, , ,

A Year in Gaming: Unveiling the Finest Titles of 2021

In a year shadowed by the pandemic’s impact, the gaming industry managed to deliver an array of breathtaking titles, making this list a challenging compilation. Notably, “Final Fantasy XIV” stole the spotlight with its monumental expansion, dethroning even the long-reigning “World of Warcraft” in terms of subscription numbers. With more people spending time at home, gaming became a sanctuary, fostering safety through online interactions and indulgence in these captivating virtual worlds. Here are some remarkable games from 2021 that you might have missed.

Game of the Year: Metroid Dread

Representing the latest installment in the iconic Metroid series, “Metroid Dread” brings forth a stunning 2D platformer with enhanced puzzle elements, reemerging two decades after its predecessor. Players once again don the armor-clad boots of bounty hunter Samus, traversing the ZDR planet to confront deadly X Parasites and engage in intense boss battles. The game revisits the elements that made Metroid great—unlockable enhancements, the ability to revisit old areas for new secrets, and formidable boss encounters. “Metroid Dread” introduces stealth elements, a rarity in the Metroid series, adding an extra layer of excitement to the gameplay.

Released exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, “Metroid Dread” seamlessly blends story, environment, and graphics, making it the standout new game of 2021.

Runners-up: “Psychonauts 2,” “Metal Gear Solid,” “Forza Horizon 5”

Most Anticipated Game of Next Year: Elden Ring

“Elden Ring” promises an entirely new adventure into uncharted territory, offering an experience akin to a FromSoftware-crafted open-world RPG, reminiscent of “Dark Souls.” The fantasy world is a collaboration between renowned “Dark Souls” creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin. In the game, players are tasked with unraveling the mysteries of the Elden Ring world, rising from a mere tarnished to become a lord. With over 100 skills to learn, mounted combat, stealth elements, and various ways to tackle puzzles or combat sequences, this is poised to be an unforgettable game. “Elden Ring” presents breathtaking landscapes, numerous dungeons to explore, powerful and ruthless bosses, and an abundance of dungeons to test the player’s resilience.

Runners-up: “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2,” “Tiny Tina’s Wonderland,” “Nightingale”

Best Online Shooter of the Year: Halo Infinite Multiplayer

Making a triumphant return to classic roots, “Halo Infinite” multiplayer, developed by 343 Industries, proved to be a golden ticket last year. While the single-player campaign wasn’t free, the multiplayer was, allowing anyone with a PC or Xbox to join in. It offers 4v4 battles or massive 12v12 Big Team Battles. The game boasts exquisite visuals, stunning graphics, familiar weapons, and dazzling effects, breathing new life into the series while retaining the fast-paced yet strategic nature that defines “Halo.” It features a playlist of game modes, including Capture the Flag, Infection, Strongholds, and Monster Hunter. Overall, it’s a multiplayer shooter attached to a game that almost clinched the Game of the Year award, making it well worth a try.

Runners-up: “Apex Legends,” “Fortnite,” “Splitgate”

Best MMORPG of the Year: Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

No awards list would be complete without acknowledging the latest expansion of the MMORPG masterpiece, “Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker,” published by Square Enix. Despite a two-week delay due to pandemic-related issues, the expansion still resulted in the company halting game sales for several months due to overwhelming demand. “Endwalker” achieved immense success, causing hours-long queues. As an expansion, it concludes a ten-year saga, intricately weaving multiple storylines into an epic masterpiece, paying heartfelt homage to the series, its world, and the community led by legendary storyteller Naoki Yoshida. As players embark on what is anticipated to be an era-ending journey, emotions are expected to run high, as everything they cherish is poised to face its “end.”

Runners-up: “Guild Wars 2,” “The Elder Scrolls Online,” “World of Warcraft”

Best Online Game of the Year: Monster Hunter Rise

“Monster Hunter Rise” is an action RPG developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Switch system, later ported to PC in early 2022. In the game, players solo or team up to track large creatures and engage in epic battles to defeat them. To traverse the map, players can ride a canine companion called a “Palamute,” wall-run, and use a grappling hook to locate targets. They must also study the creatures, as each large monster has unique attacks, and even the most prepared hunters can be knocked down. However, these behemoths also have weaknesses to exploit. Compared to older games, “Rise” introduces improvements like easy item collection, riding Palamutes, and a more diverse bestiary. The game also provides players with an extensive arsenal to keep the hunting experience from growing stale.

Runners-up: “It Takes Two,” “Among Us,” “Mario Party Superstars”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *