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Best of 2021!

I started this list in March; and boy the year was off to a rocky start with PS5 having tons of bugs/issues - still no expanded hard drive until August - and it was still wonky for a bit, was still hard to bring PS4 games over (made easier with some updates), and you just cant find one. Xbox and PS5 were sold out everywhere still at the turn of the year into 2022.....

-- Switch still has drift issues, the games are really reaching the limit of the Switch's capabilities, and the "Switch Pro" rumor was a dud - it just had an OLED screen.... Pass! Their catalog is really port and remake and sequel heavy. And now Steam has a new portable coming out next year that buries the Switch in my mind - but time will tell. (Cant wait to see if it flops or becomes "next thing", but chip shortage will hit them too wont it?).

-- Microsoft seems to be doing better - but only because they bought studios for billions of dollars - so thats pretty lame. So far every single game would have been elsewhere but on Xbox anyway, now its just exclusive and PS4/5 versions seemed purposely gimped or its only on Xbox now. Seems real dirty.

Sony bought a bunch of studios too, but no real IP. Just tech and support studios they already worked with. Feels very different. Didn't take anything from anyone else. not like buying Sega and making it all exclusive or something (which Microsoft still might do!)... But it makes Gamepass worthwhile.

So yeah Gamepass is picking up buzz - Im still worried about it - just like Amazon, you put your competitor out then jack up the price - i also take a LONG time to play games - and my fear is realized - a bunch of good games leave (that always sucks) and i feel the need to buy them or just then never finish them. Makes me nervous to start games on the service (they dont put up an expiration date for some reason?).

IMO I still wish instead of buying existing studios - Microsoft could have won me over if they spent the same money but instead made new studios and new IPs -- it would mean more games to choose from; as it is now this just means games I already could choose wont come to PS5 and Switch. Yahoo!??? Its like a rich lazy mans way to make your console seem better. Meh.

And a streaming future is cool and all - they suggest a usb key or app on my tv so i wont need an xbox at all - if you have the internet for it. How will i buy games not on Gamepass (that 20% sale as games leave is lame), if i dont have an xbox or hard drive to store them on -- will all games stream? Will they be in a library for me?

Sony talked of shutting the PS3/Vita store. Was going to burn goodwill. So they left it open. But it shows to me that retro games are going to fade. Even though prices soared to stupid levels.

Million dollar sales by Wata and Heritage Auctions also seem to be illegally fraud rigged - so the retro games scene is terribly expensive suddenly...

I sold most of my retro stuff and am out now. ha-ha. i still have lots of old games and would love a Ps1-Ps5 Playstation still. It will never happen. When my PS3 dies Ill probably ditch it all? i dont use it much anyway.

But hey - we have emulation right? :)

Will Sony have an answer to Gamepass in 2022 (retro games?), Switch tried with a new tier of N64 games, its like $80 a year!? Crazy. nope. Pass.

I enjoy Gamepass though, im just worried of what it could turn into. Switch Pro is still potentially out there as Switch hits 100 million sold. And Sony sells all of the PS5's they can make (scalping is bad).

So the console war is lit, but who's winning? No idea.

it will be interesting to see what next year brings!

This list is not all games (I haven't played them all!). And Its MY list, i dont like Resident Evil games much for instance. So you dont see that here but do on many other people's 2021 list. But I dont see Psychonauts on theirs for example. Seems crazy to me, but thats what personal taste is all about. I just think these games are fun and you should give them a shot :)

List items

  • This is why you buy the PS5. I played Ratchet remastered (2016) for the first time this year. Became a fan of the series!

    Doesn't reinvent the wheel, but does some impressive things, and i haven't played many games in the series, so its still fresh to me.

  • Ive played all of the Far Cry games - i do not really understand why people say they have Far Cry fatigue, but then put Halo as their game of the year? Ive played the Halo games in a much more condensed timeline i guess, but boy i have Halo fatigue for sure. The new ones great, but i want no more. Far Cry I continue to come back to and with the multiplayer aspect (Halo only has the online competitive free to play multiplayer, blah not for me!) - me and my nephew are having lots of fun. this feels very different than New Dawn did in multiple ways. So i disagree with the "Far Cry Fatigue" complaints. i thought this game was a blast!

  • I loved the first game years ago - although this doesn't go anywhere totally different, it is better than the original in some ways, but in being a sequel it seems it just cant be as fresh. Its probably a better game, but id still put the first one on my best games of all times list. this wouldn't make that list. But what is there, if you are into the Double fine brand of quirk, is a solid plat-former that tugs at nostalgia. And in my opinion, has some very fun moments. Also some VERY FRUSTRATING platforming that i didn't experience in a game like Ratchet. be ready to collect a lot of thing,s maybe too many things?

