What's your personal pick for 2021 game of the year?

Edit for the clowns, you know who you are: Valheim was an error and has been removed.

For me it was Subnautica: Below Zero with Valheim a close second. Indies were all at the top for me.

1) Subnautica Below Zero
2) Valheim
3) Car Mechanic Simulator 21
4) It Takes Two
5) Forza Horizon 5 (if not for launch issues could have been higher on the list)
6) Lake
7) Wildermyth
8) Resident Evil 8 (love letter to RE4, but not as brilliant)
9) Farming Simulator 22
10) Far Cry 6 (was a Far Cry game, but nothing particularly great about it)

And, yes, I did play a couple of 2021 games that didn't make the list, like Icarus.

So what is your game of the year (feel free to make lists, categories, whatever you want)
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
I never play games that are less than 2 years old, unless they're TES or Zelda games. So I can never get in on these Game of the Year things.
Sure you can! It depends on the rules. Zed didn't explain them but Subnautica: Below Zero was put into Early Access last year then released this year. So, if release date matters, it must be the proper release date of the game. Valheim is still in early access, though, so its release date is not this year. Ipso Factorio, release dates must not matter! So what games that you've played this year are your favorites?
 
Under the category of 'Video games I played in 2021', the contenders are:

Amazing Pyramids Rebirth
Crysis 1 Warhead
Far Cry 5
Pohtzee
Royal Envoy 3
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3
Untitled Goose Game

I have to give it to Far Cry 5, had a lot of fun with it.

Edited to remove bad joke, sorry :)
 
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Sure you can! It depends on the rules. Zed didn't explain them but Subnautica: Below Zero was put into Early Access last year then released this year. So, if release date matters, it must be the proper release date of the game. Valheim is still in early access, though, so its release date is not this year. Ipso Factorio, release dates must not matter! So what games that you've played this year are your favorites?
I don't get much gaming time, so it takes me forever to get through them. But my favorites that I played this year were a second playthrough of Skyrim, Breath of the Wild, and Skyward Sword HD. Out of those 3, Skyward Sword HD is the only one that released this year, and that's pushing it because it's just an HD remake of an old game.

I played a few more small games, but none of those were really of much consequence.
 
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I only played one game this year that was released this year and I don't feel it wins the award as I also played Diablo 2 remastered for one month... and I don't count a re release of a 20 year old game either. I may have played Torchlight 3 this year but it also doesn't win...

2021 seems to have gone too fast.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Best game for me was X4: Foundations, which I could have told you would be in this spot a couple of years ago. Egosoft's games are buggy for sure, but they are extremely fun for me.

It's a tough call after that. Control, Mechwarrior 5, and Wasteland 3 have all been really fun but for very different reasons.

So I messed up with Valheim. Cut me some slack.
There certainly are some games out there saying they are 'early access' while the marketing push is saying 'come play now!'
 
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Hmm, for 2021 only games there are many big releases that I've not played. I would actually agree with The Game Awards. It Takes Two is an incredible game and I would highly recommend it. I love Forza Horizon 5 as well so that is up there as well. While I don't think it is game of the year, Halo Infinite is worth mentioning because the gameplay is just tremendous. The multiplayer feels like Halo again and it is a big return for the franchise. I may be forgetting some 2021 releases but those are the major ones for me.

For non-2021 released I've played this year, I think Days Gone is my favorite. It really surprised me; I was not expecting it to be so good. The atmosphere was excellent and, despite being a long game, I felt like it was packed with things to do and I didn't feel like my time was wasted even though it was open world. Also, I played Dark Souls 1 for the first time this year and it is a truly excellent game so I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it. I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff but Days Gone really sticks out as a highlight this year.
 
@ZedClampet - I'm assuming that you're asking about our favorite(s) game(s) that was(were) released this year, and not games from previous years? The reason I ask is that I see a few games mentioned that weren't.

Anyway, sticking with games (including remasters) that were released this year:

Mass Effect Legendary would be my top pick, I think Bioware did an excellent job with it, and having all 3 games unified as 1 is great, as those 3 games basically comprise a complete story. I've yet to finish it yet, because I need to go back and trouble shoot a surround sound issue that occurs in ME1.

Solasta Crown of the Magister would be my next choice. I've talked about it in other posts, but it's an excellent Indie CRPG.

Diablo 2 Resurrected recaptures that feeling I had 20 years ago when I first played.

And those were the only 3 "new" games I purchased/played in 2021. I played several others, and purchased a few on sales, but none were released this year.

