Valve has announced the Top 100 best-selling games of 2016 for the Steam platform. The list is divided into four categories - Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with the first three groups having 12 titles each. The list is sorted by gross revenue in 2016, but lacks hard numbers, so there's no way to determine what the sales gulf between each title is.
The top-end Platinum category is anchored by a few releases from the previous year, including Grand Theft Auto V, Rocket League, Fallout 4, and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. There's even perennial Valve favorites DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Go still holding on. That said, there are notable 2016 releases in the Platinum category, with Firaxis taking two spots via Civilization VI and XCOM 2. No Man's Sky caused a great deal of controversy in 2016, but that didn't stop it from selling quite well. Ubisoft's The Division and From Software's Dark Souls III round out the Platinum category.
Gold is where the list starts to get more interesting and we begin to delve into independent game releases. Stardew Valley, Dead by Daylight, Stellaris, ARK: Survival Evolved, Warframe, Arma III, and H1Z1 all landed in this tier. Two games were given a new lease on life in 2016, leading to renewed sales: Rise of the Tomb Raider and Rainbow Six: Siege. Doom appears as the big 2016 AAA release and Call of Duty: Black Ops III seemingly beat its successor this year.
In the Silver tier, 2016 releases like Planet Coaster, Watch Dogs 2, FarCry Primal, Hearts of Iron IV, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided are joined by ongoing PC favorites like Smite, Skyrim, Cities: Skylines, Dying Light, Rust, Europa Universalis IV, Civilization V, Payday 2, and War Thunder.
Finally, the Bronze tier rounds out the entire list with the best of the rest. Indie hits like Astroneer, Rimworld, Euro Truck Simulator 2, and Darkest Dungeon fight it out with games like Dishonored 2, Just Cause 3, Mafia III, and Final Fantasy XIV.
If the Top 100 shows anything, it's that games should be looking beyond the launch window for sales. A great game with ongoing support from a passionate developer and publisher can find sales years down the line. There's no one way to success and the variety found in this Top 100 is a testament to that.