No.1 League of Legends - 27.79%
League of Legends (LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It is a free-to-play game supported by micro-transactions and inspired by the mod Defense of the Ancients for the video game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
In League of Legends, players assume the role of a "champion" with unique abilities and battles against a team of other players or computer-controlled champions. In the most popular game modes, the goal is to destroy the opposing team's "nexus", a building which lies at the heart of a base protected by defensive structures. Each League of Legends game is discrete, with all champions starting off each game fairly weak and progressing by accumulating gold and experience over the course of the game.
League of Legends was generally well received at release, and it has grown in popularity in the years since. By July 2012, League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe in terms of the number of hours played. As of January 2014, over 67 million people play League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours.
League of Legends has a large, active competitive scene. In North America and Europe, Riot Games organizes the League of Legends Championship Series, which consists of 10 professional teams in each continent. Similar regional competitions exist in China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. These regional competitions culminate with the annual League of Legends World Championship, which in 2013 had a grand prize of $1 million and attracted 32 million viewers online. The 2014 tournament had the fifth largest prize pool in esports history, sitting at 2.3 million dollars
No.2 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - 6.47%
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (often abbreviated as CS:GO) is an online tactical first-person shooter developed by Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment. It is the fourth game in the main Counter-Strike franchise.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released on August 21, 2012, and made available for Microsoft Windows and OS X on Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, and a US-only version on PlayStation Network. The Linux version was released in September 2014. It features classic content, such as revamped versions of classic maps, as well as brand new maps, characters and game modes. Cross-platform multiplayer was planned between Windows, OS X, Linux, and PSN players, but was ultimately limited to Windows, OS X, and Linux because of the differences in update-frequency between systems. The PSN version offers three input control methods, which include using either the DualShock 3 controller, PlayStation Move or USB keyboard/mouse.
NO.3 DOTA 2 - 5.73%
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena video game, the stand-alone sequel to the Defense of the Ancients (DotA) Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne mod. Developed by Valve Corporation,Dota 2 was released as a free-to-play title for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux in July 2013, concluding a Windows-only public beta testing phase that began in 2011. The game is available exclusively through Valve's content-delivery platform, Steam.
Dota 2 is played in matches involving two teams of five players, each of which occupies a stronghold at a corner of the map. Each stronghold contains a building called the "Ancient", which the opposite team must destroy to win the match. Each player controls a "Hero" character and focuses on leveling up, collecting gold, acquiring items and fighting against the other team to achieve victory.
Development of Dota 2 began in 2009 when IceFrog, the developer of the DotA mod, was hired by Valve as lead designer. Dota 2 was praised by critics for its gameplay, production quality and faithfulness to its predecessor. However, the game was criticized for its steep learning curve and inhospitable community. Dota 2 has become the most actively played game on Steam, with daily peaks of over 900,000 concurrent players.
NO.4 Grand Theft Auto V - 5.31%
Grand Theft Auto V is an open world, action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 17 September 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Anenhanced version of the game was released on 18 November 2014 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and 14 April 2015 for Microsoft Windows. The game is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas (based on Southern California), the single-player story follows three criminals and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a government agency. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas, which includes open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos (based on Los Angeles).
The game is played from either a third-person or first-person view and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. Players control the three lead protagonists throughout the single-player mode, switching between them both during and outside of missions. The story is centred on the heist sequences, and many of the missions involve shooting and driving gameplay. Players who commit crimes may incite a response from law enforcement agencies, measured by a "wanted" system that governs the aggression of their response. Grand Theft Auto Online, the online multiplayer mode, lets up to 30 players explore the open world and engage in cooperative or competitive game matches.
NO.5 World of Warcraft - 5.25%
World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release,Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001. The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise.
