GameDiscoverCo has ranked the top-grossing and best-selling new game releases of 2023 across Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. And as Simon Carless noted, the results are “part predictable, part intriguing.”

Top games of 2023 by units sold on Steam and consoles include Sons of The Forest, Call of Duty, and Zelda

Carless shared the list of top new PC and console games of 2023 in the latest GameDiscoverCo newsletter. The ranking is based on GameDiscoverCo’s estimates and (applicable to Steam) only includes initial releases, so there are no titles like Baldur’s Gate 3.

GameDiscoverCo didn’t share any sales figures, but it is still a great way to look at this year’s top-performing new games.

Top Steam games of 2023

What may surprise many, Sons of the Forest was the best-selling game on Steam in 2023. According to GameDiscoverCo’s estimates, the long-awaited sequel to the survival hit game The Forest managed to outperform big AAA titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (#2), Hogwarts Legacy (#4), and Resident Evil 4 (#6).

Launched in Early Access on February 23, Sons of the Forest peaked at over 414k concurrent players, becoming the third most played new release of 2023 on Steam by that metric. It currently has an 85% rating on the platform based on more than 151k user reviews.

Perhaps, Baldur’s Gate 3 could have top the list if it had been included, but this is still a huge victory for Endnight Games. Not to mention that it is always great to see independent titles take the crown, especially in a year filled with worthy competitors. Other indie hits that made the top 10 include Lethal Company (#3) and BattleBit Remastered (#5).

GameDiscoverCo’s top 10 new Steam games of 2023 by units sold can be seen below (full-motion interactive dating sim Love Is All Around, developed by Chinese studio intiny, is one of those surprise hits):

  1. Sons of the Forest
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III
  3. Lethal Company
  4. Hogwarts Legacy
  5. BattleBit Remastered
  6. Resident Evil 4
  7. Starfield
  8. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  9. Love is All Around
  10. EA Sports FC 24

Among the top 20 best-selling titles on Steam are Gunfire’s co-op action game with soulslike elements Remnant II (#11), FromSoftware’s mech action title Armored Core VI (#13), Capcom’s fighting game Street Fighter 6 (#14), the now-delisted climbing platformer Only Up! (#17), and the remastered version of popular roguelike/platformer Risk of Rain Returns (#20).

When looking at the top 20 highest-grossing Steam games of 2023, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III unsurprisingly takes the top spot. As Carless pointed out, MWIII was released as a sort of DLC to the base CoD app, making it almost impossible to track its revenue via normal methods: “We’ve estimated it as a % of the 2022 release — the best we can do — but may have overestimated.”

The full list, which is dominated by AAA blockbusters, sequels, and games based on popular IPs, can be seen below.

Top-selling console games of 2023

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III was the top game of 2023 by units sold on both PlayStation (excluding PS Plus downloads) and Xbox (among non-Game Pass titles), according to GameDiscoverCo’s estimates.

Unlike Steam, no indie/cheaper titles can be seen on the console charts. The top 10 looks pretty similar on both platforms, but the list of best-selling PlayStation games includes two exclusive games, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (#4) and Final Fantasty XVI (#10).

It is worth noting that Baldur’s Gate 3 made it onto the console charts, ranking 17th on PlayStation and 19th on Xbox in terms of units sold.

Top 10 games of 2023 by units sold on Xbox (left) and PlayStation (right), according to GameDiscoverCo

GameDiscoverCo also ranked the top 20 Xbox games that were released on the platform in 2023 and were added to Game Pass on day one. Starfield is the leader here, but some third-party titles such as Atomic Heart (#2), the GoldenEye 007 remaster (#4), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (#8), and Lies of P (#10) also performed really impressively in terms of downloads.

As opposed to PlayStation and Xbox, the Nintendo Switch chart is full of the company’s first-party releases (note that the ranking is based on digital units sold on the US eShop).

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was the best-selling game of 2023 on the platform, followed by Metroid Prime Remastered, Pikmin 4, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and Kirby’s Return to Dream Land. All five games are from Nintendo, which is quite impressive!

The top 20, however, includes some notable third-party releases such as Red Dead Redemption (#7), Vampire Survivors (#10), Sea of Stars (#14), and EA Sports FC 24 (#16).

For more data and valuable information on this year’s best gaming releases, check out GameDiscoverCo’s full article.

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