Your ACTUAL "Games of the Year"

I voted in the Quarterlies, as any stout and loyal Quartermaster must do, but I have to say I felt a little ambivalent about my picks this year. They’re all good games, but they’re not actually the games that captured my attention most strongly this year. So, in that spirit, these are the top three games I played this year that actually were hard to stop playing at times:

  1. Noita (2020)

So annoyed I missed voting for this one last year, but I didn’t pick it up and start playing until this year. What an absolute joy (and absolute frustration!) this game is, just totally chock full of secrets and potential and mystery. I have yet to make it to the end. It’s hard! But I keep trying. The game includes the option of making a gif out of the moments of your death, and I have a fully updated imgur album of most of mine (I didn’t realize it existed until maybe my 25th run). Come see the violence inherent in the system!

  1. Total War: Warhammer 2 (2017)

Speaking of the violence inherent in the system, I’m way behind the curve on this one (I didn’t even play the first on), but I’ve got I think 60 hours and counting in this one since I picked it up last fall. I started and just…couldn’t stop. I am currently running a “Four Beastmen of the Apocalypse” campaign as Malagor where I plan to recruit the other legendary lords and send them all in a different direction, with the ultimate goal of wiping out everyone else. Yes, everyone.

  1. Monolith: Relics of the Past (2019)

This one was the real dark horse. I’d known about Noita and, of course, Total Warhammer, but this one I didn’t hear about at all until four years after the base game and two years after the expansion, and I think someone on here mentioned it and I picked it up and my goodness what a wonderful little game. You play a spaceship, but it’s really a room-based roguelite in the vein of Isaac and Gungeon, and it does such a very good job of masquerading as a NES game that would have occupied me for hours and hours on end as a kid, and it’s a beautiful little thing. I plan to keep playing this one for quite a long time to come, too, just like the others.

All three of these kind of blew my Quarterlies picks out of the water in terms of raw obsession. So what non-2021 games occupied you in 2021?

The game I most enjoyed playing this year was AI War 2. It’s the one I far and away spent the most time playing, the most time thinking about and had the most fun playing.

Well if we are saying which games did I play a lot this year:

Troubleshooter Abandoned Children
This was not a popular game on QT3 but I enjoyed my time with the game.

Infinitode 2
I like TD games. This has a lot of grind but I keep playing it a bit each day.

Phoenix Point
I liked the game but did cheat adding extra money and made my squad the way I wanted. I suppose it let me play toy soldiers.

Legend of Heroes Trails Cold Steel 1

Dungeon Warfare 2
Played it for the third time

Played it with the Krastorio 2 Mod. I always go back to this game. It fulfills that wanting of building a system.

Call of Duty Black Ops
I played a lot with my adult kids. I usually never play these games as I am terrible at them but I really liked killing the zombies. This game surprised me but being able to play with my 4 kids was a blast. We live all over the country and it was nice that they kept asking me to play (even though they had to take turns reviving me lol).

Trying to remember what I played is kind of a game. I am sure I missed something

I spent about 20 hours with this one and really enjoyed it. But I started to get a grindy feel about it and suspected the length would wear out it’s welcome long before I got to the end.

Yeah I stopped playing it to but it is still on my hard drive. I may go back to it one day.

I forgot about Urturk.

I enjoyed that game but forgot to put it on this years vote.

Great idea for a thread!

  1. Final Fantasy XIV probably took up more of my 2021 than anything else. Played it for over 100 hours over the span of a few months, which is a lot for me.

  2. Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor Martyr is a close runner-up. After a little time off I’ve dived back into the current season hard, and now play at least one mission nearly every day.

  3. Bloody Rally Show was probably the one game I consistently played throughout the year, especially once it arrived on the Switch. I’m on a break from it now, but I’ll definitely get back to it, and for a while I was playing it every day.

And talking about it every day, and posting about it on Facebook every day, and pimping it every day…

I tease. It’s a really clever game and I enjoyed the little free teaser they gave. I THINK I bought it, but it’s just not really my kinda game, so I didn’t give it a lot of time, but I was glad you brought it to my attention!

I’ll think on my Games of the Year and come back.

Unpacking is definitely my actual game of the year.

