The best games of 2021

We have much to look forward to in the coming months: A new Metroid, Halo Infinite and a couple of cheeky Pokemon remakes, among others. But there are many great 2021 games to look back on, or play now for the first time before the blizzard of new titles hits.



Deathloop

Deathloop is the best reason there is right now to buy a PlayStation 5. It's a murder puzzle game about waking up on a beach only to find you're stuck in a timeloop -- truly, an age old tale that never goes out of style. The combat system allows for thrilling experimentation, and excellent voice acting brings a memorable cast of characters to life. The star of the show, however, is the setting of Blackreef Island, which you'll want to explore loop after loop.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

Disco Elysium achieved many accolades upon its 2019 release, including a perfect score from GameSpot, many Game of the Year nominations and several Best Narrative wins. An expanded Final Cut launched on PC and PlayStation (4 and 5) earlier this year, adding extensive voice acting (as in, over a million words of voice acting) and extra quests. Xbox and Switch releases are planned for later this year.




Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village, aka Resident Evil 8, marks 25 years of the illustrious survivor-horror franchise. It's a celebration of everything that makes the series great: suspense, memorable characters, explosive combat and surreal locales. And, of course, horror. So much horror.

Resident Evil Village is a no-brainer for fans of the series -- and worth playing for anyone who thinks they're up to it.


Bowser’s Fury(Nintendo Switch)

Based purely on the title, you might assume that the second game in the Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury package is an afterthought. But while there’s no shortage of fun to be had with Super Mario 3D World, which originally released on the Wii U in 2013, it’s the brand-new game in this collection that really shines. The surprisingly meaty Bowser’s Fury plays like a cross between Super Mario Sunshine and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. After a quick intro, Mario can freely explore a chain of islands, solving little quests and occasionally transforming into a giant cat who spars against a Godzilla-sized Bowser. Leave it to Nintendo to do something this bizarre with its flagship franchise, and to pull it off with so much panache and polish.


Hitman 3 (PlayStation 5 and 4, Xbox Series X/S and One, Nintendo Switch, PC)

The final installment in IO Interactive’s triumphant "World of Assassination" trilogy is, like its predecessors, impossible to describe without sounding like a sociopath. Yes, it’s a murder simulator — but it’s a hilarious murder simulator. By dropping you into a big map and giving you endless ways to hunt and kill a target, the Hitman franchise nudges the player toward Rube Goldberg-style black comedy with assassination opportunities like exploding golf balls or falling moose statues. Though it hits the same highs as the previous two games, HItman 3 also adds some new wrinkles to the formula, including a fiendishly clever level that lets you cosplay as the detective in an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery at a British country manor.


MLB The Show 21 (Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X)

Sony's latest version of its baseball series is a solid upgrade for fans if not exactly revolutionary. MLB The Show 21's Visual upgrades for the PS5 version (this is a Sony game after all) are especially impressive, down to the expression on your pitcher's face, and lighting as the sun moves through the sky. All versions come with the new Stadium Creator feature which lets you build your own field of dreams, and then share it online


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