2021 is wrapping up with the last major releases of the year being released. The year began with releases such as The Medium and Hitman 3 and ended with Halo Infinite. This means it is now time to look back at the last year and choose our favorite games for the first-ever The Click Awards.
The Click Awards will showcase many of our favorite games across a variety of categories, including our first-ever Game of the Year, with the result potentially surprising many people.
Now, we present to you The Click Awards 2021.
Best Art Direction
The art direction of a game is a very important aspect when designing the game, it can truly shape many aspects of the game and can make or break a game.
Some games choose to go as realistic as possible, some opt for a more cel-shaded and cartoony appearance, as well as everything in between.
The art direction for Deathloop is the highlight of 2021, with the game featuring a post-apocalyptic yet futuristic art style that surprisingly works.
A good way to describe this could be if the Fallout and Cyberpunk universes were merged together and then sent back to the 1920s, it is really strange to describe but it works.
Arkane Studios really hit the nail on the head with Deathloop and we hope it won’t be the last that we see of this new IP.
A story in a video game is as important as other aspects, in the majority of cases at least. A well-crafted narrative can make a good game great, but a bad one can ruin a game no matter how great the graphics and the gameplay is.
There were many single-player story-driven games released in 2021 so that made choosing our winner very difficult and it was very close between a few games.
Winner: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy takes the top spot for us and it is well deserved. There were plenty of other options that we could have chosen too, but Guardians of the Galaxy edged out just a little bit.
As with the movies, when it comes to crafting a story in the Marvel universe, more often than not they knock it out of the park and Guardians of the Galaxy is no exception.
Best Co-Op Game
Co-op games aren’t quite as prominent as they once were, with competitive multiplayer now being the primary way to play games with other people.
But, there are still some gamers that enjoy teaming up with a friend or family member to play a game together, here is our pick of the best co-op game you will play this year.
Winner: It Takes Two
It Takes Two is hands down the best couch co-op game you will play in a very long time. Developed by Hazelight Studios, the same studio behind A Way Out, and directed by Josef Fares, the mastermind behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, It Takes Two combines what makes both of those games great and elevates it even further.
While most of us don’t play co-op games as often as we once did, this is a title that you need to grab a friend and experience.
Best VR Game
Although VR hasn’t quite become the main way we play games today, despite what classic Sci-Fi movies predicted, there are still plenty of great games being released for VR headsets each year and they will likely only keep improving as technology advances.
There were a few good games released for VR this year, which made it difficult to choose a winner, but here is the one that came out on top in the voting.
Winner: I Expect You To Die 2
I Expect You To Die 2 sees the player become a super spy, using lots of different gadgets in a very cinematic feeling game, with a variety of puzzles spanning across six levels.
VR is still in its infancy and developers likely haven’t even begun to scratch the surface with what can be achieved with Virtual Reality, but I Expect You To Die 2 makes us excited to see what the future holds for VR gaming.
Best Multiplayer Game
Proving that you’re the best in a game is something that many players strive to do, which is why multiplayer games have become so popular over the years.
Multiplayer gaming is at its peak right now, with so many great games to play against other players, but one released this year that stood above the rest.
Winner: Halo Infinite
Halo is back on top of the multiplayer mountain with the release of Halo Infinite in November 2021. The series had fallen from grace over the past decade following 343 Industries taking over the IP.
But, after a rocky start, the developers have now found their footing and have crafted one of the best FPS games in recent times.
After multiple years of battle royale games being on top, it is great to see a lot of attention being placed back on traditional FPS multiplayer experiences, although if 343 Industries want to create a Halo battle royale we wouldn’t complain either.
Best Indie Game
While AAA releases are the backbone of the gaming industry, it is the indie releases which help push the industry forward with fresh ideas that go on to inspire a generation.
Many great indie games fly under the radar so we want to make sure we put some attention on some of the great smaller titles that are released.
Winner: Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is our pick for indie game of the year, the first game to be developed by Ember Lab, a studio that got its start as an animation studio working with the likes of Coca-Cola.
While not necessarily groundbreaking, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is one of the most solid action-adventure games that we’ve played in a long time, with it having similar vibes to games such as Fable and Kameo.
Kena is a very enjoyable game that is full of charm and we really hope Ember Labs is planning a Kena 2 in the future.
Best Mobile Game
Mobile gaming is bigger than both console and PC gaming combined, with hundreds of millions of gamers jumping in every day.
There were dozens of potential games that could take the top spot for us, but this game stands above the rest and keeps us coming back.
Winner: Pokemon Masters EX
Pokemon Masters EX is a 3v3 strategy battle game that sees players build their ultimate team of Pokemon to battle trainers both past and present.
The game also features a very fun story mode and is a great way to play Pokemon anywhere you are, of course, once you’ve spun all of the nearby Pokestops in Pokemon Go.
When it comes to mobile gaming, the Pokemon series is really hitting its stride with titles such as Pokemon Masters EX, Pokemon Go, and Pokemon Unite being available, there has never been a better time to be a Pokemon fan.
Best Ongoing Game
Live service games have become the most popular games in the world, due to them being regularly updated with new content to keep players coming back for more.
Examples of these include Destiny 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Genshin Impact.
But, after four years this game still reigns supreme over the rest of them.
There are a lot of ongoing games available at the minute, commonly referred to as live service games, with other titles including the likes of Call of Duty: Warzone and Genshin Impact.
Many of us here at The Click enjoy playing these live service games regularly so this was a very tough choice for us to make, but ultimately Fortnite came out on top.
Epic Games’ smash hit has recently launched Chapter 3 earlier this month, bringing the third map to the game as well as overhauling many aspects and mechanics of the game.
