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Metroid Dread

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2021 is the first full year for next-gen consoles, but was it a good year for video games? So far, yeah, it’s been pretty solid.

While 2021 still has a couple of months to go, it is quickly wrapping up, and so far, it’s been a strong year for gaming. Gamers who have been fortunate enough to get their hands on either a PS5, Xbox Series S|X, or a Nintendo Switch OLED are currently enjoying some great video games.

With titles like Call of Duty: Vanguard, Battlefield 2042, Guardians of the Galaxy, and, of course, the highly-anticipated Halo: Infinite still in the pipeline, we decided to focus on the games that are currently getting gamers to pick up the sticks daily. Featured are some beloved video games franchises that always deliver as well as some notable newcomers.

So hit the power button and dive into our favorite games of 2021, so far, in the gallery below.

Photo: Nintendo / Metroid Dread

1. ‘NBA 2K22’

NBA 2K, the annual basketball video game franchise has fallen off a bit, but its latest entry, NBA 2K22, shows the franchise returning to championship form thanks to some much-needed gameplay improvements. Thanks to next-gen technology, NBA 2K22 feels and plays even better, and with The City, competing against friends while leveling up your MyPlayer is more fun than ever. 

2. ‘Far Cry 6’

The latest installment in Ubisoft’s Far Cry video game franchise, Far Cry 6, is here, and it’s a liberating good time that features the over-the-top action fans have come to know and love. With fantastic gameplay mechanics, new gameplay features, and an engaging story featuring one of the best video game villains ever played by the exceptional Giancarlo Esposito, Far Cry 6 is definitely one of the best games of 2021. 

3. ‘Metroid Dread’

Nintendo fans have long been waiting for a new adventure featuring the legendary bounty hunter Samus Aran and delivered with Metroid Dread. The latest installment in the iconic Metroid video game franchise brings back everything fans loved about the game series with a fresh take that is currently one of the reasons Nintendo Switch OLED models are so hard to find. 

4. ‘Returnal’

2021 saw “roguelike” games take center stage. Housemarque, now officially part of PlayStation Studios, came through and shook the table with Returnal. It’s a gripping sci-fi/action-adventure game that is both fun and painstakingly challenging that will have you screaming at your televisions because you will die A LOT.  But don’t let that deter you from picking this game up, especially if you appreciate a good challenge. We promise, once you do complete missions, it’s enriching. 

5. ‘Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart’

Insomniac Games is batting 1.000 and is the best studio PlayStation owns right now, thanks to games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. The platform adventure sees the return of everyone’s favorite Lombax and his robot companion that takes them on a new adventure that not only spans the universe but crosses dimensions. Rift Apart also introduces a new playable character, a female Lombax named Rivet, quickly becoming a fan favorite. 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart masterfully showcases the true power of the PS5, and many believe it is a strong candidate for Game of the Year honors. We respectfully agree. 

6. ‘Kena: Bridge of Spirtis’

If you’re like us and enjoyed playing games like the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, or Twighlight Princess, then Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the perfect game for you. Developed by Ember Lab, a Black-owned gaming studio, the game is one of those pleasant surprises even though it’s not your typical AAA title. It features a perfect blend of action, adventure, and puzzle-solving and an engaging story that will surely keep you captivated during your 9 hours of play. 

Gamers should definitely pick this game up for either their PS5, PS4, or PC.

7. ‘Deathloop’

Deathloop is another “roguelike” game, but this one is a riveting first-person shooter adventure that has you constantly reliving the day to help you take out targets to stop the continuous loop you’re character is stuck in. On top of that, a rival assassin is making that mission hard by hunting you and taking you out, causing you to start that day all over again. 

8. ‘Resident Evil: Village’

Resident Evil: Village picks right up after the events of Resident Evil VII: Biohazard utilizing the first-person style of play that to deliver the scares that fans of the franchise have become used to. In Resident Evil: Village players once again take control of Ethan Winters who must take on a new set of supernatural baddies to save his wife and child who were kidnapped and taken to a mysterious village that is controlled by an insanely tall vampire-like woman and her offspring who have a taste for blood.