  • This is a very neat very pretty game. i guess my only complaint is that it is fairly hard. And thats not a bad thing, just not what I expected. i will say I got this for $40 and that feels right. if it had been a $60 game it would have been lower on my list. But as a $40 game, it really stands out (like Returnal) as a great lower budget game. I guess B games are like the $40 games no like Returnal and biomutant? And i like that space a lot.

  • Wow, after Avengers I dismissed this game. Maybe like we see with Biomutant, this game had low expectations and so a good game got a boost from that. Where biomutant was an okay game we thought would be better, so it took a hit from that. So yeah, guardians got a low expectation bump. but hey take it! Its a fun single player, no micro transaction game. its what Avengers should have been. Story is fun, its a comic game.

    And I think my list is just games i found fun. many wont be on other peoples top 10. i think some lists need that "indie cred" so games like Sable get up there, or they are fans that cant dis a franchise favorite so you see Halo or Dread at the top. but my list is just games i genuinely had fun with for the prices I got them at. And wanted to come back and play them. And Guardians is that game.It was already cheap by Black Friday and its fun.

  • I love detective games. And this is detective animals? Noir type game. We've had some games in this animal detective genre (is that a genre!?) like Blacksad and Chicken Police. But man I love this genre! Who knew!!!!? pretty dark for an animal character game (*spoiler - they are eating people (animals).

  • I dont know if i found this more fun than Monster Hunter World. That was such a surprise hit for me, and again the expectations were different. i also had some people i played World with here. i haven't put enough time into rise to know if i like it better or not. but it certainly is the Switches equal since they missed out on that title. That being said its still great but maybe not at the top of the list if you've already played World.

    But if you've never played, or only have a Switch - this is for you!!!!!!

  • Came out in November of 2020 so it counts for this year. Love the vibe of this game.

    Probably consider it a jack of all trades master of none. its not the best in any one aspect. but again ,its an under the radar FUN game. not too expensive, but creative and its own thing. Part farming, part action, and Japanese lore. Its fun.

  • I was into Tales of Destiny way back on PSOne. And Ive bought a ton of tales games across consoles. but then never played them ha-ha. no idea why. Gamecube, Steam, Playstation. Just never played them. but then people said try the new one, i did, and its great. Might have other JRPGs like Ys VIII or such be just as good. But I didnt play that. So this is the representation for JRPGs this year, I feel like it was a good year for JRPGs with Scarlet Nexus and such coming out. This is my spot for all of them :)

  • This game is great - reminds me or Crusader No Remorse -- but holy shit at least on the Xbox -- its the buggiest game Ive ever played. Ive heard people make the joke "its like a working Cyberpunk game ha-ha". Then i played it - and NO this game crashes to the desktop, gives me a big error screen, locks up then unfreezes, and has like 6 minute load times! Lego Worlds used to be the worst load time id experienced. But I think Ascent now wins that. Worst optimized game Ive ever played. if its a beta or something -- then it shouldn't have been on gamepass yet then. But yeah - its still fun -- very much a Shadowrun type game. Love it.

  • This game had HUGE expectations. And is a let down. but i still enjoyed it. id go so far as to say i enjoyed it as much as i did a game like Breath of the Wild. id give them both that 7-7.5 rating. Its an open world game like Witcher 3 or Assassins Creed Origins, but i put both of those well above Biomutant. But that doesn't mean its bad. And i think when you take the smaller developer budget into account, this game probably tried too much, but i had fun with it and wanted to come back. Lots of jank, but again, that didn't ruin it for me. i feel this was a game too easily dismissed by reviewers this year, perhaps because the pre-release hype was so intense?

  • Wow a German PC puzzle game. No way this should be as addictive as it is, but its so mellow and relaxing, but actually has some substance as well. Its my mellow out game.

  • I only got to test this game i did not play it for long - which at launch it had a very poor save system (on purpose) that people hated. So my playtime cant reflect that, and i believe thats fixed now anyhow. But this is a game in a genre I hate (bullet hell) and yet i found it fun. When i get my ps5 yeah id rather play Astrobot or ratchet - but the fact that i will bu y a bullet hell should tell you something!

    We also had a lot of time mechanic games like Deathloop and 12 minutes this year - this by far seems to be the best of them!

