Insert Credit's Game of the Year 2021


@“LeFish”#p47153 I’m interested in hearing about the games that were your close seconds

I haven't given any thought to rankings, so everything here is currently a "close second" I suppose.
Games from this year I have played and enjoyed enough to think about:

  • - Loop Hero
  • - Nier Replicant
  • - Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
  • - Picross S6
  • - Inscryption (maybe)
  • - Jupiter Hell (maybe)
  • - Deathloop (maybe (probably not))
  • Games I want to try:

  • - Elec Head
  • I tried to play some 지 스트링 just now and I thought it was just a REALLY WEIRD N‘ COOL visual style, I’m just a little disappointed that instead something seems to be Deeply Wrong with the settings or something

    [upl-image-preview url=//]

    When some grumpy guy on the intercom was getting pissed I couldn't figure out how to perform the tutorial I figured it was because I couldn't see something important

    Also if it can get out in time for the end of the year Goty 2021 is gonna be my summer car

    @“JoJoestar”#p47247 Let me have time to sit this game through and maybe we will need to have an individual thread on this.

    @“Gaagaagiins”#p47273 That's a really common glitch which I also had, fixed by adding +mat_dxlevel 95 on the launch options on Steam :slight_smile:

    @“Gaagaagiins”#p47273 I have yet to hear of this game - but this screenshot alone has piqued my interest. Thanks for the share haha

    @“siebold_magnolia”#p47283 It has been discussed here a couple of times, in fact I discovered the game thank to this post from insert credit forum superstar yeso:

    My personal GOTY, as in a game that came out this year that I played, is a dead heat between:

    _GRIME:_ Fantastic Metroid-like that is one of the most visually striking games I have personally ever played.


    _Loop Hero:_ A wonderful new take on what some would call an idle game. Love the pixel art and am really looking forward to playing this again next year when I am sure there will be even more content. Unique game, can't recommend it enough.

    **Some fine runner-ups are:**

    _Griftlands:_ A very cool game with unique card based mechanics. I especially love the negotiation/conversation battles. Really cool stuff with a fun world and vibe.

    _Wildermyth:_ Amazing sort of Dungeons and Dragons style campaign kind of game. I've never played anything like it. The ability it has to weave unique stories is incredible. I have some disappointments with it, particularly the sparseness of the equipment options and mechanics, but I gave it a "Must Play" for it's character building and story telling elements.

    _Inscryption:_ This was a really fun game with a powerful atmosphere and cool dark aesthetic. And that is besides the wild meta shit it gets into later. This game is very good at subverting your expectations and it does some stuff I never thought a game would do.

    _Eastward:_ A great game that would be an absolute All-Timer for me if it didn't have some key flaws in the writing/pacing. Not many games come out this day and age that I would compare to Alundra, but this is one of them. Its aesthetic is truly remarkable and the game is worth playing on that alone. The things it gets right it gets _so right_ that I still give this one a "Must Play."

    **Some honorable mentions:**

    _Axiom Verge 2:_ Another great Metroid-like that experiments with some unique approaches to bosses and navigation. If you're really into the genre and/or love the first game, this one is definitely worth checking out.

    _High Fleet:_ Wow! What an aesthetic! I truly wish I was the kind of person to pour dozens of hours into this game. There is so much here to marvel at. It is a difficult game and not for everyone, but goddamn if it is not bold! I have so much respect for this game. It feels like the developers had a vision and they went for it. They didn't try to make a game for everyone, they tried to make the game they wanted to make. Everyone should check this game out because there is nothing quite like it.

    _Garden Story:_ Another game, much like Eastward, where if it had spent some more time in the oven and been polished up some more, I think it could have been an All-Timer for me. It has so many charming and fun things going for it. Despite the disappointments and issues I had with it I still pushed through and beat it, which says a lot for how good this game was at what it did right. I _really_ hope they make a sequel where they can tighten up the shortcomings of this one.

    There are some other interesting games I could mention here and certainly some games I am interested in playing that I have not yet. However I don't want to ramble on too much in this one post, so I'll just leave it here. If anyone is interested in hearing more just let me know.

    My game of the year is Bloodborne. I don't think I purchased or played any games from this year.

