Best Video Games of 2021

Jan 29, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Jayce Ham

by Jayce Ham

The pandemic caused many games that gamers all around the world were excited for to be delayed. But despite all that, amazing games were still released last year; some games I consider to be masterpieces. January is my favorite month because it means it is time for me to discuss my top five favorite games of the previous year.

I will begin with my number five favorite of 2021: Boyfriend Dungeon. While the title sounds like the game is something inappropriate, it is one of the most wholesome games I have ever played. In this game, you live in a world where some people have the ability to transform into weapons at will, and some of those who cannot transform choose to be weapon wielders and fight using those transformed weapons. The fights are set in dungeons or “the dunj” as it is called in the game. These dungeons house monsters which are the manifestations of your greatest fears and insecurities. As you fight your way through these dungeons you meet various humans who can turn into weapons, and as you fight with them, your ranking with each of them goes up. At the end of each ranking level with them, you have the option to go on a date. The playable character has moved to Verona Beach for the summer for a change of pace and to finally, for the first time in their lives, meet people and go on dates. So, the game is part dungeon crawler and part dating sim. What makes this game so special is that (1) the game is all about teaching consent, (2) you can choose he/him, she/her, or they/them pronouns for your character and the pronouns you choose have no effect on how you can make your character look or how you dress, and (3) the characters are so adorable and charming and are all dateable, whether you play as a girl, guy, or non-binary person. This is one of the most LGBT+ positive games I have ever played. Not to mention that, the gameplay is super fun and the music is a bop.

My number four favorite game of 2021 is Road 96. This game is all about the journey of leaving a war-torn and politically unwell country under the rule of a dictator and crossing the border. Throughout the game, you play as multiple people from different backgrounds attempting to cross the border. The choices you make and the people you meet will determine if you successfully cross or if you get arrested and/or die. I was very invested in this game and each character’s journey, despite not knowing any of the playable characters for very long. The game was intense, exciting, terrifying, and eye-opening. I encourage anyone who wants to see what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes when it comes to crossing the border to play this game.

My number three favorite game of 2021 is It Takes Two. It Takes Two brings back the fun of couch co-op gameplay that once thrived in the early 2000s. I have been on the hunt for good couch co-op games for years and this one delivers. You play as a couple on the verge of divorce who is turned into dolls by their daughter as she cries on the dolls while hoping her parents stay together. You must journey throughout the house to get back to your daughter and turn back into humans. The game requires you work closely with your game partner to solve battles and fight enemies. The game is a real relationship tester. I had a blast playing this game. So grab your partner or best friend and play It Takes Two.

My number two favorite game is Persona 5 Strikers. It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I absolutely love Persona 5. It is one of my favorite games of all time, and I am obsessed with it. So, of course, I counted down every day until the sequel, Persona 5 Strikers, was released in February 2021. Set about six months after the first game, you are back as Joker on a journey with the phantom thieves. If you have played and loved the first game, you will absolutely love the sequel. While the game is very different, the atmosphere and heart of the first game are still present and the characters have matured in a lot of wonderful ways. I am on my fourth play through of the sequel because it was just that good.

And now, my number one favorite game of 2021 is Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. FFXIV is an MMORPG that has been growing rapidly in popularity over the last several months. It is now by far the most popular MMORPG in the world. I have been playing since June of last year, and I cannot get enough of it. The newest story expansion for the game, Endwalker, was released in December of 2021, and I have never in my life been so excited for anything. FFXIV is my favorite game of all time and means the world to me. Endwalker did not disappoint. It is the greatest story I have ever witnessed, and I will never forget it. If you have not played FFXIV, I highly encourage you to, even if you have never played an MMORPG before. This was my first one, and it has been an amazing journey that I have experienced with a wonderful, positive, and welcoming group of fans.

Side Note:
I was going to mention the Final Fantasy 7 Remake DLC (starring Yuffie), but as it is only a DLC and not a full game, I did not put it on the list, despite how amazing it was.

Those are my top five favorite games of 2021, and I cannot wait to see what amazing games are released this year.

Jayce Ham is 29 years old and an ongoing contributor. With a love of all things nerdy, he is right at home covering entertainment.

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