The one measure that actually counts for popularity: the number of people who want to buy the game. Thanks to Steam’s nifty feature, we know exactly what’s going to be a super popular game in 2024. Well, at least on PC!
We’ll skip the DLCs and expansion packs and only look at the full games for the 2024 slate. First, we’ll look at the most popular original games for 2024, and then we’ll check out the most anticipated sequels.
Also read: 7 Underrated Indie Games on Steam
The most popular original games in 2024 on Steam
“A co-op survival action RPG for up to 16 players” – that’s not something you hear or play everyday, and it explains why Keen Games’ Enshrouded is already one of the most popular games on Steam.
Enshrouded has all the fixings of a traditional RPG, where you’re the chosen one and you have to level up to fulfill your destiny. Here, you have all the crafting, open world adventuring and combat you’ll expect, but you are not alone.
Enshrouded launches on January 24, 2024 in Early Access, so it’s almost upon us. Are you ready to battle?
If you miss The Sims, city-building games and strategy titles like the classic Civilization, Europa Universalis or Anno series, you’ll probably jump on Manor Lords too.
Manor Lords is a rare beast nowadays: a strategy game focused on city building, economic simulations, tactical battles and so on.
As the name implies, here you get to rule your lands as a medieval lord, although don’t expect Game of Thrones madness Cersei-style. Manor Lords promises a historically accurate story and gameplay experiences that tries to avoid medieval tropes.
Manor Lords is set to launch on April 26, 2024.
Black Myth: Wukong
This action RPG has caught the attention of many due to its roots in Chinese mythology. Anyone familiar with Journey to the West probably added this game to their wishlist immediately after they heard about it.
Since the first trailer dropped about three years ago, the developer Game Science has kept a steady trickle of details that just make this game irresistible. Black Myth: Wukong has a unique combat system that includes both physical and spell attacks, with a hero who can switch between three different attack stances at any time. This isn’t the Wukong from League of Legends who just button mashes! Some reviewers even went as far as to compare Black Myth: Wukong with the Dark Souls series, but they did say the fighting system does not feel like a rehash.
Black Myth: Wukong launches on August 20, 2024
Just from that creepy cover photo you know Nightingale promises a new experience, and this fresh look is probably why so many added it to their wishlist.
The short of it? This feels a bit like Dishonored or Bioshock 3 in the whole “alternate history / reality” story. However, looks wise and mechanics-wise, Nightingale does its own thing and looks absolutely gorgeous, with fantastical landscapes and creatures alike.
This is a story set in Victorian times. Nightingale will let you explore a world whose progress is due to fairies (the Fae) showing up and sharing their skills with humans – until a plague shows up and puts everything in a state of suspended animation a la Sleeping Beauty.
After watching that trailer, it’s hard to get excited about any older franchises but I promise, there’s plenty to look forward to when it comes to sequels as well.
The most popular sequels in 2024 on Steam
More than three years after Hades wooed everyone and Supergiant Games cemented its place as a legendary game developer, Hades 2 is set to launch in Q2 2024.
Hades 2 has you meeting again Melinoë, the immortal Princess of the Underworld, daughter of Hades and sister of Zagreus.
This time, you’ll stand up to Chronos, the Titan of Time who has escaped his imprisonment in the Underworld, captured Hades, and began to wage war against Olympus.
Hollow Knight: Silksong
Anyone who tried Hollow Knight was tricked by its seemingly simple yet actually complex and addictive combat system, so it’s no wonder that the sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong, is one of the most wishlisted games on Steam.
If you consider the fact that Silksong was announced in early 2019, the long wait means more people got the chance to play the original Hollow Knight and fall in love with the franchise.
As for Silksong, we do know it’s a massive game compared with the first – it has over 100 benches, while the original one had 41, and will make you fight over 165 enemies.
For me, Frostpunk is probably the most addictive game I tried this decade, and when the announcement of Frostpunk 2 was made I rushed to Steam to see any little detail the devs might have unveiled.
As a kid obsessed with Sims and as an adult obsessed with all things Victorian, Frostpunk’s mixture of city building, 19th century setting and stressful stakes were a matchmade in heaven. Now, this year, Frostpunk 2 promises to explore “consequences of the advent of the petroleum industry,” and obviously me and millions of other players are here for that. Since the Frostpunk 2 gameplay trailer dropped last week, I.just.can’t.wait!
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl
The same sentiment goes for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl, a sequel to the excellent 2009 shooter Call of Pripyat. Actually typing this, I realize this sequel was in development for basically my entire career, as back in 2009 the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was one of the first I ever covered. Talk about taking their time?
Of course, Ukrainian game developer GSC Game World does have a reason for the massive delay of this project – this is a game that was initially canceled, then postponed, then restarted, then the war came.
Still, the STALKER series still holds a lot of mystery and I think I speak for millions of fans when I say we’re ready to venture out again in the exclusion zone. The STALKER 2 launch date is September 5, 2024, and hopefully this time it will come out.
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2
However, all the games in this list pale in comparison to the heart flutters I get whenever I hear “Vampire: The Masquerade”. And yes, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 is set to launch in 2024, give or take twenty years after the original.
I played the initial Vampire the Masquerade in about 2004 and, since then, hundreds of RPGs later, I still can’t find anything as deep or as engaging. Well, perhaps Deus Ex.
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines is still one of the most in-depth vampire universes out there and it’s a shame it took so long to expand it. If you missed the original, while you wait for the sequel I strongly recommend you fire it up. You can become a creature of the night like in your favorite vampire universe, whether you want to be as aristocratic as Lestat or as gruesome as the vampires in The Strain.
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 is developed by The Chinese Room, a company that revitalized the exploration genre with Dear Esther, so I have full confidence they’ll do it justice. I just wish they’d release a launch date already!