It's time to unveil which games got the most votes in our community Game of the Year poll. We provided 50 titles to choose from, and our readers cast a huge amount of votes for their favourite games of 2021.
Below, we've listed the ten most popular choices, along with the total number of votes and overall vote percentage.
10. It Takes Two - 610 votes (4%)
9. Hades - 646 votes (4%)
8. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade - 737 votes (4%)
7. Deathloop - 883 votes (5%)
6. Kena: Bridge of Spirits - 909 votes (5%)
5. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - 989 votes (6%)
After a lacking initial reveal and understandable comparisons to Marvel's Avengers, many had written Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy off long before its release. But thankfully, this comic book adaptation stands strong as a rock solid single-player action title. Stuffed with humorous dialogue and some surprisingly great character moments, it's a space-faring adventure that'll have you cheering for Star-Lord and his ragtag alien crew all the way to the credits. Definitely one of 2021's feelgood hits.
4. Resident Evil Village - 1236 votes (7%)
It's crazy to think back on the sheer popularity of Lady Dimitrescu, isn't it? The towering villain captured the imagination of the internet following the announcement of Resident Evil Village, and that surge of interest allowed Capcom's latest horror title to flourish. Fortunately, the game itself is a blast — a blend of classic survival horror and batsh*t insane action. Capcom's glorious run of form continues, and we simply can't wait to see what it does with Resi going forward.
3. Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut - 1494 votes (9%)
Ghost of Tsushima was voted our community Game of the Year for 2020, so it's no real surprise to see it return in its enhanced and expanded form. Director's Cut includes the excellent Iki Island expansion, which is arguably the highest quality act of Jin's entire journey. Of course, it also helps that the base game plays better than ever on PS5 thanks to great use of haptic feedback, and 60 frames-per-second at 4K performance. One of our favourite ever open world games — and we're pretty sure that most of you will agree.
2. Returnal - 1494 votes (9%)
Housemarque's been making bangers for years, but with Returnal, the Finnish developer really stepped things up to the next level. Many questioned whether the studio had what it takes to stand side by side with Sony's heavy hitters, and while you can still see Returnal's indie roots below the surface — in its gameplay structure and minimalistic approach to storytelling — there's no doubt that this intense shooter is one of the PS5's best.
1. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - 2032 votes (12%)
Insomniac has quickly become one of Sony's most important studios — arguably the most important — and Ratchet & Clank: RIft Apart is yet another example of why the developer is currently at the top of its game. Not just an incredibly impressive technical showcase for the PS5, Rift Apart is also a damn good action platformer. It's got just about everything you could want from a R&C title: the creative weaponry, the quirky characters, the brilliant set pieces — and it's fun for players of all ages and skill levels. A well deserved community Game of the Year.
Now that the votes are in, are you happy with the community's Game of the Year list? You only have yourselves to blame in the comments section below.
Not a bad choice for top game, it is a bit short though.
This is more like it.
I just tried Knockout City today for the first time and have no idea how it got in the top 10 on the official list. It’s so bad.
R&C is what I voted for, a very nice game indeed.
It feels a bit like when they do the public vote at the NTAs and Ant and Dec win.
Cool list. Guardians of the Galaxy is such a fun and well written game. I still don't think it got enough recognition. It's gotten a better reaction from players and YouTube reviewers than the "mainstream" gaming sites for some reason.
I haven't upgraded to Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut yet because I thought £25 was a bit steep for a dlc. But I might change my mind some time this year, especially if there's a sale.
I didn't play any of the games in the top 10 this year. I think I'll just wait until they're on sale or can play them for free a year out. The Last of Us 2 still had just as much impact for me playing it a few days ago...maybe even moreso now that all the kneejerk reactions have died down and people are looking at the game a lot more critically. It actually made my playthrough even more enjoyable since I didn't have to read about the criticisms constantly.
Guardians of the Galaxy should be higher though, I'm sure a lot of people are delaying playing it because they are skeptical (I was too), but it's really GOTY material!