But the best game I played that I couldn’t vote for was Octopath Traveler. Ho, man, this was an RPG made for me. Not terribly hard. Clever, but not overly complicated combat system. A well structured world and story progression. One of the most beautiful games ever made, too.

I think my actual top 2 games of the year are unchanged, but I’d have found a place each for both Audica and Pistol Whip, both VR titles that I still think about and play regularly.

I am easily a year behind if not more. All games. All platforms. And it will only get worse.

I played 0 games released in 2021.

Well fortunately for you this thread is about exactly that! The idea is that the games that really occupied you for the year were not necessarily released in that year, so your Quarterlies picks don’t always reflect what you actually spent time and energy on.

My votes matched my actual time spent: Gloomhaven, Caster of Magic for Windows, and Old World absorbed a ridiculously high portion of my 2021 time, with Trials of Fire, Humankind, Spellcaster University, and Spire of Sorcery getting some time early in the year.

Not sure where they would slot in to my GOTY list but wanted to give a shout out to:

Deep Rock Galactic: My group started out on Game Pass and ended up picking up the Steam version because we were enjoying it so much and wanted the most recent updates. The best of the class-based co-op shooters for us last year; we bounced pretty hard off Back 4 Blood whereas the fairly short mission length and clear, minimally grindy upgrade (sidegrade, really) paths in DRG kept us coming back. Rock and Stone!

DJMax Respect V: I spent some time getting back into the rhythm game genre this year with one button entries like Rhythm Doctor and A Dance of Fire and Ice before finally pulling the trigger on this one that had been sitting on my wishlist for a while… and wish I’d done it sooner. Large song catalog, options for 4-8 button input modes and overall a very polished experience.

Hunt: Showdown, The Outer Wilds, Crimzon Clover (both versions), Gunfire Reborn, Nioh 2.

2021 felt like a year of enjoying the classics for me. Quake Enhanced. Diablo II. Skyrim. I even played some Bioshock.

Part of that is the difficulty in finding GPU cards, so I stuck to older titles I knew my PC can handle. I recently managed to snag a 3070ti, so I plan to play Cyberpunk and Control this year. I finally get to see what all this ray-tracing hype is all about. :)

This should be an annual thing also!!! Perfect for me anyway, because I rarely play very recent games.

My list:

  • Fallout 4 (2015)
    This is a recent buy, but I just cannot stop playing it. 68 hours and counting, and I’m really enjoying it.
  • Titan Quest Anniversary Edition (2016)
    Missed this one at release, started playing it around the time the Diablo 2 remake came out and still haven’t bought Diablo 2 as a result!
  • Total Warhammer 2 (2017)
    Not even close to finishing an actual campaign, but I keep returning to it.
  • Mass Effect Legendary Edition (2021).
    Number one on the ‘official’ list, and with good reason: replaying that was simply awesome
  • Pillars of Eternity-Deadfire (2018)
    Last played early 2021, but with about 120 hours played, it’s a game that has to be on this list.

One that should have been on the list is The Last of Us 2. I started it, immediately got sucked into it, but somehow haven’t played it beyond the intro. This is probably because I feel I have to be ‘in the mood’ for it (it’s not a ‘light’ game, so to speak), so most likely it will be on my list next year!

You should vote for Quake in the quarterlies. The Remaster came out in August 2021, and I think you’ll agree with me that it’s better than all the retro shooters I’ve tried so far that have come out recently. Right now I’m going to be one of the only Qt3 members to vote for it because apparently Qt3 doesn’t like Quake remaster.

Do you need/recommend any kind of fancy hardware for this one? I’ve been tempted to try these kinds of rhythm games, but I’m kind of turned off by the idea of doing them with a keyboard.

A keyboard is perfectly fine, though would probably recommend a mechanical and definitely something with n-key rollover so you don’t drop inputs. The game originally came out on PS4 and can be played with a controller (haven’t tried). The biggest issue playing with keyboard is developing the muscle memory and finding a good set of keys to use, imo.

I’m still very much a beginner so take this all with a grain of salt however have seen high level players who use keyboard controls. And there is fancy hardware out there if you decide to go that route down the road. Most/all of it is designed for other rhythm games (Beatmania would probably be the most compatible controller for high button modes and a Sound Voltex controller would be fine if you’ll be sticking with 4 button) so it’d be best if you decide to get into a few other games as well :)