Game of the Year 2021 - The Nominees

Game of the Year 2021 - The Nominees

12
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 Halo, Forza Horizon, 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
  • Sherlock Holmes Chapter One
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lost Judgment

Best Performance

  • Erika Mori as Alex Chen in Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Jen Taylor as Weapon in Halo Infinite
  • John McLaren as Star-Lord in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lenval Brown as The Narrator in Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Anton Castillo in Far Cry 6

Best Multiplayer

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • Halo Infinite
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • It Takes Two

Best Visuals

  • F1 2021
  • Sable
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Resident Evil Village

Best Audio

  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Halo Infinite
  • F1 2021
  • Hades

Best New IP

  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Chorus
  • It Takes Two
  • Death's Door
  • Back 4 Blood

Best Fresh Gameplay Feature

  • Halo Infinite's Grappleshot
  • Unsighted's Meteor Dust
  • Lemnis Gate's Turn-Based Time Looping
  • The Medium's Dual Realities
  • Splitgate's Portals

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
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Best Developer

  • Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • 343 Industries
  • Playground Games
  • Double Fine Productions
  • IO Interactive

Best Publisher

  • Xbox Game Studios
  • Square Enix
  • SEGA
  • Devolver Digital
  • Electronic Arts

Best Indie

  • Death's Door
  • Hades
  • Sable
  • Unpacking
  • A Short Hike

Best Game

  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Halo Infinite
  • It Takes Two
  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Psychonauts 2
Comments
12
  • Any category FH5 is nominated in it should win, and any category it isn't nominated in it got robbed.
  • @Blue n Gold Eel, I agree and certainly for multiplayer the ease of use and ability to play numerous ways on day one with no hiccups against friends/anyone.

    cheeky nomination to unreal engine 5 Matrix demo as biggest WOW factor
  • Wow I've only played 4 of these games from 2021. So... Village is the best, The Medium was a great idea that mostly came though, FH5 was just as disappointing as the last few FH, and Far Cry 6 was the worst Far Cry since Primal except Primal got better.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy was definitely the biggest surprise for me. Never heard of a few of those indie nominees. Playing Hades now, which is awesome, but I'll have to check out those other ones. Thanks for more game recommendations!
  • Forza Horizon is a racing game. Still I’d give it Goty over it takes two any day (…). All in all it shows how small first party supports was for Xbox this year… Here us to much busier next year MS!
  • Game of the year for me would have to be Psychonauts 2. Just a joy to play from start to finish.

    Unrelated note, I can't believe Sable is getting the nod in 2 categories. Sure, it made for some neat looking screenshots and had a great soundtrack but it played like a slideshow on my One X. Most poorly optimized game I've played in a long while. Maybe it fares better on the Series consoles?
  • @merc mcguirk I played it on my Series X, it's just as poorly optimised. I had to stop playing because it's stuttering was giving me headaches.
  • I’m assuming a boring racing game will probably win…. I’ve never understood how many coats of paint can be put on the exact same gaming Schtick each year (how many racing games come out every year?) and still get so much hype. At least with most other sports games, it’s one a year, and even those seem like a slightly more polished turd each time…
  • @JT Fever Was that sarcasm saying FH5 had good multiplayer from the start? you obviously didn't play it, the MP was broken big time, half the time your party members were disappearing or in different zones not to mention a lot of the challenges were broken, some still are now. Having said that though it's still game of the year in my opinion, it just plays so good and the MP bugs are fixed now.
  • Surprised the forgotten city isn't on here that gave was great
  • @Blue n Gold Eel

    What, even Best New IP?
  • How is Psychonauts 2 not nominated for best story? GotY easily for me.
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