TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Here are my top 10 games of 2021:
1. Metroid Dread - Exquisitely designed, tantalizingly challenging and loyal — if not wholly devoted — to following the excellence of the past, this is a system-defining game for the Switch and one of the top "Metroid" games to date. The simplicity of the side-scrolling space shooter continues to reign supreme. For my full review, click here.
2. Resident Evil Village - A visceral and often terrifying experience, this was one of the top horror experiences in 2021 of any medium. The "Resident Evil" franchise is in full renaissance, with excellent remakes of the series early games leading to the payoff of this gorgeously devilish revelation.
3. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - The gaming equivalent of a popcorn-flick geared to be a summer blockbuster, the adventure melded the spirit of the comic book and film adaptations of the offbeat heroes for a lengthy and joyous experience. A risky decision to only allow the player to control Star-Lord paid off well, making players feel like they are leaders of the squad, helping wield and direct immense power. It was also thoroughly satisfying to see an AAA game lack DLC, tacked-on multiplayer or microtransactions. For my full review, click here.
4. Deathloop - It was a big year for time loop games, including the well-regarded "Returnal" and the edgy "12 Minutes," but this one stood apart for its clever writing and thunderous sense of momentum. The co-op and competitive multiplayer elements are also standouts. For my full review, click here.
5. Forza Horizon 5 - No game — not even "Halo Infinite" — showed off the visual and audio capabilities of the Xbox Series X like this gorgeous racing showpiece. Exploring the urban and rural areas of Mexico, the game is heaven for gearheads.
6. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut - The new content and myriad adjustments to make the game work on Switch shine. The sardonic detective yarn is oddly sweet, sinisterly comical and always fascinating for its myriad twists. For my full review, click here.
7. Shin Megami Tensei V - The best of the bunch of solid RPGs this year continues to push the boundaries of what's expected in the demon-collecting genre. Empathetic characters, excellent translation and an inviting user interface set it apart from the likes of "Neo: The World Ends with You." For my full review, click here.
8. Tekken 7: Definitive Edition - The 2015 fighter, which started slowly but has grown in stature over time with steady updates and DLC drops, reached peak form this year. The new edition delivers the full package, fulfilling the promise of the original release.
9. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade - Boasting PS5-exclusive content, the visual knockout shows off the glorious capabilities of the console. Fast-paced combat and a stunning story made of the best games of 2020 even better for the new-gen console.
10. Tales of Arise - Intimidating in breadth and depth, the game rewards those who stick with it. Crammed with content — including some top-flight cut scenes — help mask some of the games faults, which include a tale filled with hokey tropes. This is a high point for a strong yet somewhat inconsistent series. For my full review, click here.
WarioWare: Get it Together - This one deserves a special honor because it gave me more laughs and straight-up joy than any other game I played this year. The collection of absurd minigames works excellently for bite-size sessions and is a sweet change of pace from more dreary, serious efforts.