    My 2021 ranking so far if I just count games I‘ve played:

    1. Deltarune: Chapter 2 [Switch] (5/5) - Absolutely nothing bad to say about this game, besides that it is hard to judge what is supposedly a seventh of a finished product - but it’s still an excellent standalone experience. Another extremely fun episode for you to adventure round in this lovely little world, backed with more consistently satisfying game design, fantastic score & artwork (kudos to the new devs!) and really engaging writing. (Worth noting I only played the normal route)

    2. Persona 5 Strikers [PS4] (4.5/5) - Pretty much everything about this game was shockingly good. Narrative wasn‘t as moving as highs of Royal or 3FES but the character writing is among the best in the series, with some of the P5 gang getting really nice time in the limelight in addition to excellent new folks. (>!Zenkichi is the best Persona character gamers!<) The fusion musou gameplay was great, music was great, and art direction was predominately great but I will never understand where the anti-aliasing went

    3. Thatcher's Techbase [PC] (4.5/5) - Excellently designed. It probably more deserves a 4/5 but I make the rules and I was CHORTLING the entire way through. Rust in peace

    4. Cookie Clicker [Steam] (4/5) - God help me I love this. I cannot be free of this game and it has consumed so much of my life. I ADORE the mathematics of it and all the dozens and dozens of minigames and microsystems and small things to manage. SO much fun.

    5. World Flipper [Android] (2.5/5) - It is a genuinely fun game, but it’s still a sinful exploitative game made to take advantage of people for evil capitalism. I wish it was a normal pinball RPG game

    But I'm still playing, in a non-numbered order:

  • - THE LONGING [Switch]
  • - Chicory: A Colorful Tale [Switch] _< - - - 31 hours in and if this isn't just GOTY it's gonna beat DR ch2 for #1_
  • - Monster Hunter Rise [Switch]
  • - Bravely Default II [Switch]
  • - Metroid Dread [Switch]
  • And own but not started / going to get when they release:

  • - NieR: Replicant [PS4]
  • - Shin Megami Tensei V [Switch]
  • - Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker [PS4]
  • In terms of stuff that definitely came out this year, my list – in order of games that brought me the most joy – would look something like this:

  • - Cotton Reboot (I'm counting Reboot as a new game)
  • - World Flipper
  • - No More Heroes III
  • - Monster Hunter Rise
  • The latter two had pretty quiet denouements and faded from memory kinda quickly (Monster Hunter burned bright and fizzled out after 100 hours -- but shit I played it for 100 hours ya know? -- and while No More Heroes was enjoyable throughout, I'm left with the feeling that Travis Strikes Again was a better ending for Travis). I'm close to beating Metroid Dread, but while I think it's an extremely well-made thing, I have to accept that its hard lean into boss rush territory has turned me off quite a bit.

    As for rerelease type of stuff:

  • - Gleylancer (all semantics aside, this is right up there in terms of strictly joyful games for me in 2021)
  • - Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania
  • - Castlevania Advance Collection
  • - Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD
  • - Doki Doki Literature Club+
  • And for stuff I really meant to play this year but haven't yet, I'm still lacking Shin Megami Tensei V, Gnosia, Chicory, Ys IX, NEO The World Ends With You, Dungeon Encounters and The Good Life. SMT is almost certain and there's a good chance I'll get to one or two of those other ones, so I'll swing back by if I do.

    Honorable mentions to Boyfriend Dungeon and Picross S Genesis & Master System Edition, an "I Wish You Were Better" award to Bonito Days and personal Game of the Year That's Not of the Year to Yakuza 0.

    I'd like to put in a mention to Monster Hunter Rise as well, I am not able to play it but I know it probably woulda been my GOTY if I was able to.

    I wouldn't say that it released this year because it's still in Early Access and very much in Early Access but _Darkest Dungeon 2_ is in a partial yet eminently playable form, and it is extremely good. Deserves recognition for the incredible visuals alone

    Favorite games that released this year:

  • 1. SMT III Remaster (:person_shrugging:)
  • 2. Bowser's Fury
  • 3. Metroid Dread
  • **Every game I beat this year so far, ranked:**

  • 1.

    SMT III – it was catapulted to my favorites ever list. Relentlessly cool in every manner something can possibly be

  • 2.

    Yakuza (PS2) - my first Yakuza and already know this is one of my favorite franchises ever. The fact that this is apparently "the worst one" makes me brimming with excitement to try out the rest of it.

  • 3.

    Mushihime-Sama - my first 1cc! (on novice mode(which is still pretty hard))

  • 4.

