2021 didn’t have any stand out video game experiences for me the way that 2016 had Doom, 2017 had Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Night in the Woods, and 2020 had Tony Hawk 1+2 and Final Fantasy 7: Remake.
That is fine, but I kinda wonder if there was something really cool that I missed. With the amount of games being released these days, there probably was (I still haven’t played Chicory).
Anyway here are my favorites video games that I played in 2021:
- Resident Evil 8
The perfect sweet spot between scary and stupid. The first half of 7 was a chore for me, because I found it so unnerving, but this was a fun ride from beginning to end.
- Psychonauts 2
They actually pulled it off. I was wondering if I even wanted more Psychonauts, but a few moments in it felt like an effortless continuation of the original, and I had a great time until the end.
- Tomb Raider 1 (1996)
Pretty blocky spaces! I loved how much more of en emphasis is on exploration here in the original. Also, I found the level design a lot better than I expected. Kinda feel like all the elements they added over the original run of 90s Tomb Raiders detracted from the simple joy of climbing and puzzling through the space.
- The Longing
This is the perfect game to be sad with. Watching the little protagonist creature trodding slowly across the game world to the haunting dungeon synth score is pure melancholic comfort food for me.
The final hours were underwhelming, but I enjoyed the begining and middle a lot, particularly the sensation of becoming familiar with the environments and enemy placements really captured the time loop fantasy.
- Forza Horizon 5
A comfortable toy to play with while listening to podcasts. Gorgeous arcade racing vacation. I never played the Forza Horizon series, but this was Burnout Paradise good. I wish there was less dialogue and fewer skinner box elements though.
- Metroid Dread
It’s a new 2D Metroid! It felt amazing to play. I had a great time, but I wished it would have been bit a bit more open ended, the way the game keeps blocking the path behind you can feel annoying.
- Hitman 3
More hitman! I enjoyed how they integrated more story elements into the missions, particulary the Berlin level. I played too little of this now that I think about it.
- Ace Combat 7 (2019)
I haven’t played this series since the original Air Combat as a kid. The feel of maneuvering your plane, getting in range for a missile lock on is just perfect. The story is stupid, but I enjoyed how the bits of dialogue in each mission combine with the soundtrack to add a bunch of drama to the action.
- Minit Fun Racer
Had a perfect hour beating this cute little game.