Subnautica: Below Zero

Votes: 6
Website | OpenCritic: 82 (89% recommend)
Steam | Xbox | Playstation
Show 3 Reviews


Votes: 6
Website | OpenCritic: 85 (90% recommend) | Discuss
Show 2 Reviews

Reviews of Subnautica: Below Zero:
Odward Frenry
I really dislike the visual aesthetics of multiple environments in the game (including "solid white screen"), but this was a decent sequel to one of my favorite games and it was wonderful to get back under the water with alien critters.
I don't think it really measures up to the original, and in a year where I'd played more games, I don't think it'd be in my top five... but y'know what? It's still gorgeous. I really like how the more narrative-driven experience was handled, but would like to have seen the story be more fleshed-out.
A deep sea adventure with a bit more crunch to it than it's predecessor. It was nice diving back into Subnautica and playing with the new mechanics.
Reviews of Wildermyth:
Neat concept and exceptional execution. It's lovely to look at and even more lovely to play.
The game really is magical. I wish I had had more of a calm mindspace to really enjoy it, but this is a real gem.
The Forgotten City

Votes: 6
Website | OpenCritic: 84 (91% recommend)
Steam | Xbox | Playstation

Death's Door It's On Every Store Merchants Galore

Votes: 6
Website | OpenCritic: 88 (98% recommend) | Discuss
Steam | Epic | Humble | GOG
Xbox | Playstation | Switch
Show 1 Reviews

Reviews of Death's Door:
Odward Frenry
Birb Souls is a strong contender for my Game of the Ever. Incomplete list of things I adore: sound design, music, character design, writing, puzzle design, level design, environments and architecture, animation/acting, color palette, environmental signposting... truly a soulslike made for me.
Loop Hero

Votes: 7
Website | OpenCritic: 84 (91% recommend) | Discuss
Steam | Epic | GOG | Humble | Switch
Show 2 Reviews


Votes: 7
Website | OpenCritic: 94 (99% recommend) | Discuss
Steam | Xbox | Epic | Switch | Playstation

Reviews of Loop Hero:
A fun inversion of a tower defense game with big vibes. Contender for favorite implementation of the necromancer class.
Possibly the best music of the year? Also a type of game I don't play lots of that managed to capture my attention for ages.

Votes: 7
Website | OpenCritic: 82 (84% recommend)
Steam | Humble | GOG | Switch | Xbox
Show 1 Review

Metroid Dread

Votes: 8
Website | OpenCritic: 87 (94% recommend)
Show 2 Reviews

Reviews of Unpacking:
A delightful little game for those who would love to unpack in a new home without the responsibility of "what the fuck do I do with all these cardboard boxes". It was really sublime how they told the story of the main character purely by how their stuff changed from place to place.
Reviews of Metroid Dread:
A brief but highly enjoyable experience; it's been a while since I had so much fun just moving around a space. Clearly made by a team that genuinely loves Metroid.
Seems Nice
I can’t tell if this is a great game or really not, but I kind of really enjoy it anyway. I think it’s a bad metroidvania however, byeeeeeee
Halo Infinite Please Shorten It To "Haloin"

Votes: 9
Website | OpenCritic: 87 (94% recommend)
Steam | Xbox
Show 1 Reviews

Monster Hunter Rise

Votes: 11
Website | OpenCritic: 88 (96% recommend) | Discuss
Steam | Switch
Show 2 Reviews

Reviews of Halo Infinite:
A great new halo, with fantastic, balanced multiplayer and a solid campaign. Both a great addition to the series, and traditional enough to take me back to the days of yore
Reviews of Monster Hunter Rise:
Launched Magnalamo into a Rathalos like a missile. 10/10
It's Monster Hunter innit?
Not as good as World but still great.