On another note --- Lost in Random
THE hidden gem of 2021, please go play it :
Fantastic visuals and soundtrack, very original gameplay (a mix of real-time action, card playing and dice throwing) and a very sweet story.
So sad it didn't make it in the top 10... but then it wouldn't be an hidden gem.
Still no love for Tales of Arise 😂
JRPG's still seem to be the niche
@fR_eeBritney I had a lot of fun with it, personally. Even more so when me and my friend had a drink and took it in turns and he doesn't usually like playing games when we meet up. It's all the intricacies of the way you can pass and charge the ball and the various ball types. If you can keep your focus and practice a lot you can improve vastly and be a completely different league to those who first start.
Ah yes, the poll were we HAD to choose 5 games despite some of us not having played five from the list
Really great list, do wish there were more indies though.
@Royalblues because its one of the best indies released this year if not the best, better visuals than most AAA games in the same genre/style
@fR_eeBritney Isn't she free now?
Great list, though I'm saddened by the absence of F.I.S.T: Forged in Shadow Torch, in my eye; it truly was 2021's hidden gem.
If you have not play F.I.S.T, I urge you to do so, I'm usually not the biggest fan of metroidvania type games, but F.I.S.T was a joy from start to finish, and it's well-worth your time.
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Ratchet and clank won by almost 600 votes clear as well. Well this is a playstation site and let's be honest it was either ratchet or Returnal that was going to be voted for.
I'm curious, when was the last time a non exclusive won this poll?
Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely NOT a top game for 2021. Living proof we live in a generation where people absolutely NO clue of what a great game looks like. If you actually think yapping incessant rambling while walking down extended corridors makes this a great game. Over half the game involves college professor like rambling down corridors. I feel sorry for you as a human being if you believe this is a great game. The only thing great is the writing. It also has tons of graphical hitches and glitches. Deathloop, Hades and It Takes Two are far superior to Guardians.
I love the way people of today's generation always feel a need to know how long a game is as demonstrated by the top commenter. Back in the day you didn't give length a thought, you just played the game and enjoyed it for what it was.
I'm glad Ratchet and Clank is number 1 and its length is irrelevant to me, it's the quality I care about.
@kingbreww I'm a 43 year old kid then. Stupid comment as what games people like is always down to preference.
@NoFaceBigFoot Eh that's subjective. I don't think it is either but each to their own.
I would call Ratchet and Clank game of the year on any console. In a year when the best Xbox exclusives were just more of the same and the only real standout from Nintendo was Metroid, Rift Apart was a technical showcase not just for graphics but also next-gen technology.
Unlike Microsoft Sony makes a big effort to have a broad first party software library. Despite 4 generations in the business Microsoft consoles are terrible family having devices (I should know as I've spent the last decade with one as my main device)
I don't think I'd ever but the Series X and yet from day one Sony had titles like Sackboy and Astrobot.
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great list! def not alot of surprises here in terms of more mainstream/popular titles. good stuff!
hope to see more JRPGs represented in the future! (Yes FF7 is a JRPG but it might as well be a western game).
I like this top 10 better
@kingbreww Go and play your bang bang you're dead 50 bullets in your head Simulator then and let the rest of us enjoy our games. Ignored.
@RubyCarbuncle Yeah, some people think all videogames are for kids and that adults who play them are losers. Same goes for adults who like superhero movies, or cartoons, or Lego. If something makes you happy and isn’t harming anyone else what business is it of anyone else? 🤷 Life is harsh enough without being judged for finding an escape in something we love.
@kingbreww Why? It was past games' attempts to appeal to teenage boys by piling high gore and boobs that was immature, never the creators of Mario in appealing to all ages.
I wonder how many of the players calling a game like Ratchet 'for kids' are aware all the grownups went back to Halo and its sophisticated multiplayer instead of the teenage attempts at war from the likes of Call of Duty?
