AAA Game of the Year Awards 2021 thumbnail

AAA Game of the Year Awards 2021

Celebrate top-quality games

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for GOTY Awards on 🏆

Without a doubt, 2021 had some truly stand-out titles so here are the very best games from big-name developers and publishers.

A.J. has been obsessively gaming since the late '80s and is just as passionate about video games in 2022. 🐻

It Takes Two 3D Platformer of the Year

It Takes Two is not only an excellent 3D platformer that features a huge and varied campaign that's bursting with enjoyable scenarios and mini-games, it's also a phenomenal co-op experience as you play through the whole story with a friend. Plus, it has plenty of humour and a lovely premise of a little girl who's trying to make her parents get along so she unknowingly turns them into dolls; brilliant! 😆 v1d30chumz 18-232-56-9

It Takes Two Review Award image →
It Takes Two screenshot
Working together to topple giant bosses is a ton of fun

Resident Evil Village Action-adventure Game of the Year

The Resident Evil franchise has had its ups and downs ever since its debut back in 1996 and Resident Evil Village offers something completely out of the ordinary with its medieval setting and monstrous cast of boss characters. However, the most surprising aspect is how its story is rooted in a very human element that will make you super-invested in each one of its characters as the story unfolds.

Resident Evil Village Review Award image →
Resident Evil Village screenshot
Lady Alcina Dimitrescu sure looks happy about this award

Forza Horizon 5 Racing Game of the Year

Forza Horizon 5 is undoubtedly the best racing game of 2021. As a significant step-up from Forza Horizon 4, this sequel presents a beautiful game world that takes place in the diverse country of Mexico and its gameplay is as rewarding as ever with a few extra elements that'll have you trying to claim top prize within its many events and challenges as you watch nifty story tidbits unfold throughout.

Forza Horizon 5 Review Award image →
Forza Horizon 5 screenshot
Forza Horizon 5 is the golden god of racing games

Guilty Gear -Strive- Fighting Game of the Year

Guilty Gear continues to prove itself as a top-of-the-line fighting series, especially in recent years and -Strive- is an excellent sequel that's jam-packed with familiar and fresh faces while featuring the classic tight fighter formula. Meanwhile, its visuals are flashier than ever as it looks like an anime come to life. Throw in a cool Wall Break mechanic and a satisfying online component and it's one must-have fighter.

Guilty Gear -Strive- Review Award image →
Guilty Gear -Strive- screenshot
Guilty Gear has never been more rockin'

Pac-Man 99 Competitive Game of the Year

Out of all the competitive multiplayer games in 2021, I had the most fun with Pac-Man 99 by far. I absolutely loved Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35 yet Pac-Man 99 completely blew me away with its classic core gameplay and complexities that help adapt it to a highly competitive formula. On top of that, its skins of classic Namco games are just awesome and it actually features some hearty modes, too.

Pac-Man 99 Review Award image →
Pac-Man 99 screenshot
Battle royale games don't get much better than Pac-Man 99

WarioWare: Get It Together! Party Game of the Year

WarioWare: Get It Together! is a superbly wonderful adaptation of the fast-paced micro-game formula that incorporates multiplayer beautifully whether you're cooperating or competing with your friends. I love when sequels go above and beyond like this to make something truly original and I'll definitely boot up WarioWare: Get It Together! whenever my gaming chums are around.

WarioWare: Get It Together! Review Award image →
WarioWare: Get It Together! screenshot
Wario's gonna win!

Mario Golf: Super Rush Family-friendly Game of the Year

I may be in the minority but I absolutely loved Mario Golf: Super Rush and still do, especially after the substantial updates that it received since it originally released. I much prefer the arcade-style Speed Golf and Battle Golf modes to the classic golf gameplay as they force you to strategize and think on your feet as you frantically smack and chase your ball around. I wish more series took risks like this! 😊

Mario Golf: Super Rush Review Award image →
Mario Golf: Super Rush screenshot
Wario's gonna win again!

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Port of the Year

Super Mario 3D World was hands-down one of the best Wii U games ever released and Switch owners can now enjoy the multiplayer 3D platforming chaos in all of its glory. With vibrant and distinct worlds, super-fun power-ups, and loads of secrets; this is a must-have Mario game. Oh, and it's also packed with a brand new game in the form of the outstanding Bowser's Fury. How cool is that? 😄

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury Review Award image →
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury screenshot
Playing Super Mario 3D World will put a smile on anyone's face

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut Special Edition of the Year

Ghost of Tsushima was our overall AAA Game of the Year last year and it's also one of my personal favourite games of all time and it's back with an awesome special edition. Not only does it perform and look better on PlayStation 5, it's also full of extra content including the entertaining online Legends Mode and a brand new campaign that takes place on the eerie Iki Island; what a amazing package! 😁

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut Review Award image →
Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut screenshot
Jin Sakai's journey is never over

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade: Episode Intermission DLC of the Year

Final Fantasy VII Remake was one of the best games of 2020 and it received an incredible edition in 2021 that included a new campaign starring Yuffie with Episode Intermission. Yuffie herself is livelier and more charming than ever and watching her meet new friends in Midgar as you challenge folks to a new real-time strategy mini-game is a treat and the teaser at the end will leave you wanting more.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Review Award image →
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade: Episode Intermission screenshot
Yuffie certainly looks pleased with herself

Returnal AAA Game of the Year

Finally, the best AAA game of 2021 is Returnal. When I started playing it earlier this year, I couldn't believe what an incredible experience it was right off the bat and as I progressed further and further, it quickly became my newest gaming obsession. In an era of hand-holding AAA titles, Returnal's high degree of challenge knocked my socks off and its blend of action-packed arcade-style bullet-dodging gameplay and creepy atmosphere is downright perfect, especially with the exceptional sound design that really pops in 3D audio. Unique and exceptional gaming experiences like Returnal don't come around often and when they do, they deserve all the praise they can get.

Returnal Review Award image →
Returnal screenshot
Who knows what awaits Selene on the other side?
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Gameplay video playlist for AAA Game of the Year Awards 2021
Spyro the Dragon Trivia

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