Top 20 Best Games of 2021 We’re about halfway through 2021, depending on when you’re watching this. So like every year, we like to take a look back at the first half of the year and see what good games we’ve gotten so far. We’ve got 20 games to round up, so let’s get started off with number 20.
We’re actually gonna kick this off with something a bit outside the box, something you may not have heard of. It’s called “Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights.” This was released at the start of the summer, and it caught our eye because it took Steam by storm, and it’s because it’s really cool “Castlevania,” specifically “Symphony of the Night”-style game.
It’s 2D action-RPG Metroidvania goodness, so if you have been digging stuff like “Bloodstained:
Ritual of the Night” and all those types of games, what you have here with “Ender Lilies” is a really cool game with great character designs, interesting monsters and creatures, and some fun combat and progression, with a good, creepy atmosphere. For something like this, what more could you ask for? There’s a reason people have been really digging it, so we’re saying, hey, check it out.
And next over at number 19, we have “Guilty Gear -Strive-.”
This is another one that released pretty close to recording this list, but so far, it seems to be another pretty awesome “Guilty Gear” game. Once again, it’s been reworked with new animations, better graphics, and its just looking incredible, and so far, it seems like the fighting game fans that really, really love “Guilty Gear” are digging this one as well.
This 2D/3D hybrid style fighter has always been pretty legendary, but it’s worth trying to jump into, even if you’re more of a casual fan, just because of how good it looks, how cool the characters are, and how satisfying it can be to play once you kind of learn the ropes.
It’s by Arc System Works, once again, who have really made a name for themselves with this franchise, obviously. There really is honestly nothing else like these games, so consider picking it upon all the major platforms.
Now, over at number 18, we have “Knockout City.”
This one took us by surprise, a lower-cost multiplayer dodgeball game put out by EA that really could have gone either way, but it seems like so far, people are really loving this.
And although this hasn’t blown up to mainstream success, like some other multiplayer games like “Fortnite” or anything like that, most people who have gotten their hands on this so far have walked away completely hooked, thanks to just really satisfying gameplay, a little bit of player and team and banner type customization stuff, and hopefully some good support down the line.
Also, it’s just a breath of fresh air. Instead of shooting dudes, crafting, or punching someone, you’re playing dodgeball. And you know what? I think we need more of that.
Next, over at number 17, we have “Subnautica” Below Zero,”
which released this year, finally out of early access as a full-fledged thing, and “Subnautica” fans are pretty happy. The original base “Subnautica” is absolutely incredible, so if you wrapped up with that and wanted more of that kind of ocean/exploration-survival-type thing, you get it here with a nice new twist on things. This time around, you’re on an arctic planet, the ocean is colder.
There are more biomes to discover. There’s more stuff to build. Obviously, now you’ve gotta worry about keeping warm, and we’d say at the very least, it’s just nice to see.” Subnautica” can continue on. From its humble beginnings, a lot of the people on this team worked on original “Half-Life” mods back in the day, and now all the way up to here, “Below Zero,” it’s really cool to see, and we’re really excited to see what the next “Subnautica” game is, but for now, if you haven’t checked this one out, you should.
Now, over at number 16, we got another lesser-known game that is not talked about enough. It’s called “Loop Hero.”
It took the world by storm earlier this year, thanks to just some really addictive and unique roguelike gameplay and some really cool and charming art.
You’re in this world thrown into darkness. It’s a world filled with swords, knights, mages, skeleton creatures, and it’s up to you to rise to the challenge of being a hero by fighting your way through this endlessly repeating loop dungeon, as you find loot, as you upgrade your character, and engage in this sort of deck-building style strategy.
It is definitely a PCgamer’s game for sure, but if you’re looking for something like that and maybe scratch that addictive itch, definitely looks into “Loop Hero.”
Now, next over a number 15, we have “Little Nightmares 2,” which is just an incredible adventure top to bottom.
If you’re looking for a horror experience like “Inside,” “Limbo,” or the original”Little Nightmares,” “Little Nightmares 2” really lives up to the name, with you being a sole character, walking across a solitary, desolate, spooky environment.
You do eventually team up with another character, and you go through these environments, trying not to get too spooked, solving some puzzles and some light combat elements, and just lots of moments of really over-the-top tension and atmosphere and good set-piece moments that you’ll remember for a long time.
“Little Nightmares 2” is incredibly memorable, probably, even more, memorable than the first game. We love it. It came out a couple of months ago, but honestly, some of us just replayed it before this video ’cause it’s that good.
Next, at number 14, we have “Scarlet Nexus,” which was quite a surprise.
This is an action RPG from Bandai Namco, and while at first, it might just come off as yet another JRPG, this is a really special hybrid between fun, “Devil May Cry,” Platinum-style, over-the-top combat, and some Japanese visual novel-type stuff.