    Bowser's Fury - my favorite Mario game since 64???? Wtf?????

  • 5.

    A Short Hike - objectively perfect video game

  • 6.

    P.T. - got the literal **cold sweats** for the first time in my life while playing this

  • 7.

    ZeroRanger - could barely play it cause my pc-owning-roommate moved out but I know it's one of the greats

  • 8.

    FF7 - there's a first time for everything. Today is My Bloody Valentine's Loveless 20th anniversary. I wonder if that was a reference

  • 9.

    The Silver Case - great beats

  • 10.

    Super Mario Bros. - never expected to play it but I went and did cause I was starving for more SMB3 and I loved it

  • 11.

    Metroid Dread - okay Metroid. SUPERB action game. Kinda blown away Nintendo put out something so hardcore in 2021

  • 12.

    Paratopic - very fun ride. Dug some lynch this year and this was a nice accompaniment

  • **Games I didn't bother to finish:**

  • 1. Hollow Knight - it's too big for its own sake
  • 2. Xenoblade Chronicles - more like Xenoblade Chrappy Anime
  • 3. Metroid Fusion - I don't like the beats
  • 4. Yoshi's Island - I don't wanna talk about it
  • **2021 releases I wanna play but probably won't cause I just wanna play Yakuza now**

  • - SMT5
  • - G String (dang @"JoJoestar"#251 that looks goooood)
  • - Sable
  • - Halo Infinite
  • - GTA trilogy (ray traced ps2 graphics spoke loudly to me and I hope indies just get into that train already)
  • Yeah, G-String is at least a game that deserves to be played.

    From 2021 I'd say my pending list looks like this:
    **Games already released**
    Jett: The Far Shore
    Jupiter Hell
    Cruelty Squad
    The Ramp
    Psychonauts 2

    **Games released that are remakes/remasters**
    SMT III: Nocturne
    El Shaddai

    **Games that might or not be released in 2021**
    Terra Nil

    Can't play Switch games released this year so this is a shame. Also Deathloop will be sadly postponed until there's a release on the PS4 or until I have a better PC/console that can sustain the game itself. Same case with Fantasian so far.

    @“xhekros”#p47457 I wouldn't worry too much about getting around to Deathloop.

    This year had less BIG AAA style games that grabbed my attention than most years in recent memory. Here's my three favorites from the year:

  • 1.

    Resident Evil Village - I am 100% here for First Person Resident Evil, and this confirmed it for me. The setting taking inspiration from RE4 did wonders for me, and was beautiful to explore in the wonderful RE Engine. The resource and weapon management system felt like a natural evolution of the systems in RE4 too. Each boss character has it's own incredibly designed location within the Village, and they are all so unique and interesting. I went into this game fairly blind and enjoyed all the reveals and set-pieces.

  • 2.

    Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - Admittedly this was purchased due to me wanting to experience the visuals. 100% worth it, incredibly stunning game, from a visual standpoint. I have never completed an RC game in my life as a primarily console Playstation haver, and I ended up platinum-ing this game. It felt like I was playing a Saturday morning cartoon, and I loved it for that.

  • 3.

    FANTASIAN (Pt. 1) - This is the first modern JRPG that I've completed. The story was a bit nonsense, which feels about right for a JRPG, but the battle system really sucked me in. I did mostly play this on my phone, with and without a controller and it always felt good. Being able to save up your battles while out in the wild made exploring and grinding a better experience. The diorama visuals are truly a visual treat. I loaded this game up on the Apple TV a couple times, and the backgrounds look great on a 65in 4K OLED display. I imagine this game may not appeal to more hardcore JRPG fans, but it worked for me as someone who's only played a few in my time. I started Pt. 2 of this recently and intended to play it through.

  • My two "letdowns" of the year:

  • 1.

    Deathloop - The mechanics behind the moment to moment gameplay are honestly great and it‘s a ton of fun to play. The levels are dense and filled with atmosphere through set dressing and interior design, but still manage to feel void of life. I love the style they chose but it can only do so much for a game. Once you really start getting your Slab upgrades and tons of trinkets, the game starts it’s decline. I felt like I could run thru levels with no resistance, the enemies became too simple and predictable. The power fantasy was too strong and left me feeling way overpowered. Accessing some of the visionaries aka bosses requires some puzzle solving and unlocking, but once they‘re unlocked, most of the fights boil down to getting to them stealthily and they can be taken out with a headshot or two.