The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007. The second expansion set, Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13, 2008. The third expansion set,Cataclysm, was released on December 7, 2010. The fourth expansion set, Mists of Pandaria, was released on September 25, 2012. The fifth expansion set, Warlords of Draenor, was announced at BlizzCon 2013, and was released on November 13, 2014
NO.6 World of Tanks - 3.36%
World of Tanks is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Belarusian-Cypriot company Wargaming, featuring early to mid-20th century era fighting vehicles. It is built upon a freemium business model where the game is free-to-play, but participants also have the option of paying a fee for use of "premium" features. The focus is on player vs. player gameplay with each player controlling an armored vehicle, which may be a Light, Medium or Heavy tank, tank destroyer, or self-propelled gun. World of Tanks debuted as an eSports game at the World Cyber Games 2012.
On 10 June 2013 it was announced that World of Tanks was coming to Xbox Live Arcade on 12 February 2014 as World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition. Xbox 360 players will use separate servers to those playing the Windows version and players of each version will have separate accounts. The Xbox 360 version is being developed by Wargaming West studio (separate from the Windows version). An Xbox One version has also been announced and will be launched on July 28, 2015. World of Tanks has also recently expanded to mobile platforms under the name World of Tanks Blitz, in addition to a board game titled World of Tanks Rushand a collectable card game titled World of Tanks: Generals.
NO.7 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - 2.52%
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Polish: Wiedźmin 3: Dziki Gon) is an action role-playing video game set in an open world environment, developed by Polish video game developer CD Projekt RED. Announced in February 2013, it was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 19 May 2015. The game is the third in the series, preceded by The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, which are based on the series of fantasy novels of the same title by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, but all take place after them.
Played in a third-person perspective, players control protagonist Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher who sets out on a long journey through the large land of Northern Kingdoms. Players do battle against the world's many dangers using swords and magic, while interacting with non-player characters and completing side quests and main missions all to progress through the story. Players mostly travel by foot, and also on horseback on Geralt's horse 'Roach'.
NO.8 Smite - 2.39%
Smite (stylized as SMITE) is a third person action multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Hi-Rez Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. In Smite, players take on the visage of a mythological god or other mythological figure and take part in arena combat, using powers and team tactics against other player-controlled gods and non-player controlled minions.
NO.9 Diablo III - 2.28%
Diablo III is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the third installment in the Diablo franchise and was released in the Americas, Europe, South Korea, and Taiwan on May 15, 2012, and Russia on June 7, 2012, for Microsoft Windows and OS X. A console version was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 3, 2013. Versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released on August 19, 2014.
In the game, players choose one of six character classes — Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor or Wizard (with the Crusader being unavailable unless the player has purchased the expansion pack,Diablo III: Reaper of Souls) — and are tasked with defeating the Lord of Terror, Diablo.
Diablo III set a new record for fastest-selling PC game selling over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release, and was the best selling PC game of 2012, selling over 12 million copies during the year. It has sold 15 million copies across all platforms. Diablo III received acclaim from critics, although its digital rights management that requires an internet connection at all times, in-game auction house, and lack of end game content were criticized.
The expansion pack Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was released for the Windows and OS X editions of the game on March 25, 2014. For consoles the expansion pack content was released as part of the Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition version. It was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on August 19, 2014. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition includes the original console version of Diablo III and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion pack
NO.10 Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - 2.25%
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is an online collectible card game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. It is free-to-play with optional purchases to acquire additional cards and access content quicker. The game was announced at the Penny Arcade Expo in March 2013 and released on March 11, 2014. Hearthstone is available on Microsoft Windows and OS X systems and on Windows 8, iOS and Android touchscreen devices. New content for the game involves the addition of new card sets and gameplay, such as from the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion pack and the Blackrock Mountain adventure.
In early May 2015, there were more than 30 million registered Hearthstone accounts
We get our Nostradamus on in a preview edition this week in gaming.
