even your smartphone.
Another of the world’s best-known games of all time, Minecraft is a sandbox-style video game all about showcasing your creative side. The game was created way back in 2009 and made fully available in 2011. Since its development, Minecraft has been ported onto various platforms, from Android and iOS to Xbox. It’s currently the best-selling video game of all time.
Minecraft is all about building, exploring, and collecting resources. You can go spelunking through caves, climb mountains, and battle enemies as you work to survive through the night. Minecraft is also available to play either solo or with friends.
If you’re looking for a critically-acclaimed title where you can really bring your own world to life, Minecraft could be for you.
3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Created by gaming masterminds, Valve, and Hidden Path Entertainment, Counter Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most popular games in the world. Affectionately known as CS: GO, this is the fourth game in the Counterstrike series, and it was officially released in 2012.
The whole purpose of Counter-Strike is to fight and win. Two teams (counter-terrorist, and terrorists) are pitted against each other in a bunch of fun game modes. The most common mode involves terrorists setting up bombs while the counter-terrorists try to stop them.
This is a fun, fast-paced game with its own matchmaking support network which allows you to play with people around the world on dedicated servers.
4. League of Legends
Known to most as “LoL”, or “League”, League of Legends was first introduced by Riot Games in 2009 and was actually inspired by a custom map for Warcraft III. The free-to-play game offers the opportunity to play as a host of different characters, each with their own skill-sets and unique styles.
The game itself is pretty straightforward. Five players battle against each other in player vs player combat, each team defending one-half of the map. Each of the players has their own champion with specific abilities, and these champions become more powerful over time as you earn gold, develop experience points, and rapidly work to defeat the other team.
League of Legends is easy to get your head around, and seriously addictive once you get the hang of the game mechanics.
Roblox is probably one of the most unusual games on this list because it appeals to youngsters and older creators alike. The online game platform and game creation system allow users to program and build their own games, as well as interact with games made by other users.
Roblox started life as a relatively small company, but it began to grow significantly during the second half of the 2010s, with rapid adoption happening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Roblox offers a free-to-play world, though you can make in-game purchases.
Roblox is gaining a lot of extra attention these days because it’s one of the top titles behind the rise of the “Metaverse”, a new digitally-enhanced experience for the gamers and citizens of the future. If you are interested in Roblox you may also want to check our list of Roblox promo codes and Roblox game codes, or the best Roblox games!
Another free-to-play game on our list of top picks for 2022, Valorant is a first-person hero shooter created by Riot games. One of the more modern options we’ve seen so far, Valorant started with a closed beta period between 2019 and 2020, before an official release in 2020.
Valorant is similar in a lot of ways to Counter Strike, with its “tactical shooter” approach. Set in the near future, the game requires agents to perform either as part of an attacking or defending team. Each agent has unique abilities, including an “ultimate” which you’ll charge through completing objectives and killing other players.
Valorant is a fun and fast-paced game designed to put your teamwork to the test. With various agents to choose from, you can get a different experience every time you play, or you can simply work on developing your knowledge and skills with a specific agent.
7. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto is one of those games which seems to maintain a high level of popularity no matter how old it gets. The Rockstar Games title was introduced in 2013, following the predecessor in 2008. In this somewhat racy game, you follow the story of three “protagonists” in their crime-rich lives.
The open-world environment allows players to run through the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles, completing tasks and missions. While there’s a story mode available for Grand Theft Auto, most people prefer to spend most of their time in online multiplayer.
The online multiplayer option allows up to 30 players to get involved with the game at the same time, exploring a range of competitive and cooperative game modes. Just keep in mind this game really isn’t intended for a younger audience.
8. Apex Legends
One of the games earning the most hype in the marketplace today, Apex Legends is a free-to-play shooter and battle-royale-style game developed by Electronic Arts (EA). You can play this game today on virtually every platform, including the PC, PlayStation, Switch, and Xbox. There’s also an upcoming mobile release on the cards, according to the developers.
In Apex Legends, players form several two and three-player squads, then select from a range of characters with different abilities. In the Battle Royale mode, you’ll land on an island and search for supplies and weapons before trying to fight your rivals, similar to Fortnite. In the Arenas mode, you’ll fight against others in 3 v 3 deathmatches.