The Best Games of 2021

Psychonauts 2
Game of the Year Votes: 2
Runner-Up Votes: 6
Reviews: 1
OpenCritic: 89 (97% recommend)
Steam | Xbox | Playstation
A really well made game from front to back and the sequel to one of my all-time favorites, I should have loved this more than I did. Somehow the magic is lost, but I don't know if it's the game or me. But I don't regret the time I spent with it, and may go back to 100% it some day.
Guilty Gear -Strive-
Game of the Year Votes: 3
Runner-Up Votes: 2
Reviews: 1 | Discuss
OpenCritic: 86 (97% recommend)
Steam | Other Stores
"Mankind knew they cannot change society. So instead of reflecting on themselves, they blamed the Beasts."
This quote (said at the start of every match) has no bearing to the game itself, but that doesn't matter because GG-Strive is all style AND substance.
Deep Rock Galactic
Game of the Year Votes: 3
Runner-Up Votes: 9
Reviews: 4
OpenCritic: 85 (93% recommend)
Steam | Xbox | Playstation
A really relaxing time with one of the friendliest communities I've ever played with. ROCK AND STONE
Rock and stone!
I'm not sure if it's really in my favourites, but it's definitely Most Game of 2021 for me. Very easy to chill in solo mode after work; just enough to keep your brain ticking over while you unwind.
I truly respect DRG and its developers and think it's easily the second-best co-op game out there. It's had its strongest year yet, and the new Refining and Escort mission types are the best fun DRG has ever been. If GSG continue to make Karl proud as they have been it has every chance of taking VT2's crown.
Game of the Year Votes: 3
Runner-Up Votes: 9
Reviews: 3
OpenCritic: 88 (93 % recommend)
Steam | Bethesda | Playstation
So bloody stylish. Tries to solve many problems with immersive stealth-em-ups. Largely successful.
Arkane? Making a good game? Who'd thunk it? Not as stealth-em-up as some would've liked but still great fun learning all the ways that the sandboxes change with the time of day.
An Arkane game with style? Sounds about right. Even though I've mostly just spent my time invading other players in a wonderfully consentual game of cat-and-mouse. Where my habit of closing any door I pass through suddenly becomes very practical! Has great kicks.
Game of the Year Votes: 3
Runner-Up Votes: 12
Reviews: 1 | Discuss
OpenCritic: 86 (98% recommend)
Humble | Steam | GOG | Epic
A weaker back end absolutely does not negate the initial experience of the game, which is oozing, creaking, reeking with style. Just let me play murderous card games in a grubby cabin forever.
Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye
Game of the Year Votes: 4
Runner-Up Votes: 4
Reviews: 4
OpenCritic: 84 (100% recommend)
Steam | Epic | Xbox | Playstation
Despite the difficult task of adding to an already perfect game (see GOTY 2019), Echos of the Eye manages to add a brand new story with its own mysteries and puzzles to solve while also complementing the existing game's story.
I loved the first Outer Wilds. The fact they managed to make DLC at all is very impressive.
Didn't like some of what you had to do in the second half, but still didn't ruin an otherwise great game.
I feared that I never could play Outer Wilds again, so this DLC was welcomed. It introduced more mysteries, that were a blast to uncover. It’s great! But it’s a bit scarier than the base game which could be a dealbreaker for some.
Well, duh. I also played Outer Wilds for the first time, but I thought it would be good to include one game that might actually be a contender.
