Community MetaCouncil's Game of the Year Awards 2021 Results

Le Pertti

31.85% Steam Boy 100% Xbox Bro
Oct 10, 2018
6,194
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Paris, France
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Welcome to our annual games of the year awards! We did things little different this year in that we now include all platforms. But one thing is still clear, is that we have an amazing taste in games!

Let's get directly into the fun!



Top 10 Games of the Year



Ge0force said:
The Riftbreaker combines the best elements from several different genres into a fresh and exciting experience. We need more games like this!
Stevey said:
I love RTS/ Strategy games and this AA indie beat everything else I've played that came out this year.



Mivey said:
I love Metroidvania games, and Metroid itself has a special part of my heart as one of the games that spawned the name itself (even if one can argue that it wasn't the first such game, but that's neither here nor there). Dread is such a fresh take on the franchise, continuing a lot of new ideas from Metroid Fusion and bringing back some key gameplay ideas from Mercury Steams previous Metroid game, Samus Returns. Ultimately, I loved this game's relentless focus on a fast moving narrative, incredibly challenging (but never unfair) boss fights and beautiful animation. Definitely the highlight of the year for me.



Durante said:
What can I say, I love Metroidvanias, and Ender Lilies is a fantastic example of the genre both gameplay-wise and in terms of overall atmosphere and design. Oh, and the music is absolutely fantastic too. I really enjoyed every minute of playing it.
d00d3n said:
It is a really good metroidvania. I had issues with the non-proportional map system not giving much help in finding secrets initially, but it kind of helps to not give things away too easily and the color coding of unsolved rooms largely prevents frustration. The starting dodging animation looks and feels off, but it is replaced with a new ability. The game as a whole looks and sounds fantastic, with especially the piano soundtrack sticking out as unexpectedly varied, fitting and great. You have to actually learn attack patterns to defeat most bosses past the first few, which is probably a great feature for most people. I started getting a bit frustrated trying to beat the twin spires boss, but I attempted to beat him first in an open ended section of the game with many options available. The other bosses have felt well balanced and challenging, except the first boss.

Amzin said:
It's actually a tough call this year - I had trouble even cutting down to just 5 games on the list even. But Chicory wins out for me. It's new and novel (a top-down puzzle adventure where you do everything via painting?). The dialogue is heartfelt, wholesome, heavy, and generally wonderful. It's naturally diverse, and has very nice accessibility options. It draws (no pun intended) you in to doing things not because you have to but because you want to engage with it (like "draw a portrait" - you don't HAVE to try, but you want to). Even the hint system is charming. On top of all that, it's one of the rare games where I don't really have any nitpicks - it does what it does just right.
kio said:
A whimsical tale about love and duty, despair and hope, finding your purpose in the world and accepting what surrounds you. It's hard to put in words the large spectrum of emotions the game conveys, similar to wandersong (their previous game), but after each play session I was left with a smile in my mouth and a lot of questions about myself in my head. I think the best thing I can say about the game is that it's an experience everyone owes to themselves to live.



Joe Spangle said:
Really enjoying Inscrytion, a very clever well presented card based game that has you battling against a weird scary guy in a wood cabin. The game explains its mechanics well and drips in extra content and narrative as you go. I'm not even really into card games but this ones style and substance has me hooked.
QFNS said:
Inscryption is a triumph of interesting game mechanics blended with storytelling and lore. A simple card game becomes the backdrop for so many more surprises than you expect. Everyone should play this game and experience it for themselves.







Derrick01 said:
I was shocked at how good Gotg is, much like everyone else who played it I'm sure. But I consider the game good enough to stand toe to toe with the giants of the last 5 years, games that won overall goty like god of war, tlou 2 or breath of the wild. It has some of the best writing in a AAA game in years, incredible performances, and astonishingly good pacing for a linear game that is roughly 20 hours long.
ExistentialThought said:
Guardians of the Galaxy went from a game I thought I would hate to a game I could not put down until I finished it (which is rare for me, especially over this past year). I cannot overstate how great the cast of characters, dialogue, music, and story was to experience. An all around joy and this coming from someone who is not even much of a Marvel fan. Seriously the game is just such a fun space, sci fi experience that I feel has been sorely lacking since Mass Effect. Combat is the weakest bit, but overall I found so much enjoyment. It just ever so slighty edged out as my top game of 2021.



