Insert Credit's Game of the Year 2021

Is it too early to start a GOTY thread? Perhaps on that social media it is but on an honest to God forum with (mostly) intelligent and slower-paced discussion perhaps a longer lead time is the way to go.

I'm interested in hearing about the games that were your close seconds, games that came out this year that you have bought but yet to play, or even games that you're looking forward to that have yet to come out.

Perhaps we all have different definitions of what a GOTY game is, or should be. Perhaps you just consider it to be "the best" or perhaps take a more nuanced approach and consider cultural impact, technical achievement and other factors.

I'd also be interested in hearing what you think counts. Would a port or staggered multiplatform release of a game from last year count (e.g. Yakuza: Like a Dragon)? Does Shin Megami Tensei 3's HD gloss-only remaster count? What about Ace Attorney Chronicles being rejigged, upgraded, and released for the first time in English? Or Nier 1.4's not-remake, not-remaster? (No, no, yes, yes for me).

Of the games that have come out this year, not counting basic remasters (SMT 3) that I've played, I'd rank them as below, best to worst:

  • - Bowser's Fury
  • - Shin Megami Tensei V
  • - Guilty Gear: Strive
  • - Gnosia
  • - Dungeon Encounters
  • - Metroid Dread
  • - Bravely Default 2
  • - Persona 5: Strikers
  • - Mon Amour
  • - Tales of Arise
  • Of the games that I have bought this year but have yet to play, in order of anticipation, again not counting basic remasters or ports:

  • - Ys IX
  • - Lost Judgment
  • - Nier 1.4
  • - Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
  • - Ace Attorney Chronicles
  • - Scarlet Nexus
  • - R-Type Final 2
  • - Famicom Detective Club duology
  • - The Good Life
  • And despite what I've said about rereleases I do want to give particular props to the Castlevania Advance Collection as well as the Capcom Stadium collection. Both are exquisite.


  • 1. Unsighted
  • 2. Jupiter Hell
  • 3. Bowser's Fury
  • 4. Dungeon Encounters
  • 5. Melty Blood Type Lumina
  • 6. Guilty Gear Strive
  • 7. Cotton Reboot
  • 8. Metroid Dread
  • 9. Steel Assault
  • 10. Bravely Default 2
  • Looking forward to playing:

  • - Get in the Car Loser
  • - Mon Amour
  • - The Good Life
  • - SMTV
  • - Voice of Cards
  • - Inscryption
  • - Rift Wizard
  • Best Reissue
    M2 Shot Triggers Kyuukyoku Tiger

    Biggest Surprise

    Biggest Disappointment
    R Type Final 2

    I am realizing now that I have hardly played any of the newer games from this year at all. Though as far as Reissues go, I would throw in a giddy vote for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania - it is just so dang fun

    I don't play many games in their year of release and usually just pick them up later on at a cheaper price so my list is tiny:

  • 1. Unsighted
  • 2. Overboard!
  • 3. Steel Assault
  • If I counted Umurangi Generation (Switch Edition) as a 2021 release it would be #1 or #2.

    Aw heck…GOTY time is when the realization strikes that I spend way more time thinking about games than actually playing them (let alone new releases). Pretty sure my list so far would be:

  • - Monster Hunter Rise
  • - Metroid Dread
  • Oh gosh, is that really it? I'll update the list if I think of any more, but I will say that I at least enjoyed and put a lot of time into both of those. 2021 has been a real journey of discovery for me video-game-wise and I credit the Insert Credit community with sparking that curiosity. I'm certain I've played more versions of Cleopatra Fortune this year than I have games released in 2021 and, you know what, I'm perfectly happy with that.

    waiting for farming simulator 2021 later this month before I weigh in

    I can‘t do a true ranking of Game of the Year until I’ve beaten Solar Ash and SMT V since those have been my two most anticipated games of the year, and I have faith in Heart Machine and Atlus to make something as good if not better than any of these games.