If the truth hurts, methinks thou dost protest too much 🤷🏻♂️
Can't complain. My own personal GOTY at the top of the list, and while Returnal is more frustrating than it's worth at times for me, I fully expected it at least near the top.
@RubyCarbuncle Looking at the price of games compared to music/movies yeah, length is pretty important.
My personal favorite Playstation game of the year wasn't even a choice I remember. Poor Scarlet Nexus ☹.
@fR_eeBritney maybe you're just...bad at it? xD
The game is pretty fun
Ratchet and clank for the win.i approved word up son
This top 10 is the equivalent of say Pure Xbox's top 10 being Halo, Forza, Flight simulator, etc. I'll just stick to the staff's top 10 😅
It's a good list and it's hard to disagree with it purely because I've played almost all the games in it and the games that aren't in the list I haven't 😊
@Jayofmaya It just didn’t click with me at all and I really thought it would. I usually like these kinds of games. The lack of couch co-op/split screen didn’t help tbf.
@mctaboo haha yeah, I should change it to Keep_BritneyfR_ee 😁
@AFCC yeah, I was pretty bad to be fair 🤪 but it didn’t grip me at all. I am keeping it installed for now - I’ll give it a few more tries and see if it does click eventually.
@TheArt For the most part I agree with that take but at the same time it all depends on the game. Ratchet and Clank's length to me personally was just right, it could have been a bit longer admittedly but I was very happy with what I got.
Looks way more in line with my personal top 10, compared to most critics lists!!
I voted for R&C but it was the only brand new release I played.
Other votes included ME LE and Final Fantasy VII remake on PS5. I do have both Kena and GotG in my backlog so look forward to playing them at some point, Resi Village I'll most likely play later on in the year. Not much else interests me, Returnal might one day but not until it's £20 or under.
2020 was brilliant, 2021 was merely good, 2022 promises to be epic!
Mass Effect Legendary Edition game of the year pretty amazed this didnt make the top 10
@UltimateOtaku91 Frankly, I was ready to love Tales of Arise, seeing the very good reviews it got. But it left me very underwhelmed. I'll repeat what I said in another thread, as I'm curious to see how you'd answer these criticisms :
-Graphically, while good looking and shiny with a lot of particles, the absolutely horrendous pop in issues made it impossible for me to invest in the world.
-The characters (the main part of any good JRPG) were far from being likeable from the start. Annoying sidekick and a main character with amnesia... really? again?
-But the worse part was the pacing : in a span of a few hours, I went from being a slave to killing one of the biggest foe the world has ever seen, while flaunting big ass spells and actions.
A good JRPG makes you fell you've evolved, you've become something you weren't at the start. Tales of Arise failed to do that and therefore failed to want me to achieve anything. It made me think like there were no risk to my characters, as if it was impossible to see them fail in their quest.
@kingbreww sincerely though, why are you always so insulting towards any product that doesn't 100% cater towards you?. It seems to be a theme at this point.
And ironically, yours is the most immature attitude to have.
I didn't play that many 2021 releases, but Ghost of Tsushima was comfortably the best game I played last year.
@UltimateOtaku91 Your avatar is a little inappropriate and breaks our community rules. Could you please change it to something more suitable?
@PushSquare it's just an anime girl with a bit of cleavage but yeah sure il change it
Also would expect you to not review or include any anime/jrpg games that include any fanservice going forward?
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@PenguinL I felt the same about the extra £25 for Ghost DC but I ended up caving and getting it and I’m so glad I did. Obviously value is very subjective, but the upgraded visuals, haptics and adaptive triggers were worth it for me on their own tbh, and then you throw in the Iki storyline on top which is brilliant. I’ve had a ball with it and it’s encouraged me to go for the Platinum. Deffo worth a punt, especially if you can wait for a sale.
@Olmaz I was into Lost in Random at first, but the combat absolutely dragged it down. Doing damage took forever and enemies kept spawning long past my breaking point. The world and setup were on point though.
