2021 has been over for a couple of weeks at this point, but many are still reflecting on what the last year had in store. This includes video game companies like PlayStation, which recently released lists of the most-downloaded games in 2021 across PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and free-to-play titles. And as one might have guessed, many of the games in the top 10 are the usual suspects.
The most-downloaded PS5 game of 2021 was NBA 2K22, the latest entry in the endlessly popular basketball series from 2K Sports. Hot on its heels was Call of Duty: Vanguard, trailed by Spider-Man: Miles Morales in third place. Spider-Man: Miles Morales sales being so high in 2021 may be somewhat surprising to some since the game originally launched in 2020, but it likely had a boost from more people finally being able to get their hands on a PS5 and picking Miles Morales as one of their first games as well as Spider-Man hype in general from the No Way Home movie.
The PS4 top three are quite a bit different, with Grand Theft Auto 5 being the most-downloaded game on the platform despite having originally released for the PS4 in 2014. It was followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War as opposed to Call of Duty: Vanguard, which is surprising as Vanguard is the newest Call of Duty game whereas Black Ops Cold War first launched in 2020. In third place for PS4 is Minecraft, which makes sense as Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time and doesn't have a native PS5 version at the time of this writing.
Most-Downloaded PS5 Games of 2021
10. Far Cry 6
9. Resident Evil Village
8. MLB The Show 21
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
6. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
5. Battlefield 2042
4. Madden NFL 22
3. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
2. Call of Duty: Vanguard
1. NBA 2K22
Most-Downloaded PS4 Games of 2021
10. Mortal Kombat 11
9. MLB The Show 21
8. Red Dead Redemption 2
7. NBA 2K21
6. Madden NFL 22
5. Call of Duty: Vanguard
4. NBA 2K22
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
1. Grand Theft Auto 5
Most-Downloaded PlayStation VR Games of 2021
10. The Walking Dead: Onslaught
9. Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality
8. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
7. Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series
6. Creed: Rise to Glory
5. Swordsman VR
3. Superhot VR
2. Job Simulator
1. Beat Saber
Most-Downloaded Free-to-Play Games of 2021
10. Rogue Company
8. Rec Room
7. Destiny 2
6. Genshin Impact
5. Apex Legends
3. Rocket League
2. Call of Duty: Warzone
The PlayStation VR and free-to-play categories didn't have many surprises. Beat Saber remains one of VR's killer apps, as does Job Simulator, so it's no surprise at all to see them take the top two spots. Apex Legends, Splitgate, Rocket League, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Fortnite reign supreme over the free-to-play arena as many would have expected, though some may be surprised to see Genshin Impact fail to crack the top 5 despite its incredible popularity. That could be a sign that the bulk of Genshin Impact's playerbase is playing the game on PC and mobile instead, though that's just speculation at this time.
It will be interesting to see what the 2022 charts look come next year. There are numerous high profile PlayStation games set to launch in 2022, including the likes of Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok, so there's going to be some serious competition to say the least.
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