For non-2021 released I've played this year, I think Days Gone is my favorite. It really surprised me; I was not expecting it to be so good. The atmosphere was excellent and, despite being a long game, I felt like it was packed with things to do and I didn't feel like my time was wasted even though it was open world
I've had my eye on this game for a long time now, as I love a good single player zombie infested game. I know it's a port from a PS4 game which doesn't bother me. But there was one Steam review that mentioned that a keylogger is also installed. I don't know if it's actually true or not, but I've hesitated mostly because of that. I won't list the whole review as it's rather long, but here is the section that mentions the keylogger:

,,,,very intrusive data collection and DRM the game forces you to accept. There is no way to not accept it, and you are forced into playing with a key logger attached that is active regardless if the game is active or not THIS INCLUDES VISITED WEBSITES. This is the same thing that made me refund Horizon Zero Dawn

These are just part of the terms you have to accept. And this is just from their "limited" option. (I have also taken screenshots of theses terms to show just how blatant they are, but I have no clue how to attach them to a review.)

Network Data: Information about your device's network connections (such as mobile, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) including IP address and the number, requirements and speed of the connections.

Configuration Data: Information about your device's configuration, such as the manufacturer, model, number of processors, display size and resolution, date, region, language, locale and capabilities.

Security Data: Information necessary to detect and investigate malicious, unauthorized or fraudulent activities.

Legal Data: Information required by applicable law and to demonstrate compliance.


Maybe all DRM does this and I just wasn't aware of it, but it seems overly intrusive by collecting personal data outside of playing the game itself.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
There's a LOT of commentary on that review: https://steamcommunity.com/id/gixxerkicker/recommended/1259420/

At no time does the reviewer give any evidence of a key logger. He never makes a post at all, in fact. At the end of his review, he says he thinks a Chinese company ported the game and that he will confirm that "later." It's been almost a month. The company in question just does some outsourcing, they don't port entire games.

Bend studio might want to look at suing this guy for slander.
 
@ZedClampet - I'm assuming that you're asking about our favorite(s) game(s) that was(were) released this year, and not games from previous years? The reason I ask is that I see a few games mentioned that weren't.

Anyway, sticking with games (including remasters) that were released this year:

Mass Effect Legendary would be my top pick, I think Bioware did an excellent job with it, and having all 3 games unified as 1 is great, as those 3 games basically comprise a complete story. I've yet to finish it yet, because I need to go back and trouble shoot a surround sound issue that occurs in ME1.

Solasta Crown of the Magister would be my next choice. I've talked about it in other posts, but it's an excellent Indie CRPG.

Diablo 2 Resurrected recaptures that feeling I had 20 years ago when I first played.

And those were the only 3 "new" games I purchased/played in 2021. I played several others, and purchased a few on sales, but none were released this year.


I've had my eye on this game for a long time now, as I love a good single player zombie infested game. I know it's a port from a PS4 game which doesn't bother me. But there was one Steam review that mentioned that a keylogger is also installed. I don't know if it's actually true or not, but I've hesitated mostly because of that. I won't list the whole review as it's rather long, but here is the section that mentions the keylogger:

,,,,very intrusive data collection and DRM the game forces you to accept. There is no way to not accept it, and you are forced into playing with a key logger attached that is active regardless if the game is active or not THIS INCLUDES VISITED WEBSITES. This is the same thing that made me refund Horizon Zero Dawn

These are just part of the terms you have to accept. And this is just from their "limited" option. (I have also taken screenshots of theses terms to show just how blatant they are, but I have no clue how to attach them to a review.)

Network Data: Information about your device's network connections (such as mobile, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) including IP address and the number, requirements and speed of the connections.

Configuration Data: Information about your device's configuration, such as the manufacturer, model, number of processors, display size and resolution, date, region, language, locale and capabilities.

Security Data: Information necessary to detect and investigate malicious, unauthorized or fraudulent activities.

Legal Data: Information required by applicable law and to demonstrate compliance.


Maybe all DRM does this and I just wasn't aware of it, but it seems overly intrusive by collecting personal data outside of playing the game itself.
The data collection can be turned off in the options.

Regarding the keystrokes and stuff, quite a few AAA games collect your keystrokes. It's part of the game data they use to analyze game play. It's used for adjusting game balance and other things. But they only collect keystrokes while the game is running, obviously.

I don't know what all Days Gone was doing, but they were probably being more intrusive than people are used to on PC. Things that are common on console could be a huge security risk on PC. And possibly they were collecting advertising data, which seems to be an issue that pops up in games from time to time. I'm glad they allow you to turn it off now.
 
The data collection can be turned off in the options.

