Part 4 of the annual Gamer Crash Awards is finally here! If you missed any previous categories, you can catch up with these handy links right here:
Well, here we are, the big one. The first day of 2022 brings with it the biggest award that I can give out: Game of the Year. As usual, the year brought us an absurd level of just amazing games and experiences, making this category extremely competitive.
Before we jump in, just a reminder in case you missed it earlier. Below, you’re not going to see everything that was released in 2021, many of which you’d probably expect to see in a “Game of the Year” style list. I haven’t played everything. I’m one person with limited time so there are instances where I have to pick and choose what I’m going to devote my time to. I can acknowledge that games like Resident Evil Village, It Takes Two, and Monster Hunter Rise are awesome and probably deserve to be here. However, I haven’t played it as of yet so it wouldn’t be fair for me to put it here. How can I judge something, I haven’t played?
With that said, there’s still a ton of amazing games which I just had a ton of fun playing and really left me impressed this year. So, without further delay, here are my personal nominees.
Metroid Dread – Nintendo/MercurySteam
After countless years of begging, Nintendo finally delivered a brand new 2D Metroid and boy did it deliver.
Forza Horizon 5 – Microsoft/Playground Games
Somehow, this series continues to get better and better with each new iteration.
Deathloop – Bethesda/Arkane Studios
While the marketing and promotions left me mostly confused, Deathloop quickly became one of the best of 2021 after launch.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart – Sony/Insomniac Games
Already a wonderful series, this latest entry even challenges the visuals of Pixar.
Returnal – Housemarque
While primarily known for it’s smaller arcade style action games, Housemarque hit a home run with its first true major AAA title.
Halo Infinite – Microsoft/343 Industries
After all the reported development trouble, Halo Infinite really impresses and boy is that grapple shot a ton of fun.
and the winner is…
Are we really surprised? If you’ve been on this site for any length of time, you’ll likely recall my love for the Metroid series as well as my constant requests for Nintendo to bring back Samus. During my prediction posts, I’ve mentioned the need for a new 2D Metroid for years now, going as far as remastering Super Metroid.
And now, Nintendo has answered my pleas with Metroid Dread, a game that has been rumored for about 15 years, even being teased within the Metroid Prime series. Clearly, the wait was worth it as MercurySteam, fresh off of its work on Metroid: Samus Returns, used what it learned to create an outstanding experience for the Switch.
The 2D side scrolling gameplay never felt or looked better, traversing a mysterious planet with a deadly new threat in the E.M.M.I robots. Entering these “EMMI Zones” you could feel the tension, knowing that getting caught meant a game over screen. Thankfully, checkpoints were set right outside the zone, so even if you were caught, reloading was fast and swift.
As expected, Metroid Dread was littered with powerups, some more challenging to acquire than others, but no less satisfying. The game even allowed for sequence breaking, letting players perform some interesting moves to get completion times WAY down. Interestingly enough, boss battles were challenging, more so than the game’s prior, though the fights were fair and gave you that feeling of accomplishment once you overcame the obstacle.
While all of those games were fantastic, Metroid Dread remains my favorite game of 2021.