Game of the Year 2021 - The Nominees

Game of the Year 2021 - The Nominees

Richard Walker

Hands up if you thought that 2021 simultaneously felt like both the longest and shortest year ever. It's been another weird twelve months, although I really didn't think things could get much worse. But here we are, looking back on another year of video games, many of which were miraculously released under some pretty trying circumstances. Again, we're lucky to be presented with so much gaming goodness.

And, indeed, much like 2020, games have provided a crucial escape amid an ongoing pandemic that appears to be going nowhere, at least not anytime soon. From games like Disco Elysium, making the jump from PC to console, to brand new experiences like Lost Judgment, or returning favourites like Ratchet & Clank and Life is Strange, 2021 has been another excellent year to be a player of video games. As ever, it's nice to celebrate that.

Arguments naturally ensued, disagreements were guaranteed, as they often are, and we eventually managed to come up with a bunch of nominees for Game of the Year 2021. There were more great games where this lot came from, of course, and only a few of them will be declared winners next week, but we love them all. Just some a little less than the others. Come back in seven days for our Game of the Year 2021 victors!

Until then, have yourself the best Christmas day full of lovely food and that. Happy Holidays from all of us here!

Best Story

  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lost Judgment
  • Returnal

Best Performance

  • Erika Mori as Alex Chen in Life is Strange: True Colors
  • John McLaren as Star-Lord in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lenval Brown as The Narrator in Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
  • Jennifer Hale as Rivet in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Jason E. Kelley as Colt Vahn in Deathloop

Best Multiplayer

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • It Takes Two
  • Deathloop
  • Lemnis Gate

Best Visuals

  • Resident Evil Village
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Returnal
  • Deathloop
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Best Audio

  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Returnal
  • Deathloop
  • Persona 5 Strikers

Best New IP

  • Scarlet Nexus
  • It Takes Two
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Deathloop
  • Returnal

Best Fresh Gameplay Feature

  • Unsighted's Meteor Dust
  • Lemnis Gate's Turn-Based Time Loops
  • The Medium's Dual Realities
  • Splitgate's Portals
  • Deathloop's 1v1 Invasions

Biggest Surprise

  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Chorus
  • Psychonauts 2
  • It Takes Two
  • Life is Strange: True Colors

Best Supported Games

  • Hitman III
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Fortnite
  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online

Best Developer

  • Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • Double Fine Productions
  • IO Interactive
  • Arkane Studios
  • Insomniac Games

Best Publisher

  • Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Square Enix
  • SEGA
  • Devolver Digital
  • Electronic Arts

Best Indie

  • Death's Door
  • Hades
  • Art of Rally
  • Unpacking
  • A Short Hike

Best Game

  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Deathloop
  • Returnal
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • My games of the year are:
    Best game- Kena: Bridge of Spirits (with Nier: Replicant remaster a close second)
    Best remaster- Nier: Replicant remaster
    Most fun game to play- Persona 5 Strikers (as well as best audio/music)
  • I’ll have to go Rift Apart. Also really enjoyed DeathLoop and A Short Hike
  • Kena bridge of spirits should have been at least nominee as best game. Also, i don't see Nier replicant anywhere, which is much better than others nominees.

    I bet LiS: true colors gets almost all the awards just for kissing the WOKE industry dirty a** much like TLOUS2 in last year rigged awards
  • @stratos Calm down
  • How was the 1v1 8nvasion from deathloop a fresh new gameplay feature? Didn't demons souls implement that back in 2009?
  • Summed up like this, it has been quite a shit year overall.
  • After tlou2 best game of 2020 from them. No doubt lis is goty 2021. Preach that woke culture.
  • *See some comments whining about woke*

    Man you man-child gamerbros still crying about so called SJWS and woke like it still the year of 2016.
  • @soulhuntwr, rightly so tbh. People fed up of political garbage from moaning babies getting shoved into something that supposed to be fun, if gamers wanted woke garbage they'd be in the house of commons or a crappy parade
  • Got Kena on sale now but it really wasn't much to get hyped about this year. Looking at it like this Ratchet is the only other one I'm interested in but that's a guaranteed PS+ game for next year.
  • For me best game is either Hitman III or It Takes Two. Can’t decide.

    Best Indie: Hades
  • @narvalia Calm down
  • I preferred Hitman 2 to 3. That Miami level was awesome. Seriously though an open world Hitman game would be so good.
  • Best overlooked game of the year: Hell Let Lose.
  • Best supported game? No Man's Sky!
  • Best publisher are Focus or THQ Nordic. Which actually dare something and offer games for a sensible price point for what they are.
  • My pick would be Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Only gripe with the game was that it was too short otherwise it was brilliant.
  • None of the above, because I haven't played any of them.
  • Shame It Takes Two is not in your GOTY list. That game really suprised me, original in every level and shocking low on repetitivity. Other than that I only started Deathloop and Guardians of the Galaxy, so can't really say yet how good they are.
  • Square Enix for publisher of the year for sure - they had such a fantastic year. Been saying that since about June at this point, lol.

    Story: Life is Strange True Colors
    Performance: Jason Kelley
    Multiplayer: It Takes Two
    Visuals: Ratchet and Clank
    Audio: Marvel's GotG
    New IP: Scarlet Nexus - they had a damn good year
    Fresh Gameplay Feature: Splitgate
    Biggest Surprise: It Takes Two
    Best Support: Final Fantasy
    Developer: Arkane
    Indie: I was surprised to see Unpacking on this, then remembered it came out on Xbox so that makes sense, lol. But out of that list, Death's Door
    Game: While It Takes Two is missing (it's fineeee lol), Psychonauts 2 ended up being spectacular so that'll get my vote ^-^
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