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Game Of The Year 2021

2021 as a whole was a weird year. Coming off of a rough year like 2020 2021 had its bright spots but also felt like just being in a holding pattern all year. The games side kind of reflected that I think. Not nearly as many cuts for a top 10 list as some previous years but some of the highlights this year were pretty bright. Very excited going into 2022 as both current gen consoles seem to be poised to really come into their own as absolutely must own systems.

List items

  • Just absolutely pitch perfect 2D Metroid action brought forward into the modern era. Engaging puzzles/exploration combined with some really great boss encounters make this the absolute must play. I also bought an entire ass Switch OLED that I didn't need just to play it on the OLED screen because I'm an absolute psychopath.

  • The thing that makes the Horizon sub-series so fun is its not just a racing game its a driving game that is one big awesome celebration of driving and music. You get to drive sick cars and drive around amazing vistas in Mexico while bumping one of the best licensed soundtracks of the year. Its also one of the best realizations of live service content with weekly series challenges that feel more engaging than just busy work to get rewards. Truly astounding game top to bottom.

  • The best the series has been since Halo Reach. Absolute best shooter on the market right now. And the most wild part of it is the multiplayer is just uh... free for anyone. Its just stupid you can have so much amazing content to play for not a single dime spent. If this is truly the next 10 years of Halo then they are off to a great start.

  • My first Ratchet game that I finished. Just a really fun roller coaster ride and an insanely polished game from Insomniac games. Also one of the best showpieces for the PS5 around.

  • There are many indie odes out there to the era of 2D Ninja Gaiden but none of them land quite as well for me as Cyber Shadow. A single person effort and also my favorite indie title by a mile this year. One of the most difficult thing to get right in an action game like this is movement and Cyber Shadow absolutely gives you the tools to be the incredible cyber ninja you control. One of the most overlooked titles this year IMO.

  • Scarlet Nexus is an anime cyberpunk Action RPG that manages to tell an engaging story from two different protagonist viewpoints wrapped up by a very engaging action combat system. Amazing game. Its on Gamepass. Check this shit out. It has some of my favorite enemy designs of the year.

  • The most chill and heartfelt game I've played this year. Unpacking tells the story of a person. Who this person is and what they go through over the course of their life isn't told by dialog or characters or cutscenes but just simply the act of unpacking boxes of stuff. Giving you contextual clues over the course of the 4-5 hour experience into a life. Also a gamepass title. Please check it out this game deserves all the attention it gets.

  • The latest from one of my favorite long running franchises. Village wraps up the truly insane saga of Ethan Winters in one of the craziest Resident Evil games I've seen to date. Just an absolute blast to play and genuinely scary at parts!

  • While it doesn't stray far from the path that 2016's Hitman laid out its still a Hitman game and a damn good one at that. Rounding out the World of Assassination trilogy I can't wait to see what is in store for the franchise in the future.

  • Not much to say about this one other than its a really rad Chinese developed metroidvania with a big focus on melee combat. I gave it a shot and I really enjoyed the game.