The Year 2021 has arrived and the landscape of video games is dramatically different in comparison to now. We have seen great leaps forward with advancements like The Dream, quantum computing, and blockchain technology as major game developers try to outdo themselves while gaming becomes more accessible than ever.
Metro GameCentral is a video game review and news website. The release schedule for the top 20 games of 2021 has been released.
The greatest PS5 game of the year is Returnal (pic: Sony)
From the largest budget blockbusters to small independent games, GameCentral ranks the top games of the previous year.
Considering all that has happened this year with the pandemic, the first half of 2021 has been remarkably excellent for video games – even above normal. The coronavirus really started to hurt in the second part of the year, with repeated delays and some titles releasing that definitely should’ve waited until next year. Nothing could compare to Cyberpunk 2077, but GTA: The Trilogy: The Definitive Edition and Battlefield 2042 should have known better.
Returnal and Metroid Dread were the two obvious frontrunners for us when it came to picking the greatest game of the year. Others have previously suggested Deathloop, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Resident Evil: Village, but we believe all three are too broken to merit a spot in the top 20 – even if they are still very decent games in their own right.
Due to the epidemic, the bulk of games on our ranking are independent releases for the first time, ranging from Wildermyth to The Eternal Cylinder. Some are well-known, while others are not, but if you disagree with any of our choices (which exclude remakes and remasters), we’ll open voting for the Reader’s Top 20 at the end of January, as is customary.
2021 GameCentral Top 20
There are many debates over whether PlayStation 5 exclusive is the finest, but we believe Returnal is the best. It might have easily been a PlayStation 4 game in terms of technological specifications, yet it still manages to create a beautifully foreboding mood of continual peril and cosmic dread. This fantastic action adventure, which combines elements of roguelikes with some of the best boss battles and sound design of this and previous years (developer Housemarque was previously known for the likes of Stardust and Resogun), is a mix of a third-person Metroid Prime and a bullet hell shooter (developer Housemarque was previously known for the likes of Stardust and Resogun).
Nintendo has had a relatively quiet year in 2021, yet when it came to their first new Metroid game in 11 years, quality over quantity was the order of the day. Few expected a 2D entry to elicit much excitement when it was first announced, but Spanish developer MercurySteam has outdone themselves with a game that captures everything great about the original series while also adding plenty of modern touches, the most notable of which are the E.M.M.I. robots that stalk you around like a survival horror.
Indie developers have been struck as as hard as everyone else by the epidemic, so there won’t necessarily be more of them this year, just fewer AAA ones. As is customary, several excellent games have gone virtually unnoticed, including the year’s greatest narrative-driven game. While big-budget games still equate storytelling with trying to look like a movie and being similarly uninteractive, Wildermyth demonstrates how much more engaging video games can be when you’re in charge of the story, with its procedurally generated content far more engaging than any number of staid cut scenes.
Microsoft had a poor start to the year, but by the conclusion, it had perked up enough to be their most successful since the Xbox 360 period. The fifth installment in the Forza Horizon series, which has swiftly become their most consistent first-party property, was undoubtedly their greatest game of the year. Even on Xbox One, the Mexican location looks amazing, and although the absence of genuine crashes is a bummer, there isn’t much more to criticize about the game.
Although Monster Hunter has always had remarkable success on handheld devices, few anticipated this new Nintendo Switch entry to be able to compete with, much alone outperform, Monster Hunter: World. The two games are almost identical, which is amazing considering the Switch’s limited capabilities, but Rise adds a slew of new features including a grappling hook, animal (and monster) mounts, and a Tower Defense-style rampage mode, making it probably the finest Monster Hunter ever.
The Forgotten City, a zero-budget indie game that makes a mockery of AAA games’ efforts at storyline, began as a Skyrim hack but now has nothing to do with the game. Instead, you’re whisked away to a secret subterranean city in Ancient Rome, where everyone lives under the protection of the gods, but only on the condition that they never commit a’sin.’ The time loop gameplay and smart characterization are beautifully handled, and despite the lack of genuine action, the whole experience is really engaging from start to finish.
Every smart indie game knows how to make the most of its limited budget, and Inscryption, from the designer of Pony Island, is an excellent example of how low-tech visuals can actually contribute to the ambiance and promote new gaming approaches. Inscryption is both a parody and a celebration of collectable card games, yet it’s also a surprisingly effective horror game at moments, with some brilliant plot and gameplay twists.
Taken at face value, this is a nice little Zelda-style adventure that employs the well-known concept of coloring a black-and-white environment. However, after you get into the game, you’ll see that the plot is much more sophisticated than it looks at first, as it covers problems like self-doubt, workaholism, and dealing with criticism. It’s still a fantastic action adventure game with some amusingly brilliant puzzles, but the fact that Celeste and Night In The Woods veterans are participating gives some indication of the story’s caliber.
Most people anticipated it to be a flop on the size of Square Enix’s Avengers game, thus its position in our top 10 is perhaps the most surprise. In truth, it’s a very solid third-person action game with some of the year’s greatest narrative. At first, just being able to play as Star-Lord seems odd, but think of it as a less serious version of Mass Effect, and the entire setup starts to make sense. It doesn’t seem to have been a big success, but it has a lot of spectacular action and incredibly ambitious plot components, so it deserves to be.
