Moving on from our more fun categories, we are now getting into what people really want to know. What hit the top of the list? Well for that you’ll need to come back tomorrow but in the meantime check out our 2021 runners up entries to our games of the year.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Pierre-Yves: Echo Generation
Into one of the harder decisions that I had to make this year, Cococucumber’s Echo Generation is taking my runner up spot for my Games of the Year. This RPG had it all. Aliens, Monsters, Ghosts, Horror, epic music tracks and the house cat as an ally and healer. Short and sweet clocking in around 10-12 hours, it never overstayed its welcome and everything that it did it did well making it a fun ride and a great placeholder while we wait for Stranger Things Season 4!
Richard: Tales of Arise
This is the Tales title I’ve been waiting for since Graces came out. The combat was great, the dynamic environments, the battle system, the unique characters, everything just came together really nicely. While I did feel the game sort of fell apart in the storytelling in the second half, and it was extremely unfortunate not having a coop mode, Tales of Arise was a game I had a lot of fun playing and that’s why it’s my runner up for the year.
Susan N.: Outriders
Puzzle and Mystery games will always trump other video games on my list. Occasionally, a title knocks it out of the park, even if it’s not in my regular repertoire. I’m talking about a cover shooter being my runner-up game of the year. Outriders surprised me as a game that I would enjoy, but I’m glad that I enjoy it as much as I do. There are sporadic shooters that I play, yet Outriders is among them. Not only did they give players a free legendary weapon for continuing to play when things weren’t going well, but they added an outfit customization system that costs players nothing. Given that the story has some hilarious knee-slapping dialogue, even the twists and turns make the title exciting. Plus, rookies like me can drop the world tier down a notch or two when things get dicey. For that, I give People Can Fly a virtual medal. Outriders is a fantastic game that I enjoy playing as a solo experience or with friends.
Nick: Hot Wheels Unleashed
Tons of cars, many of which call back to my early childhood? Check. Creative environments that remind you that these are miniature vehicles? Check. Oodles of settings, modes and a high degree of accessibility? Check. Simply a blast to play? Checks all of the boxes. Hot Wheels Unleashed hooked me with its aesthetics when I saw the first trailer, but the excellent gameplay and variety of cars and modes combined with a solid progression system had me coming back time and again.
Robert: Star Citizen
While not quite as rich as my 2021 Game of the Year nominee, my runner up to this year’s Game of the Year is none other than Cloud Imperium Games’ absolutely massive immersive space sim, Star Citizen. When all is said and done, this massive, explorable (and fictional) wing of the Milky Way galaxy will house over 100 systems, with dozens of planets, moons, asteroids, and other space-related doodads, all without loading screens.
Pioneering some of the most fascinating and sophisticated technologies, Star Citizen pushes the bounds in every way- from the extremely high fidelity graphics to the rich and expansive universe (a part of which you can experience now in the Persistent Universe!) full of heroes, villains, and everyone in between. Having more than a few hundreds hours behind my dual VKB Gladiator NXT flight sticks in Star Citizen this year alone lands it in contention for the top spot and with Cloud Imperium Games releasing massive game-altering evolutions every quarter, Star Citizen isn’t slowing down anytime soon.