2021 is coming to an end tonight. Last year (2020) I beat about ten games in total — I say “about ten” because I included some questionable games like Fortnite and Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Two Battle Royale games that I ended up being the last one standing a couple of times. Since that is the main goal in these games I counted it as “beating” those games. Also, I felt that eight games would have been too short of a list.
In 2021, I’ve almost doubled the number of games I beat in 2020. If I take out those two Battle Royale games, then I have more than doubled last year’s number. I even ended up re-beating one of the games on last year’s list. Below I have included all of the games I have rolled credits on (or beaten the main quests in) during 2021.
This list features games I’ve truly enjoyed enough to play the whole way through. A couple of years ago, I told myself that I would try to beat every game I start (unless I really, really hate it). I later realized that life is too short to spend time on games you don’t really like. Sometimes you do like a game in the beginning, but your opinion changes as the game and story drag on. That’s why this list only includes games I really enjoyed enough to beat. At the end, I also mentioned some games I put many hours into but haven’t yet reached the end. Who knows? Maybe those will make my 2022 list.
Let me first start off with the 2020 rollover games. These are a few games that I played through most of them during 2020, but finally completed during 2021.
Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
Ghost of Tsushima is a game that I beat about 95% of in 2020, but I didn’t achieve the platinum trophy (my second one ever) until the first week of 2021, so it became a 2021 game. I also spent a few more hours exploring the Iki Island expansion, which was wonderful if you just want more Ghost of Tsushima with some new story and content. Playing the Iki Island story on my PlayStation 5 has made me think about starting the entire game over on PlayStation 5, and I may do that next year.
Cadence of Hyrule (Nintendo Switch)
This is another game that I mostly played in 2020 (and 2019). For some reason I decided to come back to Cadence of Hyrule during 2021 to beat the main story — probably after the announcement of the new DLC. It’s so cool to see an indie game studio (Brace Yourself Games) get the chance to play with such a huge Nintendo property.
I was obsessed with the original Crypt of the Necrodancer, so much so that I would dream about the game. Bringing that gameplay to the world of Zelda, with remixes of its iconic music definitely got me excited. The funny thing is that I’m very familiar with the music of The Legend of Zelda games, even though I’ve only really played through about two or three of the games.
TETRIS EFFECT (PS4)
Although I made my way through most of TETRIS EFFECT’s journey mode in 2020, I ended up finishing it in 2021. Tetris is one of the biggest games out there, and it has seen so many interactions over the years. I’m always ready for a new take on the classic block puzzle game. TETRIS EFFECT may be the best way to play Tetris today — and I haven’t even experienced it in VR.
Now let’s move on to the games I fully beat in 2021:
Hitman (2018 • PS4)
Back in the Xbox 360 era, I was a huge fan of any and all Hitman games. After the franchise’s long absence a standalone Hitman series began in 2018. I had played a demo, but wasn’t ready to get into it. It wasn’t until the release of Hitman 3 that I decided to start this new trilogy from the beginning.
So far I have only completed the first game, but I still plan on continuing my The Hitman Diaries series with Hitman 2, which is already downloaded on my PlayStation 5. The special thing about these games is that they are basically just puzzle solving games with multiple possibilities.
Astro’s Playroom (PS5)
Anytime one of my friends finally gets their hands on a PlayStation 5, I tell them they have to first play Astro’s Playroom. It’s basically a tutorial on what the DualSense controller is capable of with it’s haptic feedback, speaker and adaptive triggers.
It’s also a wonderful little platformer that takes you through the history of PlayStation. A FREE “next-gen tutorial” game has no business being this great. I can’t wait to see what Team Asobi does next.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5)
I recently came to the realization that Spider-Man may be my favorite superhero. I never felt the need to upgrade to a PS4 Pro from the base PS4 until they announced a Spider-Man themed PS4 Pro — so I did.
Marvel Spider-Man: Miles Morales was the first game I purchased and beat on my PlayStation 5 — I beat Astro’s Playroom at around the same time, but that was a FREE game.
Other than swinging around New York and doing Spidey stuff, it was extra special to play as a Latino Spider-Man. I was raised by Cuban parents and even though Rio (Miles’s mom) is Puerto Rican, there are many similarities. The game also showed off the visuals and power of the PlayStation 5.
KEMONO FRIENDS PICROSS (Nintendo Switch)
In 2020, I beat PICROSS S1 through PICROSS S4. Ever since I became obsessed with PICROSS games I have tried not to play the newest one too quickly, because I don’t want to have to wait so long for the next release. When PICROSS S5 came out I didn’t want to buy it right away.
I found the KEMONO FRIENDS PICROSS on the eShop and purchased that one to hold me off. I had no idea and still have no idea what a KEMONO FRIEND is, but it was more PICROSS and that made me happy.
Mini Motorways (PC, Mac & iPad)
Before my interview with Casey from Dinosaur Polo Club (makers of Mini Motorways) I did my research and played some Mini Motorways. After the interview I continued playing, usually while listening to or watching something. Next I realized the game was also on Apple Arcade so I started playing on my iPad.
Something I mentioned during the interview was how the mobile and PC/Mac version of Mini Motorways basically play the same, which is something you don’t see very often. I beat the game in that I unlocked and completed each level, but I will continue to play this game on all platforms (PC, Mac and iPad/iPhone).
It Takes Two (PS5)
After beating both Overcooked games with my girlfriend in 2020, I had been on the search for the next great co-op adventure for us to play together. When It Takes Two was announced I thought, “this is the one we’ve been waiting for.”
It Takes Two came out right around my birthday, so I decided to purchase it for us to play on my birthday weekend — and we did. We continued playing until we beat the game a couple of weeks later.
