Top Esports Games | What Are The Best Esports Games?

esports games

The esports industry is changing all the time. Every time a new competitive game is released, it has the potential to become a solid esports-focused title with a thriving community. Even if you’re a die-hard industry fan, there might be more esports games than you realise. In this guide, we’re breaking down the best esports games in the business, so if you’re looking for something new and intensely competitive to follow, you’ll know where to head next.


Best Esports Games Right Now

So, what esports games are there in the world today?

Counter-Strike 2

By numbers alone, Counter-Strike 2 is one of the business’s most popular and iconic esports games. It has been a spearhead of the industry for almost twenty years, and it has given way to some of the most valuable tournaments in the space. It enjoys rampant popularity on PC, with the game consistently sitting at more than one million concurrent players.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is a leading MOBA that’s considered one of the most prestigious esports games ever made. It’s the home of one of the most valuable esports tournaments ever – The International. At one point, The International boasted a prize pool worth $40 million, a sum that has only just been beaten by the Esports World Cup ($60 million).

League of Legends

If you’re an esports fan, you’ll have heard of League of Legends, even if it’s not your kind of game. As the number one MOBA title in the world, League of Legends enjoys a vibrant and diverse esports ecosystem made up of superstar players who regularly compete to win millions of dollars. It’s a truly international game with a stunning following.

Call of Duty

Call of Duty is one of the most popular first-person shooter franchises ever made. It’s more than twenty years old, and since 2010, it has been growing as an esports game. As one of the most prolific franchises in gaming history, Call of Duty enjoys a player base of tens of millions of players, and the competitive side of the series is rich and well-storied. It’s worth stressing that Call of Duty is an umbrella term covering the multiplayer game, Warzone (battle royale) and Call of Duty Mobile.

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege has been around since 2015, and it’s often considered one of the best esports games without any doubt. It has an immense schedule consisting of major tournaments, regional leagues, and a massive international event with a multi-million-dollar prize pool. It’s one of the tougher games for casual players to get into, but it’s a stellar esports game with a bulky following.

Fortnite

Fortnite is a household name through and through, but did you know it’s also a prominent esports game? For years, Fortnite has led the charge in the battle royale space, with Epic Games promoting a well-organised and popular esports ecosystem packed with cups, tournaments, and championship-grade events.

VALORANT

VALORANT was released in 2020 as Riot Games’ attempt to dominate Counter-Strike, and to give the game credit, it has done very well. Since being released, VALORANT has become one of the top esports games in the world, pulling in millions of viewers and skyrocketing in terms of viewership and overall value.

Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 has had a hard time, that much is certain. However, Blizzard is intent on turning things around after revitalising the game’s esports scene, scrapping the Overwatch League and inventing something fresh: the Overwatch Champions Series. It’s a great competitive game with some marvellous mechanics, and that’s why it makes this list.

Apex Legends

Another great battle royale esports game, Apex Legends enjoys a prestigious spot in the industry thanks to the Apex Legends Global Series, the game’s top-tier tournament ecosystem. Apex Legends is one of the oldest battle royale titles in the business, and there are visions to keep it running for decades – which means it’ll remain as a solid esports game for just as long.

PUBG

PUBG, and by extension, PUBG Mobile, is a brilliant battle royale game that has an electric esports scene. It’s loved by millions worldwide and is constantly being updated and tweaked – content in the game changes all the time and things are kept as fresh as possible. It has a year-long schedule that’s packed with events both small and massive, which is great for esports fans.

Rocket League

Rocket League is a brilliant entry-level esports game with an easy-to-understand ecosystem. It might be tough to master Rocket League, but watching it unfold on-screen takes very little in the way of understanding. It’s like soccer in that respect. Rocket League went free to play a while ago and soared in popularity, which means there’s a dense pool of competitors out there.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

ML:BB is a mobile-based MOBA released in 2016 by a subsidiary of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. It boasts engaging visuals, a solid gameplay loop, and a nice skill gap, all of which have empowered the game and enabled it to become one of the best esports titles in the world. It has risen to popularity with ease and is regarded as one of the best mobile esports games around.

FGC

FGC stands for ‘Fighting Game Community’, and it’s a term used to highlight several titles in the genre, from Street Fighter to Tekken, and from Mortal Kombat to Dead or Alive. It’s a hugely popular niche with millions of fans, and watching an FGC match unfold is a thing of beauty, with intense battles exploding on the screen no matter what game is being played.

StarCraft

StarCraft (and StarCraft II) popularised RTS esports games over a lengthy period, with many holding firm in the claim that StarCraft II is the peak of the genre. While competing titles rose and fell, StarCraft stayed at the top of the table, and today, more than a decade after StarCraft II was released, it still takes centre stage at some of the biggest tournaments in the business.

Free Fire

Free Fire is a free battle royale title with immense chops in the esports industry. It once held the record for the most-watched esports tournament ever, before it was dethroned by 2023’s League of Legends World Championship. In 2019, Free Fire became the most downloaded mobile game ever, which is a testament to the title’s insane popularity.

Honor of Kings

Honor of Kings is another superstar MOBA, and while it doesn’t compete with the likes of League of Legends, it’s easily one of the best esports games by player count alone. It has a thriving esports scene and has been running for almost a decade, which means it has legs in the industry and has ‘survived’ this long as a competitive title.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone might not be the first title that comes to mind when you think of ‘esports games’, but it’s a legitimate game in that space. It’s a free online card game rooted in a fantasy universe – the Warcraft universe, in fact. It’s from Blizzard, which is a company that knows esports through and through, and by total prize money awarded, it’s a bigger esports game than VALORANT or Apex Legends.

Halo

Halo has had a tough time with viewership in recent years, but there’s no doubting the strength of the series’ origins. It’s considered one of the OG esports games; one of the titles that helped to popularise the industry and turn it into what it is today. Many hardcore Halo competitors gravitated to Call of Duty eventually, presenting a glorious opportunity for fans to switch between the two franchises.

Honorable Mentions

Plenty more esports games exist, and the industry wouldn’t be where it is without them. Here are some of the games that didn’t land a full spot on the list that still matter:

  • Super Smash Bros.
  • NBA 2K
  • EA Sports FC
  • Gears of War
  • Rennsport
  • Madden
  • NHL 2K
  • Warcraft
  • World of Warcraft
  • SMITE
  • Chess
  • Brawlhalla

What’s your favourite esports game? Let us know in the comments.


For more Insider Gaming Esports coverage, check out our breakdown of the esports tournaments coming in 2024

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