The success of online video games is a precarious one: any day your favorite game could suddenly lose hundreds of thousands of players. Once that happens it’s no longer worth playing so you log off too and find a game that actually has some players. Some video games seem immune to this curse, having had a significant player base for months, or in some cases, even years. So we did the heavy lifting and the math for you to find out which games are the most played online video games right now.
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Release date: November 6, 2015
Developers: Treyarch, Raven Software, Mercenary Technology, Aspyr, Beenox
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3 (limited version), PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 (limited version) and Xbox One
Peak Players: 10+ Million
Call of Duty has been making these kinds of lists ever since online play became a thing and with Black Ops III they returned to some familiar territory while also including some fantastical elements that some of their lesser quality games failed to capitalize on. While Call of Duty has had their hits and misses, fans always return to the franchise and continue to place it onto these lists.
4. Rocket League
Release date: July 7, 2015
Developers: Psyonix, Panic Button Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Players: 40+ Million
The only non-shooter on our list, Rocket League has succeeded in a realm that no one saw possible. My first introduction to Rocket League was through my college roommate who spent countless hours on the game and booked a plane ticket to DC to watch the master’s compete which I thought was excessive – until I started playing it. Rocket League offers simple, unadulterated fun for beginners and intense heart-pounding competition for hardcore gamers.
A little known fact about Rocket League is it’s actually the sequel to 2008’s Psyonix game Supersonic Arobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Battle-Cars was only released on PlayStation3, lacked much marketing, had too long name of a name, and received less than stellar reviews. However, thanks to Psyonix’s determination and vast improvements through contractual development work Rocket League was a smash hit upon its release nearly four years ago and continues to attract fans to its now 7th World Championship that spans four continents.
3. PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
Release date: March 23, 2017
Developers: Bluehole, PUBG Corporation, Xbox Games, Tencent Games
Platforms: Andriod, iOS, PC, PlayStation4, Xbox One
Peak Players: 55+ Million
At one point PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) was the most played online game in existence. It’s the 5th highest selling video game of all time and more than two years after its release its still one of the most played video games out there.
Although PUBG’s playerbase has greatly declined it is still in the top 5 most played video games on Steam and sits comfortably in the top 15 most played games on Xbox. PUBG has been banned in several countries such as India, Nepal, and Iraq where lawmakers have deemed it harmful and addictive for children.
2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege
Release date: December 1, 2015
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Peak Players: 45+ Million
At this very moment Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege has over 700,000 players online. That’s right this very second. Add into that huge playerbase the fact that its ranked as the 2nd most played game on Xbox and you well over a million players online at any given time. For a game that is nearly three and a half years old that is an incredible feat.
Rainbow 6 Siege is probably the hardest game on this list as it requires you to actually work together with your team members to accomplish goals. Add to that its realistic visual style and intense game play and its clear to see why it continues to dominate the online world. While Call of Duty and other games have tried to mimic the Battle Royale genre, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Siege has stayed true to its core and continued to release new content that challenged creativity and whats possible for a first person shooter.
1. Fortnite Battle Royale
Release date: July 25, 2017
Developers: Epic Games, People Can Fly
Platforms: Android, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS, PC
Peak Players: 125+ Millions
The first time I ever wrote a list like this no one had even ever heard of Fortnite (ooph guess I’m carbon-dating myself). In fact, Tom Clancy and Call of Duty both had installments make the list, but if you told me a free battle royale game would be the most played video game in history my first question would have been: Battle royale?
Fortnite has become a cultural phenomenon with every 12 year old with an internet connection playing it and constantly telling me that they had a great time with my mom last night (I guess some things never change). Fortnite has evolved into a sort of a joke in recent years – ninth graders love making fun of eighth graders for the games they were also playing last year – but it also cameoed in the second highest grossing film in the world, Avengers: Endgame, so it must be doing something right.
Some games have tried to topple Fortnite, but nothing has had a lasting impact with the game currently sitting firmly as the number one played game across multiple platforms.
Want to write for us? Let’s geek out together!
Drop a line with you name, email, and you’re three favorite movies/TV shows/celebrities. For more information, check out our “Write for Us” page here.