Speaker 1: No need to bury the lead. These are the games. CNET love the most in 2021.
Speaker 1: I think I should kick things off by saying, how dare you games? How dare you be so good this year with a literal embarrassment of riches across platform and scope. It was really hard to pick our top game of 2021, but that's only because there were so many excellent options, unexpected gems, indie [00:00:30] darlings, major franchise installments. It was all there this year. So here's how we sorted everything out. Our editorial and video team members who cover games, submitted their picks, a rank to voting system was deployed. And we all sat on a very long zoom call to make our cases and sift through the best of the best to choose three honorable mentions and a top 10 in no particular order, except for game of the year. And it's runner up. We thought it would be fun to make everybody record a little something about the games they [00:01:00] felt strongest about to pull together a sort of C that's favorite games of 2021 clip video. So without further ado, let's kick it off with the one game that missed the cutoff for consideration, but absolutely needed to be on the list somewhere. Halo, infinite,
Speaker 2: Look, he infinite was supposed to sock you. You saw the news, you read all the stuff about the game. Being delayed people, leaving the project team, getting new creative directors. And in the back of my mind, I'm like, there is no possible [00:01:30] way this game can be good or live up to any sort of hyper under the halo franchise. And when you think of it halo as well, this, the stakes in this one were big. It needed to be good. It needed to be probably the best halo game in the, and you know what? As, as the best he game of the last decade, I love Helo. Infinite. I love the single player. I love the open world. There's a few flaws here and there. Cuz I've done with a bit different S different landscapes or I love Helo infinite to have a snow area [00:02:00] or a, I don't know, a beach area, anything just a bit slow, definitely from what it's kind of just a gigantic forest, but you know what? It just feels good. The grapple hook bro bra. Oh, the grapple hook, man, a grapple hook is a game changer. Every game should have a grapple hook like Helo and finished grapple hook. I just all about it. How's it grapple shot. Sorry. It's called the grapple shot. Every halo game. Every video game should have a grapple [00:02:30] shot like halo and is grapple shot is the best thing ever. I love it. And I love the game. Play it please. I'm begging you
Speaker 1: The list. Isn't just AAA franchise hits though. Our next honorable mention proves you don't have to go big to get noticed. It's inscription.
Speaker 3: So inscription is a tough game to talk about, uh, to really enjoy the game at its fullest. You need to go into it without knowing what's in store for you. Uh, on the surface, inscription [00:03:00] is a card battle game where you have to build up a deck and outplay your opponent, but you'll quickly realize that something's not quite right and the game will slowly begin to unveil what it's really about. And uh, I'm just gonna leave it right there. Um, I'm not gonna say anymore about it. Just go play the game with an open mind and you will not. It is easily. One of the biggest surprise games I played all year
Speaker 1: Another well crafted indie also landed in our final honorable mention slot. And it marks the first of a handful of time loop games [00:03:30] on this year's list. I'm talking about deaths door.
Speaker 2: So death door, I just love because it's supremely polished. It's got this sort of top down Zelda thing where it's like Zelda has a kinda has puzzles like Zelda, but it's all about that. Combat. Everything feels good in this game. The swords feel good and the rolling feels good. The Dodge feels [00:04:00] good, beating up all the, um, the bosses and the bad guys feel good. I just love this game. Love everything about this game. Every single frame, every second just feels good and rewarding and just sticky, like just a fantastic fantastically Polish game. That was one of my favorite games of the year. If not my favorite game of the year, I love this. Have the fantastic game go get
Speaker 1: Now that our honorable mentions are out of the way let's dig into the top 10 as mentioned, these are in [00:04:30] no particular order except for game of the year and the runner up. Here's my buddy Steph, to talk about unpacking,
Speaker 4: Unpacking, follows, and unbanked protagonists. As they move into houses over the course of their life from organizing their childhood bedroom through to finding space in a home with a partner that may not actually have that much room for you. You're tasked with finding homes for all of their prized possessions. It's surprisingly nostalgic after a while because you see which of the possessions this [00:05:00] person chooses hold onto. What's important to them. And it's really interesting to have a bit of an experiment with where you place them, especially because the game has such impressive sound design. So if you are into organization or even if you are not, I really do think that you're gonna get a lot out of unpacking
Speaker 1: Next up a game that was tied for my, of the year. It was another time loop and a huge leap forward for developer house. Mark Alessandro hit him with return.