@Olmaz Did you complete the game? The characters build there own story throughout the course of the game which makes you understand them better and know why they act they way they do at the start. For example the main guy yes is a slave and all of a sudden gets strong but we later find out what his story was before he was a slave and why he is strong and why he has amnesia (which was caused by the mask) for a reason.
Its slow to begin with but builds the story and some plot twists towards the end that you don't see coming.
In terms of the graphics I played on the ps5 and didn't notice too much pop in, infact it is one of the best looking "anime" style jrpgs around (apart form genshin) but also I've experience pop in with games like halo infinite, skyrim, witcher and HZD and they are all master pieces.
@Deadhunter I had the same issue until I became more aggressive in combat, summoning weapons to go on the offensive.
If you only run around waiting to get damage spells, combat can get tedious.
I love this world! Where i see the guardians of the galaxy as a whiney bunch of bickering b*stards with the most annoying mechanic ever in the huddle. Others see it as their game of the year.... It's great...
"Hey guys, LISTEN, i get it" over and over again!!!!!
@UltimateOtaku91 I sadly couldn't invest enough to finish it. I played until I defeated the second lord, until I realized I wasn't enjoying myself.
I am sure the story may offer twists down the road. But if the character's development is not interesting enough in the first 15 hours of gameplay, I'd say they missed the mark.
Whatever the explanation is for the sudden power of the main character, the issue here is that I am not getting the feeling of evolving in a more powerful character. Yeah, sure, I can gain new abilities and spells, but the feeling of power is there from the start. That doesn't make me feel I'm going to beat unbeatable odds, which is what I generally love in jRPGs.
Also, Shionne is annoying - but that's ony IMO
As for the memory loss, I won't discuss spoilers (even potential ones) but I could bet a lot on one or two theories on who is the main character. Really, JRPGs need to go beyond that trope.
About the graphics, as I said, it looks shiny, but the pop in is at a level not even comparable to the open world games you've listed (and ToA is not open world).
Here are some examples :
Absolutely unacceptable in a game with that budget, and it was really immersion breaking for me. I am really surprised they didn't fix it, not even on PS5 nor on PC.
Agree with this top 10 more than the other one.
@Royalblues i wouldn't say its a GOTY contender but I was pleasantly surprised. Boss fights were the highlight for me, and the story actually had more depth than I anticipated.
@Richnj some people have different opinions and attitudes. This mine
Hell let loose for me, definitely.
@fR_eeBritney Yeah, agree it should have split screen with 2 AI squad mates each. If it had that it would be really good.
@TheArt 8-10 hours is how that comparison works out. A game being shorter is a plus for me now, and concentrated 8-20 hour games need a comeback. Most games, even 10/10 like GoW, hurt the experience by adding pointless padding. Length hurts most games instead of helping nowadays.
This is a better list than the editors vote! Hands down!
@kingbreww Right, but you use "muh opinion" as a defense while also dismissing the opinions of others. Calling everybody who enjoys R&C a child, isn't an opinion. It's a backhanded insult intended to delegitimise the opinions of others that R&C is actually a fun title at any age.
Also, opinions can be wrong, and we are under no obligation to accept them.
@Jaz007 Well there's people playing the same repeated padding in online multiplayer for months and years, you could say there's people out there too who'd like to play that excess padding offline. I mean they like the game and everything about it so they want more of it and don't want it to end quickly - just offline though. So you can't really say it's hurting than helping for everyone.
@TheArt Online games aren’t padded. They are meant to be played because you’re competing. Maybe some have some padding, but it’s like calling Football, Basketball, or fencing padded because it’s a competitive sport you keep playing. It’s more like adding water to orange juice so the glass lasts longer.
Most games add stuff that’s just not as fun or good to make it last longer. It’s a poor solution. People also complain about grinding and how long games will take to do simple things, then turn around and talk about how games are cool because they are long.