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Forza Horizon 5 Forza Horizon: Zero Dawn
Game of the Year Votes: 4
Runner-Up Votes: 11
Reviews: 1
OpenCritic: 92 (100% recommend)
Steam | Xbox
a bird
While a very different beast from arcade racers of old, I was able to own every Subaru in the game in less than ten hours.
Hitman 3 Hitman (2016) 3 Or Is It Hitman (2016) III? No, I Won't Shut Up About This Name Your Damn Games Properly Hitman: Contracts
Game of the Year Votes: 5
Runner-Up Votes: 7
Reviews: 3
OpenCritic: 86 (92% recommend)
Steam | Playstation | Xbox
I like games that ask you to care about details. Even more when the details are winding backrooms and guard patrols of hyperreal supervillain vacation spots. Creeping its levels feels mazelike yet grockable, each built with intuitive grace. Dissecting them brings many glittering details to light.
The fabulous conclusion to a fabulous series. I really enjoyed many of the new maps, particularly Berlin and Dubai, and I also love to be able to hit all the mans in one place.
The culmination of everything IOI learnt over the previous 2 entries, and the fact that they bring the other 2 games' levels into the updated engine is great.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker
Game of the Year Votes: 9
Runner-Up Votes: 2
Reviews: 4 | Discuss
OpenCritic: 93 (100% recommend)
My struggle this year was to remember the other games I've played which was hard purely because I was consumed with playing the Critically Acclaimed MMORPG FFXIV. The story for FFXIV is some of the best in any game, and your time is respected.
FFXIV has consistently been one of the most important games of my life, and seeing this lovingly crafted decade-long saga come to a close will forever stay with me. "Yet stand tall my friend, your journey shall never end."
Seems Nice
FF14 has been the game that saved me this year. I started in July, diving into years worth of content initially as a way to grind out time in another hell year. Instead, I found a story I’ve loved more than any in years. With Endwalker, they tied a bow on 10 years, leaving me excited for the next 10
They could've taken an easier way out to attempt to wrap up a lingering arc a decade in the making and clearly not planned out this far out. They didn't. They pull it off anyway. Knows how to deploy constrast between events large and small, and doesn't shy away from dire impacts to ordinary people.
Game of the Year Votes: 12
Runner-Up Votes: 17
Reviews: 7 | Discuss
OpenCritic: 84 (88% recommend)
A stand-out survival-em-up because of its thorough-if-fiddly building mechanics, putting creativity ahead of ease, as well as a beautiful, dangerous, atmospheric world. Finally setting sail into the unknown in a boat with your friends, leaving your charming longhouse behind, is a powerful moment.
A game that hit a lot of the same notes as Breath of the Wild for me, in that I wanted to explore the world just to see what was over the next hill. Secondary highlight was how our small temporary camps ended up a series of fortified outposts almost without noticing.
Setting up a private server and getting friends into it reminded me of playing the Minecraft Alpha/Beta back in the day, a lovely way to connect. Nicely hits my TES Oblivion nostalgia buttons, too.
Like knocking over a row of dominoes, except the dominoes are trees and there's a higher chance of death.
Bees are happy!
The real metaverse. Accept no pretenders.
Get you a server of pals, several hours on the trot, and have a wonderful time raising a village, a farm, and slapping a big slime monster on the bonce.

