If you’re a frequent and longtime reader of GameCritics, you may have noticed that my output has dried up significantly over the past year. Take a look outside and I don’t think you can blame me. While the hope for a better tomorrow was what kept me running (albeit mostly on fumes) in 2020, that better tomorrow never came, leading to a 2021 in which energy-sapping depression seeped into every aspect of my day-to-day life, right down to my gaming habits. Up became down, hot became cold, and I got way into an MMO for the first time in my life while stuff that would have grabbed me under normal circumstances failed to gain any traction.
2020 was much easier to break down in terms of games that were my favorite to play, and the number one was such a standout. 2021 was a very different year. While a lot of players complained about a lack of meaningful triple-A titles early on, I found myself overwhelmed by exceptional smaller games — I really struggled to pick which I liked the most.
The title of this article says it all, but I would like to give credit where credit is due and say that this piece was ultimately inspired by @CoreyMotley and @StephenTotilo. Custom art by @Alex_Connolly!