Sony reveals most-downloaded PlayStation games in 2021

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As most people already know, 2020 and 2021 were not the best years for traditional retail. With epidemics closing stores and keeping people at home, mail-order and digital sales in those affected areas have increased significantly. Downloads and streaming continued the movie business and was a huge boon to console gaming.

Telling us on the business side of things, Sony has released its best-selling games for 2021 on its active platforms. Let’s take a look at the chart per console.

PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5 side

Looks like someone has a monkey’s paw and wants the PS5 to come out by the end of 2020, no matter what. Surrounded by availability issues, the PS5 is one of the most sought after pieces of electronics within a year of its launch. With a lack of retail reliability and you have an interesting challenge for Sony’s PlayStation Network. One is that, since the launch of the PS5, they seem to have no solution to the problem. According to a PlayStation blog post, Among did well, especially in view of its December launch.


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One last thing to note before we get to the numbers – this list does not include PS4 to PS5 game upgrades. Here are the top 20 downloadable games in North America:

  1. NBA 2K22
  2. Call of Duty: Vanguard
  3. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  4. Madden NFL22
  5. Battlefield 2042
  6. Ratchet and Clink: Rift apart
  7. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  8. MLB The Show 21
  9. Resident Evil Village
  10. Far Cry 6
  11. Assassin Creed Valhalla
  12. FIFA 22
  13. From us
  14. Terrible Combat 11
  15. NBA 2K21 Next Generation
  16. It takes two
  17. FIFA 21
  18. Deathloop
  19. Return
  20. Cana: Bridge of Spirits

The European Union Chart and the North American Chart are filled with similar titles, often divided by national sporting choices, such as Maiden and F1 2020. For comparison, here is the EU Chart:

  1. FIFA 22
  2. Call of Duty: Vanguard
  3. FIFA 21
  4. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  5. Battlefield 2042
  6. From us
  7. Cana: Bridge of Spirits
  8. Far Cry 6
  9. It takes two
  10. Assassin Creed Valhalla
  11. F1 2021
  12. Resident Evil Village
  13. NBA 2K22
  14. Ratchet and Clink: Rift apart
  15. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  16. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six | Dark
  17. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition
  18. Diablo II: Resurrection
  19. Deathloop
  20. Terrible Combat 11

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 Pro Limited Edition.

While not exactly what Sony had hoped for, the PS4 is still the flagship platform for PlayStation homes. Another good year for the PS4 has been with the price falling due to the lack of availability of the PS5. Leading the pack, and the winner of the “Will this game ever stop downloading” award is Grand Theft Auto V. The North American charts between the two generations show us some things. Sports games, apart from being very popular, are usually good sellers on new systems because they spend a lot of time on graphic loyalty. It also shows that GTA5 is yet to launch on the next gen console.

North America:

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  3. Minecraft
  4. NBA 2K22
  5. Call of Duty: Vanguard
  6. Madden NFL22
  7. NBA 2K21
  8. Red Dead Redemption 2
  9. MLB The Show 21
  10. Terrible Combat 11
  11. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  12. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  13. FIFA 22
  14. Forest
  15. Need speed heat
  16. UFC 4
  17. ARK: Survival developed
  18. Gang Beasts
  19. Rust console version
  20. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker

In the European Union, the charts are similar but replace anything non-mainstream with a game of football and you will realize.

European Union:

  1. FIFA 22
  2. Grand Theft Auto V
  3. Minecraft
  4. FIFA 21
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  6. Crew 2
  7. Red Dead Redemption 2
  8. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year edition
  9. Call of Duty: Vanguard
  10. Forest
  11. Fall Guys: The Ultimate Knockout
  12. Gran Turismo Sport
  13. ARK: Survival developed
  14. Need speed heat
  15. NBA 2K21
  16. Gang Beasts
  17. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six | SIEGE
  18. eFootball PES 2021 Season Update
  19. From us
  20. Assassin Creed Valhalla

PlayStation Virtual Reality

Sony's PlayStation VR 2 headset.

For anyone following the VR space, the top 3 choices in NA and EU will be a bit of a surprise. Beat suede, job simulator and superhot are extremely popular throughout the region. The following titles are also not surprising as the availability of quality PSVR games is less than in many other VR markets.

North America:

  1. Beat the saber
  2. Job simulator
  3. Superhot VR
  4. Gorn
  5. Wordsman VR
  6. Creed Rise to Glory
  7. Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series
  8. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
  9. Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Elity
  10. Walking Dead Onslaught

At least according to the title, the only difference between the two charts is that the NA has a walking dead onslaught and the EU has an astroboat rescue mission in their last place. The rankings otherwise go up or down one or two places, but the charts are very similar.

European Union:

  1. Beat the saber
  2. Job simulator
  3. Superhot VR
  4. Creed: The Rise of Glory
  5. Wordsman VR
  6. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
  7. Gorn
  8. Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Elity
  9. Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series
  10. Astro Boat Rescue Mission

PlayStation Network Free-to-Play

An interesting inclusion in the charts are downloads for all free-to-play content. With so many players stuck at home for at least part of the year, games that cost nothing to play attract a lot of attention. At the top of both charts is Fortnite, which is not surprising to anyone. Following Fortnite, in different order depending on the region, you have the usual suspects: Call of Duty, Rocket League, Destiny 2 and Apex Legends.

North America:

  1. Fortnight
  2. Call of Duty: Warzone
  3. Rocket League
  4. Splitgate
  5. Supreme Legends
  6. Genshin effect
  7. Destiny 2
  8. Rack room
  9. Brawl
  10. Thug company

Another category where you can tell the nationality by their choice of sports. I’m watching you live, the eFootball franchise.

European Union:

  1. Fortnight
  2. Rocket League
  3. Call of Duty: Warzone
  4. eFootball 2022
  5. Genshin effect
  6. Supreme Legends
  7. eFootball PES 2021 LITE
  8. Brawl
  9. Destiny 2
  10. Splitgate

2022 and beyond

2021 in general was not the great return we all hoped for. With this new year, will Sony be able to get into the hands of fans who love the PS5? Will the PS4 be as strong as the performance in 2022 due to lack of availability? Will PSVR 2 catch and drive new VR sales?

We’ll see you here again next year for some answers!


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