Honourable Mentions

Strong contenders that just didn't make it into the top 20.
(Click underlined items to see reviews.)
Super relaxing, enjoy the writing style which is not one I've seen in games really, but adds an air of thoughtfulness to the game. Also loving the interesting worldbuilding. And ooh doesn't it look pretty!
I don't want to eat pureed peanuts with a spoon. I want them smeared on some toast with a drizzle of honey. I don't want to play Factorio. I want to play Satisfactory
Age of Empires IV
Chivalry 2
Cyberpunk 2077
After many patches, this is more of standard "buggy experience" game rather than a huge mess. Packs in enough "holy shit" story set-pieces and excitement to pave over some side-quests which are repetitive and some politics which are half-baked.
Despite being riddled with bugs and issues, I had a really great time playing through the starting missions of this. I'll be returning to it when my computer can handle the fancy effects.
It Takes Two
Slay the Spire
a bird
Snecko eye babeeee
Horribly well made. It scratches all the card game itches that build up in my brain. It compels me to play more. I need to find The Spire and kill it someday.
Adjacency bonus - the game.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
I let this pass me by originally, but got in on the fun this year and had a great time until my turnips started rotting and I have not opened it again since. Cool kids don't do capitalism.
Apex Legends
I quite liked the new Apex Legends map and the fact that everyone was new to it levelled the playing field a little bit making the game the most fun it has been.
Boyfriend Dungeon
I'm in love with a dagger
Short and rather sweet. It does what it says on the tin and it does it well. The action mechanics aren't super robust, but the game is over before that's a problem.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Control: Ultimate Edition
Crusader Kings III
Come for the notion of medieval family drama, stay for the map painting, but be DELIGHTED by your Emperor (not a King anymore since you rose your Kingdom to an Empire through blood, sweat, and schemes) waking up one day and deciding he is a horse, thereby gaining the "Is a Horse" attribute.
Like all Paradox games, CK3 won't be a fully complete experience until it has $300 worth of expansions. But even now, it's worth playing for the quasi-educational historical roleplay. Playing as Robert Guiscard convinced me to learn a bit about Sicilian history; how often has a game done that for you?
Disco Elysium
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Redefines what an RPG can be and then redefines it again. A good game will often have a moment early on which makes you go "so this is the kind of game I'm playing", Disco Elysium has an absurd density of these moments from the character creator right up to the finale with the phasmid.
Despite all the praise lavished on this game I couldn't force myself to buy this game but when I got it free from Epic I had no excuse. It really caught me that first session and I played way longer than I intended. It is mostly a point-and-click-ish game but it has a surprising level of freedom.
I'll keep voting for this till you play it.
Dota 2
Europa Universalis IV
I mostly got this (and a king's ransom of assorted DLC) so I could continue my Empire of Alba from Crusader Kings III. The Duchy of Lothgaringia quickly became one of my top video game villains of all time.
Half-Life: Alyx
Hardspace: Shipbreaker
The future Elon Musk wants.
Hellish Quart
Lethal, brutal, but without any of the 'visceral' stuff that edgy games think makes them good. Intricate sword play makes the moment of watching your opponent clasp their hands to a relatively small hole in their side, then collapse, that much sweeter.
Hell Let Loose
Kentucky Route Zero
I finally finished KRZ last January and it would not have made my list except for what I consider an absolutely sublime conclusion in Act V. Well worth the time and reflection, a true masterpiece.
After finishing all acts and interludes, I found KRZ to be a bit of a meandering experience. I enjoyed the atmosphere and getting to know the characters, but it's probably an experience best enjoyed on an emotional level, like a music album or an art house film.
games are art
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Monster Train
It may not be as tightly designed as slay the spire, but the very generous / crazy design means I actually feel like I am popping off on a regular basis. 300 hours in, and I still find new and interesting combinations.
New Pokémon Snap
Love to see Pokemon in their natural habitats! Can get a bit annoying in having to repeat courses but levels packed with fun little interactions is hard to say no to.
Paradise Killer
No other game caused me to sit bolt upright in the middle of the night and say "It was HIM!" out loud.
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
Fight the demons that come out of a hole in the world. Find the person who thinks the gods are not worth anyone's time, the person who sees the good in demons, and the person who sees right through everyone, also take a kid orphan to war. Wait, they're the same person. Suddenly sharp writing abound.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Super Auto Pets
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
Warhammer: Vermintide 2
My friend and I tried Legend for the first time this year and I learned how high VT2's skill ceiling is, and how rewarding it is to master. It's too opaque with its complexity, alienating to new players, and burdened by a progression system, but mastering Legend as a duo was a true, and rare, joy.