Speaker 3: [00:05:30] You know, returnal makes some fantastic use of the console's tech, uh, particularly with the dual sense controllers, uh, haptic feedback and audio capabilities. I, I found that this allowed me to feel more connected and immersed in the games chaotic yet still visually stunning, uh, world, you know, and getting to explore and fight your way through that. World is such a joy in its own. Uh, returnal is handling of both story and, you know, shooting game play, you know, that really pushes you to [00:06:00] sort of uncover more and get better at taking down enemies with each play through really made a standout. And that's why I think it's one of the best games of
Speaker 1: This year. Ugh, game's so good. I'm still thinking about it. This next game is part of a fan favorite franchise. That's turning 20 next year in case you wanna to feel old, but it still feels as fresh as ever. Insomniac's dynamic duo returned in a big way this year with ratchet and clank rift apart.
Speaker 5: [00:06:30] So when I think about ratchet and clank, and when I played it doesn't feel so much like a game as it feels like I'm kind of living along inside a movie. And that idea has been with us for a bunch of years, but ratchet and clank right now, I think does it better than a lot of other games. And it's a fantastic demonstration of where consoles like the PlayStation five are gonna be going with their graphics, their ability to leap across world, the way that the haptics work, the way [00:07:00] the audio feels, the way, you know, things load quickly. It just feels so incredibly seamless that it makes me wanna dive in and play. And I think that is what I think about when I think about where games are heading and how I can kind of leap back and forth into them and, and play them. I don't rat clank just feels like a lot of living fun.
Speaker 1: Co-op games have taken a little bit of a backseat in gaming lately in favor of big single player campaigns and online multi-player, but [00:07:30] Hazel light studios and game director, Joseph far managed to break away from the PAC to land a spot in our top 10 with it takes two.
Speaker 6: I finally have a reason to own two PS five controllers. It takes two is a co-op action adventure platformer that often gets compared to a Pixar film. And for good reason, you choose between two characters, Cody, or may a married couple on the brink of divorce. When thanks to some Pinocchio style magic, they find themselves [00:08:00] trapped in the bodies of their daughter's dolls. The two must put aside their differences and work together to solve puzzles and find their way out of their honey. We shrunk ourselves inspired predicament. It takes two is best enjoyed with a partner, but stands on its own as a great platform. It's fun, heartfelt and accessible to players of all different skill levels, including my wife who usually only plays my, but I finally got her to try something new.
Speaker 1: Okay. Let's all do a complete 180 from Pixar like whimsical couch co-op to honor a game that featured [00:08:30] an extremely tall vampire lady who captured our hands. I mean hearts. She captured our hearts. Of course, I'm talking about resident evil village.
Speaker 7: Well, well eat winters. There you are. Resident evil village is a wonderful tribute to the series on its 25th anniversary. It wraps up the storyline from resident evil seven while bringing in elements from the old games. And it's so satisfying. [00:09:00] It's Eastern new European location is just dripping with dark personality and you meet a whole bunch of fascinating characters along the way it's combat and weapon upgrade systems are really fun, but most importantly, it brings back the Atache case inventory system from resident evil four, which meant I could organize all my stuff really meticulously. And that's, what's important in a resident evil game. You should absolutely give resident evil village. You go,
Speaker 1: [00:09:30] We need that Demore prequel game. We just do. Okay. Move on, get out your popcorn and your Walkman because this next game gave us an action adventure experience that turned it up to 11 and kept it cranked the whole way through M C U M C, who it's guardians of the galaxy
Speaker 8: Guardians may seem like an odd choice for me for game of the year. It's a big action game. Part of the Marvel Disney juggernaut, but the voice acting and the writing are so [00:10:00] good. I kept coming back to this game and playing it because I just wanted to see what the characters would say and do next. Now as a game, it's basically a walking simulator with occasional boss fights, really nothing to write home about, but I love spending time with these characters, hearing all the, their little clips and everything they're talking about as they move through this fairly detailed world, even more, I would happily sign a petition to replace the movie guardians of the galaxy cast with these guys, cuz I just like 'em so much more,
Speaker 1: This next game was defined [00:10:30] by one single word and that word is cool. It was a stylish puzzle box that beg to be solved with cunning, combat and clever traps. Also there were glittery dual wheeled handguns that transformed into a two-handed rifle. It was amazing this year, we all learned how much fun we could have stuck in death loop.