Fortnite took over the gaming world like very few games ever have and it is great to see it still being so popular today.
While some games are released and turn out to not live up to expectations, sometimes the opposite happens and there is a game that fans expected to be disappointing but it ends up being one of the best games released that year.
And when we thought about what game surprised us the most, one stood above the rest and we’re so glad we’re able to say that because it truly did defy all expectations and help put the series back on the map.
Winner: Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite was originally scheduled to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S in November 2020 but was ultimately delayed by a year due to fan backlash when the gameplay was revealed.
This left many gamers wondering whether 343 Industries were going to improve the game, but it turns out they made drastic changes which paid off for the developers.
Halo Infinite is now the game that fans expected and it is easily the definitive FPS game of the year and, after a very quiet start of the year for Microsoft, has helped Microsoft really strengthen its first-party lineup going into the next generation.
You can check out our full review of Halo Infinite here.
It is a shame that we even need to have this category, but there are a couple of games that deserve to be called out this year.
Dishonorable Mention: Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition
While many people would argue this deserves the top spot, the votes don’t lie and we’ve got to be fair, but there was no way that we were doing this award without giving a dishonorable mention to Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition.
After months of rumors and speculation, it was finally revealed that GTA: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition would be released, remastering the classic PS2 era trilogy which includes GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas.
However, the result was very disappointing the say the least. The game was incredibly broken, the remastering wasn’t very good and it was just overall a huge letdown.
And, to top it off Rockstar removed the original trilogy from Steam, although they’ve now been added back on to Rockstar’s own launcher.
All of this coupled with the recent DMCA takedowns of many mods of the original games means that the game had to be mentioned.
Winner: Battlefield 2042
When Battlefield 2042 was revealed it looked like the game we had all been waiting for, with the series going back to the more modern style and taking full advantage of next-gen hardware.
The result though…… wasn’t good. The game is incredibly broken and missing a lot of key features that are expected in both Battlefield games and FPS games as a whole.
There is still time for EA and DICE to turn things around and make the game better and the game that players expected, but it already looks like many people have moved on, with concurrent player figures being extremely low for a new game.
It is a shame that the game was a letdown because it had all of the potential to be the definitive next-gen FPS title.
Most Anticipated Game
As 2021 comes to an end it is now time to look beyond this year into 2022 and 2023 and what games will be released in the coming years.
There are already many games that have the potential to take Game of the Year next year and in 2023 already announced, with titles such as God of War: Ragnarok, Breath of the Wild 2, and Alan Wake 2 all being games we’re keeping our eyes on.
But, one game stood above all of the rest here at The Click, with it winning the votes by a landslide.
Winner: Elden Ring
The good news is that if Elden Ring is also your most highly anticipated game then you don’t have long to wait, the game will be released in February 2022.
Elden Ring is the brand new game from the minds of the Dark Souls series and is said to be a “genre-defining game”, which makes us very excited as Dark Souls took over the gaming industry throughout the 2010s and has become a much-beloved series.
Can Elden Ring live up to the expectations that games such as Dark Souls have set? It won’t be long until we find out.
Game Of The Year
Right, now it is time for the main event, the Game of the Year award. Hundreds of games were released during 2021, with many being great, and some not living up to expectations.
But, only one can take the top spot and be crowned the first-ever The Click Game of the Year.
Which game will it be? Let’s find out.
5th Place: Psychonauts 2
Psychonauts 2 kind of came out of the left field. While many people expected the game to be good, very few expected it to be this great.
The new platforming game is the first new game in the Psychonauts series since the original title that was released back in 2005.
This game showed that there is still a huge demand for a good platformer and we hope that the developers do more with the Psychonauts IP in the future.
4th Place: It Takes Two
If couch co-op games are your thing, or you just enjoy playing through stories with a friend then It Takes Two is a game that has to be on your to-play list.
Created by the same developers behind A Way Out, and the mastermind behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, It Takes Two takes what made those games great and elevates it to the next level, giving us a game that certainly could have taken Game of the Year, and did with other publications and events, and it was well deserved.
3rd Place: Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village became the most hyped game of the year following the heavy marketing campaign surrounding Lady Dimitrescu, nicknamed the “Tall Vampire Lady”.
The game continues the story of Ethan Winters in the second entry of the first-person trilogy which sees Ethan team up with Chris Redfield to rescue his daughter Rose.
Resident Evil Village draws a lot of inspiration from other entries in the series such as Resident Evil 4, and we’re excited to see how Capcom concludes the first-person trilogy with Resident Evil 9.
2nd Place: Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite was ultimately delayed by a year following a disappointing gameplay reveal in 2020. This proved to be the correct decision as Halo Infinite is one of the best games released in 2021 and has firmly put the Halo franchise back on the map after it fell from grace following 343 Industries’ takeover of the series.
The multiplayer is completely free to play, and the campaign is also available on Game Pass on both console, PC, and cloud gaming which means there is no reason not to check it out.
Game Of The Year: Forza Horizon 5
The winner of the first annual The Click Awards is Forza Horizon 5 and it is certainly deserved. The Forza series is now seen by many to be the number one racing franchise today and Forza Horizon 5 helps prove that to be true.
Racing games are always a good way to measure graphic improvements between generations and Forza Horizon 5 is no exception.
Forza Horizon 5 is one of the most visually impressive games on the market today, coupled with a huge amount of races and really fluid gameplay, it is one of the most enjoyable experiences you will have this year.
And the best part of it, it’s available on Game Pass which means it can be played for as good as free, and if you own an Xbox or PC you need to check it out.
Thumbnail image by Freepik.com