I blame Kane for getting me hooked on this. The layers of depth are endless. Each time I think I've figured it out I learn something new. Did you know the beam staff for Sienna has an alt fire mode? I didn't until yesterday!
Spectacular co-op ratman chopping. Great characters too.
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
The fact that AoE 2 continues to have a robust competitive scene after 23 years is a huge achievement, and Microsoft supporting it with new expansions in 2021 is admirable. It's also just a huge, generous single-player game with dozens of campaigns about interesting historical events. Also, it has 39 civs!
Among Us
Odward Frenry
With mods, third party proximity chat, and major updates to the base game, there has been so much that keeps my weekly Among Us group coming back and finding fresh experiences. It's been a rough year and the 2 hours a week of Among Us is often the highlight that gets me through.
Arma 3
A Short Hike
As charming as it looks - namely, extremely charming. Its visuals, writing and soundtrack are all really cute and endearing, and its level design has provided me with the second best exploration experience I've ever had with a game (after Hollow Knight).
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
BPM: Bullets Per Minute
"A Norse mythology-inspired roguelike rhythm FPS in which you need to shoot, reload, and dodge to the beat of a heavy metal soundtrack" is both a baroque idea and hard to explain in words. So, I'll just link this video of how the bolt-action rifle sounds in gameplay:
I've never felt so cool reloading a gun in my life.
Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin
I almost forgot I played it this year but I'm happy to announce that there has still never been a year I haven't played a souls game since I played the first one. This time, I made a wonderful spear-wielding monsterperson called "The Creature." It's the series that just keeps giving and giving.
I used a guide less than 10 times for this game, as opposed to 1. I loved the variety and how disjointed it could be!
Dead by Daylight
Demon's Souls
Destiny 2
[Eternal Neigh]
I play Destiny 2 on Stadia which isn't a great experience and I am stuck in the starter area Cosmodrome and don't really understand what I am doing. But I keep coming back to it regardless because the combat feels soooo good. Something about the guns and the enemy reactions just works so well.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light
Donut County
Doom Eternal
Elite: Dangerous
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy
God of War
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guild Wars 2
Gunfire Reborn
This game really scratches the co-op itch. A perfect game to hang with a few friends in a relatively low-stakes environment + take some hits of that dopamine rogue-like loot treadmill.
Hexcells Infinite
I don't like puzzle games. They are boring and for nerds, which means I, a cool coolboy, could never possibly like them. Anyway, the "248 hours" on my steam profile is obviously a bug. Ok fine. It's basically minesweeper with all the janky edges filed down. Popping in for dailies has been great!
Perfectly calculated to be the exact right level of brain engagement to play on one monitor while watching videos on the other.
Horizon Zero Dawn
I played Horizon and AssCreed Valhalla both this year. Playing AssCreed after Horizon made me appreciate that you can make open world RPGs that respect your time. Also your main items are bows and bows are cool.
Hunt: Showdown
Kid A Mnesia Exhibition
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
Necromunda: Hired Gun
Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139...
Not as flashy as Humankind, but more interesting. Would love a UI overhaul though.
Seems Nice
I did nothing wrong
Persona 5 Royal
Pokémon Unite
Odward Frenry
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience playing Unite, especially with friends. I would still be playing if not for life getting in the way. Between no game chat, extremely quick games, cute characters I'm already emotionally attached to, with a variety of game modes, this was a MOBA made for me.
Project Zomboid
A game where my friends have to help me, otherwise I will come back to get them.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
It's not a soulsbourne, its just a game from From Software and it's very good.
Spelunky 2
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
There is a secret club on the Crate and Crowbar discord server full of cool people. They play secret games of Smash, and have done so for at least four years now. We don't talk about Smash Club.
The Ascent
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
The only time I like being judged.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure
An escalation on "did you know, cops are bad"
Turns out the story about two imperial powers trying to enforce their will on a city state they both claim to own is even better with a proper localisation. Never loses sight of the smaller picture or the consequences. Unfortunately like the 5th or 7th game in a series.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I started playing this game in 2016, and I still haven't completed it - what the hell?
It's just a nice time playing this game. Like New Pokemon Snap, it's a photography game. Unlike New Pokemon Snap, it's not course-based and is instead more of a gently funny adventure game. Also like Sable everyone is lovely to you on your big journey (but also asks you to do their errands).
Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Special Consideration