The cool thing about Apex Legends is its story. The game is set in the same universe as the “Titanfall” series if you’re already familiar with this, which is a beautiful environment for any gamer to explore.
9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty is probably one of the most recognizable titles of all time in the gaming landscape. The series has been around for almost two decades now, and most of the games have earned a significant level of popularity over the years.
Modern Warfare is the name for Call of Duty 4, the first game in the series not set during World War 2. Released in 2007, Modern Warfare isn’t the newest game in the COD collection, but it’s still one of the most popular. The Modern Warfare Reboot of 2019 added some new functionality to the game and earned about 50 million players in the first month of release.
If you like shooting games with a ton of opportunities to play with other people, Modern Warfare has plenty of great experiences to offer. The multiplayer matches are particularly great for fast-paced and somewhat unpredictable fun.
10. Rocket League
Earning some significant acclaim over the years thanks to its unique game style, Rocket League is a soccer game like no other. Introduced in 2015, the game involves using customizable rocket-powered cars to knock an oversized ball into a goal.
The game is super fun and engaging, with a significant level of challenge to it. You can play online with other Rocket League champions if you have the guts but be warned that many of these players have had a lot of practice to refine their skills.
Rocket League also allows you to play with up to 7 of your other friends, so it can be a great collaborative game too. Just keep in mind the game can get pretty heated, so you might want to watch what you say in the moment around some friends. If you are planning to dive into Rocket League you may want to check for the latest Rocket League promo codes.
11. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
Probably the game with the most console options on our list, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six has been available on everything from mobile to Nintendo 64. Introduced in 1998, the game was published by Ubisoft as a tactical shooter with a single and multiplayer mode.
In single-player, you simply go through a bunch of different missions in a campaign, starting with a briefing stage where you can coordinate your attacks and choose your equipment. In multi-player, you go head-to-head with another team to complete certain objectives.
Great for those who like a combination of shooting and strategy, Rainbow Six will instantly grab your attention, and keep you playing for hours.
12. Destiny 2
Also known as New Light, Destiny 2 is the second game in the “Destiny” series by Bungie. Originally released as a pay-to-play game in 2017, the game quickly transformed into a free-to-play alternative in 2019. This is a truly beautiful game with amazing graphics and playstyles.
The science-fiction world draws you in with its role-playing elements and ultra-challenging quests, designed to have you battle against massive monsters for crazy loot. The most exciting part of Destiny 2 is probably its use of raid-style missions, where you can tackle some of the game’s biggest challenges.
If you’re not ready for raids on Destiny straight away, there are still various PvE and PvP game types, so you can hone your skills, and even play with friends. The environment in Destiny and the immersive gaming style make it easy to fall in love.
13. Elden Ring
Easily the newest title on our list, Elden Ring has soared into popularity over the last few months, after its release in February 2022. Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki in collaboration with George R.R. Martin (of Game of Thrones fame), Elden Ring is available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Designed to be ultra-challenge (in the vein of Dark Souls), Elden Ring takes you on a journey through an interactive open world, where you can learn magic spells, collect weapons, ride horses, and even craft new items. The game is already critically acclaimed and sold 12 million copies within 3 weeks of its initial release.
If you’re looking for the kind of game that’s sure to kill you over and over again as you work on boosting your skills, this is the title for you. A little challenge can be a lot of fun, but we’d recommend playing this game in small matches if you’re not used to the Dark Souls experience.
14. PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds)
Otherwise known as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, PUBG is a battle-royale-style online multiplayer game, with a similar vibe to titles like Fortnite. Up to 100 players land by parachute onto deserted islands, where they have to search for equipment and weapons fast.
PUBG is a challenging and quick-paced game where you need to use strategy and skill to find resources before you get killed yourself. To make the experience even more complex, PUBG also gradually reduces the “safe area” on the map, so you’re gradually pushed together with the other people you’re trying to kill.
PUBG is the fifth best-selling video game of all time, and there’s even a PUBG mobile version, which earned 1 billion downloads as of 2021.
Fun and brimming with unique characters, Overwatch is a 2016 multi-player shooter game produced by Blizzard. Falling into the “hero shooter” genre, Overwatch assigns players into two teams of 6 people, and each player can choose from a range of characters with special abilities.