And there elements tend to not be optional. I play a MP game for 20-30 hours and feel satisfied because I enjoyed it. No padding for me. That padding is directly interrupting my single player experience.
Either way, it’s a fact that the orange juice is no longer as strong or as much of actual orange juice now, and that’s the problem.
And it’s not bad for a game to be long, RDR2 is long, 100+ hours, but’s also an amazing game that’s not padded. Game try to mimic RDR2 by adding water to the orange juice.
@Richnj that’s literally the definition of opinion
a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
"that, in my opinion, is right"
Also it’s a fact 😉
Just finished Death’s door and now downloading Kena. Looking forward to seeing what the hype is all about.
Returnal was definitely my GOTY with a close second from Chorus and RE Village. Overall a weaker year this year for games, but not a bad one. I enjoyed plenty, beating 32 this year, so I found plenty to enjoy. I love seeing the variety in lists on this site and the angry comments that think their opinion is the only one that matters lol.
@kingbreww The facts are in the poll results, the fact is ratchet and clank is game of the year to the majority and the it's also a fact it won by a landslide
Those the only facts im seeing
@weR1youR2Podcast Hmm, Chorus, that's a title we don't see mentioned a lot.
The initial reviews were glowing, but I couldn't for the life of me see anything in the gameplay videos that could make me believe them.
Care to convince me it's a good buy?
@UltimateOtaku91 never said otherwise
@UltimateOtaku91 @Richnj I wouldn't bother, you're talking to someone who's said that he's a d*ck on here because he's a d*ck offline too. Anyone so immature as to embrace their character flaw as if it's a personality is beyond reasoning with.
@RadioHedgeFund not sure how you can say Xbox’s exclusives were more of the same without including Ratchet as more of the same for PS. Returnal might be a different story but… do you know how many Ratchet and Clank games there are? Lol. It’s prettier; but it’s more of the same.
And then again, you are saying Sony’s first party library is more broad than Microsoft’s? Despite the quality, a lot of people rag on Sony for the fact most of their exclusives are third-person cinematic games. But on Xbox you have Flight Sim, Gears Tactics (plus Age of Empires on PC), Sea of Thieves and then sure, Forza and Halo. They could do with a JRPG in there somewhere but I would say that is pretty broad.
I just don't understand how highly regarded Rift Apart is. A pleasant and tight game for sure, but inferior in almost every way to the 2016 game, with lots of unimaginative boss recycling. Can't see how the "charm" carries it to game of the year.
Although, all opinion of course.
It would probably sneak into my top 10. But undoubtedly the best game this year to my eyes is Returnal.
The best game I've played since Bloodborne.
You can definitely see from the comments that no one can really agree this year. I think that speaks to the lack of true standouts.
Plenty of great games, but feels like everyone has a different opinion about what was the best. I suppose that's how it's meant to be, really.
I voted these PS4 games.
I'm different, that's why i like these games above.
Because not everyone have interest to play AAA games.
Some peoples like me have completely different interest in games choice, totally opposite with majority users here.
@BritneyfR_ee When the people making the official list only played 10 games all year
@RubyCarbuncle I do agree with you (although I wished Rift Apart was longer) but I’d take a solid 10-12 hour game over a watered down 5,000 hour game like AC Valhalla any day 🤣
@Anti-Matter I'm sure I read on nintendolife that you're against violence hence why you won't play Pokémon games, so what makes kitaria fables different?
I played both Pokemon and Yokai Watch games but i prefer Yokai Watch games on 3DS after i played three Yokai Watch games during year 2021.
I bought the Yokai Watch games very late but i enjoy the games more than Pokemon games i have.
About game contents, Mild Violence from Kitaria Fables was still okay for kids as it looks very cartoonish.
Also, Kitaria Fables is an indie game from my country Indonesia 🇮🇩.
And you know i'm different.