Wonderful games recommended by just one member of the community.
Titles in bold were that member's Game of the Year!
(Click underlined items to see reviews.)
Axiom Verge
Battle Brothers
A short absurdist jaunt about class division told through hotel services.
Brigador: Up-Armored Edition
Cortex Command
a bird
It fucking sucks more people should play this garbage
Dark Souls: Remastered
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Geneforge 1 - Mutagen
Hearts of Iron IV
You'd better believe this sprawling WW2-'em-up is my most favourite game this year. Between a zillion mods on offer, and an expansion late in 2021 that added trains and logistics (exactly the type of sordid detail that gets me going) this game has gone from strength to strength.
A deep fleet management and naval combat sim, with Lander-esque tactical combat, political relations to manage, all set in a very creative original setting, and wrapped up in a beautiful diagetic interface.
Honkai Impact 3rd
Surprise of the year goes to a self-described "girl meets girl" story involving punching monsters, grappling with your own emotional monsters, and dealing with one guy, who's a monster. Did I mention it's very gay? Also contains its own sequel. Sadly a gacha hole but that's divorced from the story.
I Expect You To Die
This is the year I gave up waiting for the DecaGear and bought a Rift CV1. I knew the premise of I Expect You to Die and the idea of a VR puzzle game didn't appeal but this game really impressed me and I'm looking forward to finishing it and playing the sequel.
Impostor Factory
While Finding Paradise made my cry, this one made me think. And really think. Like, my life truly, honestly changed after I played it. Thank you, Freebird Games.
MADNESS: Project Nexus
The story mode is a treat for fans of the Newgrounds animations and flash games, but the real genius lies in the highly customizable rpg campaign of the arena mode, with its recruitment, gun building, and a variety of missions that let you jump in and out of the John-Wick-style action with ease.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Pathologic 2
The atmosphere of this game is thick enough that it's been haunting my dreams since I've played it - and the game responds to player interaction and decision-making in a manner that very few other games succeed in accomplishing. A monumental step forward for games narrative and games as an art form.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Red Dead Redemption 2
Loved it after I gave it a second chance. It was late winter/early spring and I really needed an open-world game. It resulted in me riding a horse through a forest, IRL, on my summer holiday. That's why it's GOTY.
Storybook Brawl
The Last of Us Part II
Total War: Warhammer II
Walkabout Mini Golf
31 unmarked games
31 games made in 31 days by one of my favourite devs, droqen. There is a tiny survival horror game that is very scary.
Airborne Kingdom
Alice and You in the planet of numbers
Aliens: Fireteam Elite
A Monster's Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions)
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Paradise
A Plague Tale: Innocence
art of rally
Loathe to pay £23.79 for Beat Saber I investigated other VR rhythm games but got bored quickly due to limited songs. I had completely forgotten about the VR ofshoot of Audiosurf and even rediscovering it the trailer made it look lame but the ability to play to songs you love elevates it so much
Baba Is You
Nothing can prepare you for the dawning existential horror of all the implications of "TEXT IS YOU", which is then immediately outdone by "EMPTY IS YOU".
Banners of Ruin
Blacksad: Under the Skin
Story was excellent and then repeatedly hamstrung by bad mechanics and clumsy controls. Despite that it's stayed with me and I really enjoyed it.
Bloons TD 6
I'd like to say that the fact that this made the list while Psychonauts 2 did not is due entirely to my own poor taste, but at some point you have to admit that the Bloons guys are just better at making sequels. If Raz had upgraded to a bullet hell monkey god maybe we wouldn't be in this position.
Blue Reflection: Second Light
Call of the Sea
Cats Atelier
Clockwork Calamity in Mushroom World: What would you do if the time stopped ticking?
Coffee Talk
It's not a grand story, and it's not a deep narrative - but it's heart-warming and charming, like the digital equivalent of a friend's hug after a rough week. With everything that's happening in the world, I think all of us would benefit from having that, and Coffee Talk delivers it perfectly.
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
Cruelty Squad
