Best of 2021

10 best video games of 2021, ranked

It’s already an impressive showing so far this year.

2021 has already been a rough year for the games industry, and various delays mean fewer ways to relax during downtime.

But 2021 has still had its share of great games, from new entries in venerable franchises to surprise indie hits.

Here are the 10 best video games of 2021 (so far).

10. Curse of the Dead Gods

PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The roguelike Curse of the Dead Gods hasn’t gotten much attention, coming on the heels of Hades, but it’s got all the random dungeons, fun combat, and shiny loot that fans crave.

9. Fantasian

iOS

Fantasian is a JRPG from the creator of Final Fantasy, but its brilliant take on random battles and gorgeous backgrounds scanned from actual dioramas show there’s still room to innovate within the genre.

8. Little Nightmares 2

PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

As the name implies, Little Nightmares 2 is a haunting horror game despite the doll-like main character. With a creepy atmosphere and compelling puzzles, it’s a must for any horror fan.

7. Genesis Noir

PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Not content to just tell a surreal detective story about the birth of the universe, Genesis Noir does so with a swinging soundtrack and an art style that harkens back to foundational animation pioneers.

6. Cyber Shadow

PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Cyber Shadows music, graphics, and gameplay are all inspired by 8-bit games, but refined to feel fresh for modern players, making it worth a look whether you remember the days of the NES or not.

5. Trials of Fire

PC

Trials of Fire combines the best parts of turn-based tactics and deck-building card games while clearing out the chaff that can become a slog. Add a party of distinct characters, and Trials of Fire is an under-the-radar gem.

4. Hitman 3

PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

The latest in the long-running series, Hitman 3 sends assassin Agent 47 to some of the most gorgeous locations in any game to take out targets with elaborate means, often verging on slapstick.

3. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Nintendo Switch

Combining the excellent Super Mario 3D World and the experimental Bowser’s Fury makes this package a no-brainer for platforming fans. As a bonus, it’s packed with adorable cats!

2. Loop Hero

PC

Set in a ruined world you have to rebuild piece by piece, Loop Hero combines elements of idle games, city builders, and RPGs for a one-of-a-kind experience that’s as addictive as it is hard to describe.

1. It Takes Two

PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

It Takes Two is an eye-catching co-op game that turns the main characters’ divorce into a satisfying series of puzzles. Or, as director Josef Fares tells Inverse, “It Takes Two is a fucked-up game, in a good sense.”

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