A Look at the World’s Top Video Games & What Makes Them Popular

A Look at the World’s Top Video Games & What Makes Them Popular

A Look at the World’s Top Video Games & What Makes Them Popular

Games are the new cornerstone of the entertainment industry. In fact, the industry has matured so much in the last decade that modern eSports are now on par with traditional sports. Leagues cross international boundaries, as do top players and sponsorship deals. Gaming, it seems, has become a certified spectator sport. 

And just like with popular sports, top games take the spotlight. If you’ve heard of eSports and dipped a toe into the world of pro gaming, then you’ve probably focused on games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and DOTA 2. But it’s important to note that these games are only recently nabbing attention. 

Gaming has been around for half a century now, which means that the world’s most popular titles (based on the total number of copies sold) don’t exactly match up with modern stats that count the most popular games—which are based on player count. So, looking back, which titles have stood the test of time as the world’s top games? First, let’s look at two titles not often clumped under ‘traditional’ games.

Casino Slots

When people imagine a casino, they probably think of a game like roulette or blackjack. However, when it comes to globe-dominating casino games, slots take the cake. But what makes this game so different from its contemporaries, which are also available via virtual platforms online? 

Slots include quite a bit of production value and a simplified format. That means that players are treated to high-quality graphics and audio, similar to a traditional video game. Plus, the simplified ‘spin’ mechanics make the game relaxing for many, similar to a casual mobile title.

EA Tetris

Tetris, similar to slots, benefits from its simplified format. When the game first came out in 1989, it took off internationally thanks to this easy gameplay. The puzzle allowed players to tackle the game at their own pace, while its insane learning curve helped foster a competitive scene within a few years of its release. 

This seems to be the balance for Tetris’s widespread and ongoing success. First, it allows casual gamers to relax with a puzzle that’s easy to understand. Second, the game is difficult enough that thousands of players compete annually for a shot at the global championships. Plus, it continues to evolve as the years pass.


The success of Minecraft is one of the most interesting in gaming history. When it was first released in 2011, the game was designed as an open-world sandbox title, which would let players create their own adventures. In other words, it had little to no objective. 

Who would have thought an aimless game would garner so much attention? After all, if the goal isn’t winning, why do players keep coming back? It seems that Minecraft’s freedom is its secret ingredient. Some players craft their own worlds for recreation, while others might instead spend time with other players, like a meetup, which adds a social dimension to the game.

PUBG: Battlegrounds

Now, we’re moving into more traditional gaming territory. Though the youngest title on this list (published in 2017), PUBG: Battlegrounds has since sold 75 million copies worldwide. The game pits players against one another on an island, where they must out-survive the competition.

One element of the game’s widespread success is its global pool of players and its port to mobile. Worldwide, younger gamers are spending more time on smartphones than ever before. Though the game is available for PC and console, most players prefer its mobile port.

Wii Sports

As exemplified by the most popular games mentioned above, the world’s most enduring and widespread titles are more casual than competitive. Aside from PUBG, the games listed here are all largely designed for recreational purposes. In other words, they’re designed to help players relax and pass the time—not train for a big boss battle. 

This is certainly the case with Wii Sports. Not only does it allow for casual and multiplayer fun, but the games were also designed with fitness in mind. This crossover has created enduring appeal for Wii fans, as there aren’t many ways to game and get fit.

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