The Top Ranked Steam Games of 2021, According To Users

The Top Ranked Steam Games of 2021, According To Users
Getting the sense that Totally Accurate Battle Simulator might not live up to its name? (Screenshot: Landfall)

Forget awards shows and press accolades. The top games of the year are really determined by player behaviour. And if you want to see what people are playing, and loving, there are few places better than Steam, which was apparently dominated this year by a mix of games you’ve definitely heard of alongside some that may have flown under your radar.

Every year, definitive Steam-tracking site SteamDB compiles an algorithmically generated list of the top games on Valve’s popular storefront. The immediate result is a public-facing list of 250 games, which you can sort by various categories. But in terms of the raw rankings, the top 10 games, per SteamDB’s ranking algorithm, are as follows:

  1. Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

  2. Dyson Sphere Program

  3. Rhythm Doctor

  4. Firework

  5. Cookie Clicker

  6. The Room 4: Old Sins

  7. PowerWash Simulator

  8. Townscaper

  9. Tiny Bunny

  10. Before Your Eyes

Some notable games just missed the cut. Filling out the top 20 are a handful of zeitgeist hits from 2021, including Inscryption, Psychonauts 2, Valheim, and the twee city-builder Dorfromantik. Just making the top 20, in a completely respectable 19th place, comes It Takes Two, which recently nabbed Game of the Year at last week’s annual showcase of Geoff Keighley’s blazer collection, The Game Awards.

SteamDB’s ranking algorithm is determined by a number of factors, including the total number of positive ratings, the total number of negative ratings, a factored percentage of both, and the game’s peak concurrent player count. Filtering by each category gleans some fascinating findings.

For instance, when you sort by “peak” (which refers to the pinnacle of players who played the game at once), you’ll learn that just two games out of the top 250 Steam games of 2021 cracked a six-figure concurrent player count: Valheim and Resident Evil Village. Filter by “negative” (which refers to the total number of negative user reviews), and you’ll learn that just three games received a whopping zero negative ratings: Cats in Time, The Big Con, and Sunshine Heavy Industries.

In promoting the list, SteamDB called out some honorable mentions from the bottom of the rankings: Battlefield 2042, in 10,234th place, and eFootball, coming in last as the 10,351st worst-rated game of the year. Both games have been marred by rocky launches. Battlefield 2042, a first-person shooter published by EA, came in hot with bugs, and is widely considered incomplete by its players. Konami’s eFootball 2022, meanwhile, launched with connectivity issues that even the developer essentially said it didn’t know how to fix.

For those who love to comb over data, SteamDB’s list is a delight. You can peruse and play with the whole thing here.



  • Townscaper is so simple and next to nothing to do in it and yet I look at the clock and an hour has gone by while I fiddle with the town

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