What a year 2021 has been! With everyone feeling the effects of the pandemic, 2021 has been filled with its fair share of ups and downs. As we draw to a close on 2021, it’s time to look forward to 2022. However, before we do so, it’s time for myself and Matthew to each choose our 2021 Game of the Year.
After a full year on the market, both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S have been pumping out some pretty great games. While the pandemic has caused a strain on the supply chain, making electronic components hard to come by, we’re starting to see more and more stock of both PS5 and Xbox Series X|S make their way to retail.
Here on the Best Buy Blog, myself and Matthew got together to take a look back at this year in gaming. Before we share our choices for Game of the Year 2021, let’s take a look at the game of the year as chosen by The Game Awards.
It Takes Two wins Game of the Year 2021 at The Game Awards
After almost 4 hours of world premieres, news, performances and awards The Game Awards Game of the Year 2021 was announced. This year’s nominees were all top notch titles: Deathloop, It Takes Two, Metroid Dread, Psychonauts 2, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Resident Evil Village. All games were worthy of the nomination, however, in a surprise turn of events, It Takes Two won Game of the Year.
I reviewed It Takes Two earlier this year in April and was pleasantly surprised by it. The game perfectly blends storytelling with gameplay and provides a memorable multiplayer co-op experience. Additionally, each level provides new gameplay mechanics that keep things fresh throughout the entire 10-14 hour journey. And, the game’s visuals are filled with vibrant colours, sharp textures and superb lightning.
Did myself or Matthew choose It Takes Two as our person Game of the Year 2021? Read on to find out!
Matthew’s choices for Game of the Year 2021
2021 was a stellar year for gaming, bringing a depth and breadth of diverse experiences. I found it very difficult to pick a winner with so many phenomenal games arriving across multiple platforms. Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox all delivered their own must-play exclusives. Looking back at this year, it’s been one of the best in the modern era of gaming.
Sony kicked things off early in 2021 with Returnal, providing a challenging and addictive experience making it my runner up for Game of the Year. Nintendo delivered its own GOTY contender with Metroid Dread bringing fans a grand finale to the saga. Xbox Game Studios has had an absolute banner year delivering a trifecta of titles that have racked up plenty of accolades.
Game of the Year – Halo Infinite
The return of the Halo franchise was fraught with challenges. Thankfully, it has overcome the adversity, Halo Infinite arrived in near perfect form. This is 343i’s best Halo game, and easily one of the greatest in the series. Infinite’s campaign is the grand opus that fans have been waiting for, it’s new, yet maintains the series signature gameplay. We finally have a sandbox in Zeta Halo that let’s players truly flesh out the Master Chief experience.
The multiplayer component has captured the “Halo DNA” with its modern mechanics that adds more speed for a modern audience. The new mobility options paired with perfectly balanced weapons keep gameplay fresh. Although it needs some work with level progression, it feels rock solid and is a joy to play.
The wait was long, but it was well worth it, Halo Infinite has introduced new elements to the series that will ensure its spot alongside other FPS behemoths for years to come. The new era of Halo has arrived, and I am so happy generations of players will get to experience it together.
Jon’s choices for Game of the Year 2021
Much like everything else, the pandemic has had an impact on the video game industry. With that being said, we still saw a whole slew of incredible games from a wide variety of genres. And, 2022 looks to be staked with even more amazing games!
Some of my favourite games in 2021 include Young Souls, Resident Evil Village, Grime, Wavetale, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Metroid Dread, Far Cry 6, Halo Infinite, Life is Strange: True Colors and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
When choosing my game of the year, narrative and gameplay are two major factors in my decision making. Let me tell you, just as in 2020, choosing my game of the year was a tough choice. In the end, both Life is Strange: True Colors and Grime were tied for my runner up for Game of the Year 2021. Metroid Dread was very close behind.
Game of the Year – Resident Evil Village
After going back and forth in my mind, I finally settled on Resident Evil Village as my Game of the Year for 2021. Resident Evil Village takes place several years after Resident Evil 7. And, brings back the thrilling excitement to the franchise that has been missing in recent titles.
The game begins after Ethan and Mia have moved overseas to start a new life. On a nice quiet night at the Winters’ household, BSSA agent Chris Redfield, of Resident Evil franchise fame, storms the house. In a jaw dropping moment, Chris kills Mia and kidnaps Ethan and Mia’s daughter Rose. It’s from this moment on in the game that it grabbed my attention and did not let go.
The game takes place in a snowy eastern European village. The central protagonist is a mysterious mother figure known as Mother Miranda who has the help of the Four Lords to oversee the village. To save his daughter Rose, Ethan has to go through the Four Lords to get to Mother Miranda. Each of the Four Lords possess unique characteristics and abilities.
Resident Evil Village features similar gameplay to that of other games in the series. Managing your inventory is very important. And, shopping, crafting and upgrading are done through a strange travelling merchant known as The Duke. Not only did I enjoy the game’s story but also the character and enemy designs. With horrifyingly beautiful graphics, terrifying audio effects and music, and a tightly-woven story make Resident Evil Village my 2021 Game of the Year.
That’s a wrap for our 2021 Game of the Year choices
And there you have it, our choices for 2021 Game of the Year. What do you think? Do you agree with our choices for game of the year? Let us know in the comments section below what your favourite games of 2021 are.