A game that puts it all together – that’s what you really want to clicking the buy button or jabbing your PIN number into a card machine when purchasing a new game. Some games out there that lean on having incredible graphics, nailing its fantastic gameplay, delivering a thrilling story and great characterisation, and a soundtrack that you’ll happily listen to while doing the dishes, but in an ideal world you want an experience that weaves all of those elements together.
So, who’s done it best in 2021?
Deathloop managed to capture the essence of Arkane’s previous games like Dishonored, and repackaged it into a fun and engrossing tale. What absolutely makes Dishonored great is the openness and freedom with which you can tackle the objectives to break the loop, and the relationship between Colt and Julianna that is woven into the experience. The back and forth between the two really adds to the story, and it may just be one of the best relationships I’ve seen depicted in a game. Whack that together with the open style approach, the great music, and the well designed environments and that gives you a game that is near perfect in execution.
– Aran S
Scarlet Nexus – Runner Up
If you’d have told us at the start of 2021 that an anime game with psychic waifus and husbandos would be near the top of our best single player games list, we’d have laughed in your face. Nevertheless, Scarlet Nexus manages to mix an intriguing story, a constant sense of intrigue, and a wonderful over-the-top battle system together into a game that’s a blast to play. Given the other anime and JRPGs that have come out in the last 12 months, it’s been an excellent year for weebs (like me) who play games.
– Jason C
Hitman 3 – Runner Up
We’ve been on this journey with Agent 47 and IO Interactive for almost six years now, watching the studio’s Hitman reboot go from strength to strength. Hitman 3 marks an end to one of the smartest, most stylish game series around, delicately placing a bow on the World of Assasination trilogy. Well, until next year’s Year 2 expansion anyway.
Luxurious, labyrinthian levels, clever kills, and slick stealth gameplay mesh to create what is the definitive Hitman experience. Each painstakingly detailed sandbox can then be remixed and replayed over and over with players able to import content from the first two games. With Metal Gear and Splinter Cell MIA right now, this stealth action franchise has carried the torch.
– Jim H
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!
- Best Ongoing Game
- Best Remake/Remaster
- Best Multiplayer Game
- Best Visual Design
- Best Original Soundtrack
- Best Independent Game
- Best Gameplay
- Best Narrative
Those are our picks, but given how big the single player arena is, I’m sure you have your own opinions on what the best single player game of 2021 was. Let us know what they are in the comments.