The game not only looks and presents gorgeously but the way it handles telekinesis and psychokinesis mid-combat is really creative and a ton of fun. Definitely don’t overlook this one. We think this one’s gonna be super underrated.
Next, over at number 13, we have “Chivalry II,” which is a first-person medieval melee combat game,
where you drop into massive-scale battles with up to 64 players, and you just kill each other. There’s really not much to this game. I mean, there is. The combat is fairly complex, but it’s decent to pick up, but it can become skill-based. It’s not as intense as something like “Mordhau” on PC.
It’s a little bit more accessible, but it’s got really cool maps, fun weapon classes, a lot of gore, and laugh-out-loud funny moments, and it’s just good, passive multiplayer. If you want to turn off your brain, have a good time, and chop some dudes’ heads off and burn down villages and seige upon castles, “Chivalry II” might be for you.
Next, over at number 12, we have “Persona 5 Strikers,” which is another dip into the world established by “Persona 5,”
so if you’re in love with those characters, you get more of them here, but in a really fun, more action-combat-oriented situation. People who love “Persona” generally have loved this game. This style of gameplay honestly translates over perfectly well to “Persona,” if you ask us, specifically “Persona 5,” with Joker and the whole gang.
This one was released earlier in the year on all the major platforms, including Nintendo Switch, and it’s still giving me hope that maybe eventually they’ll put “Persona 5” on Switch. I should probably just keep dreaming.
Next, over at number 11, we have “Super Mario 3DWorld + Bowser’s Fury.”
This was an incredibly underrated Wii U game brought over to the Nintendo Switch. Now, some people might argue the Nintendo Switch has too many ports of Wii U games, but to be fair, a lot of people didn’t play those games, and they missed out, and I honestly think”Super Mario 3D World” is probably one of the best examples of that.
It’s just a really solid Mario game. Not only that, you’re getting the added craziness of “Bowser’s Fury,” which shakes up the formula a little bit. It gives Mario a couple of more fun things to do. Really, If you have a Switch if you haven’t heard of this one already, well, now you’ve heard us recommend it, too.
Next, over at number10, we have “Hitman 3.” Gotta say, IO Interactivefinally really cracked the code on this new Hitman:
World of Assassination-type style of games. It’s no longer episodic. They released an entire game with a bunch of fun levels to endlessly replay because they are so meticulously designed. It’s got some of the best Hitman moments since some of the classics like”Hitman 2: Silent Assassin,” “Hitman: Blood Money.”
If you’re into those types of things, definitely consider “Hitman 3.” Plus, they keep adding fun stuff to do to it all the time, so the value is still there. It was one of the earlier games released this year, but do not forget it.
‘Cause next over at number nine, we have “Monster Hunter Rise,” which is a new NintendoSwitch Monster Hunter game that takes some of the”Monster Hunter World” stuff,
but kind of brings it back more classic Monster Hunter style, taking some things it learned and leaving some things behind, while adding a bunch of cool new move sets and verticality emphasis, to the point where it just, honestly, it seems like a well-rounded, really fun Monster Hunter game, probably one of the better ones we’ve seen in a while.
Our only thing is we wish we had more of it. But honestly, a complaint like that, it’s probably pretty good. And we’re saying it, yeah.
Next over at number eight, “NieR Replicant” is kind of like the remake/remaster that a lot of people have been asking for, and thankfully,
it is pretty damn good and NieR fans are happy. Now, you still feel some of the cracks of the fact that it is technically an older game here and there, but ultimately, what you’re getting is a good story, some satisfying combat, an incredible world, and music that Yoko Taro built up that is just, for lack of a better word, it’s just really something else, man.
If you liked “NieR Automata,” but you didn’t really know where to go after that, check this out.
Because next at number seven, we have “It Takes Two,” which the best way to describe it,
and if this is a little reductive, I’m sorry, it’s essentially a romantic comedy, Pixar, cooperative adventure. You and one other person play as a husband-and-wife couple on the verge of divorce, as they are turned into a sort of little dolls or little toys, and they have to venture through a fun, whimsical world to find their daughter and possibly save their marriage in the process.
If it sounds ridiculous, it is, but it is an absolute ton of fun with a bunch of variety, and it is worth playing through with someone else. It’s one of the best games of the year, for real. It’s so creative. We can’t sing the praises enough.
Over at number six, if you’re looking for a challenge, we have “Returnal.”
This PlayStation 5 exclusive turned out to not be exactly like what we expected, but it is still a ton of fun. It’s a science fiction-themed bullet-hell shooter in the third person, where if you have to die, you gotta start all the way back at the beginning, but thankfully, you learned some things along the way, but it’s up to you to collect the right weapons, hope the RNG works in your favor, become stronger, get good at the game, and blast your way through it, all while solving a very weird and very well-done science-fiction mystery.
