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Game of the Year Awards 2021

We once again celebrate the best games of the past year

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Introduction  |  Presentation Awards  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best PC Exclusive
Best PC exclusive Game 2021 Devotion winner badge Devotion

"Devotion is a chilling and horrific exploration of what happens when a desperate father loses himself in the search for help. The game succeeds in spite of all that it has going against it. Whether you're a fan of horror or not, it's still worth picking up Devotion just to see the creative ways the developers use familiar space and manipulate it with dread." - Josh Hinke

Runners-up: The Rewinder, Age of Empires IV, Humankind


Best PlayStation Console Exclusive
Best PlayStation Console Exclusive 2021 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart winner badge Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

"Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a solid return for the enjoyable action franchise, and a strong debut on the PS5 console. The campaign is accessible and offers some nice set pieces, with a decent 12 hour runtime, plus a bit more for those who wish to find every collectible. It's certainly a great game to help sell the new system; everyone needs some solid, familiar entertainment once in a while." - Alex V

Runners-up: Returnal, Deathloop, Kena: Bridge of the Spirits


Best Xbox Console Exclusive
Best Xbox Console Exclusive 2021 Forza Horizon 5 winner badge Forza Horizon 5

"With Forza Horizon 5, the experience settles into a more comfortable and familiar groove. The new map is large, the racing and car customization remain excellent, and the visuals impress. The cars and the racing remain excellent. Many of the expected top manufacturers of the world are present, from Porsche to Lamborghini and Ferrari, and the cars are nicely detailed inside and out." - Alex V

Runners-up: Halo Infinite, Microsoft Flight Simulator, The Artful Escape


Best Switch Console Exclusive
Best Nintendo Switch Exclusive 2021 Metroid Dread winner badge Metroid Dread

"The story is entertaining with twists and reveals that kept me intrigued, while the gameplay loop of exploring, finding new abilities, and using them to defeat bosses and reach new locations was satisfying from start to finish, largely due to fluid traversal mechanics, engaging combat and the near constant introduction of new powers." - Dylan Blereau

Runners-up: Shin Megami Tensei V, Monster Hunter Rise, New Pokemon Snap


Best New IP
Best New IP 2021 Returnal winner badge Returnal

"Returnal puts you in the space suit of Selene Vassos, an Astra Scout whose curiosity results in her being stranded on the mysterious planet known as Atropos. Addictive combat and traversal with plenty of weapons, consumables and upgrades that ensure runs always feel unique. Risk vs Reward of picking up Parasites and Malignant items remains constantly engaging." - Dylan Blereau

Runners-up: It Takes Two, Death's Door, Genesis Noir


Most Improved Sequel
Most Improved Sequel 2021 Halo Infinite winner badge Halo Infinite

"Like its traditional and time-tested gameplay, you can also count on Halo to perform well. The limited helmet vision from Halo 5 is replaced by a standard view with the transparent UI elements, as it should be. While the story is not a huge improvement, the new open-world design takes Halo campaign into a new direction, and the various gadgets - namely the grappleshot - expand its gameplay in new ways." - Alex V

Runners-up: Life is Strange: True Colors, Psychonauts 2, Far Cry 6


Best Original Gameplay Design
Best Original Gameplay Design 2021 Road 96 winner badge Road 96

"Much as how a car is a vessel to reach a destination, the gameplay is a vessel to tell the story Digixart wants to tell. And it's a story that I found myself being constantly intrigued by. Digixart has crafted a fully unique title that leverages its consistently varied gameplay to tell a story that is relevant in 2021." - Eric Hall

Runners-up: Genesis Noir, The Forgotten City, Loop Hero


Best Singleplayer
Best singleplayer 2021 Forza Horizon 5 winner badge Forza Horizon 5

"Forza Horizon 5 carries on the legacy of the franchise, with another big open world to explore, a large amount of content, and the still excellent racing. As always, the map is very well designed from a functional perspective. There are also multiple drag strips to push your tunes to the limit, and some of the longest jumps that the series has ever offered at the end of them." - Alex V

Runners-up: Life is Strange: True Colors, Resident Evil Village, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy


Best Multiplayer
Best Multiplayer 2021 Halo Infinite winner badge Halo Infinite

"343 Industries and Microsoft made a big and risky move, and pulled it off. By offering the multiplayer component of Halo Infinite for free and as standalone, it allowed the game to reach more players than ever. And those players were met with some of the smoothest gameplay in the genre. From the typical ongoing DLC Seasons to the variety of playlists, the multiplayer action of Halo Infinite is smooth and varied." - Alex V

Runners-up: Back 4 Blood, It Takes Two, Riders Republic


Best Gameplay
Best gameplay 2021 Halo Infinite winner badge Halo Infinite

"Where Infinite continues to unquestionably succeed is in its core gameplay. Every gun feels satisfying to use, and the action pushes you to stay mobile when possible, in order to get to the next weapon rack or dropped gun. The addition of gadgets elevates the experience." - Alex V

Runners-up: Returnal, Resident Evil Village, Forza Horizon 5


Even more 2021 award winners on the next page!


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