Game of the Year Awards – 2021

With another year having come to a close, it’s once again time to hand out awards! Despite many pandemic-related delays, we had a good crop of game to play this past year, and plenty of great experiences to be thankful for. But only a select few games can walk away with an award, and our staff has cast votes to determine the cream of the year’s crop. So, without further ado, here are our 2021 Game of the Year Awards!


Returnal marks a shift for developer Housemarque, a studio previously known for small indie action titles. Now under the PlayStation umbrella, they’ve brought their experience with old-school bullet hell games into a brutally difficult AAA roguelite shooter. Even better, they’ve upped their storytelling chops, crafting a creepy, psychological sci-fi thriller to go along with the insane action.

Runner-up: Resident Evil Village

No More Heroes III

As the third game in the No More Heroes series, we already know what kind of wacky insanity to expect in No More Heroes III: goofy-looking characters, hack-n-slash action, tons of minigames, and plenty of old movie and anime references. It’s peak Suda 51, in other words. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Runner-up: Chivalry II

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

While movie studios have produced many high-quality Marvel films over the last decade, similarly excellent Marvel-themed games have been more difficult to come by. That changes with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a fantastic adaptation of the comedic quintet of space-faring scoundrels. It’s deep gameplay, well-written story, and engaging characters make it not just a great game, but a must-play for fans of the franchise.

Runner-up: Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Life is Strange: True Colors

The Life is Strange series continues to impress, as this latest entry, True Colors, once again places us into a vibrant world with complex characters and supernatural mystery. It also delves into the difficult territory of overcoming trauma and of building relationships in the midst of pain and healing. Developer Deck Nine put a lot of thought and care into this title, and it shows.

Runner-up: Twelve Minutes

Tales of Arise

The Tales franchise has been around for many years, but its latest installment, Tales of Arise, proves that there’s plenty of life left to be found here. Boasting a phenomenal story, a stellar cast of characters, and a slick combat system, Arise proves to be one of the best entries in the whole series. Don’t sleep on this one; Tales is playing with the big boys in the JRPG space now.

Runner-up: Scarlet Nexus

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Insomniac Games has been on a roll lately, and their new title Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is no exception. Taking our heroes on an interdimensional adventure and introducing a new Lombax named Rivet, Rift Apart delivers an outstanding action-platforming experience that takes advantage of the fancy new PlayStation 5 hardware on which it runs. Ratchet fans will love this latest entry in the long-running franchise.

Runner-up: Psychonauts 2

Guilty Gear Strive

Fighting games often have to walk a tough line between satisfying veterans and enticing newbies. Guilty Gear Strive, the latest in Arc System Works’ long line of fighting games, handles this challenge about as well as one could hope, making it easier for new players to learn its various mechanics and streamlining the number of playable characters. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a stunner to look at and contains a killer soundtrack, too.

Runner-up: Demon Slayer: Hinokami Chronicles

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

The iconic sci-fi trilogy returns! Mass Effect: Legendary Edition brings back the first three games in the series, complete with all the DLC content released over the years. Few series can boast the character development and storytelling depth displayed here, so anyone who missed out on this series the first time around should dive into this grand epic.

Runner-up: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy delivers the wacky, misfit characters that we expect from the iconic comic series. Witty dialogue? Check. Charismatic charm? You bet! And all of it is wrapped up in a compelling, galaxy-spanning storyline.

Runners-up: Psychonauts 2 and Returnal

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Well whaddya know, GotG appears yet again on our list! Not only does this game sport great gameplay and top-notch storytelling, but it brings an excellent score on top of it all. Filled with upbeat, adventurous orchestral tracks, licensed classic ‘80s hits, and even original rock tracks from a fictional band created just for this game, GotG’s soundtrack will keep your ears entertained from start to finish.

Runner-up: Guilty Gear Strive

Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

We may not know much about the next game in the storied Legend of Zelda franchise, but even so, how can we not be excited? Lacking an official title but billed as the sequel to the widely acclaimed Breath of the Wild, this upcoming title boasts more of its predecessor’s gorgeous visuals and another fantastical open world for us to explore. And, barring any further delays (an all-the-more common occurrence in the pandemic era, sadly), the wait is nearing its end, as the game is slated to release in 2022.

Runner-up: Horizon Forbidden West

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Seeing as this game has appeared three previous times in our list of awards, it likely comes as no surprise that we’ve declared Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy as our 2021 Game of the Year! Eidos Montreal’s action-adventure title gives players the complete package: fast-paced action, hilarious characters, a compelling story, and a rockin’ soundtrack. We couldn’t ask for a better love letter to this beloved franchise, and anyone would be remiss if they didn’t check it out.

Runners-up: Psychonauts 2 and Resident Evil Village

Michael Mendis

Michael Mendis loves to discuss gaming, Christian faith, and how the two interact. In addition to his main hobby of playing video games, he also enjoys watching movies, anime, and baseball.

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