It’s gorgeous. It’s fun. It’s challenging. It’s satisfying. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s still absolutely worth highlighting, because personally, all of us here, really liked it.
Now, next at number five, we have “Bravely Default II,” which was released for the Nintendo Switch in February of this year.
It is technically the third game in the series, but it’s new characters, a new adventure, and it’s a bunch of fun. You explore a continent with five different kingdoms as the four main characters, Adelle, Elvis, Gloria, and Seth, and generally, if you’re just looking for good old fashioned JRPG to bundle up with like a good book with your Nintendo Switch, “Bravely Default II”
will definitely scratch that itch. We don’t know if it totally reaches the heights of the original and its follow-up, “End Layer,” but still, it’s a good time.
Now, over number four, we have “Mass Effect Legendary Edition,”
which, as you probably remember, collects the first three Mass Effect games, but in a much prettier, higher-resolution, high frame rate package, with the first game, in particular, getting a lot of work, a major facelift to it in some places and some RPG and combat aspects.
Really, the win here is it’s just a nice, modernized collection of the three awesome Mass Effect games.
It’s one of the best sci-fi trilogies in gaming if you ask us, and creating your own Commander Shepard, or going with the default and venturing through essentially saving the world from the Reaper onslaught is really cool, and honestly, it’s something I think every gamer should experience.
Whether you like third-person shooters or good old-fashioned RPGs, BioWare stuff, or just some straight-up science fiction, Mass Effect’s got something for everybody. I know that’s such a corny phrase, but we mean it. Now’s your chance. Go for it.
But down to number three, we gotta talk about “Valheim.”
This was released early in the year and really blew everybody away. Just when we thought we were tired of community-based survival games where you run around, you kill enemies, you chop down trees, you farm for resources, and you build a log cabin, “Valheim” managed to inject some new life and some new creativity into that premise, and it got a lot of people hooked.
Not only is it Viking-themed, but just the way it deals with progression, and the way it actually kind of actually gives you set objectives to take care of with you and your friends in a server or whatever just really made it a blast, especially with those graphics.
Some people might write it off as looking like an old PS1 game, but when you’ve got this thing running on a high-end machine, you can tell that it is a specific art style meticulously done here, and it can look absolutely gorgeous. It’s fun to play, it’s really good with friends, and there’s probably more to come, considering it blew up so much.
The developers have a lot to work with now. We’re really excited to see what becomes of “Valheim” in the rest of the year and moving on over to 2022.
Now, down to number two, we have “Ratchet & Clank: RiftApart,”
which if you ask us, is just straight-up good old-fashioned video game fun times. It’s a linear, single-player narrative platform adventure game.
You play as Ratchet and Clank, but also newcomer, Rivet, who, thankfully, is not annoying, and you go on a fun, cartoonish planet-hopping adventure.
The game gives you some side objectives and some open areas, but most of the time, it just progresses like a linear old game that is just expertly paced and filled with tons of memorable moments, crazy, over-the-top action, good boss battles, and satisfying weapons.
If you’ve played a Ratchet & Clank game, that’s probably what you want, and that’s absolutely what you get here. Not to mention the fact that it looks absolutely insane. The way the worlds load in, the details on the characters, the design, and the detail on just these beautiful sci-fi cities and creatures is really a sight to behold, and we hope everybody gets to check this out at some point if you can get your hands on a PS5, thanks to those damn scalpers and shortages.
Now, down to number one, one of our favorite games of the year so far is “Resident Evil Village.”
Once again, Resident Evilgoes full wacky, crazy, in a wild adventure where you experience everything from vampire ladies to classic series staple, Chris Redfield. A lot goes down in this game, a lot of fun callbacks and references to other classic horror movies and games. It’s fun. It’s challenging.
It’s gorgeous. It’s a Resident Evil game, but if you liked “7,” this one goes even crazier. As much as I still miss those old classic Resident Evil games, I’m happy we’re getting stuff that’s as wild as this.
And before we go, we got some bonus games to mention, too, real quick. “Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade.” Technically kind of like a DLC expansion, but worth highlighting, because it’s good. Also, “The Last Spell,” as well as “Going Medieval.” Also, you know what? Let me just mention one more, “Powerwash Simulator.” Yes. I’m gonna mention it.
Clean your dirty house, your dirty car, a sidewalk, a city street, with pressurized water. It’s incredibly satisfying and stupid. But anyway, those are 20games from 2021 so far that we thought was pretty good.
We definitely want to hear your list down in the comments because so many games have already been released that everybody’s gonna have their own list, so let us know.
But if you had a good time and maybe we pointed you towards a new game, maybe a recommendation or something like that, clicking the Like button is the best way you can help us out, show your appreciation. It’s all we need. But if you’re new, consider subscribing, maybe hitting that notification bell ’cause we put out videos every single day. But as always, thanks for watching, and we’ll see you guys next time.