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In Pictures: Tom's Hardware's 30 Most Popular PC Games

In Pictures: Tom's Hardware's 30 Most Popular PC Games
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How To Pick For Popularity

The absence of statistics and studies on video game sales makes our task difficult. We're basing our rankings on the numbers published by VGChartz and Wikipedia. The problem is that those resources only count the number of physical copies sold, leaving out online sales. Furthermore, VGChartz doesn’t break down sales for Windows, Mac, and Linux. And finally, it’s sometimes impossible to distinguish between PC and console sales because of the vague statistics discussed by game publishers.

So, in order to create the most accurate ranking possible, we tempered the results from those publications by referring to other rankings and taking each game’s cultural impact into consideration. That’s why, instead of calling this a list of best-selling PC games, we're working with the most popular PC titles, sorted in alphabetical order to limit the subjectivity of our approach.

We also made the decision to limit ourselves to one title per series in order to present more games and avoid the inevitable redundancy. For instance, The Sims is not included because The Sims 2 sold many more copies. There are also series that left their mark on video game culture, such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. But each title from those families sold considerably less than the games in our list, which explains their absence.

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  • 20 Hide
    Aoyagi , March 14, 2014 2:02 AM
    Obligatory post complaining about picking Diablo 3 over Diablo 2.
Other Comments
  • -7 Hide
    vishu_ka , March 14, 2014 1:51 AM
    not even a single GTA series game... this list doesn't work for me! ;) 
  • 20 Hide
    Aoyagi , March 14, 2014 2:02 AM
    Obligatory post complaining about picking Diablo 3 over Diablo 2.
  • 5 Hide
    cats_Paw , March 14, 2014 2:23 AM
    Starcraft 1. There is still hope for Toms :D .Many games that are here I must admit I never played, but I can aggree with some titles like Doom3 (oh man, when this came out it was crazy, I can only pray they do such a great job with Doom 4).Skyrim is rather obvious but Id rather see morrowind here.I also agree on D2 over D3, but D2 came to life when gaming was much less popular.WoW is no suprise :D .Tomb raider 2 is cute, but I sort of would have liked to see a Price of persia title in here. Nostalgia and all.
  • -4 Hide
    knowom , March 14, 2014 2:39 AM
    4If I had to pick a top 3 from this list it would be Everquest, Counter Strike, and Skyrim.The fact that league of legends isn't on this list is beyond fail especially when they put Diablo 3 on the list that's just trolling.
  • -8 Hide
    Divyanshu Sah , March 14, 2014 3:03 AM
    On what basis have they made this article . If it is on the basis of no. of copies sold. Then they must include gta 5 which sold around 32.5 million copies and what about call of duty.
  • 9 Hide
    AlbertXi , March 14, 2014 3:32 AM
    Guys this is a POPULAR list based on units SOLD is not about what is a good game, that is why there is Diablo 3 instead of 2.
  • 9 Hide
    AlbertXi , March 14, 2014 3:33 AM
    GTA 5? is A PC LIST!!!! and League of Legends is free, so not sold!!! can you guys read or not?
  • 2 Hide
    sdutton007 , March 14, 2014 3:55 AM
    "Baldur’s Gate is a role-playing game (RPG) with sales exceeding two million units. Released in 1998, it is the first title to be set in the famous Forgotten Realms, and is heavily inspired by Advanced Dungeons & Dragons."There were many other titles set in the Forgotten Realms before BG, and it is not inspired by AD&D. AD&D is the set of rules that BG runs on.
  • 2 Hide
    joditas , March 14, 2014 4:13 AM
    It says "Most Popular *PC* Games", so GTA 5 wouldn't qualify, at least not yet. GTA San Andreas has PC version but available data seems to indicate most of sales are generated from consoles, same for CoD series.Not sure about Diablo 2, I thought it should be on the list, maybe Diablo 3 does sell more due to its modern status and anticipation.Well PC gamers, time to step up :) 
  • 3 Hide
    AlbertXi , March 14, 2014 4:24 AM
    GTA 5? is A PC LIST!!!! and League of Legends is free, so not sold!!! can you guys read or not?
  • 3 Hide
    mouse24 , March 14, 2014 4:31 AM
    As a former wow player. That hotbar setup is hilariously bad.
  • 3 Hide
    joditas , March 14, 2014 4:31 AM
    Quote:
    League of Legends is free, so not sold!!! can you guys read or not?
    To be fair, the title "popular" can be ambiguous and doesn't fit the description on page one, which says "sold" numbers are used. The title needs to change to "30 best-selling PC games".
  • 0 Hide
    joditas , March 14, 2014 4:32 AM
    Quote:
    League of Legends is free, so not sold!!! can you guys read or not?
    To be fair, the title "popular" can be ambiguous and doesn't fit the description on page one, which says "sold" numbers are used. The title needs to change to "30 best-selling PC games".
  • 2 Hide
    PseudopsiaKite , March 14, 2014 4:51 AM
    Did I miss Civilization?
  • 0 Hide
    AlbertXi , March 14, 2014 5:06 AM
    GTA 5? is A PC LIST!!!! and League of Legends is free, so not sold!!! can you guys read or not?
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , March 14, 2014 5:50 AM
    I am happy to see Guild Wars in your list. I still play it. I believe it was a pioneer of the F2P model that was not P2W, and works well.
  • 0 Hide
    Zeh , March 14, 2014 6:16 AM
    They got so many titles right, that i'm not even gonna complain about Civilization 2.
  • -1 Hide
    Flying-Q , March 14, 2014 7:16 AM
    So how come EVE Online is not on this list? It has had well over 3 million subscribers but not all simultaneously. Homework needed.
  • 0 Hide
    teknic111 , March 14, 2014 8:21 AM
    No X-Wing???
  • 0 Hide
    mapesdhs , March 14, 2014 8:28 AM
    Someone's just given me a 1992 X-Wing box for DOS; trying to work out if I haveanything old enough to run it...Ian.
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