Game of the Year 2021 – Best Narrative

game of the year 2021 best narrative

For some people, video games are just about the thrill of winning, of overcoming your opponents in a multiplayer shooter, figuring out a tricky puzzle, beating your record in an endless runner, but that’s not all they can be. The last decade in particular has seen video games become one of the biggest and best storytelling mediums we have. There’s nothing quite like them for how they can immerse you in a world, some even bend the tale to your inputs and interactions.

2021 has had another batch of great video game stories to tell, many of which will stick with you long after you’ve finished them. Our winner for Best Narrative, though? Well, all we’ll say is that it’s blinking good.

GOTY 2021 Best Narrative Winner

Before Your Eyes is a wholly unique game that you play entirely by blinking. Of course, it’s also a game that tells a compelling and emotionally devastating story as your character gives their life story to a ferryman in the afterlife as you go to meet god. Blinking becomes increasingly hard to control as tears fill your eyes, but the sheer brilliance and novelty of the game will have it etched into your memory like all of your other traumatic experiences. But, like, in a good way.

– Jason C

Psychonauts 2 – Runner Up

Creating a sequel to something that’s 15 years old is always going to be difficult, but Double Fine aced the task with Psychonauts 2. While there’s obviously huge improvements to the game’s visuals and the refinement of the core platforming, what really stands out is the story. As in the original, Raz must dive into the minds of others and help them overcome the personal struggles that they are enduring, each mind rendered in a particularly unique way that ties into that character’s personality and their past. Psychonauts is a wonderful and often very touching story throughout and one that’s well worth playing.

– Stefan L

The Forgotten City – Runner Up

The Forgotten City has a narrative that engages from the outset, leaving breadcrumbs for players to work out what is happening before the big reveals. A mix of time travel, mystery, and interesting individual tales that seamlessly tie into main story, The Forgotten City shows you don’t need a big team to tell a big and entertaining story.

– Aran S

Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

To catch up on the Game of the Year awards we’ve handed out so far, here’s a handy list!

Stories and how they’re told and engage you are always going to be deeply personal things. What do you think of our chosen winner and runners up? What games have stood out for you in 2021?