Speaker 9: Death loop is a hard game to a explain, probably the most pithy way to describe [00:11:00] it is as a murder puzzle, it's kind of bewildering. And even three months after finishing the game, I find it hard to sum up best what makes it special or even what it is. And for that reason, death loop is one of the best games of 2021. It's not perfect. The combat progression could be deeper and the other otherwise gripping story is a bit vague in parts, but it's a big triple a game that takes a lot of risks and a lot of them pay off more of that in 2022, please,
Speaker 1: Three more games. This next title marked [00:11:30] the triumphant return of one of the most beloved heroes in all of video game history and reminded everyone. Wyat's the French that helped spawn an entire genre. This is Metro dread.
Speaker 2: Metro dread is just the perfect version of, of a Metro game and the best part of Metro. For sure. My favorite thing is the dash. Any, any Metro puzzley sort of like exploration game with [00:12:00] a jump dash I'm in, you're fighting a boss. You're trying to beat him. You think you're gonna die? What is, oh man, I just love of, I love Metro dread, but the best thing of a Metro dread is just a vibe, the whole atmosphere. I mean, that is the most important part of any Metro game, but I feel like dread that's really, really invested in me in that world. Feel really dark and just oppressive. The music is fantastic. [00:12:30] I don't know. It just feels fantastic. I love every second, the Metro dread, even the stupid Amy Battle things, they were right
Speaker 1: It's time for our runner up for game of the year. This game was originally built using sky modding tools way back in 2015, but made its official standalone debut this year in 2021. It's so great. It almost ran away with the top prize. Welcome to the forgotten city.
Speaker 10: [00:13:00] Forgotten city starts with a really strange premise, your stuck in a time loop because you have to figure out which person in this ancient Roman city is going to sin. If anybody does everybody dies from that odd setup, forgotten city turns into one of the most charming adventure games I've played in a long time. Seriously, the mystery is wonderful and the writing is [00:13:30] so well done and it allows the game to offer questions about the definitions of morality and sin and our responsibilities to each other. It's just, it's just great. If you enjoy good writing and video games, forgotten city is a must play
Speaker 1: And finally our game of the year, and I'm gonna talk about it. It's
Speaker 1: [00:14:00] Psycho nots too. The highly anticipated sequel to 2005 psychos checked off all the right boxes. Not only did it capture the spirit of what made the original great it simultaneously it expanded its universe and told a more grown up story. There's still a lot of whimsical wonder to be found in psycho knots too, though from the wide variety of mind, bending levels to the wacky cast of lovable weirdos and precision platforming [00:14:30] challenges. It was really an awesome game from start to finish for a game about a kid hailing from a family of bats. I think it's pretty fitting that psycho Notts to manage, to stick the landing. I'm, uh, I'm getting some interference from Tim Shafer. Better. Let that guy say a few words.
Speaker 11: Hi everyone. I'm Tim Schaffer from double fine productions. And on behalf of the whole team here at double fine, I wanna say thank you to CNET for giving second ops to its game of the year award. That is a huge honor and we are very humbled and [00:15:00] grateful. I wanna thank also all of our backers who helped get second ops two started and everyone at Xbox game studios for helping us finish it. And thank you to all of the players who really connected with the game. Uh it's uh, it is just so important to us that the game mattered to so many of you. So thank you so much for playing and thanks again for this great award.
Speaker 1: And there you have it. C's favorite games of 2021, which game do you think will take the top spot in 2022, drop that down in the comments and let the fight [00:15:30] commence, but also it's Elden ring. See you next year until next time vegan humans.