Ascheroth said:
It is just incredibly, incredibly fun. The amount of creativity and variety on display is just amazing.
Jav said:
A really fun game to play helped by the fact that every game is more fun when playing co-op. Great art and design and lots of different ways to play, it just has a charm that I struggle to find in a lot of games nowadays.
PhaZZe said:
It takes two was an amazing experience, played with my girlfriend (who know nothing about games) and was incredible, a lot of differents gameplays, really enjoyed goty material.
fokkusu said:
Brilliantly fun co-op





TioChuck said:
Capcom accomplished an amazing balance between old and new for the franchise, as a sequel to Resident Evil 7 it delivers a fantastic closer to the Ethan Winters story, Resident Evil Village is the only game in years that I started a new playthrough as soon as I finished the game.
LEANIJA said:
REVillage is a great combination of atmospheric horror, exploration, light puzzling, good combat, with a very good balance between eerie and camp. It's Resident Evil at it's best.
AHA-Lambda said:
An effective blend of Resi 7 and Resi 4, plus with the unexpected inclusion of a shockingly good Metroidvania-esque hub area and a plot that is actually good for a Resi game.



Parsnip said:
It's everything I had hoped it would be.
Prodigy said:
This series is just special to me, I still remember the first time i ever saw Psychonauts 1. A demo was included in a CD that came with a gaming magazine. I tried it not knowing what it was about or who even made it (even though I loved monkey island, Grim Fandango etc...). The demo included the opening where you are in the cabin area and you could explore a little hub and the first brain. It had a very cozy feel that made me want to stay in the world with witty and unique characters and unique levels. I of course got the full release and adored it. I never thought there was a possibility of getting a follow up. The sequel though had everything I loved about the first game, but expanded and I would say better, we still had the crazy characters, the hilarious dialogue, much better platforming and action, a bigger hub world with more to see and do. The levels were unique, you just never know what you will get. Overall it was everything I could hope for in a follow up. It would be like someone doing a follow up to the Lord of the Rings movies and being better, it doesn't seem possible, but that is what it felt like.
Dakath said:
There is something genuinely impressive about picking up a sequel 16 years later and having it take place within the same in-game week.
Digoman said:
I went back and forth between my first two choices here. Both have good if uneven gameplay, but really shine in the atmosphere and story side. In the end, it was a question of which one will stay with me longer, and I think in 5 years I will still remember the characters of Psychonauts 2 very foundly, and hoping Double Fine does something else in this universe. The whole experience was just pure joy.
Taborcarn said:
Psychonauts 2 was everything I was hoping it would be. A true labor of love that shows in all aspects. The platforming is just about perfect and the setting and characters are wholesome yet still weird, and memorable.




Ongoing Game of the Year





Early Access Game of the Year




Turd of the Year






MetaCouncil's Platform of Choice


 

thekeats1999

MetaMember
Dec 10, 2018
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Lovely work.

Disappointed that Dorfromantik didn't make the cut (play this game, it's great). Especially as I thought Valheim kind of blew it with me on the Hearth and Home update. But not been back to see if the made any positive changes after that.

But a lot of great looking titles in there for me to check out.
 
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Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
2,510
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Thank you Le Pertti for the thread! So many lovely games. The variety of games in the voting thread is truly something else. I know many people say 2021 is a weak year but honestly I can't agree. There is no obvious winner because many games released in 2021 look equally great.

Now moving into 2022. Oh boy this year is going to absolutely batshit crazy. So many potential obvious winners. Hopefully all of them will turn out well.
 
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Panda Pedinte

Best Sig Maker on the board!
Sep 20, 2018
2,743
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Thank you for running the voting this year Le Pertti !

It's a nice surprise seeing Psychonauts 2 getting the #1 spot, too bad Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous did not make it :(
 
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EdwardTivrusky

Good Morning, Weather Hackers!
Dec 8, 2018
5,646
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Thanks for the work, Le Pertti !

I just realised i had a tab open in VS Code with my list and totally forgot to post it even though you have been reminding us regularly. DOH!
I think It's a good list with nothing terrible in it. Quite different to other bigger places but that's to be expected of Meta and other small communities i suppose. Big thanks to those who did vote too!
 
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Aaron D.

MetaMember
Jul 10, 2019
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Awesome work, Le Pertti!

