Our individual Game of the Year articles allow our lovely team of writers to share their own personal PS5 and PS4 picks for 2021. Today, it's the turn of deputy editor Robert Ramsey.
I had reasonably high expectations for Disco Elysium: The Final Cut after watching the game receive so much praise on other platforms, but my biggest fear was that it would be... you know, a bit pretentious. Thankfully, Disco Elysium is a heartfelt, brilliantly written, and engrossing RPG. It's a cliché, but your choices really do have consequences, and this twisted tale of an amnesiac cop is memorable because of how personal the branching story can feel. "Haunting" is the word I used to describe it in our review, and that still holds true for all the right reasons.
Ghost of Tsushima is one of my favourite games, and Director's Cut just makes it even better. The absolutely gorgeous Iki Island expansion is the star of the show, with its untamed environments and intense main missions making for another excellent story chapter. The PS5 enhancements are also worth mentioning, because at 60 frames-per-second and 4K resolution, Ghost is truly beautiful. In my mind, an open world masterpiece.
I've been a Tales fan ever since I played through Tales of Symphonia on the GameCube, but in the many years that followed, I always felt like the series deserved better. It took a while, but Bandai Namco finally gave Tales the attention and budget that it deserved with Tales of Arise. It's a blockbuster fantasy adventure, packed with some stunning visuals, endearing characters, and a cracking combat system. I was hooked from start to finish, and I think Arise stands alongside the likes of Persona 5 Royal and Dragon Quest XI as one of the best JRPGs of the last decade.
For me, 2021 lacked clear Game of the Year winners — the kind of games that have swept awards in years past. Maybe that's why Mass Effect Legendary Edition — a remastered collection — takes the second spot on my personal picks. But honestly, I'm not really complaining. BioWare went above and beyond with this package, tweaking gameplay for the better and giving the original Mass Effect a much needed overhaul. This is the best way to play through a trilogy that helped define my taste in games.
I think Guilty Gear Strive might be my favourite fighting game, and that's saying a hell of a lot. I've always enjoyed Guilty Gear as a franchise, but Strive transformed my somewhat casual interest into a borderline obsession. It's easily one of my most played games of 2021, and I still can't get enough of its incredible, eye-popping visuals, outstanding heavy rock soundtrack, and immensely satisfying gameplay. As far as the sheer thrill of playing a video game goes, nothing has compared to Guilty Gear Strive in 2021.
What do you think of Robert's personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree or berate in the comments section below.