Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.
GamesBeat has decided. We’re a week into 2022, and that means we have had ample time to look back at last year. And instead of reflecting and improving as people, we’ve decided to spend that energy picking the best video games of the year.
As usual, our process involved getting the full GamesBeat team into a virtual room to yell about games. And like always, you can watch that full process for yourself in the video above, or you can listen to the podcast version wherever you catch your pods.
But if you just want the list, well we are going to count them down for you right here. Let’s get to it.
Here are the 10 best games of 2021, according to the GamesBeat crew:
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
GamesBeat editor Jeff Grubb explains how the game surprised him:
“Guardians of the Galaxy is easily one of the most surprising games of the year. Many gamers had rock-bottom expectations for it, and it easily surpassed those. But even beyond its surprising quality, it had some of the best character interactions of the year.”
9. Psychonauts 2
Here’s Jeff Grubb on Psychonauts 2:
“It was a really good year for 3D platformers, and this is one of the best. Psychonauts 2 won over gamers with its imaginative environments, clever writing, and solid platforming.”
8. Life is Strange: True Colors
Here’s Rachel Kaser on Life is Strange: True Colors:
“True Colors is a lovely combination of small-town murder mystery and teen drama, starring one of 2021’s most likeable protagonists. It improves on its predecessors, in that it has more touching displays of empathy and emotion, and the characters actually have believable dialogue.”
7. Age of Empires IV
Jeff Grubb breaks down the appeal of Age of Empires 4:
“Age of Empires 4 is a reminder that you can sometimes go home again. This is a series at its best because it’s not afraid to be itself.”
6. Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker
Here’s what Mike Minotti said in his review for Endwalker:
“Final Fantasy XIV became one of my favorite games of all time in 2021. Endwalker makes me sure that I’m going to keep playing throughout all of 2022. Not only does Endwalker offer a satisfying conclusion to one chapter of Final Fantasy XIV, but it creates an amazing foundation for the MMO’s future.”
5. It Takes Two
Here’s what Mike Minotti said in his review for It Takes Two:
“I struggle to think of another co-op puzzle game that’s better. Maybe Portal 2? Even if that’ true, It Takes Two belongs on that same tier.”
4. Hitman 3
Here’s what Jeff Grubb said in his review for Hitman 3:
“Hitman is a world made up entirely of Chekhov’s guns, and it’s a blast finding out how to get Agent 47 into position to pull the trigger.”
3. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Here’s what Jeff Grubb said in his Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart review:
“I love Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart because it is a fun and beautiful adventure. It’s not about setting you loose to stumble across objectives and side activities in an open-world map. And I love that type of game. But I also love what Insomniac is doing here by propelling you through a nonstop thrill ride where everything you do unlocks the next fun and cool thing to do.”
2. Metroid Dread
Here’s what Jeff Grubb said in his Metroid Dread review:
“It does for Metroid what A Link Between Worlds did for Zelda. It is the best-playing version of a long-beloved franchise. And like that 3DS Zelda, I think it bests its Super Nintendo counterpart, Super Metroid.”
1. Halo Infinite
Here’s what Jeff Grubb said in his Halo Infinite review:
“Consider me a Halo fan now. I was never really looking forward to Infinite. But now that it’s here, it’s so much more than what I was expecting. And I think that whatever 343 does next will be even better, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting it.”
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.