Shacknews Top 10 Games of the Year 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, Shacknews is ready to unveil our list of the Top 10 Games of the Year 2021. Find out our GOTY 2021 here!


#1 Game of the Year 2021 - Deathloop

At this point, it would be absolutely foolish to doubt in Arkane Studios ability to continually create bigger and better action/adventure/stealth experiences with each outing. They learn, get better, and apply the lessons thoughtfully with each new outing and Deathloop is the perfect example of that. This game is a not just a mighty stylish mix of artistic design, adaptive and riveting music, and schlocky grindhouse narrative flair. It’s also a culmination of the best of Arkane game design and nods to modern lessons outside of the studio as well.

First off, the narrative is an incredible journey. As Colt Vahn, former head of security of the Isle of Blackreef and traitor to a program that keeps the island repeating the same day over and over again, everyone wants to kill you. Your only solution is to fight back and kill each of the eight visionaries keeping the island’s perpetual time loop in check, including Julianna Blake, who takes a particular interest in toying with and killing Colt on every loop.

What this leads to is a game that gives the player an incredible amount of freedom and versatility in how they play. In Deathloop, you can go as loud or as quiet as you want as long as you get the job done and try not to die in the process. But more importantly, collecting information is key to your success, so even if you die, if you learned something, you’re moving forward towards that ultimate goal. And boy howdy does this game give you some fun tools to use as you please between a set of firearms and powers.

There are few games and even media outside of games that handle a time travel as narratively and mechanically well as Deathloop does. And with the addition of fantastic voice work as we listen to the banter between Jason E. Kelley as Colt, Ozioma Akagha as Julianna, and so many other great players here, we get an Arkane adventure that as equally entertaining as it is intriguing and thrilling at all turns.

Arkane has been improving upon themselves for years in the design of stealth action and adventure. They’ve clearly been studying up on other fine contenders too because Deathloop feels like a finely polished shooter as well. Put that delicious art style and music on top and we’ve got ourselves a dish that stood out in numerous aspects. Deathloop had a prominent place among a lot of our conversations for awards this year, and when it came down to a top-to-bottom experience, everything it had going for it was enough to get away with our Shacknews Game of the Year 2021. Congratulations to Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks!

Check out our Shacknews Game of the Year 2021 - Deathloop article to read more!

Deathloop is available on PlayStation 5 and Steam.

That's the Shacknews Top 10 Games of the Year 2021. Which games did you feel we left off or should have ranked higher? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comments section below. Congratulations to all of the games that made our list this year! 

Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

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