SOCOM 4 (PS3)
Set in a fictitious Asian country, Zipper Interactive’s SOCOM 4 sees you take control of the Ops Commander of a NATO Special Forces squad trying to dismantle the (also fictional) Naga Revolutionaries. Immediately, the game is recognizable as a SOCOM entry with its third-persontactical shooter gameplay and team control of both blue and yellow squads. Besides a new adventure in the SOCOM universe, the fourth iteration brings two Sony-centric advances to the game: 3D and PSMove Sharpshooter control options. The latter felt like a big step forward for motion controlling a shooter, even over Killzone 3, which also use the Sharpshooter peripheral in a satisfying way. The 3D in the game also seems like an improvement over recent titles, and we credit Sony facilitating the sharing of 3D tech in an unusually open way. Individually, these two aspects make the game feel a bit deeper but combining the two kicks up the game’s interactivity in a great way—so don’t be surprised if you find yourself screaming orders at your friends to jump into a freshly made couch fort. Luckily, you’ll realize that shouting commands is unnecessary. For one, the game doesn’t utilize voice recognition for controlling teams anymore, so those frustrating moments where a confused command sends your allies to their doom are a thing of the past. Secondly, your allies are controlled by one of the smartest AIs we’ve seen in gaming (Jeopardy doesn’t count, Watson) so a button-press won’t just send them to a spot in the level but will have them locking it down, giving you cover fire, and tearing up the enemy if you’re not fast enough as the triggerman.
SOCOM 4 comes out Tuesday, April 19. Until then we’ll be pacing the Maxim office with our Sharpshooter shouldered, chanting:
This is our rifle
This is our gun
This is for fighting
This is for…crap—what rhymes with “gun?”
Virtua Tennis 4 (Xbox, PS3, Wii)
Sega’s answer to 2K Sports’ Top Spin Tennis is just on the horizon. We went hands on with Virtua Tennis to get an impression of what to expect from the “other” tennis game gracing our consoles this year. The game, Sega’s first entry since 2006, ramped up the technique factor in order to compete with Top Spin’s intricate control system. Though the amount of players to choose from isn’t as robust as its competitor, the average tennis fan will have no problem picking a recognizable and competent player’s shoes to fill. Of course, there is also World Tour mode where you can create your own player and hold his hand as you cross the globe, tearing up competition and making a name for yourself. Gameplay is intricate but remains accessible in a way that any fan of Virtua Tenniswould expect. On a traditional controller, just about anybody can pick up the game and jump right into a decent volley with the AI. As the demo took place at the Sony Style Store in NYC, we only got to check out Sony’s motion-control offerings and the game fared exceptionally well. As we tire of the excellent Ping-Pong game within PSMove’s Sports Champion, we’re warming up our tennis elbows in anticipation of Virtua Tennis 4’s sweet, sweet Move implementation. More about timing and racket-angle and less about running around the court, the camera swings around your player for an in-your-face rawness that isn’t found anywhere else in the world of tennis games. Though the game will also support Kinect and Wii-motes, our rep implied that the PSMove’s one to one motion tracking (and, in our opinion, the fact that you’re holding a physical controller) makes this title advantage: Sony.
Virtua Tennis 4 starts service May 10.
Infamous 2 (PS3)
The highly anticipated sequel to Infamous should already be on shelves. Delays are usually a worrisome aspect of a game’s launch, but rest easy. The extra time is only helping make this sequel worthy of its awesome predecessor. Infamous 2 opens with series protagonist Cole getting bitch-slapped—even with all of his powers from the original game intact—by the villainous Beast. This theme of everything that came before, just bigger, runs throughout the game. Levels are more varied: cities are taller, landscapes are more sprawling, and forts are more fortified. Though Cole ischarged up from the word go, there’s still room for growth, and Sucker Punch Productions has gone lengths to maximize the power-ups while still increasing difficulty. The combat system has also been revamped to quell complaints about the original’s biggest drawback. Fighting is now fluid, fun, and it’s as easy to opt for some hand-to-hand action as it is to Taze enemies from a distance. After getting a good fill of what’s shiny and new in Infamous 2, we were astounded to find that the levels we’d seen were all from the first third of the game, all leading up to a crossroads that would set Cole on divergent paths and change the outcome of the game depending on your choice. Finally, we were able to see the game in glorious 3D and where we were onlysort of impressed with the 3D gameplay, the story-progressing cut scenes were well done and made us appreciate the inclusion of 3D in this title. Not to spoil anything, but there’s just something special about seeing boobs in 3D, CGI’d or otherwise.
Infamous 2 electrifies shelves June 7.
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