With the surge in technology and the internet, online games have become a significant cultural phenomenon. The most obvious example of online games is MMORPGs or MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games).
MMOs attract a huge number of player communities that can be even larger than the population of many small to medium-sized countries.
The most popular online games use different gaming consoles like PC, Nintendo gaming devices, Playstations, and Xboxes.
However, the recent rise in online games is also because there is a significant increase in the availability of online games on different platforms like Android, iOS, Windows Phone OS, and Symbian.
Of course, you have multiple ways to play online games. But first of all, you ask yourself which game to play?
Hence, we have listed our top 12 picks for the best online games of 2021.
12 Best Online Games
12. Splatoon 2
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release Date: July 21, 2017
- Sales: 12.21 million copies, as of March 21
The second installment of the Splatoon series, Splatoon 2, is a third-person shooter game.
This game has an interesting story-driven single-player and online multiplayer mode.
In this game, players can control different characters, namely, Octolings and Inklings. In addition, they use ammunition in the form of inks.
The best part of the game is the “SplatFest” events which allowed all casual to hardcore gamers to come together and compete in the turf war based on in-game polls.
Additionally, this game has generated many YouTube and Twitch streams.
Moreover, Splatoon 2 has won Famitsu and CEDEC awards in 2018.
Besides, Splatoon 3 is also set to release in 2022 for Nintendo Switch. So, stay tuned.
11. The Division 2
- Developer: Ubisoft
- Release Date: March 15, 2019
- Sales: Over 10 million copies at launch
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the sequel to its predecessor Tom Clancy’s The Division (2016).
The Division 2 is an interesting action-packed role-playing video game.
In this game, the genetically engineered virus named “Green Poison” outbreaks.
Consequently, the story follows different division agents trying to defend the settlement and rebuild the city.
The best part is that this game always gives players something new and ridiculously fun to pay for.
Also, most games of this genre are only fun to play in a group. However, this game is total fun, even in solo mode.
During the release, this game was available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
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10. Dota 2
- Developer: Valve Corporation
- Release Date: Windows (July 9, 2013), Linux, OS X (July 18, 2013)
- Players count: 13 million
Dota 2 is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) video game sequel to DotA (Defense of the Ancients).
Dota 2 is played among two teams of five. Of course, both teams try to defend and conquer each other’s base for the win.
Every player selects and controls their powerful characters independently, known as a hero.
This game is still extremely popular because of its strategy-based gameplay. Every game requires a new strategy to win.
Moreover, the complexity itself, teamwork, tension, diversity of heroes with different skills makes this game very addictive and the best online game even in 2021.
Furthermore, this game has acquired many awards like IGN’s People’s Choice Award, Esport game of the year award, Best PC Game of 2013, Best MOBA at the 2015 Global Game Awards, and many more.
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release Date: Windows and MacOS (March 11, 2014), iOS (April 16, 2014), Android (December 15, 2014
- Players Count: 100 Million
Hearthstone is a digital collectible card game. Also, this game is built upon the Warcraft series.
This card-based game is played between two players who use a constructed deck of 30 cards with a hero who possesses unparalleled power.
Moreover, players can gain the upper hand by buying packs of new cards and improving their decks.
This game is addictive and popular as it is a card game based on luck. That feeling of luck is very compelling, and players love to taste their luck.
In addition, this game has a straightforward interface which makes it easy to learn.
- Developer: Mojang Studios
- Release Date: 18 November 2011
- Players count: 600 Million
One of the best-selling online video games of all time, Minecraft is a 3D sandbox game.
This game has no objectives and goals. Thus, players can do whatever they want in-game.
Players can choose among First-person perspective or Third-person perspective modes.
In this game, players can battle the computer-controlled “mobs” depending on the game mode.
Additionally, players can cooperate with or compete against others in the same world.
The foremost reason this game is so popular is its versatility.
If you want to have a hardcore survivalist experience or want to hop around and build majestic castles and cities or create your own minigames inside, this game can give you all.
Furthermore, there is a block-based creative mode as well. Thus, players can use their creativity and make their own masterpiece open-world.
Minecraft is available in Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Playstation, Nintendo, IOS, and Xbox One.
7. Final Fantasy XIV
- Developer: Square Enix Business
- Release Date: Windows, PS 3(August 27, 2013), PS 4(April 14, 2014), OS X(June 23, 2015), PS 5 (May 25, 2021)
- Players count 20 million.
Popular MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV is actually the relaunched game, also called A Realm Reborn. Indeed, the original FF14 2010 was a failure.
Later, a new team from Squarer Enix worked together to release this much-improved version.
This game only consists of multiplayer mode. Besides, you can roleplay by organizing your house, conversing with friends, and many more.
Moreover, this game is getting better and better every year, and the game is a phenomenal work of art.
Furthermore, its combat systems and contents were revamped to make it approachable to more players.
Additionally, thought-provoking storytelling and the deeper mechanics of FFXIV make this game stand tall among other games.
Hence, more than 22 million players were registered by April 2021.
6. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)
- Developer: Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment
- Release Date: August 21, 2012
- Players count: 46 million
First-person multiplayer shooter game CS: GO is the fourth sequel in the Counter-strike series. CS: GO was under development for over 2 years.
Afterward, it was released in Windows, macOS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in August 2012 and for Linux in 2014.
Two teams, Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, fight each other. Moreover, the terrorist group aims to plant bombs and keeping hostages.
On the other hand, Counter-Terrorist strives to diffuse those bombs and to save hostages without harm.
The game mechanics seem pretty simple and boring, but why is it so popular?
It is very hard to Master and requires years to get good at it. Concentration, communication, team play, and calmness is the key towards victory.
Valve regularly updates the game with both smaller balancing patches and larger content additions. “Danger Zone” and “Battle-royale” modes are the two latest big additions.
Therefore, this game is still on the list of our top best online games in 2021.
5. Apex Legends
- Developer: Respawn Entertainment
- Release Date: Windows, PS4, Xbox One (February 4, 2019), Switch (March 9, 2021), Android, iOS (2022)
- Players count: 100 million by April 2021
Apex Legends is a battle royale first-person shooter game that is available for free to play.
Also, this game is science fiction, as it is in Respawn Entertainment’s Titan series.
This game consists of Battle royale where 20 three-player squads or 30 two-player duos compete for the weapons, supplies, and win.
Additionally, Arena mode is also available, where three-person squads fight head-to-head 3v3 deathmatch.
The game is one of the most loved and best online games because it’s fast-paced and, at the same time, very tactical.
Different characters in this game, commonly termed Legends have their own interesting backstory.
Also, the excitement level this game creates makes it one of the best online games in 2021.
Consequently, Apex Legends has won many awards, namely, Japan Game Awards, 2019 Golden Joystick Awards, The Game Awards 2019, 23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, Steam Awards 2020, many more.
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4. League of Legends
- Developer: Riot Games
- Release Date: October 27, 2009
- Players count: 111 million
League of Legends (LoL) is an online multiplayer battle arena video game. It is available for free.
However, different customizations and advancements require money.
Each player acts as a summoner in this game, who controls a single character called a “champion” with unique powers and abilities.
Moreover, each game consists of two teams, and each team consists of 5 players.
Players collect experience points in the game and purchase items that make each champion and a team more powerful.
Eventually, the team, with more patience and constant farming, won the game.
The regular updates, competitive nature, and short match time compared to other games of the same genre makes this game very addictive and one of the best online game.
This game is available to enjoy on different platforms, namely, XBOX, iOS, PC, Android, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.
3. Call of Duty
- Developer: Infinity Ward
- Release Date: October 29, 2003 (First edition), October 25, 2019 (Latest issued)
- Players count in Call of Duty Warzone: 100 million
Call of Duty is a 3D action first-person shooter game series. It is one of the best online shooting games in the world still in 2021.
This game series has released a list of titles. Some of the popular ones are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Call of Duty: Warzone, Call of Duty WW2.
Call of Duty is available to play on many platforms like Microsoft Windows, OS X, Nintendo DS, GameCube, Nokia N-Gage, PS (2, 3, 4,5, Portable, Vita), Wii, Wii U, Xbox, iOS, Android, Blackberry and J2ME.
The best part about this game is that you can play this game anywhere in the world.
Additionally, this is a multiplayer game.
2. Fortnite Battle Royale
- Developer: Epic Games
- Release Date: September 26, 2017
- Players count: 350 million
Fortnite is a popular multiplayer first-person shooter free-to-play battle royale online game.
Players can play this gamed on different platforms like Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.
As the name suggests, it is the battle royale game.
Hence, 100 players skydive into an island, loot, and scavenge for different gears to defend themselves from competitors. The four modes in this game are Solo, Duos, Trios, and Squads.
Gamers of all ages love this game because of its unpredictable gameplay, intuitive design, and visual appeal.
Fortnite Battle royale had generated 2 billion dollars worldwide by March 2019.
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- Developer: PUBG Corporation
- Release Date: December 20, 2017
- Players count: 1.07 billion
If you guessed it from the beginning, then yes, you are right. PUBG is at the top of our top 12 best online games globally in 2021, with the highest players count.
PUBG is a multiplayer battle royale game. Also, it is well known for its top-notch gameplay and realistic graphics.
So, this game does not need any introduction because of its huge attraction to the global players.
Furthermore, PUBG mobile hit 1 billion downloads in March 2021 outside of China.
Moreover, PUBG mobile became the highest-grossing game of the year in 2020 as it grossed over $2.6 billion.
Likewise, in PUBG also up to 100 players parachute on an island, loot, and survive to conquer chicken dinner at last.
The real-life experiences, unpredictable gameplay, multiple realistic original maps, accuracy in weapons, and versatility of this game make it the number one online game of 2021.
Therefore, PUBG has accumulated several awards, namely 35th Golden Joystick Awards 2017, The Game Awards 2017, 21st Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, Italian Video Game Awards 2018, 36th Golden Joystick Awards, and many more.