Mat Piscatella, NPD’s executive director and video game industry adviser, released the list of most played video games this year. “Half of the top 10 weren’t launched this decade,” shared Piscatella. He’s right — 2009’s Minecraft and 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V made the cut, along with Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty Warzone and Call of Duty Vanguard. Here are all the games that keep gamers coming back for more in 2022.
Minecraft is a lot like virtual Legos. Since its release in 2009, it has sold over 200 million copies and had 126 million active monthly users by 2020. The whole point of the game, which was created by Markus “Notch” Persson for Mojang Studios, is to use blocks to build the world around you. Gamers can choose from two modes of play: survival and creative.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
Gamers can play the 2013 action-adventure game, published by Rockstar Games, from either a first-person or third-person perspective. In addition to completing missions, players are free to roam around and explore the gaming world. According to the company, “When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber, and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government, and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a serious of dangerous heists to survive in the ruthless city in which they can trust nobody — least of all each other.”
3. The Sims 4
The fourth installment of the social simulation game, the Sims 4, was published by Electronic Arts (EA) in 2014. The whole point of the game is to climb the socioeconomic ladder and build a thriving, prosperous virtual world. However, if building rooms from the bottom up isn’t your bag, The Sims 4 offers premade rooms that can be placed instantly, and players can move buildings and rooms across the lot. According to a gamer, “I love the game, love the way the ‘wants’ work, how emotions change their behavior and give really interesting interactions. The building aspect of the game is absolutely the best thing ever! I have been having a lot of fun with it.”
Fortnite has been enchanting players since Epic Games released it in 2017. There are multiple modes of play, including the fast-paced Fortnite Battle Royale survival game that pits 100 gamers against each other until one last player remains; Fortnite Creative, which gives players the ability to build personalized worlds and battle arenas; and Fortnite: Save the World, which lets teams of four battle zombielike creatures. It earns an estimated $1.29 million a year.
5. Among Us
It’s not so sus that Among Us made the list! The online strategy murder mystery game, released by Innersloth in 2018, has players work together to successfully solve tasks even though one “Imposter” player is out to sabotage the crew. According to Business Insider’s Chrissy Montelli, “The social aspect of the game makes it entertaining to watch and play, which is part of how it became popular on Twitch. It’s kind of like watching a cartoon-y, faster-paced version of Clue. But, of course, the simple-but-cute character designs don’t hurt, either.”
6. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The main goal of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was published by Nintendo for Nintendo Switch in 2020, is to upgrade your home and pay off the debt incurred during the build. Gamers find themselves on a deserted island and need to catch fish and bugs to sell and can unlock new characters and features throughout the game, or they can just wander around and take in the adorable scenery.
7. Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Warzone
The free-to-play first-person-shooter battle royale game Call of Duty: Warzone was released by Bobby Kotick’s Activision Blizzard in March 2020. It was available for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation. “We have had Call of Duty games played on virtually every platform for the past 14 years,” says Kotick. “I am not kidding or messing with you when I say that this game is really good. The story is lengthy, well structured, detailed, and packs an action-fueled journey through different parts of the world and periods in WWII,” shared a gamer.
8. Madden NFL 22
Madden NFL 22 is the newest installment of the professional football-based video game published by Electronic Arts. It debuted at No. 1 when it was released in August 2021. According to EA Sports, it added “more detailed staff management and skill tree progression systems, with a comprehensive weekly game strategy that integrates into your game plan in franchise mode for Madden 22.”
9. Call of Duty: Vanguard
Sledgehammer produced Activision’s 2021 first-person shooter game Call of Duty Vanguard. After its release in November 2021 on PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, Call of Duty Vanguard became the second best-selling game of 2021, behind FIFA 22. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says, “There will always be Call of Duty games.”
10. NBA 2K22
The 2021 basketball simulation video game is the 23rd installment in the NBA 2K franchise. It’s a slam dunk with gamers. “There are multiple versions of this year’s game, all of which provide additional bonus content for players to take advantage of in the game’s modes. Once again, players will need to spend a lot of time practicing and mastering their shooting because the shot timing meter is very small and requires perfect release, along with an open look at the basket for the most success,” noted Jeff Haynes of Common Sense Media.