Game of the year 2021 – Game room

Joakim Kilman choruses his favorites, as well as sounds like some disappointments, from the past game year.

Okay, so 2021 was not the best year in human memory. Neither for games, music, movies nor for humanity in general. It was not one of the worst years ever, either. Those who went through the Great Depression would probably have something to say if we claimed it. But I still think we can allow ourselves a little self-pity after almost two pretty tough years. Quantity before quality can well be said to be the melody of the year, but there are probably some bright spots to enjoy.

Above all, however, we can afford to remember what has actually been good this year. Even a weak year of play hides diamonds that really deserve to be highlighted. And even if the modern classics did not stand as a rod in the hill this year, there are still some really strong game releases. There are also a lot of good games, which may not top any “best games ever” lists, but which are well worth playing. Therefore, I have partly listed my personal top 25 list, plus a number of additional games that I want to highlight separately in different ways (so check out all the “Additional appointments” before you complain that something is missing, because what you are missing may appear up there to enjoy separate prizes – or insults), as well as a whole host of bubblers that are also worth checking out.

Yes, and then some worse games and disappointments I want to slam a little on. Because it would not be a list signed Joakim Kilman if it were not at least a little whine as well.

A sad thing in 2021 was that PC Gamer went to the grave, and that Spelrum is difficult to continue to run “professionally”. On the other hand, we will also see each other in 2022, because we will not disappear. We just have to make money in other ways in the first place, but I will continue to write all sorts of nonsense for those who want to read, hang out on Spelrum’s discord channel and even stream sometimes when there is some time left.

So see you in 2022. Before that, you can take the opportunity to tell me how wrong my list is. I promise to listen with my ears full of cracks.

Also read: Twelve new horror games to cuddle with a cool evening

Additional nominations of games worthy of praise or rice

This year’s “would undoubtedly have been on the top list if I had had time to play it for more than a quarter”: Encased

This year’s digital board game 1: Gloomhaven

This year’s digital board game 2: Warhammer 40K: Battlesector

Best name of the year for a game: Turnip Boy Avoids Tax Evasion

This year’s detective story: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

This year’s road trip: Forza Horizon 5

Casual of the year: Loop Hero

Best demo of the year: Skald: Against the black Priory – The Prologue

I’m really looking forward to this game. It has enormous potential. One Ultima-smented, classic role-playing game that manages to feel old-fashioned but not hostile to users.

This year’s “almost Pixar”: Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart

The game itself is heavenly well made and fun for the moment, albeit also quite easily forgotten. That portal system was also quite limited and of course not at all as impressive as the PR talk claimed in advance. However, you can not close your eyes because the animations are insanely good, especially in the intermediate sequences. It almost looks like playing a Pixar movie.

This year’s promising Swedish debutant 1: Biomutant (Experiment 101)

It has its shortcomings, but it is warm, inviting and has an idiosyncrasy that more polished large-scale products often lack. Underestimated.

This year’s promising Swedish debutant 2: The Ascent (Neon Giant)

This too has its shortcomings, mainly bugs and deficiencies in the balance, but at its best it is hectic action in a ridiculously delicious cyberpunk world.

Cat of the year: Astro Aqua Kitty

A sequel to the simple but charming Aqua Kitty, which adds a metroidvania stucco to the classic shoot ’em up layout. Surprisingly fun in all simplicity. Plus lots of cats.

Villain of the Year: Anton Castillo (Far Cry 6)

Far Cry 6 was pretty much easily forgotten, but Anton Castillo was a good villain. Significantly more threatening and interesting than the noisy, Jared Leto-scented hipster-Jesus we had to endure in the fifth (although the fifth was probably a more fun game overall).

This year’s NES difficult: Cyber ​​Shadow

For those who like to tear his hair out with nasty difficult platform games, Cyber ​​Shadow was one of the better alternatives of the year. Probably also the most difficult. Reminds of Blue Shadow and Ninja Gaidengames to the NES, which should say the most about what awaits.

The most polite slap in the face this year: Fights in Tight Places

Turn-based fights that deserve more attention for their ingenious and clever game system. It’s also very entertaining to see a bunch of types politely wait their turn to hand out devastating slaps in the face and ass kicks.

Most generous: Minit Fun Racer

A game for charity that also happens to be very fun with very small funds. Basically an endless runner, but done right. Definitely evokes the “just one more try” feeling.

Superheroes of the year: Marvel‘s Guardians of the Galaxy

I thought the game was a bit monotonous, plus I’ve already seen a better version of Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn. But of course this is well done and almost infinitely better than the lousy Marvel’s Avenger.

This year’s remaster that should have been better 1: Diablo 2: Resurrected

Wouldn’t it have hurt with at least some quality of life upgrades? The visual upgrade is very successful, but otherwise the game is basically unchanged. It certainly pleases hardcore fans, but in that case they can just as easily play the original. By and large, this felt like a missed opportunity to take Diablo 2 into the present.

This year’s remaster that should have been better 2: Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

Many had probably hoped that this rather reviled Wii adventure would feel infinitely better now that we do not have to sit and crank with tiring motion controls. But unfortunately, the game’s problems are deeper than that, and Skyward Sword still appears as one of the blackest sheep in the series.

This year’s belly splash: Grand Theft Auto Trilogy: Definitive Edition

Already a legendary failure. A scandalously bad remaster. Especially the Switch version, which of course was the one I played. There is also a great risk that the Switch version is the one that will be refurbished the least, so it will probably continue to suck indefinitely.

Most overrated: Halo Infinite

It’s really not a bad game, on the contrary, but I really do not understand those most lyrical praises. Multiplayer is currently suffering from a terrible progression system, and the campaign is only sometimes as well-balanced and grand as you want a Halo game to be. A solid foundation with too many bumps in my eyes, quite simply.

This year’s disappointment: The Good Life

Damn, this should have gotten better. Swery is not great at game design, directly, but he usually has some interesting ideas. But The Good Life is just stiff, boring and unworthy. Not as lousy as last year’s biggest disappointment, Deadly Premonition 2, but perhaps even more uninteresting. Swery needs to rise a few notches.

The nicest new release of the year: Turricancollection for Switch

In the name of honesty, very many remasters feel quite unnecessary. Alan Wake Remaster is good, by all means, but the original still works fine on PC. Just the Amiga versions of Turricanhowever, the games have not been released in any other format, and the ports are clearly worse. So it’s great to be able to play the Amiga version again Turrican 2 without tinkering with an emulator.

This year’s “glass is half empty”:

It’s hard to get away from the fact that it was a weak fucking year in every possible and impossible way. Not just for games, but for movies, music and probably everything else too – because everything is crap.

This year’s “the glass is half full”:

But if we are to allow ourselves not to be too whiny, it is actually the case that, after all, lots of good games were released. It was a weak year, no talk about it, especially for AAA games. But there were also some surprises for those who look beyond the expensive spectacles of the big publishers. So maybe not everything is crap, after all?