    The story within this universe presents itself from the outset as something really interesting and deep. Ultimately by the end of the game, with it’s twists and reveals, I just felt empty. There‘s just not much here. This game’s story was tacked on to a unique gameplay concept and it really shows.

  • 2.

    The Medium - I wasn't exactly looking forward to this game, given Bloober Team's previous output (Layers of Fear, etc.) but due to it's release on Game Pass, I figured I had to give it a shot with Akira Yamaoka composing the soundtrack.
    The gameplay is a boring mess. There are no puzzles to be solved, there is no combat in the entire game. You simply walk from place to place, find items and insert item in to something to unlock the next room. Somehow this game manages to be the worst kind of walking sim, while attempting to sell itself as some kind of Survival Horror experience.
    The visuals are nice, but the game ran like poop on a modern, high-ish end gaming PC at launch. The story is an awful mess, and handles mental trauma in a way that feels very disrespectful. I would simply avoid this game at all costs. Listen to the Yamaoka soundtrack by itself if you're interested, it's the best part of this game.

  • Older games I played this year worth mentioning:

  • 1. Snatcher (Sega CD)
  • 2. Doom (iOS) - lol Doom runs on everything, right??
  • 3. Quake (PC) - New release is fantastic.
  • 4. Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition (PS5) - Goofy goth button masher
  • 5. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (PS5) - Started this recently and definitely going to finish.
  • Just jumping in to say No More Heroes III was pretty good, but I'm not seeing a lot of mentions in here

    There’s always a weird and interesting last minute surprise with indies in late December so I’ll wait until the first week of January at the minimum to pass judgment on 2021 but I had a jolly good time this year without a single mind-blowing experience and also very few duds. Just high quality interactive entertainment all around.

    My most memorable game played so far was **Tengai Makyō II** but that’s from 1992. The game I played the most this year so far is **Monster Hunter Rise** (just under 300 hours) but I am not sure I’ll remember a specific moment from that experience. My biggest disappointment of the year so far is probably **Great Ace Attorney Chronicles** but it is certainly not a bad game. Hmm... Maybe **A-Train: All Aboard Tourism**, **Dungeon Encounters** or **Curious Expedition 2** will end up topping the list!

    I am not sure I’ll get the opportunity to enjoy **Forza Horizon 5** so quickly (I barely touched FH4 so I have a lot of catching up to do) but I am glad it has a great chance to amass many GOTY awards in mainstream outlets, for once, as this series has deserved more end of the year awards since at least FH2.

    Interesting that Spring 2021’s unstoppable Steam top seller **Valheim** (which I have not played yet) is absolutely nowhere to be seen in this thread. I guess it wasn’t as big of a phenomenon in the US as it was in Europe?

    I do not think I have heard of **G String** before! But it looks to be from 2020? Seems cool. *Very* unfortunate name. Unless it was maybe developed by Sisqo.

    holy heck i forgot Hitman III came out this year.

    this is such a tough one cause almost every game I completed this year was, to varying degrees, Old.

    There are a lot of things I like (though not _love_, necessarily) about Deathloop, but the PS5 release was broken enough--at least for me--that I had to put it down. Maybe I'll come back to it eventually? I'm just not into run-based roguelike stuff in general.

    Psychonauts 2 was real dang good.

    I'm biased because my friend directed it and the logo was one of my draft proposals but ADIOS is one of the best games I've played this year imo. It's a short (~ 2hr) experience with some of the best writing and voice acting in any game I've encountered. You're pig farmer who's decided to stop disposing of bodies for the mob, knowing full well the consequences of that decision. It's a warm, quiet, melancholic story that beautifully depicts some very specific elements of the human experience. I dunno. It just meant a lot to me, emotionally and mentally.


    @“chazumaru”#p47517 Curious Expedition 2

    Wow, is it that good? I played the first and felt like there was a ton of potential, but wanted to wait and see for the sequel. I can't imagine it's easy for indie devs to make a roguelike for an adventure game, much less one was so heavily focused on random events. Would love to know if they made upgrades to the inventory system and battle system. I felt like those were my only real points of frustration in the first game. Other than that though, I think the new storybook art style looks pretty slick.

    @“TheBeigeKnight”#p47285 great writeups. i wanna play all these games now. would definitely read more if you are inclined to post