Something went wrong. Try again later


This user has not updated recently.

64 0 3 2
Forum Posts Wiki Points Following Followers


Only 3 of my top 10 games were actually released in 2021; this list mixes them together.

List items

  • This was my entry point into the Hitman series; I believe I chose well. Within 30 minutes of playing the free tutorial, I knew I was hooked on Hitman's blend of espionage, absurd comedy and top-tier sandbox design. Hitman 3 (along with the other two games in the recent trilogy) is now my most-played game ever. When I finally set it aside, it wasn't from boredom but to allow time for playing anything else on my backlog. This was an addicting, near bottomless pit of delight, and I can't wait to hop back in someday. If you haven't played yet, I recommend you try the free starter edition as soon as possible.

  • My biggest regret with Nier:Automata was that I spoiled the "final" ending for myself years back during Giant Bomb's GOTY talks. This story (and the eventual payoff of that ending) is perfect and moving in a way that can only be achieved in video games. Sure, it does all the things a good video game should: tight combat, good platforming, awesome music (I own the OST). However, the story is what makes this unforgettable. My game save may be gone now, but I look forward to doing it all over again in the future. Bravo!

  • The original Psychonauts is one of my all-time favorites, and I've sung its praises to anyone who'll listen. While Psychonauts 2 doesn't surpass the first game, it's still an incredible work of art. What I love most is how each "level" offers unique visuals and gameplay mechanics all while reinforcing the story. It's a masterful example of what interactive storytelling is capable of. I didn't enjoy Doublefine's changes to the combat, but everything else was flawless.

  • The first line of this game's official description reads, "Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about dying". I don't think I've ever seen such a short summary for a game, but it's accurate. The impressive thing about Spiritfarer isn't the art style or sound design or animation or story. Those are fantastic, but what impressed me most is that the game's structure reinforces what it says about how some of us manage heavy emotions like grief and regret. I was so preoccupied harvesting my crops and shearing sheep that I didn't stop to dwell on who my passengers were and where we were all heading. I just enjoyed my little moments with each of them, and (as in real life) that was a lovely gift all by itself.

  • I think Brad mentioned on the Quick Look that Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks as good as you remember the first game looking--until you view them side by side. I didn't think 2D artwork could get prettier than the first game, but Moon Studios have handily outdone themselves while proving that they can successfully experiment with new ideas. I can't wait for what they do next.

  • What I appreciate most about Eastshade is that it offers a rich, first-person, open-world experience completely without combat. I like shooting things, as the next game on my list shows, but I also like variety. There was a point in Eastshade where things were a bit spooky, and I found myself moving very slowly through the environment and checking all around me for a surprise attack. Then I remembered it wasn't that kind of game. This game offers a safe space, where you can adventure, explore, learn, paint, and ultimately let go of apprehension. Let's just say I needed that in 2021.

    If you haven't yet, I recommend you check out the developer's postmortem of the game on their devblog ( It's a fascinating look at the business of indie development.

  • On one hand, I'm not surprised that the latest installment of my all-time favorite shooting series is on this list. On the other hand, 343 Industries have been unsteady caretakers of the series, and I wasn't sure what their long-term roadmap was. With Halo 5, it seemed like they wanted to experiment and escape the long shadow cast by Master Chief. I had fun with that game, but it didn't "feel" like Halo to me. Halo Infinite is an incredible return to form, and I love it. The story is weak, largely amounting to a grand reset for pieces on the board, but the gameplay is the evolved combat I've been waiting for. I almost never bother with PvP multiplayer, but Halo Infinite's combat is so fun I didn't want to stop after the campaign ended and the map was nearly cleared. Against all odds, 343 Industries have gotten me interested in online Slayer matches, and I applaud that achievement.

  • Last year, two things happened that gave me a taste for zombie horror (so to speak): 1) I finished the TellTale Walking Dead series (#stillnotbitten), and 2) I got hyped by the teaser trailer for State of Decay 3. I don't know how I missed this when it was released for XBLA, but I can't recommend it enough if you want that gripping, post-apocalyptic, survival experience. It was also funny playing this shortly after Watch Dogs: Legion and realizing the whole "play as anyone" idea wasn't as new as I had assumed. As with Watch Dogs, State of Decay is as fun as you make it. Losing certain characters in this game felt more brutal and memorable than in any other I played all year.

  • I have to be in the right mood for side-scrolling beat'em ups, but Streets of Rage 4 kept me coming back. It looks gorgeous, and I like how varied the playable characters feel. My only frustration was in realizing very late that the default character, Axel, is not good for beginners--especially with the difficulty as high as it is. Thankfully, the accessibility options can be used at any time, so I was able to tap those to get Axel past the final boss. Now that I've unlocked all the modes, I look forward to jumping back in with Cherry and her sweet guitar.

  • This was my first Yakuza game, and I quit playing 40hrs in after reaching a difficulty spike in chapter 12. Most reviews I read had prepared me for the spike, but it was even worse than I anticipated. This game still ranks on my list, because I loved most of what I played in the first 11 chapters. The turn-based combat is as silly as the trailers imply, but it's also satisfying. Yes, there are a huge number of cutscenes, but the story and characters are great; the mini-games are too. Everything the game threw at me prior to chapter 12, generally felt fair and well checkpointed. While I was really bummed by the difficulty spike (and didn't feel like grinding to overcome it), Yakuza: Like a Dragon was a ton fun, and I don't regret my time with it.