Take a look at our absolute favorite games of 2021 before you ring in the new year!
It came and went quicker than Sonic the Hedgehog careening through the Green Hill Zone, but now, 2021 is over. It was a tumultuous year, but we launched some awesome products, had tons of fun in the game industry, and played plenty of fantastic games. There were so many titles worthy of our attention in 2021 that it's almost hard to keep up. Honestly, there are still lots of them that we haven't played, too.
But out of the menagerie of titles we enjoyed over the year, only a handful emerges and stands tall above the others: superior, fantastic, exemplary of what games can be. The best games of 2021. If you're having trouble deciding what to play now that 2022 has kicked off proper, take a look at some of our picks and see what you think — and then get ready for a whole year of exciting new releases that includes titles like Elden Ring, Forspoken, and many more. It's a great time to be a gamer, and an even better time to start your own collection of SteelSeries products.
Best Game of 2021: Halo Infinite
There were many games we couldn't get enough of over the year. And in a perfect world, we'd make sure to award every single one of these games with a special honor. But in the end, we could choose only one of the best games of 2021: Halo Infinite. It stands tall above all the rest, a fantastic outing that we won't soon forget. It also takes top honor as our favorite FPS game of the year too, because it's just that good. Honestly, we can't get enough of it. It's everything you love about Halo and more, from a stacked campaign to free-to-play multiplayer that anyone can jump into, even without purchasing the game. It brings the familiar, tight gunplay, exciting story, and Master Chief back to the forefront, as well as a reason to jump back into the lore once more. Love hopping into a vehicle and gunning down Grunts? Infinite has that. Want to run around slaying Elites with an energy sword? This entry has that too. It's like Halo never left, and coming back to Infinite feels like returning home.
Best FPS Game of 2021: Call of Duty: Vanguard
Another year, another Call of Duty may be our annual mantra, but these shooters are consistently great. Vanguard is no different. This World War II shooter from Sledgehammer Games offers an inventive alternate history timeline with a campaign that spans the globe and focuses on the Pacific theater. It's a non-stop action thriller with an equally exciting multiplayer component. With its release, the free-to-play Warzone transformed into a completely different map, with a variety of ways for players to interact with the battleground. It is, as always, a blockbuster master class in first-person shooter creation. We can't wait to see the next installment.
Best Strategy Game of 2021: Loop Hero
Loop Hero is one of those games that totally changes up everything you think you know about the genre. In this case, it doesn't resemble a strategy game from the outside, but it certainly ticks all the boxes. It's content to make its own way, however, introducing players to a world where an evil lich has destroyed everything and there's a world in dire need of being rebuilt. It's your job to help a small survivor do just that by using cards that change the hero's actions instead of controlling him directly. In addition to building the world, you've got to keep an eye out for monsters and even other survivors who wish to assist. It all takes place in randomly-generated paths, and creates gameplay loops (hence the name) that you won't want to stop playing through again and again.
Best RPG of 2021: Shin Megami Tensei V
The fifth entry in the core Shin Megami Tensei series is a fantastic outing, even if you've never played a single game before it. There's not only a wealth of things to do from the start of the game until the end, but it's such a stylish, gripping adventure that'll keep you playing. It follows a Tokyo student who suddenly wakes up to find civilization ended and demons ruling the post-apocalyptic cityscape. The only way to survive and make a way forward is to, well, become something of a demon — and that kicks things off. This RPG has it all: smart party creation, snappy writing, an unforgettable scenario, and much more. Even if it's your first brush with the Shin Megami Tensei series, it's well worth jumping into headfirst.
Best Racing Game of 2021: Forza Horizon 5
Hands-down the best racer of the year, Forza Horizon 5 speeds past the rest to make a memorable open-world adventure that anyone can enjoy. Forza Horizon 5 is a triumph in terms of sheer number of activities to complete, cars to unlock, and ways to enjoy the game and its massive open world with friends and even strangers. Its customization options are unmatched as well, with plenty of wrap options and other cool ways to take your favorite car and make it your own. Whether you're more into import cars and souping them up or you want to try out the most luxurious names in racing history, it's all there for you in Forza Horizon 5 — as is an awesome, gorgeous landscape to tear up alone or with friends.
Best Family Game of 2021: Mario Party Superstars
All the "stars" of Mario Party games past gathered in Mario Party Superstars for a megamix of some of the best boards and minigames the series has ever had to offer. It comes with five remade boards from throughout some of the biggest games in Mario Party history, with 100 minigames taken from entries in the past to make a fun new mix that younger and older players can enjoy together. The board game aspects are fun enough to play on their own, but they're made even more enjoyable with their minigames and the fact that you can actually play online with others — something new for the series. If you've been jonesing for new Mario Party excitement, this is the game you need to snag as soon as possible to make every game night with the family (or just your friends) a great one.
What were your favorite games of 2021? Join the official SteelSeries Discord and chat it up with like-minded gamers!