Hitman meets Deus Ex-esque gameplay meets three tabs of acid and a 104F fever dream. In lieu of balance and level design is a unique sense of freedom for the player to tackle levels by whatever means they'd like. Unique, but rather one note after the surrealness and visual disgust have worn off.
Crying Suns
Darkest Dungeon II
Dead Cells
Deltarune: Chapter 2
Dicey Dungeons
A creative and colorful roguelike dice-building game with six different characters, each with their unique playstyle. Although luck is thematically centered, most matches don't feel cheaped out by RNG, as tactics such as risk management and number manipulation help alleviate a lot of grievances.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Divinity: Original Sin 2
a bird
My friends and I have discovered that a team with a magic nuker and a whole bunch of charm spells is invoncible
Dwarf Fortress
Dyson Sphere Program
Emily is Away <3
Endless Space 2
Escape from Tarkov
The other extremely detail-oriented game I love to love, it keeps getting updated and fattening ever further. 10/10, will scav again.
Factorio: Space Exploration
Fights in Tight Spaces
Slay the spire + into the breach + superhot. And the soundtrack slaps
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Genshin Impact
Mistakes were made. I love and hate Genshin Impact. The soundtrack is rad. Don't @ me.
Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut
Granblue Fantasy Versus
The fighting game I've spent the most time with other than Injustice 2. Relatively simple to execute with clear character gimmicks and fun details. I think I might like Melty Blood or Strike more eventually, but for now its my favorite fighter.
Grim Dawn
The best 2D Soulslike apparently no-one has played. Stone person with a black hole for a head whacks some disturbingly lithic entities in a world that has a nervous system.
Heaven's Vault
Seems Nice
I probably should played Hitman 3, but I was unemployed at the time and buying 2 with the 1 levels included meant I could have the maximum amount of £ per murder
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Hot Brass
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
IL-2 Sturmovik
In Other Waters
Chill, wet, vibes
Into the Breach
A masterstroke of game design. It's a well-paced, well-polished puzzle tactics game about protecting buildings from telegraphed attacks. Its mechanics provide a rich gameplay experience, in which the player is incentivized to conjure up creative ways to block, disrupt or evade enemy attacks.
Jupiter Hell
Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
An out-of-nowhere delight for me. A well written and voice-acted medieval drama, with a wide story scope, great art, and relatable characters.
Kindred Spirits on the Roof
Knockout City
Last Call
Legends of Runeterra
Odward Frenry
Played Runeterra for one whirlwind week before taking a year-long hiatus. Jumped back in I found they'd added the perfect mode for how I wanted to engage with LoR: single-player roguelite deckbuilder where it's actually possible to lose to the AI. Finally, a competitive mobile card game made for me.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill
Difficult but also oddly meditative mountain biking game. The courses are all characterful and look lovely with lots of set-piece landscapes for you to crash into repeatedly and explore for trails. Bike controls are intuitive and feel great, and the unlock system keeps pushing you to push yourself.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Magic: The Gathering Arena
Mario Golf: Super Rush
One of the best serious-ish sports games I've played. Simple, painless, and detailed. Sure there are super powers and tornadoes and such, but it has all the fundamentals of a golf game in there. It's not Rocket League.
Mario Party Superstars
Mario Party Superstars is a compilation of the best games from Mario Party 1 to 7. It's a bit lacking in content, and I'm not particularly fond of the items system in this game, but barring that, this is pretty much a perfect Mario Party game, where every minigame is a hit.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
MechWarrior Online
a bird
They actually made it good this year! Also I still haven't been slurred at for slapping 'big gay' on every one of my mechs
Mini Motorways
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
They've fixed the bug where I could see my own eyebrows in first person. Unsure if this is better or worse.
My Time At Portia
Nehrim: At Fate's Edge
What if Oblivion was a Gothic game? A very specific question, answered.
No Longer Home
No Man's Sky
No one lives under the lighthouse
Not For Broadcast
Orcs Must Die! 3
Played entirely co-op with ma bro. Occasionally infuriating, but the tower defense is really tight and the roguelite mode lets you do some disgustingly broken stuff. Still a great TD.
Outer Wilds
Oxygen Not Included
Oxygen Not Included - Spaced Out!