@Anti-Matter well doesn't matter what games you like so shouldn't go round calling yourself different, a gamer is a gamer at the end of the day plus Kitaria fables, pokemon and yokai watch are all good games.
If you like the more non violence games then you should check out a game called "Grow song of the evertree"
I found GotG a bit formulaic and linear. Don't get me wrong, it's a top 10 in 2021 but in a more productive year, I wonder how far it might have got.
@Shstrick It's been that kind of year but lucky that we had anything to play.
Super edgy, I get it.
GoT 3rd? A pretty barebones remaster with its best features on the PS4 version running on PS5, talk about a clear bias especially over RE Village, Hades, Guardians and the many others.
I'm older than you and 'back in the day' they weren't asking £70 for a game that was a good bit shorter than comparable games.
Not that I paid anywhere near that price for it though.
@K1LLEGAL But I really like third person action adventure titles!
@BritneyfR_ee I meant no disrespect but sometimes games don't fully click for me (Dark Souls) because I'm trash lol
Knockout City is pretty fun, if you don't approach it with a (too much) competitive mindset, because if you do your teammates will just annoy you
@kingbreww yeah, how dare people find Ratchet enjoyable. They clearly must be kids.
@get2sammyb isn't that always the case, though? Can't remember the last time everyone agreed on something. This is no different. TLoUII was a clear standout, yet there were tons of people who found it horrible, overrated, etc. Same with ghost of tsushima, which many argued was ok, but nothing special.
@WallyWest Not sure if it's bias or people simply not having played those games yet, as opposed to ghost of tsushima.
@BritneyfR_ee Maybe because they found it different from the rest. They're reviewers, they play to have fun and find the pros and cons, we gamers though play only for fun, so maybe at the end of the day the gamers' ideas/lists make more sense to gamers
@feral1975 Agreed. Gaming now on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S is ridiculously expensive and tbh I can't get over it. I bought Ratchet and Clank because I had the money for it at the time but that isn't always the case for every game.
More of you need to find a great partner to play It Takes Two with. It's such a magical ride!
@BritneyfR_ee It's much better with friends on your team.
I got Deathloop for Christmas, can't wait to dive in. I also picked up Guardians of the Galaxy on Series X on sale for like $30 or something unexpected - can't wait to dive in there either.
I need to finished Tales of Arise (almost there) and Halo Infinite before I can dive in to my Christmas stash (I also got Nioh Collection for PS5, as well as Alan Wake Remastered and Metro Exodus for Series X).
Just got the plat in Ghost last night, what an incredible game especially from a team who was doing a super hero game prior. RE8 was awesome but It takes Two was incredible. Such a fun story and gameplay except for the cutie part lol which scarred me for life I think.
@GamingFan4Lyf just started death loop last night myself. Just from personal experience I’d say give yourself at least a 3-4 hour window to focus on what’s happening and learning a ton of stuff it’s telling you about. It’s been a bit of a chore to wrap my head around everything but I’ve enjoyed it so far!
@papercrinkly Thanks for the tip.
I was honestly debating waiting until the Xbox release of the game; but I figured I'd throw support for the PS5 version and ask for it for Christmas.
@Olmaz well if you like space combat, I can say this is the most satisfying one I’ve played. I’ve heard it’s up there with Squadrons for combat but never played so can’t tell. The story is serviceable sci fi, but what shines is the gameplay. It’s 15 hours to do everything so I guess that’s up to you if 39.99 is a fair price. For me I think that works with what I got out of it.
@weR1youR2Podcast Thanks a lot!
This is one game I'd really wish there was a demo for. Space combat gameplay can be very hit or miss...
Maybe with a big sale, we'll see.
@Olmaz I'd say any sale on it makes it a no brainer! Definitely put it in the wishlist. I recently started Manticore on Switch looking for more space combat, and it made me wish I had just started a new playthrough of Chorus.
Guardians of the Galaxy gets my vote. Should have won more awards. Rocket or Quill should have won best character. Dimitrescu was mostly a meme.
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