- Mass Effect Legendary Edition
I played Mass Effect 1, and I liked it, but I never came close to finishing it thanks, in part, to trying to drive that stupid vehicle on planet’s surfaces. That part was still a bit frustrating, but OMG most everything else more than made up for it. I still wish it were more RPG-y less shooter-y, but it captured my interest like nothing else this year. It also caused me to tear up. I loved it.
Tales of Arise
I never would have played this if not for GamePass. Thanks, GamePass. A fun little ARPG. Too short, but engaging.
- The Artful Escape
I am not a platformer, even a baby one. I don’t know why. I wish I were. But I’m not. I posted in the thread my frustration in places, but, although I rage quit, I never rage-uninstalled, and I returned and finished it! This gets fourth place for the joy of its aesthetics and the exuberance of its world-building (or vice versa).
- Scarlet Nexus
The demo almost caused me not to place this. Again, GamePass caused me to play it. I like the game a lot more than the demo! I’m about 13 hours in, and I played most of that time on cloud gaming too, so for me, it’s also proof of concept that works (for me, here, with no data caps).
(Honestly, depending on the day 2-5, especially 3-5, could be in any order for me.)
And the rest:
I honestly almost went to the “ports are allowed” justification for the Xbox version of Hades. I think I voted for the Switch version last year as my 5th-place game. I remember, in any event, thinking: I know this is a great game, but it just isn’t completely clicking for me. Yeah, it clicked this summer on Xbox for me. It would be my #2–and a strong number 2–if I had never played it on Switch.
I really liked Last Stop despite some story problems. That could easily have snuck on my list.
Like many others here, I also liked Unpacking, and it, too, could have made it.
Forza Horizon 5 is fun, but I haven’t connected with it like I did 4 or, especially 3. 3 remains the high point in the series for me, and 5 doesn’t really improve on that formula enough for me in a year that was full of games I really enjoyed.
A special award for game that most frustrated me, but I kept playing: MLB The Show 21.
Finally, this may be the year that causes me to question what my favorite genre really is. I love strategy games, especially turn-based strategy games, but I guess my love peaked quite a while ago. So far I have bounced off of both Old World and Humankind. I hope that changes in 2022.