Regarding the keystrokes and stuff, quite a few AAA games collect your keystrokes. It's part of the game data they use to analyze game play. It's used for adjusting game balance and other things. But they only collect keystrokes while the game is running, obviously.

I don't know what all Days Gone was doing, but they were probably being more intrusive than people are used to on PC. Things that are common on console could be a huge security risk on PC. And possibly they were collecting advertising data, which seems to be an issue that pops up in games from time to time. I'm glad they allow you to turn it off now.
Well it's good to know that it can at least be turned off in the options menu. I know DRM can be intrusive, and as @Zloth said there was no actual evidence that a keylogger was in use. While I didn't completely buy in to what he was saying, it did at least attribute to me avoiding the game for the time being. There's a lot of misleading to outright false information out there, but with my limited tech knowledge on things like DRM, I tend to be overly cautious. Which is one of the reasons I post things like that here, is that a lot of you are more knowledgeable to the inner workings of how software functions.
 
Well it's good to know that it can at least be turned off in the options menu. I know DRM can be intrusive, and as @Zloth said there was no actual evidence that a keylogger was in use. While I didn't completely buy in to what he was saying, it did at least attribute to me avoiding the game for the time being. There's a lot of misleading to outright false information out there, but with my limited tech knowledge on things like DRM, I tend to be overly cautious. Which is one of the reasons I post things like that here, is that a lot of you are more knowledgeable to the inner workings of how software functions.
It's true that publishers sometimes push the boundaries on data collection. The worst I've heard that was confirmed was a publisher who tracked your Internet browsing habits if you clicked on one of their various ads. They were trying to figure out where to put more ads, but people flipped out, and they stopped doing it. It's hard to get away with too much unless you are Apple, Facebook or Google, all of whom could probably give you a detailed report of what you did last week even when you weren't online.
 
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To be completely honest, and this could be due to my lack of wanting to play every game that comes out, any of the newly released games ive had interest in this year didnt "wow" me. Most games i looked forward to this year were buggy, broken and had terrible servers/problems connecting for several days/weeks that put me off to recommending as a GOTY.

If closed betas count, i was blown away by Lost Ark. An ARPG similar to Diablo 2: Resurrected but felt that i had a much better time in that then D2R even though i too have nostalgic feels playing that game.

I played a lot of Destiny 2 and they had no expansions in 2021 per se, but there season changes always draw me back in throughout the year.
 
Of what I've played so far regarding PC titles launching in 2021, I'd have to say Halo Infinite is #1, and Resident Evil Village #2.

I know, I know, you're probably wondering why both titles I rave about are two of the most complained about regarding graphical and performance issues, and yes, it definitely started out that way for me too with both, but I think I've sorted out the problems.

I referred to Digital Foundry's optimized graphics settings guides for both, which helped immensely. However I also lowered my mouse polling rate from 1000 to 500 for Halo Infinite, as I suspected the flicker and cutscenes going black screen problems I was having were possibly due to mouse settings. This was because the flicker only happened when moving and looking around, and the black screen in cutscenes went away when I moved the mouse.

I can now play Halo Infinite flicker free, and I'm using settings way higher than I thought I'd be able too, with 1440p DSR as well. The performance on both is great too. I no longer get stutter in RE8 after turning off Vsync, and I can run Halo Infinite smoothly at mostly 60 FPS with Min and Max FPS set to 60 with in-game Vsync On. Both are really great games IMO. I feel RE Village ties RE 2 Remake for 2nd best in the series, and Halo Infinite IMHO, is THE best Halo game ever made, and I've played them all.
 
Well... no games played that came out in 2021... So what would i consider MY GOTY from all the things i played?

bah, its been a blur honestly. i still remember playing assassins creed origins back at the start of the year! yet inbetween i can't remember much or anything that sticks out as truly stellar. Well, i guess it really was amid evil is the last game that stands out as something i truly enjoyed. Maybe even a Doom 2 WAD was something i had a lot of fun with. Mainly Auger;Zenith that one was truly amazing and i'm a little disappointed that it only came runner up. That said this year there was a lot of competition.
 
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The only game that immediately leaps out to me as one that came out this year is Call of Duty: Vanguard, and honestly I've only played the multiplayer and zombies. It's good, but I'd hardly call it Game of the Year material, unless it was strictly for its multiplayer content. Even then I don't play enough of its competition to say. Most other games I've just completely missed or are on the backburner. I've been trying to get through my good games before my recent ones.

bah, its been a blur honestly.
I misread that as that really awesome racing game, Blur. If I had played that this year, it would definitely be my GOTY!
 

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