As the second decade of the 21st century unfolded, the world of PC gaming experienced seismic shifts. Not only did the technological aspects evolve, but the social dimensions of gaming took center stage. Multiplayer games, with their shared experiences and communal narratives, defined this era. Here’s a nostalgic trip through the most popular PC multiplayer games from 2010 to 2019.
League of Legends (LoL)
Release Date: 2009
Though technically released in 2009, League of Legends’ impact on the 2010s is undeniable. This free-to-play MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) from Riot Games quickly rose to dominate the eSports scene. With its captivating team-based strategies and diverse champion roster, LoL held the gaming community’s attention throughout the decade.
Release Date: 2011
A sandbox game with pixelated graphics might sound simplistic, but Minecraft’s allure is in its boundless possibilities. Players around the world collaborated to build intricate structures, cities, and even complete narratives, making Minecraft an emblematic multiplayer experience of the decade.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
Release Date: 2012
A successor to the iconic Counter-Strike series, CS:GO refined the first-person shooter formula to near perfection. Its competitive matchmaking, diverse weapon skins, and gripping tournaments made it a staple in multiplayer gaming.
Release Date: 2013
Steering the MOBA scene alongside LoL, Dota 2 built upon its predecessor, Dota (a mod for Warcraft III). With its intricate mechanics, steep learning curve, and million-dollar eSports tournaments like ‘The International,’ Dota 2 carved a niche of devoted followers.
Release Date: 2016
Blizzard’s colorful first-person shooter introduced players to a world where diverse heroes clashed in objective-based matches. With its blend of shooter mechanics and MOBA-like hero abilities, Overwatch became a multiplayer sensation, further boosted by its presence in the eSports domain.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
Release Date: 2017
Pioneering the battle royale craze, PUBG dropped 100 players onto an island to scavenge and survive. Its “last person standing” gameplay brought a fresh and adrenaline-pumping experience, influencing an entire subgenre of games.
Release Date: 2017
While PUBG initiated the battle royale trend, Fortnite popularized it. Its free-to-play model, combined with vibrant graphics, engaging emotes, and regular updates, turned it into a cultural phenomenon, drawing in gamers and non-gamers alike.
Rainbow Six Siege
Release Date: 2015
Ubisoft’s tactical shooter focused on close-quarters combat, destructible environments, and team play. Its post-launch evolution, with new operators and strategies emerging, kept the player base engaged and growing.
Release Date: 2019
Respawn Entertainment’s surprise release in 2019 took the battle royale formula and infused it with hero shooter elements. Its unique characters, smooth gunplay, and team dynamics made it a standout title in a crowded genre.
World of Warcraft: Various Expansions
Original Release Date: 2004
While WoW’s initial release predates this decade, its various expansions, like ‘Cataclysm’ (2010), ‘Legion’ (2016), and ‘Battle for Azeroth’ (2018), ensured that it remained a multiplayer juggernaut throughout the 2010s.
The 2010s showcased the versatility and innovation of multiplayer games. From MOBAs to battle royales, the decade transformed how players interacted, competed, and celebrated games. As technologies and trends evolve, these iconic titles serve as touchstones of a golden era of PC multiplayer gaming.