My Top 10 Favorite Games I Played in 2021
Who says we can just have a GOTY list?
While we all want to pick up and play newly released games, that doesn’t mean we just play new games. We might pick up a game that released a year or more ago that went on sale, or you might find an old game for the first time, or you’re just going through your gaming backlog. Sadly, this also means that it can’t qualify as your GOTY. Well, I decided to make a list where I list my favorite games I’ve played this year no matter when it released. Top 10 of course. I also added the requirement that no game that appeared on my GOTY list could be on this list, as it’s no fun having like half of the games on this list to appear there too. Luckily, I did have a great idea to make a list of all games I’ve completed so I had an easy time knowing what games I played this year. I’ve completed 88 games this year by the way. Sorry to the other 67 games, but you didn’t quite make the cut.
Anyway, here are my Top 10 favorite games I’ve played this year.
Have you ever had a game where you just didn’t get the appeal? For me, that was A Hat in Time. It just looked like a standard platformer to me. Well, this year, I ended up picking up a physical copy of A Hat in Time (I had a coupon) and I saw why everyone was raving about it. The visuals are eh on Switch, but it was really fun running and platforming around each level and no one told me how great the characters were here. Especially The Snatcher. Don’t sleep on this one like I did.
Back in March, I played Resident Evil 4 for #MaybeinMarch. I’m glad I managed to find and participate as it really did push me to finally play Resident Evil 4 again. I really only had vague memories (one including a scene that wasn’t in the game and is still lowkey driving me insane on where I got it from), but it’s still as great as I remembered. It does take a while to get used to how it controls, but it is definitely worth it as this is a great game and the best appearance Leon has had in a game in my opinion (both in how he looks and how he’s protrayed). Not to mention how replayable this surprisingly is.
I’m actually a bit upset that Bugsnax didn’t release this year (and upset at PS5 scalpers) as this would have easily made it to my GOTY list. I knew I would love it when it was announced and even then this one still surprised me with how good it was. This is a delightful game where you learn how to catch the various Bugsnax, feed them to the characters (or Wumpuses), and get to know the Wumpuses, their insecurities, and help them work through it.
Grindstone is a very satisfying puzzle game. If you’re someone that likes the match-3 games, Grindstone is an extension of that except you’ll be matching the monsters you’ll be killing and comboinb them as much as you can. There are certainly frustrating levels here and there, but I couldn’t help going right back into it until I got the satisfaction of completing it (and even more so when I got everything in the level).
Have you been wanting more games that drew on classic survival horror, but want better graphics? Well, Tormented Souls would be just what you’ve been craving. While you can get an annoying enemy camp situation at the beginning (well, unless that’s been patched out since I played), this nails the atmosphere as it’ll make you anxious on what’s around the corner and making you slowly walk as you listen to your surroundings. The hospital mansion is well designed also, and the puzzles are really good. While it’s really weird how much a survival horror puts an emphasis on killing every enemy, I really appreciate this aspect of the game as well as the enemies are so annoying.
I have a hard time saying no, so when a game came out about you playing someone that learns how to say no, I had to play it. The story, the humor, and the voice acting made this a wonderful game. While this didn’t quite make my GOTY list, this still deserved a mention.
This was one that was a surprise for me. I really only got this due to the Switch release. I wasn’t expecting to really like it, as I didn’t end up enjoying Death End re;Quest (as this seemed to have more in common with it), but I did. I really liked how combat took place while flying and it’s separated into three levels, the combat didn’t get dull or boring halfway through, and the story is actually dark and doesn’t lose it despite having some lighthearted moments.
If there’s any game that benefited by having to wait for it to be fully released and finally get onto something that’s not Apple Arcade, it’s World’s End Club. The time spent having to wait for it really quelled my disappointment that this wasn’t a death game like it was advertised until the sudden Apple Arcade release. The platforming is bad, and it really shows that the team just didn’t know how to design platforming sections or use the kid’s special abilities all that well par from a couple moments (like why make us use a defensive ability offensively?), but the story and the characters you interact with really saves the game. Honestly, this isn’t as bad as people say it is and I really recommend not putting your expectations on the same level as the Danganronpa and Zero Escape series.
There was definitely room for improvement here, but there’s no doubt that Resident Evil 7 is still a good horror game and was a great return to horror for the series. I actually didn’t mind the lack of enemy variety and I loved how this was focused on the Bakers and kept you on their property. Not to mention it nails the creeping dread atmosphere that strengthens horror games.
I actually had no idea about the Anodyne series and when I heard about it due to the Switch release, I wasn’t quite sure I’d like it. I ended up watching a video about Anodyne 2 which ultimately got me to picking it up and as you can already tell, it was worth it. This is an amazing and unique game that you have to play.