The holiday season has arrived, which means it is the perfect time to pick up some of the best games of the year for dirt cheap prices. We have played some absolutely fantastic games this year that may have fallen under the radar. Here we are going to highlight the best of the best from Lords of Gaming for 2021. Here are our highest rated games of 2021.
Horror games typically do one of several things to a gamer. They may utilize jump scares as Resident Evil infamously would do with windows having dogs lunge through them. They may employ psychological and acute audio tactics like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Sometimes they may put you in terrifying scenery as Silent Hill does when you hear the sirens of its hell beginning to ring. Bloober Team is no stranger to creating horror games and knows these tropes well. In 2019, they released Blair Witch, and while it did well in many aspects, it released to not so friendly reviews. In 2020, the developer [re]announced The Medium, a game they had originally began working on in 2012. The game aims to bring the best in dark psychological horror without the oftentimes clunky combat mechanics of many of its forebears.
Lost Words: Beyond the Page
Every few years, we receive an unsuspecting reminder of how impactful video game storytelling can be. We have seen an incredible range of ideas, from BioShock‘s environmental-driven beats to Journey‘s tear-jerking soundtrack. Enter Lost Words: Beyond the Page, a fully-narrated 2D puzzle platformer available April 6 for PC, Xbox, PS4, and Switch. Lost Words tells a gripping, emotional narrative that brings a one-of-a-kind storytelling experience. While its puzzles can be quite a little too simplistic, Lost Words: Beyond the Page is indeed a page-turner.
It Takes Two
Popular game director Josef Fares and Hazelight Studios have built up a strong reputation for developing co-op video games. Their first title, A Way Out, set out to find that sweet spot of unifying story and gameplay. With It Takes Two, Fares’ ambition is paying off in spades. It Takes Two is co-op perfection, pristinely delivering the kind of experience only video games can offer.
Resident Evil: Village
What do you get when you combine a gigantic, alluring female vampire, a haunted village full of monsters, and a protagonist whose hands are accident-prone? You get Capcom’s Resident Evil Village, the eighth mainline entry in the iconic survival horror franchise.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Ratchet and Clank is one of PlayStation’s most iconic franchises that has spanned 3 generations of PlayStation. From the original Ratchet and Clank on the PS2 that released all the way back in 2002 to now, the franchise has stayed fresh and relevant. The last installment in the franchise was a reimagining of the original game for the PlayStation 4 that released back in 2016 to much fanfare. Now Insomniac Games returns once again with Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart that has been touted as the premium next-generation PlayStation 5 exclusive. After completing the game, and getting halfway through a new game + playthrough, I definitely think Insomniac Games has truly knocked it out of the park once again.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! is a re-release of the hit horror visual novel from 2017. In the visual novel, you roleplay as a high school student joining a friend’s school club. You were looking to join the anime club but were lured by the promise of food by your friend, Sayori. Instead, she lures you to visit the literature club.
In Death’s Door, you play as a reaper. A crow whose nine to five has been transposed to that of the grim reapers. There is no more aging, no more death, only reaping souls. While out on the job you become stuck in limbo. In order to set yourself free, you must capture three large souls. With these , you are able to restore order and close Death’s door.
Have you ever wanted to fight in a gruesome and bloody medieval battle? If Braveheart comes to mind when you hear phrases like epic melee battles or gruesome bloody medieval combat, then you are in luck. Torn Banner’s Studios puts you in the heart of those exact kinds of grueling scenarios Chivalry 2. The game is a multiplayer first-person slasher inspired by grandiose medieval movie battles.
Psychonauts 2 is finally in our hands. The long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Psychonauts was only 16 years in the making. In this day and age of games being platforms and operating as a service, it is refreshing that Psychonauts 2 sticks to its roots. It takes everything that people loved about the first entry and cranks it up to 11. Dare I say, it is easily Double Fine Production’s finest game to date.
Lost In Random
Lost in Random is a tactical, third-person action-adventure game developed by Zoink Games. With six sides of a die, come six nightmarish villages in the kingdom of Random. When your sister is taken from you by a menace of a queen, you must risk your life to get her back. With just a walking die as your companion, you must traverse the twisted streets that lay before you. A mysterious dice, haunting nightmares, and a visage of your sister now evil. Is this a simple rescue or something much darker?
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Last summer Sony gave us our first look at the PlayStation 5. Among the initial titles shown was an alluring game called Kena: Bridge of Spirits from Ember Lab. The first trailer celebrated the look and appeal of classic Disney Pixar titles. This is not surprising considering brothers Josh and Mike Grier, co-founders of Ember Lab, have a history in animation. Now that we finally have our hands on Kena, we can find out just how seamless that transition was.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 is the latest installment in the long-running open-world series. It was one of the titles that helped pave the way for what has become the Ubisoft “open-world” formula. For many gamers and industry critics alike, this formula has become a rinse and repeat affair that makes its way across several of the publisher’s titles.
Over time, this formula has gone through iterations and revamps in order to keep things fresh and to prevent fans from getting jaded. Since Far Cry is one of the earliest adopters of said formula, does the latest entry suffer the same fatigue? Luckily, Far Cry 6 does enough and more to keep the experience fresh.
Arkane is a studio that is known for its outside-the-box games and unique approach to storytelling through immersive worlds. From the dark stealth franchise Dishonored as well as the Bioshock-esque Prey (2017) most recently. Now with the studio’s latest project Deathloop, they look to blend their immersive world-building and storytelling with heart-pounding FPS action. Spoiler alert, Deathloop does this brilliantly.
Astria Ascending is a side-scrolling Metroidvania turn-based JRPG developed by Artisan Studios. Orcanon is a peaceful realm, full of a slew of unique races and the demi-gods who protect them. But when a string of random attacks occurs across the land, it is up to the 333rd Company of demi-gods to keep the peace. Even if they are not long for this world, they are duty-bound to find the source of the chaos and stop it once and for all.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
2021 has seen a myriad of surprises in the video game sphere. However, I’m sure many didn’t expect this: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the best games of the year. While it stumbles on a few space rocks along the way, the game fully delivers on a larger-than-life Marvel adventure.
Riders Republic may be one of the few games that we see in a long time that truly encapsulates some of the older, classic extreme sports games that so many grew up loving. There remains a soft spot in my heart for games such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, SSX 3, and 1080 Snowboarding. With Riders Republic building upon the back of Steep – another Ubisoft title that focused on being an open world, extreme snow sport adventure simulator – it hits just about all the right notes.
Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 from developers Playground Games is a seminal work to the racing genre. The studio has mastered the craft of open-world racing and continues to build its racing foundation upon Turn 10’s incredible engine. It is no surprise that close to a million players are already playing the game ahead of its Xbox Game Pass launch. However, with that strive to perfection might come repetition and complacency. Luckily, Forza Horizon 5 does enough to keep things fresh and offers an astounding and memorable experience in Mexico.