It's the end of the year, so we're taking a look back at the biggest gaming trends from the year that was. To that end, we've compiled a list of the 20 most-read gaming stories on GameSpot from January through the end of November. There was a lot of big news this year, with stories around Star Wars: Battlefront II microtransactions/loot boxes, Destiny 2 updates, and Red Dead Redemption II cracking into the top 20.
Keep reading to see our most-popular stories, counting down to number one. One important thing to note is that for some stories, in the interest of presenting the most widely read stories and topics, we combined the views for stories around recurring topics such as Black Friday, Destiny 2 updates, and free games.
20) "Sony Is Teasing 'Something New' For PlayStation
Everyone seems to like to know what's coming up next for any big product. In August, Sony teased that it was getting ready to talk about "something new" for PlayStation. It turned out that this was the new GT Sport edition PlayStation 4 console, so it might not have been what you wanted, but it's still pretty cool. [Read the full story]
19) New Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer Released; Still No Release Date From Rockstar
A new trailer for Red Dead Redemption II dropped at the end of September. Given that Rockstar's open-world western is sure to be one of 2018's biggest games, this story got a lot of traction. Unfortunately, Rockstar didn't give us a release date at the time--and still has not. [Read the full story]
18) Call Of Duty: WW2 Beta Is Now Playable On PS4 And Xbox One
There has been and continues to be a lot of interest in the newest Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: WWII. This year Activision held a public beta for the game on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, allowing players to try the game before launch in November. [Read the full story]
17) New South Park Game Warns You To Not Play Due To Microtransactions
One of the biggest trends overall in gaming this year was microtransactions. So it was pretty funny when the new South Park mobile game, Phone Destroyer, jokingly (?!) warned players to avoid the game due to microtransactions. [Read the full story]
16) SNES Classic Edition: How To Pre-order
One of the biggest new consoles this year was an old one...sort of. Nintendo launched the SNES Classic Edition at the end of September. Given what happened with the NES Classic, people were very much interested in finding out how to secure a pre-order. [Read the full story]
15) Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Dev Is "Incredibly Saddened" About The Game's Negative Feedback
Star Wars: Battlefront II shows up more than once in our Top 20 most-read stories. They both, as you might have guessed, were related to the game's much-criticised microtransaction/loot box system. Before the microtransactions were removed, DICE held a Reddit AMA in which some developers said they were "incredibly saddened" by the negative feedback surrounding the game. [Read the full story]
14) Bethesda E3 2017: Exec Explains Why Elder Scrolls 6 Not Happening Soon Is A Good Move
At E3 this year, Bethesda's Pete Hines talked about how the studio will eventually make The Elder Scrolls 6--though you shouldn't expect it to launch anytime soon. Hines said it's in the developer's best interest to try and do new things before making the next instalment. [Read the full story]
13) All The Pokemon Ultra Sun And Moon 3DS Differences: What Are The Exclusives In Each Game?
The newest Pokemon games, Ultra Sun and Moon, launched in November. In the lead-up to launch, GameSpot's Kevin Knezevic broke down the differences between each game, including the exclusives in each version and more. [Read the full story]
12) Mario Kart Wii Has Been Hiding A Secret Mode For Almost Ten Years
In August, it was discovered that Nintendo's 2008 kart racing game Mario Kart Wii had a secret mode, Mission Mode, that no one found out until this year--almost 10 years after launch. It was discovered by someone with the username MrBean3500vr, so we're all winners here. [Read the full story]
11) Big New Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Update Out Now, Here's What It Does
A big patch for Nintendo's celebrated RPG The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched in November. It added a new side-quest that rewards you with armour based on Xenoblade Chronicles 2's Rex. It also added supported for the four new Champion Amiibo figures. [Read the full story]
10) Blizzard Apologizes To Entire Country Of Australia About Overwatch, Here's Why
The new Overwatch Junkertown map, which is set in Australia, used the word "take-out" instead of "takeaway" to describe food that you take home from a restaurant. The internet revolted, and game director Jeff Kaplan apologised. The map was edited to include the proper Australian term, so all was made right in the world again. [Read the full story]
9) Here Are Two Free Mythical Pokemon You Can Claim Right Now
Free stuff is pretty much always popular, and this was the case with Pokemon this year. Through different promotions, Nintendo gave away new Mythical Pokemon in the 3DS games Pokemon Sun/Moon, X/Y, and Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby. [Read the full story]
8) Just Before Star Wars: Battlefront 2's Release, EA Removes Microtransactions For Now
One of the biggest stories of the year was around Star Wars: Battlefront II and its use of microtransactions/loot boxes. After facing an avalanche of criticism about how players could pay for the chance to get game-affecting items, EA completely removed all microtransactions for launch. The story didn't end there, however, as lawmakers around the world are now launching investigations into whether or not loot boxes constitute gambling. [Read the full story]
7) Ariana Grande Will Be in a Final Fantasy Game
Yes, one of the most widely read stories on GameSpot this year was about the pop singer Ariana Grande. In January, it was announced that the "Side To Side" singer would appear in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. [Read the full story]
6) PewDiePie Uses Racial Slur In Livestream, Game Dev Says He's "Worse Than A Closeted Racist"
YouTube's biggest star, PewDiePie, made headlines this year when he used a racial slur during one of his livestreams. A game developer responded by calling him "worse than a closeted racist," and PewDiePie later apologised. [Read the full story]
5) PS4's 5.0 Update Revealed, Here's What It Does
The new PlayStation 4 update, 5.00, was announced in August before launching for everyone in October. News about this update got a lot of attention, and for good reason, as the update contained quite a few welcome additions and improvements. [Read the full story]
4) BlizzCon 2017: All The New Overwatch Skins Based On Diablo, StarCraft, And Other Blizzard Games
Overwatch is a huge hit, with some 30 million players. At BlizzCon this year, Blizzard announced new skins based on Diablo, StarCraft, and other Blizzard games. [Read the full story]
3) Free PS Plus/Gold Games With Gold titles
Another popular recurring story this year were our reports on the free PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Games With Gold titles. Everyone likes free stuff, and this is no different for video games. Both services offered up dozens of free games this year, so your digital game libraries are probably stuffed for the holidays--not a bad thing!
2) All The Destiny 2 News And Updates
Destiny 2 finally launched in September. Given the game's numerous elements and modes, along with its games-as-a-service model, there was a huge amount of interest in the game among the GameSpot readership. All up, our Destiny 2 coverage turned out to be the most popular content on GameSpot this year only behind one other subject. [Further reading]
1) All The Black Friday Deals!
Not that we're surprised, but Black Friday generated a huge amount of interest this year on GameSpot. There were some great deals on offer this year, including big discounts on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, in addition to loads and loads of games. Hopefully you found what you were looking for this Black Friday. [Further reading]