  • - Metroid: Dread - I had low expectations going into it, after I wasn‘t a huge fan of Samus Returns, the whole AM2R debacle left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of the art direction. But playing the game, It honestly felt so smooth and good to play. I loved the exploration, boss fights, thought the difficulty was tuned perfectly for me, It‘s the first game in a long time that after I beat, I immediately started a new save file to play on hard mode. It definitely feels like a game I’ll return to every couple of years.
  • - _NieR Replicant_ - It's not a perfect game, but everything from the presentation, speed of combat, and pacing of the game felt nice. Nier's thought provokingness is always a treat.
  • - _Densha de GO! Hashiro Yamanote Line_ - My personal biggest surprise, I didn't expect to love this game. I occasionally like simulation-y games to relax with like Euro Truck Sim 2. Densha de Go has immediately become my favorite in this genre by actually incorporating arcade gameplay of high scores and trying to get 'perfect' runs. If it wasn't for being Japan only and having audio cues, this would be a perfect game to play while listening to a podcast in between doing stuff.
  • - _Tales of Arise_ - My biggest problem with Tales of games is always the convoluted plots and tropey one dimensional characters. This game totally inverted that in my opinion, making a simple to follow story, and the characters who are deep, compelling, and had mature motivations. I found the plot to be well paced (save for the ending), and liked every character (save the villain). But like many JRPGs where it shines are in the individual story chapters. The scenes in Elde Menancia and Mahag Saar in particular felt great, like the game really hit its stride.
  • - _Ys IX: Monstrum Nox_ - It's exactly what I've come to expect from Ys games, and that's a good thing. The metroidvania style exploration, a large cast with interesting abilities, and sidequests that are cathartic to complete. Story and character wise, I think it's a high point in the series, though still nothing too much to write home about. I think it's just a solid experience.
  • Still to Play:

  • - Solar Ash
  • - Axiom Verge 2
  • Honorable Mentions
    _Guilty Gear -Strive-_ - Beautiful fighter, top notch presentation. I also adore the "Mission Mode" that makes training really satisfying and it feels like I'm making progress and getting better. I wish every fighting game had this. But as a pretty casual fighting game player the lack of a true story mode left me wanting more.
    _Unpacking_ - I strongly connected with this game being around the same age as the character, and I found the storytelling to be pretty clever and stick with me. The gameplay loop is satisfying, and the story is sort of sentimental and melancholy. It may be too small of an experience to really call it one of my favorite games, but it's still I'd recommend to anyone.
    _Bowser's Fury_ - Tons of fun in the moment, and some of the best exploration in any mario game, but ultimately it was a minor standalone experience, similar to how I felt about Astro's Playroom.
    _Final Fantasy VII: INTERmission_ - Some of the most fun I've had this year, the story but like Bowser's Fury, it was a little too short. The fights are great, I really felt for Sonon, and I'm intrigued to see where it goes next. I also loved the way they turned Fort Condor into a little League of Legends style minigame. This might have been the tastiest dessert I ate all year, but I can't call it my favorite meal.
    _30XX_ - Still in early access but very promising

    Games released in 2021 that I liked the most would be (in no particular order):

  • - Great Ace Attorney 1 & 2. My favorite characters and plot in any Ace Attorney game, Shu Takumi is a treasure that must be protected.
  • - _Psychonauts 2_. Such a joy to see a mainstream game tackling the platforming genre in 2021, really thoughtful, charming and touching story.
  • - _Deathloop_. Arkane twisting and recontextualizing the whole quicksave, try something weird, quickload if it fails that defines most immersive sims in a game that is all about having fun experimenting. Great game.
  • - _Guilty Gear Strive_. Been so long since the last time I really got into a fighting game. Super well designed, welcoming and deep.
  • - _Metroid Dread_. Really liked what they did here with Samus as a character and overall a super enjoyable metroid(vania) with some excellent boss battles and over the top cheesy cutscenes.
  • Now, games I enjoyed the most in 2021 which were not released this year:

  • - Paradise Killer. Such an unique game and intersection of genres, part visual novel, murder mystery adventure and open world platformer.
  • - _Everblue_. This game was specifically made for me and there is nothing you can say to prove me wrong.
  • - _King's Field (JP)_. Honestly exploring From Software's roots was priceless in itself, loved every minute of this game and I feel like it provided with a lot of meaningful insight.
  • - _Koudelka_. Delightful mix of survival horror and jRPG. Fantastic soundtrack, great characters and extremely comfy and cool vibes.
  • - _G String_. Best science fiction videogame I have ever played, at least in terms of its narrative and world building.
  • damn I just realized I have barely played any 2021 game so my GOTY list is:

  • -

    Control the Body by @“gate”#95

  • -

    _Sable's soundtrack_ (I played Sable for like 2 hours but decided to wait until a performance patch comes out because I have the graphics card listed in the recommended specs and was getting drops to like 20fps in some places, the soundtrack is amazing though (Japanese Breakfast is one of my favorite artists and my second most listened artist according to my last fm stats so make of that what you will)

