What is THE Most Popular Game in the World?

5 minutes read

Have you ever wondered what the most popular game in the world was? Never understood how only one game could be picked? Pondered the possibility of several most popular games? Well then, we’ve got you covered!

Due to the dynamic nature of the gaming industry, we are fortunate enough to have up-to-the-minute data on everything - from unit sales and downloads, through to the most played titles on mobile devices.

With that information in hand, we set out to investigate which title is the absolute, most popular game in the world!  


Since there isn't only one way to measure popularity, we ended up with the three most popular games in the world, basing them on several factors of popularity. So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down and find out which three games were chosen!

Our picks below are based on real-time industry data. These statistics can show what the most played game in the world is, in terms of unit sales and downloads, as well as the online games with the most active player bases.

But, we’ve kept you guessing for long enough. Read on to find three titles that lay claim to the answer for what is the most popular game in the world in 2021!

Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War was released in November 2020, but it’s still leaving its mark on the gaming industry in 2021, hence a leading contender for the most popular game in the world today.

According to NPD Group’s sales data from land-based retail and digital video game sales, it is the best-selling title in the year-to-date. Within just a few weeks of being released at the end of last year, Activision Blizzard's Black Ops - Cold War managed to shift 5.7 million units, generating more than $678 million in revenue.

The fact that it remains the best-selling title in 2021 suggests it is continuing to make even more money for the California-based publisher. In fact, there are a string of releases from the Call of Duty franchise that could easily be considered among the most popular games in the world since the turn of the millennium.

Call of Duty would likely be a major challenger for the coveted title of the most popular game series in the world during the 21st century, selling over 31 million units as of October 2019.

The latest Black Ops – Cold War game provides a fascinating virtual take on the Cold War, taking gamers back to the era of the 1980s when the US and Russian forces butted heads. Chronologically, it is neatly positioned between Black Ops and Black Ops II.

It focuses on the pursuit of an individual deemed to have been a spy for the Soviet Union. Players take charge of protagonist “Bell”, who leads a task force to seek out Perseus.

Although Black Ops – Cold War has continued to shift plenty of units worldwide this year, Resident Evil Village threatened to knock it from its perch as the most popular game in the world. In fact, it was the best-selling video game in May 2021 across all platforms upon its launch.

The eighth release in the Resident Evil franchise not only sold plenty of units in its debut month, but it also took Twitch by storm too, making it a major contender as the most popular game in the world.

If the number of Twitch views denotes what is the most popular game in the world today, Resident Evil Village would have won hands down in May. It was a record month for streams of any single-player game on the Twitch platform – 48 million hours of live gaming consumed, to be exact.

Within just two months of its launch, the number of copies shifted of Resident Evil Village stood at over 4.5 million, according to Capcom. That places this title up there as one of Capcom’s most successful games of all-time, alongside Resident Evil 7 and Monster Hunter World.

Players assume the helm of protagonist Ethan Winters, who desperately searches for his kidnapped daughter. The biggest attraction in Resident Evil Village, however, is the return of character Lady Dimitrescu, providing a sense of nostalgia for long-time fans of the franchise. 

For those searching high and low online for the most popular game in the world, it’s important not to discount popular mobile games too. According to TechJury, these account for 43% of all smartphone use, with the number of active mobile gamers now standing at more than 2.2 billion worldwide!

What is the most played game in the world on mobile? Supersonic Studios’ Join Clash 3D is certainly one to watch. Join Clash 3D was the most downloaded mobile game during the first half of 2021, with almost 1.6 million downloads from the Google Play store alone.

As of March 2021, Supersonic Studios revealed that Join Clash 3D had racked up 27.6 million installations in total.

Those unfamiliar with the concept of Join Clash 3D will discover that this title is dubbed an “epical survival run” game on its Google Play store description. In that case, in terms of Google Play downloads, this game might just answer the criteria of what the most popular game in the world is.

You might think that regardless of what is “officially” the most popular game in the world, it shouldn’t be a hyper casual game. However, that would be doing this genre a huge disservice, given that the niche is taking mobile gaming by storm across all demographics.

Build your running team and make your way along the pathway, avoiding the ever-increasing obstacles and hurdles that lie in wait. Reach the castle at the end of the game and claim the fortress to complete the game.

In Conclusion

Choosing what is the most popular game in the world right now can only be achieved using raw industry data. It can’t be a matter of opinions.

That’s why it’s quite conclusive in terms of sales, downloads and installs that the likes of Black Ops – Cold War, Resident Evil Village and Join Clash 3D are dominating the gaming landscape in 2021.

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