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5 Most Popular Games on Steam Right Now (March 2023)

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best simulation games on Steam

Steam has long been the preferred gaming store for PC gamers since its inception. A big reason for this is due to its extensive game catalog, which contains every type of game imaginable. In fact, it was reported in 2022 that Steam bolstered a roster of over 10,000 games. An overwhelming amount to say the least. But, despite the abundance of competition, a handful of titles still manage to rise to the top of the popularity ladder. And these are the most popular games on Steam that have separated themselves from the crowd in March 2023.

5. Stellaris

Stellaris - Three Year Anniversary Trailer

Stellaris is a grand strategy game in which you govern a futuristic civilization with the goal of establishing a galactic empire. Beginning as a small colony with the potential to only exist on a few planets, you must compete with other civilizations to colonize additional worlds for vital resources through bureaucracy, cultural influence, and military might. Each empire, like Sid Meiers' Civilization, has distinct attributes and characteristics ranging from ideology to government type and specie traits. Each of these categories will affect your strategy for winning. 

A standard-sized game contains 24 randomly generated civilizations that you explore and interact with. Some of which you'll make friends with, and others, enemies. Nonetheless, Stellaris is one of the most popular games on Steam right now due to its unique take on the genre. The game thrives on the fast-paced robustness of the early game and the race to get your feet on the ground and surpass other colonies.

4. Anno 1800

Anno 1800: Official Gamescom 2018 Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]

Anno 1800 returns to its roots, rewinding the clock to early history after the previous two installments were set far in the future. As a European settler in the new world, you must acquire resources and develop infrastructure for inhabitants to thrive in this real-time city-building strategy game. With that said, Anno 1800 is not an easy game to play. Its layout is not the friendliest to learn which can make it a bit of a slow burn for newcomers. However, there are numerous tutorials that will show you the ropes. 

What's more intriguing though, is that Anno 1800 has a story mode included within its strategy. Essentially, the plot has you returning to the old land to help your ailing father, however, you encounter numerous barriers preventing you from leaving. As the story progresses, you will see every aspect of the game, including city construction, combat, trade, and long sailing expeditions. These features tied into the story are what get gamers hooked on Anno 1800's gameplay, and evidently why it's making a name as one of the most popular games on Steam right now.

3. Sons of the Forest

Sons Of The Forest Trailer 2

Sons of the Forest is the sequel to the original The Forest and one of the most anticipated releases of 2023 so far. In this survival horror game, your search and rescue team crashes on a remote island, leaving you and one other survivor, known as Kelvin, as the only survivors. Together, you must scavenge, hunt, and find shelter. However, these aren't your biggest worries in your fight for survival. The area where you've found yourself stranded is inhabited by cannibals and other horrific monsters. And you're presence has caused quite a disturbance.

As a result, Sons of the Forest will have your fight-or-flight response working overtime. Fortunately, not all the weight falls on your shoulders as you can play with up to 8 friends; don't forget about Kelvin! Nonetheless, Sons of the Forest was a significant improvement in terms of gameplay, mechanics, and overall adventure. As a result, it has deservedly become one of the most popular games on Steam in March 2023.

2. Apex Legends

Apex Legends Gameplay Trailer

Apex Legends is one of the most popular FPS games on Steam and in the battle-royale scene. This is undoubtedly due to the game's unique take on the genre, which is a hero-shooter BR with fluid and fast-paced movement being its bread and butter. You can choose between one of the 23 legends in your three-man squad. Each legend has three abilities: tactical, passive, and ultimate. This defines each legend's playstyle, with some being more tank, healer, or damage focused. As a result, Legend composition, ability chemistry, and communication are all vital components in winning a match.

As a result, there's often a lot going on at all times in Apex Legends, so don't expect to be bush camping to the final circle. It rewards players who take the fight to other teams, rather than squads that are passive. Nonetheless, its chaotic engagements, liquid movement, and addicting gameplay are why it's remained one of the most popular games on Steam for not months, but years on end.

1. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Trailer

CS:GO is one of the most well-known and popular FPS and Steam games of all time. Teams of 5v5 players must compete in best of 30 or 15 round matches where both teams take turns playing as the Terrorist group, whose goal is to plant a bomb on a site, and the Counter Terrorist group who must stop them. The concept allows for constant high stakes and nail-biting rounds, which is why the game has grown to become one of the most popular Esports games of all time.

While CS:GO has been the most popular game on Steam for nearly a decade, its popularity will only grow. And it's all thanks to Valve's recent announcement of Counter-Strike 2. Abbreviated as CS2 for short, this is the new and improved sequel that was rumored for years. However, Valve has just made the unveiling, which has caused quite a stir in the community. You can read all the details about CS2 here. But, you can bet your bottom dollar that when it releases, it will be one of the most popular games on Steam for years to come.

So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other popular games on Steam that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!

Riley Fonger is a freelance writer, music lover, and gamer since adolescence. He loves anything video game-related and grew up with a passion for story games such as Bioshock and The Last of Us.