PC Building Simulator
Per Aspera
Persona 5
This game just keeps getting better and better. Still spooky, still fun, even over a year later. The love going into this game is clear to see and it has one of the nicest communities I've come across!
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Pokémon GO
Puzzling Places
Stick your head into a warmly lit bubble and assemble the neatly shattered pieces of a gigantic cathedral. Doesn't that sound nice?
A huge step up from Doom, now with proper 3D, this holds up remarkably well, both in single- and multiplayer.
Ready or Not
A slow, tactical, always-check-your-corners sort of game. It's great with friends, but, it's pretty low on content at the moment, as one might expect of an early access game. It's fun, but there isn't particularly any reason to pick this up right now if you haven't exhausted SWAT 4 yet.
Red Dead Online
Rockstar's unloved second child, which rarely sees meaningful updates or bug fixes, is nonetheless a lovingly crafted and beautiful place to spend time. You'll find me walking over the prairie with a bolt-action in hand, poncho thrown over my shoulder and my horse following behind me as I hunt game.
Resident Evil Village
Riders Republic
The most fun I've had in a game for a long time. Grinning from ear to ear doing ridiculous stuff like doing a checkpoint race with a wing suit through ski lift pillars or doing multi-discipline multiplayer races where it is chaos with 50 other riders.
Rift Wizard
RimWorld - Ideology
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Risk of Rain 2
Rocksmith 2014 Edition
Scarlet Hollow
I don't really like Scarlet Hollow, because it's essentially Life is Strange 3 - but I do appreciate what it sets out to do. Characters form opinions of you that go well beyond the like/dislike binary, and thus feel three-dimensional and real. More games should imitate this sort of system!
Sea of Thieves
Shin Megami Tensei V
Sparkles & Gems
A queer polyamorous visual novel with psychoactive brick-breaking.
Stardew Valley
State Of Decay 2
Super Mario 3D All-Stars
Super Mega Baseball 3
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
Here's a game from 2007 that I rediscovered.... It finally runs on my PC, it's a brilliant strategy game and it holds up super well today. No idea quite how. Definitely lookup some of the casts online.
You play the newly elected leader of a country that is located on an important juncture in an alternate Cold War (all nations and factions are fictional but familiar to mid 20th century history). You balance decisions in painstaking, West Wing style political wheeling and dealing. A Morgna wes core
Tabletop Simulator
Teamfight Tactics
Tetris Effect: Connected
The Artful Escape
The Caligula Effect 2
The Last of Us
A story about finding meaning in a post-apocalyptic fungi-zombie world. The lootin’ and shootin’ along with the terrific dialogue is expertly crafted which makes it an enjoyable experience. I say enjoyable… but it’s also quite grim and horrible. It’s the post-apocalyptic baby! What did you expect?
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III
I've sat through three hours of cutscenes and spent 20 mintues shouting "it looks so good! look how good the metal looks" and its perfect.
The New York Times Crossword
The New York Times Spelling Bee
The Outer Worlds
There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension
An adventure game taking place in the smoking ruins of the fourth wall. Tremendously charming throughout, but I'm always a sucker for a cheesy live-action sequence.
The Vale: Shadow of the Crown
Total War: Three Kingdoms
The oldest fanfic is chocolate to a peanut butter strategy franchise. The turn based play has unexpected teeth and character, and real time bits feature fake history's greatest bastards flinging their enemies bodily across the verdant Chinese countryside. Impressively, the two feel contiguous.
Trials of Fire
Ultimate Chicken Horse
Trapped in lockdown, played to death with friends. Best local co-op experience we had by a mile.
Umurangi Generation
They say that hearing about something a hundred times can’t be compared to seeing it once and this game wants you to see what the hell unhinged neoliberalism will do to us. You’re armed with only a camera, yet this game is cyberpunk as hell and makes a joke out of contemporary high-budget attempts.
UNBEATABLE [white label]
Good Beats
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground
Watch Dogs: Legion - Bloodline
Played this after a C&C podcast recommendation, and it was lovely! It's just a beautiful little quasi-platformer which felt great and left me cheerful after just a couple hours of delightful play. Well worth checking out, especially if you love good project management in a game!