Stinger Rewind: Most Popular Video Games in 2021


Fortnite’s latest game update features a Spiderman skin players can buy to use in-game. (Photo courtesy Epic Games)

Amidst a global pandemic, people from all over the country found themselves stuck in their homes, with not much to do besides school. Outdoor activities were limited, venues were closed, and there was virtually nowhere left to go in person. So, people turned to the next best thing; online games. Thousands of multi-player games exist online, giving people an opportunity to connect with others from anywhere in the world in the comfort of their own homes. Some of the most played games in 2021 were multi-player, allowing people to maintain some form of communication with others in isolation. Here are some of the most popular multi-player games of 2021.

Among Us is a game where players are crewmates on a ship in space, with up to three imposters (crewmates disguised as killers) in the group of 10-15 players. The goal of the crewmates is to complete all their tasks without being killed by the imposters, and the goal of the imposters is to kill the crewmates before they can finish the tasks, without getting caught. A group of popular streamers including DisguisedToast, Valkyrae, and Pokimane made this game very popular, often playing it together on live with added mods in the game such as a proximity voice chat, or shape-shifting, to make the overall game more enjoyable and entertaining. As of 2021, Among Us averages 10,000 – 20,000 players online every day, and over 41 million downloads in total according to Steam, where the game can be bought and downloaded for $3.47.

Fortnite has experienced a steady rise in the gaming community, with it having over 350 million players as of 2021. Ever since it’s release in 2017, the free-to-play game has had a consistent rise in players. Fortnite is a game in which a group of 100 players fight to be the last one remaining. Players can find materials and weapons around the island they are dropped onto in order to build defensive structures or creations out of wood, stone, and other things. As well as having this gameplay, Fortnite has even hosted some virtual concerts for celebrities due to it’s popular platform, namely Travis Scott, and Marshmello. Ariana Grande even made an appearance in the game for a concert and had an event late July 2021 – early August 2021. Fortnite caused multiple people to have successful careers in video game streaming, such as Ninja, a full-time streamer who’s only job is to play the game while live for his average audience of 13,000 viewers per stream. He is one of Twitch’s top earners, earning about $1.3 million from Twitch payouts according to statistics that were leaked this October.

Minecraft is a well known game, hitting a decade since it’s release during November this year. As of March 2021, Minecraft has around 140 million players. This game can be played in single-player mode, where people can create their own worlds to do as they please, or it can be played in multi-player. Minecraft has several developed lobbies where people can join by simply entering an I.P address. The most notable of these lobbies is Hypixel, where players can participate in a wide variety of minigames that were all uniquely created. Another way people can play Minecraft in multi-player is by joining an SMP, which stands for Survival Multi-Player. An SMP is essentially a Minecraft Survival world, but more than one person can be part of it. A good example of an SMP that many people know about is the Dream SMP, created by popular Minecraft youtuber Dream, who is well-known for his Minecraft Manhunt videos with his friends. He is one of the reasons that Minecraft surged in popularity over the past year or two, along with his Youtuber and Twitch streamer friends, who are mostly all on this SMP.

One last game that has only been around for a little over a year set records for it’s newness; Genshin Impact. Genshin Impact is a RPG (Role-Playing Game) that was released on September 1st, 2020, and has amassed around $3.5 billion dollars since that date, according to Zeniet, a popular member of the Genshin Impact community. As of October 2021, Genshin Impact had about 9 million players.  This game is a free-to-play game, following a storyline of a Traveler who is not from the world Genshin is set in, Teyvat. The player starts off with one character, the Traveler, but as the storyline progresses, players get more characters added to their team. They then go on to complete quests and commissions to earn an in-game currency called primogems to wish for featured characters that have banners for each new version of the game. Currently, Genshin Impact is on Version 2.3, which released two new characters, as well as bringing back two older characters so newer players had an opportunity to try and get them again. When reaching a certain level in the game, players unlock a mode called Co-Op, where they can join other player’s worlds to get materials, fight bosses together, or beat domains together. Twitch streamers such as Tuonto, Antony Chen, and Bwaap all play Genshin Impact live, sometimes in Co-Op as well, which influenced many of their fans to get the game.

Along with these four games, so many other multi-player games exist, each one a unique game creating a way for people to play with their friends, make new ones, or even just have fun for a few hours with people they don’t know. Valorant, CS:GO (Counter Strike: Global Offensive), Apex Legends, and many, many others are all popular games that can be accessed on multiple consoles. All of these games have made an impact for so many people throughout 2021, and will continue to do so when the new year begins. 2021 was an amazing year for video games of every type, and every age.