Conor’s 10 best games of 2021

Games of 2021

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the end of 2021 — holy shit, what even is time — so it’s time to pause for a second, and reflect on the games that I have played throughout this rollercoaster of a year. I didn’t really get around to playing too many games in the first half of the year, due to some life-based reasons. However, I made sure to catch up once I was back on track!

Ok. The best games of 2021. Let’s go.

Conor's 10 Best Games of 2021

Genshin Impact

Oh God, 2020 Conor would beat the life out of current me if he saw this. (I can sub in if required – Ed.) I can’t quite believe it myself, but I have genuinely enjoyed my experience playing Genshin Impact since I got back into the game around September of this year.

It all started with a purely waifu-driven motive to obtain Raiden Shogun, but it steadily turned into a relaxing evening game that I could mess around in while talking to friends. It filled a void of mine when it came to my gaming library — this is all written after grinding 16,000 primogems, but before pulling for Shenhe when she releases, so this game could go straight back in the bin if MiHoYo hurts me… again. For now, though, it’s one of the best games of 2021 for me.

Conor's 10 Best Games of 2021

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

I actually managed to grab a PS5 around November of last year, but I didn’t get around to playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales until early this year. There are a lot of things that contributed to my childhood, but if I had to place one single thing above all else it would be Spider-Man.

I have nothing but pure love and adoration for this character and to finally see Miles Morales, a character I wasn’t all that familiar with, finally get to shine in his own story was wonderful. MCU could learn a thing or two about how to write their Spider-Men from these games.

Conor's 10 best games of 2021

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter World really set the pace for the Monster Hunter games that would follow — I would find it really hard to go back to playing these games on portable devices.

Somehow though, Rise managed to take what World did so well and improve upon it. Each Monster Hunter game usually introduces something new to the series, and for Rise, it was the addition of the Wirebug. This made everything feel so much more dynamic and allowed you to move around in ways you never could before! Definitely one of my best games of 2021.

Conor's 10 best games of 2021

Resident Evil Village

I’m not really all that strong at games of the spooky variety, but after trying out the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, I decided to give Village a try and I’m really happy that I did — it ended up being one of my best games of 2021!

I would say that for the first 70-80% of the game I had a really good time, but towards the end it starts to get quite crazy and feels more FPS than horror. I finished having a great time and even found myself wishing it had been even scarier!

Conor's 10 best games of 2021

Hades

I like myself a good rogue-like, but none have quite captured my attention quite like SuperGiant’s Hades, one of my best games of 2021.

At the height of my addiction to the game, I could play for 8 hours before wanting or needing to take a break. Every single run felt so different and the variation on the playstyles of the weapons made the game infinitely replayable. 

Persona 4 Golden

I was introduced to the Persona series through Persona 5 — a game which I absolutely adore. So after completing 5 I went back and played Persona 3, and then just as I was finishing Persona 4 Golden was released on Steam.

Naturally I took a little break so as to not burn out, but around January of this year I managed to finish the game and I absolutely loved it, placing it neatly in my “best games of 2021” pile, even that early in the year.

My only critique of the game is that it is missing a romance option of the onee-san variety — Persona 3 has Mitsuru Kirijo (best girl) and Persona 5 has both Tae Takemi and Sadayo Kawakami. Persona 4 could have at least given me Margaret, man, come on. 

Conor's 10 best games of 2021

Tales of Arise

Outside of some sequels and DLC, I don’t think it’s been the strongest year for anime games. We had Scarlet Nexus and while the game had some very strong points — the combat being a great example — the game was loaded with narrative issues that weren’t the best.

Tales of Arise, while by no means a perfect game, did a lot of really interesting things and kept me very engaged for the 60+ hours I sank into the game — and I didn’t even touch the post-game content!

Conor's 10 best games of 2021

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Speaking of some of those sequels or DLC, there was no way in hell my Final Fantasy VII shilling ass wasn’t going to mention Intergrade. I know Yuffie is a fan favourite character, but after three playthroughs of OG FFVII I can confidently say she isn’t one of my favourites.

However, after playing through Intergrade, I feel as though her character and reasoning for eventually joining the party makes more sense now. Intergrade also added some really nice features and depth to the already great combat system of FFVII Remake, making it one of the best games of 2021 for me.

Conor's 10 best games of 2021

Guilty Gear Strive

This was one of my most highly anticipated games of the year and I honeymooned with this game HARD. This was the only game I played for about a month before I started to calm down with it and mix some other games into my rotation.

The game made a bit of a turn away from the norm that it had established with Xrd, the previous game, but I enjoy a lot of the new things it added. Without Baiken in the starting roster, I moved away from some of the other characters I would usually play and got a more whole feeling of the cast in Strive — but now Baiken is coming back, baby! 

Best games of 2021

Metroid Dread

I would have to say that out of every game that was released in 2021, Metroid Dread was without a doubt the one that surprised me the most and made me the happiest while playing it.

I’ve only played a small number of action-exploration games like this, but I can say with the utmost confidence that I want to play more! Dread blended the greatest part of the genre with an interesting story, badass character, and moments of suspense that heightened the overall experience! Absolutely one of my best games of 2021.


Want more best games of 2021? Check out Lilia’s, Trent’s and Pete’s picks. And be sure to let us know your favourites down in the comments or via the usual social channels!

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