Thanks for your efforts.

Disappointed that Dorfromantik didn't make the cut (play this game, it's great). Especially as I thought Valheim kind of blew it with me on the Hearth and Home update. But not been back to see if the made any positive changes after that.
I actually dropped Dorfromantik into my final Top 10 list over at the other site.

Only just started playing my purchased copy, but at the same time I spent an unholy amount of time playing the demo version during the Next Fest events this past year. So it felt like a good fit once I confirmed the retail version was 2 legit 2 quit.
 

Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
829
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No Deathloop and Psychonauts 2 won? I'm pleasantly surprised. Very good list overall.

Amazing work Le Pertti. Thank you for the huge contribution in helping make our small community such a great place :cat-heart-blob:
 

Valdien

✵ Chaos! ✵
Mar 26, 2020
1,100
2,265
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Toronto
Thank you for posting the results! I was 100% sure RE village was going to be #1, but I guess not! I've yet to play the Psychonauts games myself. I'm sure I'll get around to playing them one of these days.
 
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Prodigy

Sleeper must awaken
Dec 9, 2018
687
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Great work on the thread. A few games in the holidays that I have gotten to thanks to sales, which would probably alter my top 5 list a bit eg: Dysmantle or Ys IX. Actually a lot of Indie games I need to start.
 

Durante

I <3 Pixels
Oct 21, 2018
2,662
12,414
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Thanks for your work on the thread! The highest-ranked game on the list that I played was It Takes Two, but it didn't make my list. Perhaps it's because I play dozens of local co-op games a year, but I didn't feel like it did anything all that special beyond its production values.

Happy to see Ender Lilies make the top 10, and I'm really looking forward to Chicory which is on our co-op "to play" list.
 
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Le Pertti

Le Pertti

31.85% Steam Boy 100% Xbox Bro
Oct 10, 2018
6,194
13,744
113
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Paris, France
pertti.fr
I am happy to see Psychonauts 2 get some love! It was a good win since it was pretty much always in the lead.

Happy to see Ender Lilies make the top 10, and I'm really looking forward to Chicory which is on our co-op "to play" list.
It rose up quickly at the end!:D
 

Joe Spangle

Playing....
Apr 17, 2019
1,956
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Nice list of games, very MC!
Good to see Psychonauts 2 winning, i just started it the other day and it has a lot of charm. May well have made my top 5.

Thanks so much Le Pertti
Great effort in putting all the votes together and encouraging people to participate.

Well done everyone else :cat-heart-blob:, good year of gaming. Here's to another. :dmcblob:
 
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Digoman

Lurking in the Shadows
Dec 21, 2018
829
2,220
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Completely useless post, but I thought this image was appropriate:

I would love some DLC or something based on her….. Maybe in another 16 years …

Now go play Psychonauts 2 if you haven’t already :p
 

QFNS

Plays too many card games
Nov 18, 2018
783
1,641
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Damn so many good games I didn't get around to. Inscryption was my #1. Everyone should play it!

I have Guardians in my backlog also. Excited to get to that one some time soon.
 
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Kvik

Crossbell City Councillor
Dec 6, 2018
3,349
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Downunder.
Thanks for all the hard work, Le Pertti :flare_utawaku:


I think the 2021 awards are unique in the sense that there is not a single RPG that made it into the top 10, let alone two JRPGs like last year. Perhaps we have fewer voters for 2021 as well?

Regardless, everyone's taste remain impeccable and the diversity of choice is still great. :flare_smirk:
 
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Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
557
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Feel like Chicory would have been higher if more people played it, shame on you all! :anguished-face:

That said the only one I'm offended by is Valheim. I heard other people talking about it a month or so ago but they specifically mentioned they played it early in the year and not recently... like after the patch dropped that drove a bunch of us to not think about playing it again maybe ever. There are so many other EA titles this year that didn't have controversial patches.
 

Amzin

No one beats me 17 times in a row!
Dec 5, 2018
557
1,063
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Thats true! It got a high score with low number of votes, meaning not many played it but those that did really liked it.
I'm guessing it got 1st, 1st, and 2nd out of 3 votes?

I wonder if anyone here played it and it DIDN'T make their top 5. Not that I'd think that makes them a sociopath or anything, but science might disagree. :photoblobheart: