It’s finally here, folks! We have just started a new year. With that in mind, we’ve completed another year of games and we here at MP1st thought it would be best to recognize the best of the harvest and which games stood out the most. While 2022 has already started, we are here to present the MP1st Year End Awards and pick our Game of the Year for 2021!

Note that the winners here were selected through an employee vote and were made without platform bias. To put it simply: these are the best experiences we have had this year 2021.

MP1st Year End Awards – Game of the Year 2021 Winner:

Best action game – Returnal

Housemarque’s very first AAA game not only delivered, but exceeded all expectations. It is for sure one of the best surprises of the year. Our review says, “Returnal is a great game and showcase for the PS5. It reminds me of what I’ve always loved about video games; Gameplay that captivates you and puts you “another quarter” in the way that relatively few games do these days. Housemarque is largely successful with their first AAA outing and has released the first real contender for Game of the Year for 2021 in my opinion. “

(Read the MP1st Returnal review here)

Best Action Adventure Game – Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 Update 1.08

Double Fine is back in top form with Psychonauts 2. Not only is it a charming platformer, but it also brings the humor, memorable characters, and most importantly, the fun to the genre. This is an adventure gamers should try.

Best audio return

Returns Best Game of the Year 2021 Audio

When the PS5 was announced, the console’s brand new Tempest Audio Engine was one of the main defining features Sony hyped about. At first, many thought it was a gimmick used solely for marketing purposes, but after the Resident Evil Village and Returnal releases, we can finally see what all the hype was about. If there are ever more games that demonstrate true 3D audio, then Returnal is the place for you. Combined with PlayStation’s own Pulse headset and of course the DualSense, Returnal is able to deliver a fully immersive experience thanks to the help of the developers who use the Tempest Engine. A real audio showcase.

(Read the MP1st Returnal review here)

Best graphics in a game – Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 Best Graphics for Game 2021

When Xbox and Playgrounds Games announced Forza Horizon 5 at E3 2021, we were just blown away by the graphics they were driving forward. I don’t think there has ever been a racer who looked this good, at least when it comes to the open world. On a visual level, Playground Games really outdid itself, creating a rich and vibrant world full of detail. The best part is that it runs incredibly smoothly.

Best first person shooter – Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Season 1

Who would have thought? After a disastrous reveal, 343 Industries would stand up and deliver a free Halo game that was worth it and more. Halo Infinite made Call of Duty Vanguard and Battlefield 2042 our first-person shooter of the year! Our review states, “All in all, Halo Infinite is a worthy entry into this legendary franchise. That is an achievement in itself. But what I really appreciate is the fact that 343 took risks. These risks are things that completely ruin the experience and could have turned even the most die-hard fans of the franchise away. In the end, however, these risks paid off. Infinite is the best Halo title out of 343 in my opinion, and I couldn’t be more excited to see how it goes on. “

(Read our Halo Infinite review)

Most disappointing game – Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 the most disappointing game of 2021

For many employees, Battlefield 2042 should represent a return to franchise form after a long hiatus from the modern war environment. Unfortunately, as in James’ MP1. Review of Battlefield 2042, the title didn’t live up to expectations and instead offered an experience that no longer felt like a Battlefield experience. That’s not to say that the studio can’t change things since it’s a live service after all, but there is still a long way to go before a majority of fans accept it.

Best Indie Game – Narita Boy

Narita Boy Best Indie Game 2021

Tim Lawrence (from our Narita Boy review) – “Narita boy didn’t have to be very good. It was largely funded by crowdfunding Kickstarter and once it was out it could have been like many Kickstarter games and a non-starter that started and fell flat. But the Studio Koba team really got that out of it. It’s neither a life changing experience nor a deeply spiritual journey, but I think it’s a fun retro game that understands it’s still a modern day release. This is the kind of project where big publishers take a team seriously, and whether they choose to work with a publisher or stay indie, I suspect we’ll see more of Studio Koba in the pipeline … uh, Datastream. “

Multiplayer Game of the Year – Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Best Multiplayer Game 2021

343 Industries receives another year-end award from MP1st! Unsurprisingly, the game offers a better online gaming experience than Battlefield 2042 and COD Vanguard! Our review of AJ said, “In short, it’s fantastic. Halo Infinite Multiplayer is a perfect blend of old school Halo with just enough modern flair to keep new players and fans of Halo’s contemporaries happy. “

(Read our Halo Infinite review)

Game of the year – It takes two

MP1st GOTY 2021 It takes two games of the year 2021

Surprised? Yes, thought too. In the end, a game with no progression mechanics, weapons or multiplayer explosions is the game of the year here on MP1st! Our review says, “Ultimately, that’s what stands out in It Takes Two. It is fun. The game is effortlessly fun. While the connection between gameplay and story wasn’t what I’d hoped for – I was never really invested in May and Cody’s relationship – I was always having fun while playing. And that is the most important thing for me. Highly recommended.”

(Read our It Takes Two review)

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