Loop Hero is one of the year’s ugliest games, but it’s also one of the cleverest and most addicting. It’s a roguelite that deconstructs old school role-playing games, where struggling to level up in order to take on increasingly stronger adversaries becomes a true gameplay cycle you won’t want to break. The game isn’t as bizarre as it sounds (or seems), and the deck-building and camp expansion components provide a surprising lot of diversity to what might have been a somewhat monotonous experience.
Although the platforming in Pyschonauts 2 is adequate, the game’s creator, Double Fine, is still lacking in terms of gaming mechanics. They are, nonetheless, among the greatest in terms of action game storyline. Pyschonauts 2 avoids the pitfalls of many long-awaited sequels by not simply repeating the original’s set pieces and story beats, but instead creating an entirely new adventure with a flimsy plot but several touching romances and topics ranging from mental health to why it’s important to keep bowling ball shoes clean.
With photorealistic visuals becoming more and more accessible, games that portray themselves as more than simply attempts to reproduce reality are becoming more crucial. Guilty Gear Strive, on the other hand, is attempting to imitate anime, with some of the most incredible cartoon-style artwork ever seen in a video game. It’s also a superb one-on-one combatant, but considering Arc System Works’ familiarity with the genre, you’d expect nothing less.
Normally, a new game from Nobuo Uematsu, the director of Final Fantasy 6, 9, and 12, and a famed composer, would be one of the year’s most extensively publicized titles, yet Dungeon Encounters went nearly unnoticed. That makes sense when you see the game’s simple aesthetics, but not when you play one of the year’s most engaging role-playing games. The battle and leveling system has a lot of complexity, and although it’s quite old school in many respects, it’s also current enough to not be too frustrating or unjust.
Given how many choices are missing – to be introduced as DLC next year – and how the campaign is a clunky combination of open world and linear stages that tries to tell a compelling tale or provide any meaningful variation or creativity, this should have been a catastrophe by all rights. However, Microsoft made the prudent choice to make the multiplayer a free-to-play download ahead of time, and it is clearly the finest online shooter of the year, well ahead of either Call Of Duty or Battlefield.
This year, the creator of Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons and A Way Out returned with a new two-player only adventure about squabbling parents attempting to work together for their child’s sake. Couch co-op is becoming more uncommon these days, but It Takes Two demonstrates how blinkered it is. While the joys are contingent on the other player cooperating appropriately, the experience is spectacular if they do. It’s a pity the narrative isn’t nearly as witty or amusing as it thinks it is, and it struggles to keep a constant tone, but it’s still one of the year’s greatest games.
Although an existential love tale involving the birth of the world and a 1950s jazz band may seem like self-indulgent silliness, this brilliantly weird indie game is the ideal alternative to annual sequels and interminable online conflicts. In terms of gameplay, it’s a point-and-click adventure in which you try to prevent the murder of your love, although it’s tough to categorize properly. It’s also free to play on Game Pass, so as strange as this all seems, you can give it a go for free.
The remakes of Diamond and Pearl this year were a huge letdown, but the long-awaited sequel to Pokémon Snap made up for it. It’s a mystery why it’s taken so long, since the premise of an on-rails action game in which you shot film instead of bullets is still fantastic, and there’s enough variation in the locales and pokémon, as well as some light puzzle aspects, to keep you going back for more.
Indie games suffer from an unique curse in which sequels, no matter how highly received, never seem to live up to the original. Unfortunately, that appears to be the case with Little Nightmares 2, despite the fact that it is better than the original, with improved platforming and puzzles and an even more disturbing, nightmare atmosphere that isn’t quite a survival horror but manages to be both terrifying and thought provoking.
This pleasant blend of Dark Souls and Zelda went on to become one of the most successful indie games of the year, despite the fact that it would have been completely disregarded if it hadn’t started out on Game Pass. It’s for good reason, too, since the top-down action is designed to be demanding while remaining accessible to those who are generally put off by extremely difficult games. The subtle visual style fits the game’s tone and the game’s generally low-tech aesthetics wonderfully.
The craziest game of the year title is often fiercely contested, but the winner in 2021 is a foregone conclusion. The Eternal Cylinder in issue is a planet-sized rolling pin that’s killing everything in its path for unexplained reasons, and you’re in charge of a helpless extraterrestrial whose only option is to absorb other lifeforms and find a method to escape. The survival components are a touch underdeveloped, but otherwise this is a really strange action adventure that never lets you anticipate what’s going to happen next.
Send us an email at [email protected], or leave a comment below. You can also follow us on Twitter.
MORE: Metro GameCentral’s Top 20 Video Games of 2020: Cyberpunk 2077 to Hades
MORE: Metro GameCentral’s Top 20 Video Games of 2019: Apex Legends to Unnamed Goose Game
MORE: Metro GameCentral’s Top 20 Video Games of 2018: God Of War to Dead Cells
Metro Gaming is on Twitter, and you can reach us at [email protected]
Check out our Gaming page for more stories like this.
Watch This Video-
The “eurogamer” is a UK based online magazine. It’s video games top 20 of 2021 are listed below.
- metro gaming
- metro news
- metro games news
- bbc news
- metro games reviews