The key to success in this game is completing map-based objectives with your team in a short period of time. Post-release, Blizzard has kept the excitement going strong for Overwatch, by adding new characters, game modes, and objectives, free of charge.
Today, Overwatch is available on Switch, PC, Xbox, and PlayStation, and cross-platform play is also supported, so you can still play with friends, regardless of where they are. The characters in Overwatch are the best part of the game, each with their own unique stories and personality.
16. Genshin Impact
An action role-playing game with a strong impact on the mobile market right now, Genshin Impact was first published in 2020. The game features a stunning open-world landscape where you can explore incredible environments and unlock new characters.
If you like the idea of a game with more beauty and adventure than basic hacking and slashing, Genshin Impact is likely to be a good choice for you. There’s a fantastic story behind this game, and the fighting style feels very similar in a lot of ways to older RPGs.
There’s also a multiplayer mode available for this game, where up to 4 players can work together in the overworld and join various domains to expand their power. This is a game you can easily spend hours exploring, without losing interest in the environment.
17. Dota 2
Dota 2, created by Valve, is a multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA), first introduced in 2013 on the PC. The game follows on from the “Defence of the Ancients” (DOTA) game which was actually a community-build mod for Warcraft III.
Players of Dota 2 take part in matches between two teams of five players, each occupying and defending their own separate bases on a map. Each of the ten players in the team independently controls their own “hero”, and each character comes with their own distinctive style of play.
Dota is similar to a lot of similar games which use the PVP battle mode today. You can buy loot boxes and virtual goods to expand your experience in the game or simply play for free, using the characters and loot available to you.
18. Cyberpunk 2077
Introduced initially in 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 is a role-playing video game created by CD Projekt. Hype for this game was pretty significant leading up to its release, as users looked forward to one of the most immersive and beautiful games promised in the industry for some time.
Although there have been a few issues with Cyberpunk in the last couple of years, the title has still earned significant popularity for its fun missions and customizable gameplay. The title offers new insights into an immersive world from multiple perspectives, depending on which decisions you make during gameplay.
If you’re looking for a game with an amazing story, and relatively high-quality graphics (in most places), this could be the futuristic title for you.
19. Call of Duty: Vanguard
Another Call of Duty creation for our top 20 list, Call of Duty: Vanguard is a first-person shooter game published in 2021. The title is available across a range of platforms, including PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, and it’s the 18th installment in the full Call of Duty Series.
There are multiple ways to play Vanguard. You can follow the campaign, which showcases similar mechanics to those we saw in previous titles like Modern Warfare. Alternatively, there’s the “Multiplayer” mode, where you can play a range of different game types like “Arms Race” and death matches with local and online players.
One of the most interesting game modes of Call of Duty Vanguard, however, is the “Zombies” mode, which expands from various “Zombies” game types throughout the COD series. This game type involves battling increasingly complex hoards of zombies on a round-by-round basis.
20. Lost Ark
Lost Ark is an interesting addition to our list of the top most popular games in 2022. This fantasy MMOARPG was released in South Korea in 2019, but it only emerged in the American and European markets in 2022.
Lost Ark has won several awards for its fun and fast-paced game style. For the most part, the title focuses on exploration and PvE activities, like questing, hunting, and crafting. However, there are PvP elements available too. You can customize your character as you earn new skills and experience points, similar to the World of Warcraft games.
When you reach level 50, you’ll have the option to access a new form of tiered endgame experience, where you’ll be able to tackle massive dungeons and raids.
The Top Video Games Worldwide
The top video games around the world are constantly changing as new titles are introduced. However, as you can see from the list above, there are some pretty clear trends guiding the industry right now. Battle Royale titles and PVP games are particularly popular, with titles like Fortnite and League of Legends hitting our top 10 list.
However, we’ve also seen the rise of some new gaming styles lately, such as with Elden Ring, which entices players with a game style designed to challenge and even frustrate players.
The ideal game for you will depend on your playing preferences and style. However, if you’re looking for something new to shake up your schedule, you’re sure to find something you can enjoy in the list above. Have fun gaming!