Spider-Man 2 can't top 2023's biggest PS5 game with 19% player spike

Marvel's Spider-Man 2's peak PS5 player count falls 9.28% short of Hogwarts Legacy, making it only the second-biggest PS5 game launch of 2023.

Spider-Man 2 can't top 2023's biggest PS5 game with 19% player spike
Lee Brady

Lee Brady


While the number of active PS5 players collecting Marvel's Spider-Man 2 trophies is enormous, when it comes down to the biggest PS5 games of 2023, it seems Hogwarts Legacy still comes out on top. Despite a huge surge in Marvel's Spider-Man 2's peak PS5 player count during the game's first full week after launch, the game still can't narrow the 9.28% player count gap needed to overtake Portkey Games' massive Harry Potter spin-off.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 remains the second-biggest PS5 game of 2023

We've been tracking the active player count of every big PS5 game launch in 2023 with our exclusive gameplay data from 3.2 million active PSN accounts (courtesy of our partnership with GameInsights). Using data samples taken throughout the year, we recently made a Marvel's Spider-Man 2 vs Hogwarts Legacy PS5 launch comparison, in which we saw Marvel's Spider-Man 2 arrive with a launch weekend that trumped Hogwarts Legacy's back in February 2023.
With such a high turnout at launch, we expected those Marvel's Spider-Man 2 active player numbers to ramp up exponentially after a full week of PS5 players got their hands on the game — and that's exactly what they did. During the week ending Sunday, October 30, 2023, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 saw a massive 19% increase in active PS5 player count beyond the player count it saw in its first three days of sale. Seeing as the game was already seeing more players than either Fortnite or Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 in that space of time, you can imagine how big a jump in active players that had to be.

However, as we pointed out in the launch comparison between the two games, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 needed a significant player boost if it was going to catch up with Hogwarts Legacy's peak player count and take the 'biggest PS5 game of 2023' crown. The previous week, there was a 27.93% difference in the active player count between both games — now, there's only a difference of 9.28%.

Spider 2It's all your fault, Pete.

Top PS5 games of 2023 so far — peak player counts compared to Spider-Man 2

#1Hogwarts Legacy (9.28% higher player peak)
#2Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (-)
#3Final Fantasy 16 (44.95% lower player peak)
#4Resident Evil 4 (51.49% lower player peak)
#5EA Sports FC 24 (52.16% lower player peak)

As you can see by looking over the top five highest peak player counts of all the games released on PS5 in 2023, Hogwarts Legacy and Marvel's Spider-Man 2 are really in a bracket of their own. The third biggest PS5 game of the year, Final Fantasy 16, trails behind Marvel's Spider-Man 2's peak player count by nearly 45%. From there, the gulf between active player counts only gets wider.

Still, is there a chance at this point that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will take over Hogwarts Legacy in terms of active players? Well, it doesn't look likely — at least according to our sample, at any rate. Usually, a game's first full week on the market is where we see the biggest bump in active players, so in Marvel's Spider-Man 2's case, we should have seen it already.
There's a small chance that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will see a concerted bump in active PS5 players during Christmas 2023, so we can't count it out just yet. That said, by then Call of Duty Modern Warfare III should also have hit the market, and there's every chance it'll be the biggest PS5 game of the year by then. Spider-Man fans will just have to hope the Modern Warfare 3 PS5 platinum trophy debacle will have turned off enough of the masses.

Well, it's a shame that one of the best PlayStation Studio games so far looks like it won't be taking home the 2023 crowd on PS5. Still, Hogwarts Legacy is still a solid game — to the victor, the spoils, and all that. Are you disappointed that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 hasn't become the biggest PS5 game of the year? Or are you happy to see Hogwarts Legacy clinging to the top spot? Let us know in the comments below.

Chart compiled using gameplay data from over 3.2 million active PlayStation accounts (not just TrueTrophies accounts). Chart information is copyright GameInsights. Regarding this data:
  • Popularity is measured by a game being booted up and played, not by the length of time played.
  • Our data is good for suggesting general trends — we represent this using percentages, not numbers.
  • To keep player numbers consistent over samples, player counts for certain games needed to be adjusted
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Shadow x Sonic Generations), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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