Despite all the development challenges that the world has caused in recent years, 2021 has been an overall really good game for gaming, with it being the first full year that the next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X|S have been released. As the year winds down, now is a perfect time to review the year and talk about the best games that were released. Here are the top 10 best games released in 2021.
10. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Pokemon BDSP is the highly anticipated remake of the generation 4 games, Diamond and Pearl. The gen 4 games are among the most highly regarded in the series so it was exciting when the remakes were officially announced. While some people have complained about the art style, if you enjoy the gen 4 games, or Pokemon in general, then this is a game that you should enjoy.
9. Psychonauts 2
Psychonauts 2 is the first entry in the series in 16 years and became the first major game released for the Xbox Series X|S since the console launched the previous year, although it was released on PlayStation too despite Microsoft now owning the studio. The platformer was a much-needed game in the summer and has gone on to become one of the highest-rated games of the year, with an average score on Metacritic of 91/100.
8. Call of Duty: Vanguard
The latest entry in the Call of Duty series, Vanguard, sees the franchise go back to WW2, bringing a mixture of World at War and strong Black Ops vibes. WW2 shooters aren’t for everyone, but the campaign is incredibly well crafted with a large variety of levels and a great multiplayer, and of course, zombies make a return.
Returnal was a very ambitious title that was designed to showcase what the PS5 could do, and it paid off. The third-person Sci-Fi shooter is one of the highlights of the year and it is exciting to think about what the future of the Returnal IP could look like.
Deathloop is the latest IP from Bethesda’s Arkane Studios. It is a game that players will either love or hate, it took around an hour for it to click with me. But once it did, it became a really enjoyable experience then blends the likes of Dishonored, Borderlands, Fallout, with a futuristic yet apocalyptic 1920s backdrop.
5. It Takes Two
It Takes Two has brought couch co-op back to gaming, with it being developed by the same people behind A Way Out and Brothers: A Tales Of Two Sons. Grab a friend or family member and experience once of the greatest games of the year and one that will stand the test of time.
4. Metroid Dread
The Metroid series, while beloved by its players, has always been a niche series, and now with Metroid Dread it looks to finally hit the mainstream after smashing all sales records in the series. Metroid Dread takes everything that makes Super Metroid game and elevates it into a modern 2021 game. If you have enjoyed any previous entries in the series then Metroid Dread should be at the top of your to-buy list.
3. Resident Evil Village
Even before its release, Resident Evil Village had become one of the most hyped games in a long time due to the promotion of Lady Dimitrescu. Resident Evil Village is the latest entry in the main series, with it being the second entry in the first-person trilogy which sees Ethan try and rescue his daughter with the help of Chris Redfield. Overall, it is a great game and it certainly lived up to expectations. Resident Evil Village is a must-play game of the year.
2. Forza Horizon 5
Microsoft had a really good second half of the year, with multiple Game of the Year contenders, and Forza Horizon 5 is one of them. The Forza series has become the dominant racing series in gaming, with the Motorsport series being the more traditional racing simulator style, and the Horizon series being a more open-world arcade style of game. The latest entry sees the player head to Mexico for more over-the-top racing in hundreds of different vehicles, with Forza Horizon 5 being the best racing game of 2021.
1. Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite was originally scheduled to release alongside the Xbox Series X|S in November 2020. But following a huge amount of backlash by players following a reveal of the gameplay earlier in the year, the game was delayed indefinitely. Finally, in November 2021 the multiplayer aspect of the game was released, followed by the campaign in December. This decision turned out to be the correct one because the end result is arguably one of, if not, the best games of 2021. Halo is back on top form in terms of multiplayer, although there are still some kinks to iron out in terms of XP progression, and the campaign went open-world for the first time which was a gamble but it paid off. The last decade has been rough on the Halo franchise following the takeover by 343 Industries, but now it looks like the developers have finally found their footing with the Halo series and the future looks bright for Microsoft’s key gaming IP.