Game of the year is something we take very seriously at CGMagazine. With so many games coming out every month, it can be a challenge, but it is one we take up. We try to sort through the very best the year has to offer, from the latest AAA releases to indie titles. CGM wants to give every game a shot and select the very best to finally crown our winner.
This year we did things a little differently and enlisted readers of the magazine to help us narrow down our selection. With our 10 nominees consisting of fantastic titles like Metroid Dread, Life is Strange: True Colors, Chicory: A Colorful Tale, Age of Empires IV, Shin Megami Tensei V, Monster Hunter Rise, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, we finally narrowed our selections to the final three, with only one able to be crowned with the illustrious CGMagazine Game of the Year 2021 award.
Before we dive too deeply into the winner, we need to give time to the runner-up games. The voting was extremely close this year, with the top three choices only a handful of votes apart in our online poll. Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite both showed how long-running franchises could still have plenty of life in them, and be able to light the fire of excitement even after delays and setbacks.
Halo Infinite, is a game that was planned as an Xbox Series X launch title, delivering the classic Halo experience fans love on the Xbox brand. Yet, it was pushed back, and took some extra time in the oven to ensure the experience was up to the level fans deserved. With a fantastic multiplayer component and exciting single player experience, Halo Infinite ushered Xbox gamers into the next evolution of the franchise.
This was also the first time Halo would hit the PC and console at the same time, giving a new audience that may never have known Halo the chance to experience Master Chief’s latest instalment on the system they already own. With a free multiplayer section, and new additions to the Halo formula, 343 had a winner on their hands, and it was hard to deny how exciting a release it was from an already well-known series.
“Forza Horizon 5 truly has it all for a racing title…”
Forza Horizon 5, on the other hand, came out of the gate swinging, boasting some amazing visuals that took full advantage of what the Xbox Series X had to offer. The visuals and mechanics put this as one of the best in the Forza series, with careful attention to detail and an overall polished game experience, if you love racing games that are filled with depth.
The new location, slate of amazing cars and range of things to do in the game made Forza Horizon 5 a jam-packed racing experience. It was easy to waste countless hours taking on just one new challenge or trying to top your best time in a race. Combine that with some of the best visuals any racing game has ever delivered, and it is easy to see why Forza Horizon 5 was in our top three as the votes were counted.
“Resident Evil Village is a worthy sequel that takes full advantage of its gothic setting, with Capcom delivering an absolute masterclass in survival horror thrills.”
But this brings us to our winner, Resident Evil Village, the latest in the long-running series. While there have been many games under the Resident Evil banner, few have delivered a more well-thought-out and complete experience as Capcom has with their latest iteration. While it may take all the nonsense lore of past games into account, the team have managed to build a believable, and relatable story about a father risking everything to save his daughter.
Through a series of segments all using some concepts of classic horror, Resident Evil Village feels like the breath of fresh air the series needed to be able to keep moving forward. While Resident Evil 7: Biohazard started the trend, moving to a first-person perspective and leaning more on the horror aspects over the bombastic action, it was Resident Evil Village that picked up that gauntlet and carried it forward.
With memorable characters, a dark setting, and some truly amazing visuals, it is hard to deny Resident Evil Village is one of the best games of 2021, and one of the best Resident Evil experiences to date, earning it the title of CGMagazine’s Game of the Year 2021.