Last Year’s Best Are Still Awesome
Is it already that time again? With the Holidays closing in once more, we know a lot of you are looking for gifts for all the players in your lives, and maybe some things you’d like to get for yourselves too. If you’re not sure what to get, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From November 3rd to November 18th, we’ll be bringing you guides to satisfy every type of player each weekday. Strap in and kiss your wallet goodbye.
2022 has seen a ton of great games, but the holidays aren’t only about the new. They can be a great time to evoke old memories, and holiday sales often have better deals on games that came out a year or more ago, anyway. Here are five of 2021’s best titles that you should keep an eye out for in this year’s holiday sales.
The Forgotten City
Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Time loop games were all the rage in 2021, which somehow feels incredibly far removed, considering they’ve mostly vanished in 2022. There’s one of them well worth remembering still, though, and that’s The Forgotten City. Throwing you back into an isolated city with no escape in the time of the Roman Empire, you’ll need to work with the citizens of this small settlement to find why you’re trapped there in a city where any sin committed by one member of the population spells doom for all of you. It may take you a few (dozen) times through, but the answers here are satisfying, and few games released in 2021 are half as memorable.
Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PC
You may not find a more creative game on the market than Psychonauts 2, Double Fine’s long-awaited follow-up, which finally released in 2021 and somehow lived up to years of fan hype. Not only are the visuals, story, voice acting, and production top-notch and beyond most games Double Fine has ever managed to release, but they’re combined with some of the strongest action platforming gameplay you’ll find in any title. This feels like the game Double Fine spent over 20 years trying to make. If you haven’t checked it out yet, don’t miss it.
Resident Evil: Village
Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch (via Cloud), PC
Our Game of the Year for 2021 features tons of scares, thrilling action, and enough body horror to creep out a Cronenberg fan. The continued adventure of Ethan Winters was everything we could have hoped for and more, and is absolutely still worth looking into in 2022. There may never have been a better time to do so either, with the recently released Gold Edition adding new content, including the new Shadows of Rose DLC. The only reason to wait at this point might be to play it on PlayStation VR2, where it’s set to release next year.
In some ways, Returnal feels like a bold step forward for video games, combining heavy doses of narrative and high production values with the roguelike gameplay we expect from some of the best indie games on the market. In others, it feels like a throwback to the sort of arcade thrills developer Housemarque is known for. That it blends these two together so well, along with thrilling gunplay that leaves you often feeling moments from death, is a true accomplishment. The rare first-party next-generation exclusive, with production issues on new consoles leading both Sony and Microsoft to continue releasing most of their first-party titles across generations, Returnal continues to be a shining example of what the PS5 can do when given the chance.
Shin Megami Tensei V
Players waited a long time for a new mainline Shin Megami Tensei title, but it finally arrived last fall, bringing a whole new apocalypse for players to explore. All of the demon recruiting, world-changing decisions, and intense combat fans have come to love from the series was present, but this entry also took some bold steps forward from a storytelling perspective which our team really appreciated. If you haven’t checked out Shin Megami Tensei V yet, it’s a great way to spend 100 hours on your Switch.