What makes It Takes Two a great game to play with someone who isn’t a big gamer is that it explores many different game genres within it’s story. That way you can find out what your partner likes from it and look for other games in those styles.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Nintendo Switch)
The original Ori and the Blind Forest is still one of my favorite gaming experiences. I love Metroidvanias and I love the music, the art style, exploration and the atmosphere. The first Ori game is still one of the only games I fully beat on my PC.
I would have played Ori and the Will of the Wisps earlier, but since Ori and the Blind Forest had made its way to the Switch I decided to wait it out. Ori and the Will of the Wisps was more of what I loved about the original game — beautiful art style, music, exploration, atmosphere– but with the added upgrades you’d expect from a sequel.
Ratchet & Clank (2016 • PS4) – Replay
This is the game that I beat back in 2020 for the first time, then decided to beat it again in 2021. This is definitely the first time I’ve beaten the same game two years in a row.
The only reason I wanted to replay Ratchet & Clank one year later was in anticipation of the release of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. This game was my first Ratchet & Clank experience and I instantly became a fan. It helps that Insomniac (makers of Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales) also created this one.
Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield (Nintendo Switch)
The first guest of the myVGBC Podcast was Neil Jones (aka Aerial_Knight) and I will never forget that. Neil was the first person I asked and to interview and he instantly said yes, which is why I’ve continued to ask other people to be a guest on my podcast.
I’ve always been a big fan of the endless runners. And, even though many of them play very much the same there are always slight differences to how you go at them. The music and visual style are two things that set this game apart from the rest. Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is also a pretty short game, but you can go back and replay each level at higher difficulties.
PICROSS S5 (Nintendo Switch)
There comes a point where I just can’t wait any longer to play more PICROSS. Luckily that point came soon after PICROSS S6 was released, so I could pocket that one. (Fun Fact: I actually started playing PICROSS S6 last night).
There’s something about these PICROSS games. I guess it’s the way you solve the puzzles and how quickly you can solve them. I noticed that I don’t even care what the ending image is. I’m just there for some fast puzzle solving and then it’s on to the next one.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PlayStation 5)
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was the game that I knew I had to have a PlayStation 5 for. This was the first big next-gen PlayStation 5 exclusive title that I needed to play on Day One. That’s why I started looking for my PS5 back in March, and luckily I found it on my first try.
This game definitely showcases how amazing video games can look on next-gen consoles (and amazing PCs). Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart follows the same formula as Ratchet & Clank (2016), however there’s this whole new mechanic with rifts and different timelines.
It’s amazing how you could instantly go from one world to another. I even found myself not moving Ratchet or Rivet for a while after a cutscene because of the seamless transitions. This is only the beginning of the next generation so imagine what we’ll get to see in a couple of years.
B.ARK (Nintendo Switch) (2X)
After playing B.ARK with the game developers during E3 earlier this year, I finally got to play it at home on my Nintendo Switch. B.ARK is a relatively short game, with only a few levels/stages but the game does offer endless replayability with different friends and higher difficulties.
B.ARK is an exciting co-op shoot ‘em up, which I first beat with my girlfriend (on normal mode) over a weekend. I later beat the game again with my two nephews.
This is definitely a “the more the merrier” type of games, since each character’s special move works best when mixed with others. The game also features a cute, simple animation style.
White Shadows (PlayStation 5)
White Shadows is sort of a “simple game,” not simple as in easy. It is pretty easy and short, and it’s more about the story than the gameplay. I did come across a few difficult puzzles that took a few minutes to figure out.
The game is “simple” in that you can only move left or right, you can jump and you can grab objects — that’s it. The thing that makes it feel like a much larger adventure is the art direction. Even though the game is in black and white, the world still feels busy, bright and vibrant.
As you move through the environment from side to side the camera pans out at times showing off you as this little bird in a giant factory. The camera also zooms in tight at other moments making your character feel larger than life.
Death’s Door (PlayStation 5)
After reviewing Death’s Door I thought that was it for me. I wanted to keep going but didn’t think I had the time. I found myself playing a little Death’s Door most nights before bed.
After a few nights it became the game I was looking forward to playing each night. I really wanted to beat it before the end of the year, because I knew if I didn’t beat it soon I wouldn’t end up doing so.
The end of the game features a couple of back-to-back Boss fights. I remember thinking, “Ok, that wasn’t so hard,” before facing one more boss, then another. After beating the final boss there’s still more for me to explore, but I have decided to move on.
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy (PlayStation 5)
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t the best of the Marvel games. There were even many things I found annoying about the game, but overall it’s a fun adventure. For one, the story and writing were as good as an MCU movie (with maybe a few too many “flarks”).
I really enjoyed playing as Star-Lord (aka team captain) and controlling the rest of the Guardians. I did find myself freaking out in combat and pressing random combinations of buttons to have my teammates attack.
The one thing that I found strange was anytime I told another teammate to throw, break or move an object, they would sort of just appear out of thin air at the object. I thought it was a glitch the first couple of times, but it was an every single time type of thing.
Those are the games I beat in 2021. It feels like a long list, but it was only about 18 games, that’s 1.5 games beat per month. I did play many, many more games than just those. I sampled many games and spent lots of hours in others.
Here are some of the many great games I played in 2021, but didn’t have the chance to fully beat just yet:
PS4: Maneater, Final Fantasy VII Remake, PGA 2K21, Spelunky
PS5: Deathloop, DOOM Eternal
Switch: Loop Hero, Spelunky 2, Metroid Dread, Evertried, Hades, Boyfriend Dungeon
Let’s see if I could beat even more games in 2022.