Entertainment

From Resident Evil Village to Returnal – here are the 8 best video games of 2021 so far

Ed Nightingale June 26, 2021
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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. (Insomniac)

It’s June, somehow, which means we’ve already had half a year of video game excellence.

And despite the global pandemic and developers working under lockdown restrictions, 2021 has still brought us some excellent games. Ones that you really can’t afford to miss, even though some things are now starting to open up again.

Without further ado, here are Gaymeo reporters’ favourite games of the year so far.

Resident Evil Village

Lady Dimitrescu
Resident Evil Village. (Capcom)

Frankly, it’s Lady Dimitrescu’s world and we’re just living in it. The tall vampire lady has collectively stepped on us all and we can’t get enough. Thankfully, Resident Evil Village isn’t just a character meme but rather a celebration of the entire horror series, as full of camp as it is of scares.

What we said: But what a ride it is. It’s not always scary, but Resident Evil Village is among the series’ best games. It offers spectacle and thrill in equal measure, with a deliciously gothic twist.

Available on: PC, PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Has a game ever looked this good? No, frankly. Rift Apart looks phenomenal, from its particle effects to the detailed fur on its lead characters, the whole thing is serving up Pixel movie realness. Having said that, it plays well too, with fun (if familiar) gameplay and fantastic use of the DualSense controller.

What we said: Its rush of an opening, which recaps the series, sets the thrill ride pace and it barely lets up until the end. As a showcase for PlayStation 5 and the next generation of gaming, it’s a must-have.

Available on: PlayStation 5

Monster Hunter Rise

The Monster Hunter games are notoriously complex, but with Rise Capcom has simplified the game just enough to make it the most accessible and fun entry in the series. Hunting monsters and wearing their skins has never felt so good.

What we said: It’s Monster Hunter but now with a pet dog. If that doesn’t convince you to play Monster Hunter Rise on the Nintendo Switch, nothing will.

Available on: Nintendo Switch

Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise. (Capcom, Nintendo)

Returnal

Returnal takes the roguelike formula and turns everything up a notch – from the lush alien environments, to its dizzying shooting and sky high difficulty. It’s not a game for everyone, but when it clicks into place it’s hugely satisfying.

What we said: Returnal is many things. It’s a third-person PS5 shooter with the structure of a roguelike. It’s an exploration Metroidvania game, but an arcade shooter at heart. It’s a horror game with cinematic trappings. And it’s really, really hard.

Available on: PlayStation 5

Persona 5 Strikers

It’s nigh on impossible to improve on Persona 5, the beloved JRPG, but as a sequel Strikers is not only a clever extension of the story but its action combat puts a fun spin on Warriors gameplay. Any excuse to spend more time with Joker and co.

What we said: This is mostly the Persona you know and love, but with added pace and immediacy. It’s a welcome add-on adventure to one of the best games in recent years.

Available on: PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Chicory is a rare game that allows you to express your creativity as you play, by painting in the black and white world however you wish. You play as an adorable dog with a magical paintbrush in a Zelda-esque adventure that’s beautiful and touching.

What we said: Chicory is a celebration of creativity and self-expression that’s positively bursting with heart, even in its darkest moments.

Available on: PC, PlayStation

Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Chicory: A Colorful Tale. (Finji)

Bowser’s Fury

It might just be an add on to the Super Mario 3D World re-release, but Bowser’s Fury is an exciting experiment with the Mario formula. The colossal and furious Bowser adds a new layer to familiar platforming, and offers a look at where Mario could go in future.

What we said: Add in Bowser and the game puts a unique twist on familiar gameplay. Plus, with almost everything having cat ears in this themed setting, a Mario game has never looked so adorable.

Available on: Nintendo Switch

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

It’s a shame Bioware hasn’t updated the LGBT+ romances in its greatest trilogy, but the Legendary Edition still brings the sci-fi epic to current consoles with spit, polish and welcome tweaks. If you’re yet to experience Mass Effect, now you’ve got no excuse.

What we said: The Mass Effect Legendary Edition does just enough to revise the game into how you remember it before, with a handful of quality of life improvements.

Available on: PC, Xbox, PlayStation

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Related topics: gaming, Resident Evil

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