Game Informer's Top Scoring Reviews Of 2021

2021 may have kicked off with a slower-than-usual start thanks to numerous big delays, but that doesn't mean we still haven't been treated to a fair share of quality releases. Whether you're looking to get the most of out of your PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S or still enjoying your PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, or PC, we've evaluated many of 2021's most noteworthy games to help guide you towards the best of the best. What highly anticipated games met our expectations? Which under-the-radar indies deserve your attention? You can find the answers to those questions right here. 

Below you'll find a list of the top scoring games of 2021, beginning with the top scorer and going down. Any game that scores between a 10 and an 8.5 makes the cut. Each entry also features a small blurb and a link to the full review. We'll update the list with eligible titles as the year progresses, so be sure to bookmark this page if you ever need recommendations on what to play next. Have fun!

9.5

Returnal

A deadly alien planet is a playground for your senses and curiosity. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5
Release Date:

9.25

It Takes Two

Hazelight's cooperative adventure is clever, different, and loads of fun. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Little Nightmares II

This impressive follow-up builds on its predecessor with emotional gut punches and unnerving visuals that stick with you. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date: February 11, 2021 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC), (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S)

Resident Evil Village

Village doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to horror, but a consistent rollout of new weapons and tools makes it hard to walk away from these terrors. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

By bundling one of the best 3D Mario games with an all-new adventure, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is a compelling package for all fans of the Nintendo mascot. Read review

Platforms: Switch
Release Date:

Tales of Arise

Flashy combat, dynamic characters, and a masterfully realized game world make Tales of Arise one of the best JRPG experiences of the year. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

With the launch of Like A Dragon on PS5, read about how this fantastic turn-based RPG captures the essence of what came before while setting out on its own journey. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: November 10, 2020 (Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), March 2, 2021 (PlayStation 5)

9

Death's Door

Death's Door marries fine-tuned hack n' slash action with a cool world ripe with secrets to unravel. The result is an entertaining, densely-packed trip to the other side. Read review

Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Deathloop

Deathloop is a bloody, chaotic mess. A mess you will fail at over and over until finally, you succeed. And that success – the result of hours of experimentation, iteration, and knowledge – makes for one of the best games of the year. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PC
Release Date:

Devotion

Devotion is terrifying experience backed by a compelling narrative that has a new lease on life after spending two years removed from sale. Horror fans would do well not to miss it a second time. Read review

Platforms: PC
Release Date:

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

The Final Cut opens this strange world up to a wave of new superstar detectives on console, and the additions provide a rewarding return trip for the rest of us.  Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Switch, Stadia, PC
Release Date: March 30, 2021 (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Stadia, PC), 2021 (Xbox Series X/S, Switch)

Dodgeball Academia

This goofy and energetic sports RPG with the soul of a Shonen anime passes with flying colors. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date:

Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection

This retro revival is challenging, fun, and worth playing twice. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date: February 25, 2021 (Switch), June 1, 2021 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Hitman 3

Every mission in the final arc is a statement, demonstrating a mastery of level design and a willingness to subvert expectations laid out five years ago. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC
Release Date:

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Even all these years later, Commander Shepard is a powerful force that lives up to their iconic status, and the trilogy is still captivating and worth your time. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Outriders

Outriders lived up to every single expectation I had and then some. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Psychonauts 2

Double Fine has crafted an artistic journey that impresses at almost every turn in unexpected ways. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Insomniac Games' latest sequel roars with excitement and shows us what PlayStation 5 is capable of. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5
Release Date:

Subnautica: Below Zero

This second dive into an alien sea delivers a continual sense of wonder with huge discoveries backed by a strong story. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date:

The Forgotten City

Extensive player choice fuels a mystery that pays off in big ways. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date: July 28, 2021 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), 2021 (Switch)

8.75

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Chicory might look like a coloring book, but, at heart, it’s a Zelda-inspired adventure full of humorous dialogue. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac
Release Date:

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Episode Intermission plays like a dream thanks to Yuffie's high-speed and nuanced combat skills, alluring optional activites, and visual/performance upgrades on PlayStation 5. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5
Release Date:

Griftlands

Klei's fun and challenging card mechanics are backed up by great characters and elaborate worldbuilding. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date:

Scarlet Nexus

Bandai Namco constructs a stylish and compelling fantasy that's all about the combat. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

The Nioh Collection

Experience Nioh and Nioh 2's remastered versions in a complete package on PlayStation 5. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5
Release Date:

Wildermyth

Story, style, and strategy come together in one whimsical package. Read review

Platforms: PC
Release Date:

8.5

Before Your Eyes

Before Your Eyes puts its unique blinking mechanic to great use, offering a novel and fun method of interacting with this memorable, bittersweet tale. Read review

Platforms: PC
Release Date:

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

A return to the unique brand of ‘90s platforming that put Crash Bandicoot on the map. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date: October 2, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), March 12, 2021 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)

Dreamscaper

Explore the depths of your dreams in this engaging roguelike. Read review

Platforms: Switch, PC
Release Date:

Eastward

A spectacular soundtrack and stunning sights await you on this vibrant journey. Read review

Platforms: Switch, PC
Release Date:

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights

Ender Lilies doesn't break the mold for Metroidvanias, but its engrossing gameplay and eye-catching presentation serves a great example of how to execute them well. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date: June 22, 2021 (Switch, PC), June 28, 2021 (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One), July 20, 2021 (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4)

F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch

This bionic bunny's adventure packs an impressive wallop. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: September 7, 2021 (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4), TBA (PC)

Hades

Supergiant's excellent roguelike is releasing on new-gen platforms, and if you haven't played it yet, it's the perfect time to take a trip to hell. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date: September 17, 2020 (Switch, PC), August 13, 2021 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Knockout City

With a fun core, approachable gameplay, and intense rubber-ball firefights, Knockout City lets everyone get in on the enjoyable dodgeball action. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date:

Life is Strange: True Colors

You’ll root for Alex Chen, and feel good about helping shape her path forward. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC
Release Date:

Loop Hero

A roguelite dungeon manager simulation that keeps you coming back for more, Loop Hero makes hours fly by. Read review

Platforms: Switch, PC
Release Date: March 4, 2021 (PC), 2021 (Switch)

MLB The Show 21

Sony's long-running baseball series impress on the diamond yet again, but doesn't deliver many new experiences. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date:

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin

Wings of Ruin is a great entry point to the Monster Hunter series while having plenty of monster fun for veterans to enjoy. Read review

Platforms: Switch, PC
Release Date:

New Pokémon Snap

New Pokémon Snap delivers all the thrills of the original game, but that throwback spirit isn't the only part of the experience that will give you a feeling of déjà vu. Read review

Platforms: Switch
Release Date:

Olija

Tight gameplay, fun exploration, and an alluring atmosphere turn a disastrous voyage into a rewarding expedition. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date:

Persona 5 Strikers

Even if the action of Strikers is very different, the spirit and heart of the mainline series carries into this enjoyable sequel. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC
Release Date:

Ratropolis

A satisfying romp as you restore glory to your rodent empire, defend against waves of flavorful foes, and recruit colorful companions. Read review

Platforms: PC
Release Date:

The Artful Escape

The Artful Escape is a gorgeous experience that makes you feel like a star, but challenge-seekers may need to look elsewhere. Read review

Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Release Date:

Young Souls

Young Souls may not shatter the mold for beat 'em ups, but its well-designed combat and impressive presentation make it a stand-out. Read review

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC
Release Date: August 17, 2021 (Stadia), 2021 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

 

For more of our top reviews from recent years, head to the links below.



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