  • Neat game. i dont know. Agai nits a B game. its a mod of Skyri mi think? its neat. but also got really hyped, and so was a little disappointing when i played it. but it did also feel different enough (more time mechanics!) and the plot device is kinda neat. As a probably not mainstream ,and cheaper B tier game - this is worth checking out, so makes my list of fun! ha-ha

    like it just doesn't feel higher on the list, but also does feel like a top 20?

  • I admit i haven't played this yet. but only because I dont have 2 people! Is that a slight against the game? I guess it shouldn't be, but it kind of is? It got game of the year some places, and looks fun. but also i hear its hard (so your second needs to be good at game,s maybe not just a casual gamer girlfriend or younger nephew), and it kind of doesn't deal with divorce well. (Like its a thing you can fix if you try hard enough). So i cant put it as game of the year (heck haven't played it!), but its got to be in the mentions. and I WILL get to play it soon!

  • Hitman is hitman ,and its great. i want to try in VR I just haven't yet.

    i feel it gets over looked sine it doesn't reinvent the wheel, but its a solid third game, and probably the best of the 3 which is not always how sequels work! :)

  • Its good .i liked metroid Samus returns on 3DSD. That was a remake (but to a game I never played). And I wish it could be on consoel as i hate holdign a 3DS. that being said - its what Dread felt like. i dont get the game of the year hype on this game though. its not really pretty. its not the nest metroid-vania ive played. It didn't even have the sense of mystery the first two metroid games had. And the addition of the hunter robots that you get instant killed by (especially if you suck at the mini game like i do) just means yeah i feel dread, or hate, of those parts of the game. i hated RE3 because of being hunted by an unkillable thing .i dont like that mechanic. i dont see any way this game shines into the top 10. but its a fun Metroid game. im happy i bought it, and the whole "is it $60 worth" conversation came up a lot here, and supporters dismissed the critique as "so 2D games can be $60?". - No thats not it at all. but this game is short, not super graphically great (for a big team), and not very inventive. it does feel like a $40 game if Returnal, and Kena, and Guardians, and Biomutant hit that price and were better for it - i think Dread also was a $40 game. or as Id say, a "B game". And thats fine! Its in my top 20. i just cant help but wonder why its others top 5?

  • I dont know if this game counts? it was on PC back in like 2017 or something? id never heard of it. Its not the best "game" ive ever played. but its a game you need to play and experience the twist. Its a game ill remember. But it came out on consoles this year and onto my radar this year, so ill leave it as 20 to be in the top 20, but at the bottom since it feels like a cheat. I recommend it though!

  • I dont hate Halo. This was fun. but even Fox started it and put it down. A lot of the negative here is that the first part (and hour?) is just Halo Halo, like out of the first game gameplay. We didn't get to the open world yet and had already put it down. i love Far cry so i may pick this up again, and i know where I got to i liked it more. i see people like the grapple hook (hasn't been a great benefit where I am yet, but I dont play multiplayer either). But it gets me into is this a game of the year like so many voted it was? Why not Far Cry 6 then? is there too much fanboy fervor over it? I mean, i am not a Forza guy but Forza 5 was great for what it was. that being said Halo Infinite is the like THE Xbox game this year. So yeah, its great, I have it with Gamepass ,ill go back for sure. its at 16 now but I may bump it up. is it bad? no. but Ive played so many halos recently, i do have Halo fatigue. Perhaps the end game will start to wow me? (Ive never felt the love for the franchise others do, even back playing 1 on PC).

  • Very fun chill puzzle game that told a story through only possessions! Very impressed. Short but sweet. Beat it in a night. Its my #20 if Doki Doki Literature Club cant be.

  • And then we get to my indie game honorable mentions. Unto the End, Sable, Eastward and Dodge Ball Academia were all fun and looked great. Buy them. Thats what this list is - games I think you should buy and play! :)

    All could go way higher on the list. And may at some point.

    But for me with Unpacking, Tales of Iron, and Backbone, and Dorfromantik - these 4 games (or 8 if you count those) all are games that in my mind become classics. its hard to compete with budgets like Halo. But all of these games did.

    if I made an "Indie game bundle" for 2021, these games would be it.

  • See "Eastward"

  • I like this game - i wish it would fix a lot, but i think it could fill my pokemon void. But man you gotta let us raise the monsters! They start as babies in a menu, then they are instantly grown up! Who made this decision! Let us have cute baby monsters!!!!! Please! And come to another system that can do more graphically as well. I like this game but also cant fault anyone for skipping it.