  • Honorable mention:

  • - I installed Get In The Car Loser the day it came out but haven't played it yet
  • I like Metroid Dread a lot so far, though I‘m not finished with it yet. There’s some real neat environmental storytelling a la metroid 4, and a brisk scrambling pace a la metroid 2… my biggest gripe with the game is that it has none of the metroid 1 feeling of breaking through the game by sheer force of will. The shortcuts and sequence breaks that I've personally noticed are all just a little too well-lubricated, feel a little too planned for. In metroid 4 this was explicitly thematized as a matrix reload-ish “even your rebellion is just another system of control,” maybe metroid 5 will be just as interesting by the end

    I have made several attempts to get into fighting games, and Strive was my most recent, about which I was v excited... then I unexpectedly moved away from the folks I would have played the game with. Whoops! Haven't touched it in months

    I just started Scarlet Nexus, the first five hours made a strong impression on me. The art direction fucks, and that + the lovely mundane ways that people talk to each other / about the world they live in really gives me a strong "this world is precious and must be protected at all costs" vs "the cost of protecting this world might be literal fascism" dissonance that I will show up to get more of please. Also the combat is good; not the reason to pick up the game in a post–dmc v world, but also not just "good enough not to get in the way of what's interesting" you know

    Axiom Verge 2 felt like a slight little game compared to Axiom Verge 1, or maybe like a thin slice of Axiom Verge 1. In general I like "slight little games" but this one was like water off my duckback, idk

    I will play Forza Horizon 5 in a week and I will have a great time

    In summary, my 2021 goty pick is Disco Elysium: The Final Cut.

    Disco Elysium is the game of every year to be honest.

    Played too little of 2021 to really rank something. Out of the nier replicant remaster there‘s nothing that felt like having a good time. Games I played in 2021? That’s another story.

    My idea is to play Dungeon Encounters and maybe some more (like The ramp and Unsighted). Let's hope games like Peripeteia or Sephonie get released.

    Fuck I'm out here thinking The Last of Us Part 2 was Goty 2021. What the hell actually came out this year?


    @“LeFish”#p47153 Is it too early to start a GOTY thread?

    Never too early for a GOTY thread baby. _Elden Ring_ GOTY 2022

    weird GOTY list this year so far. my top 3 includes both a rerelease and a remaster from Remedy

  • 1. NEO The World Ends With You
  • 2. Control Ultimate Edition
  • 3. Alan Wake Remastered
  • SMTV and Forza Horizon 5 are still coming and I expect both of those will be extremely good.

    One of my co-hosts and I are going to be recording a show about this at the end of the year so I suppose this will be a good place to get my thoughts in order and snap up anything really cool or inventive- I already just added Control the Body to that list.

    If you want to try some smaller games on the more obscure side, my picks so far are:
    -_Bunny's Flowers_ A cute, breezy sokoban-like with tiny inventive puzzles involving "storing" one block at a time.
    -_Chessplosion_ Chess puzzle bomberman with an incredible 2-player mode, though the single player is loads of fun too.

    Welp, with 10 months gone in 2021 my favorite game thus far is Lost Judgment, which I think would make it five years in a row a Yakuza (adjacent) game is my GOTY. Shin Megami Tensei V will be the next contender but I'm setting the line at +350 for the time being.

  • -

    Lost Judgment - Chock full of new 6 out of 10 minigames. Hell yeah.

  • -

    _Hitman III_ - I really like the PS5 adaptive triggers in this game. It almost puts shooting dudes on par with throwing screwdrivers into their skulls.

  • -

    _Persona 5 Strikers_ - I like Persona 5, sue me. This game is 75% as fun and 50% as long. (So maybe better?)

  • I also liked _RE: Village_, _Ys IX_, _Gnosia_, _Bowser's Fury_, and the _Famicom Detective Club_ games quite a bit.

    _No More Heroes III_ and _WarioWare: Get It Together!_ were slight disappointments.


    @“JoJoestar”#p47197 G String

    heed jojo's words on this one, the game kicks ass

    G String is really good and I will have more to say in the foreseeable future, so I'll reserve my thoughts for then, but: yeah it is really good, and a really good insert credit videogame. Strange, fascinating, too ambitious for its own good and very memorable.

    @“sabertoothalex”#p47225 I keep forgetting about Neo TWEWY and I keep telling myself that I really want to play it when I'm reminded of it. Square Enix have been nailing it with RPGs this year.