Being secluded, for obvious reasons, over the past year has provided us here at Tech Square ample oppurtunity to build closer relationships with our video game consoles than we ever could have imagined!
This year we’ve added hundreds of new games to our respective repertoires and after a couple of, frankly regrettable, shouting contests, we’ve agreed upon our list of the 8 best!
There is no need to even rank these. Every gamer is so different, you probably wouldn’t agree. But we know that both your current favorite game this year, AND your next favorite game this year, are both on this list.
The rest of the year will see some pretty exciting releases, and we can’t wait to talk again around the holidays, but for now, here’s our list of the best console games in 2021.
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For fans of Classic RPG games, like the Final Fantasy Series, this Square-Enix/Nintendo collaboration was among the most highly anticipated and ultimately well-received console games of the past decade!
Extremely polished and entirely enthralling, this year’s installment to the highly popular series was released in February and immediately captured the hearts of fans, and the accolades of critics.
Developed by Claytechworks, Bravely Default II follows different characters, and a different story from 2012’s original Bravely Default, and 2015’s direct sequel Bravely Second: End Layer, (both Nintendo 3Ds.) But it features the exact same highly addictive turn-based gameplay fans of the genre are clearly showing up for.
Housemarque developed this intense, challenging third-person shooter, published exclusively by Sony. Returnal’s critic scores have been, essentially, mixed-to-good since the shooter’s release, in April. But for more patient players who enjoy extremely difficult games, this PS5 exclusive is more than enough to keep you button mashing.
Part Psych-Horror game, Returnal’s players will follow Selene, as she explores the cosmos and gets herself caught in a time loop.
Oh, and by the way; when you die, you start over from the beginning.
It’s like that. The score, composed by Bobby Krlic, is also fantastic.
HITMAN 3 (All platforms)
Continue Agent 47’s journey in the third installment of the uber-populer, 3rd person stealth assassin franchise.
Those who own Hitman and/or Hitman 2, can also upload maps and their own progress, as well. And just like previous installments, Hitman 3 is often hilarious, bordering on slapstick.
Right where we left off, following the events of Hitman 2, Agent 47 and his handler Diana, have abandoned the ICA and joined a mercenary to destroy evil Providence.
Then things get more complicated and Hitman 3 evolves into a skeptical-mystery and stealth-assassination combo of epic proportions!
Genesis Noir (XBox Series X/S, Switch)
Part murder mystery, part harrowing love story, the dreamy, Genesis Noir follows main character, No Man, as he scours the universe for his beloved.
Developed by Feral Cat Den, and released in March, this game feels like a pulp comic from the forties. It’s quite a cerebral game, but despite the darker aesthetic, Genesis Noir never deviates from its light-hearted, overall playful tone.
Capcom’s extremely popular action RPG series continues, for Nintendo Switch players, with Monster Hunter Rise. Released in March, this installment has excellent ratings from critics and players.
If you were a fan of Monster Hunter World (2018,) Rise will feel completely comfortable to you. The exact same map integration is used and that is frankly, great news.
As usual, your role is hunter. You’re job? You guessed it: killing monsters, and acquiring loot, trophies, and spoils. Monster Hunter Rise is an instant classic for the Switch, in 2021.
Resident Evil Village (XBox Series X/S, PS5)
Capcom’s direct sequel to 2017’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, was released in May, for console players and in most ways surpassed its predecessor. Resident Evil Village is quite a bit more action-oriented than Biohazard and that ultimately makes for a much more engaging playing experience.
There is a multiplayer mode, and it’s fine, but the story mode is excellent. You’re following Ethan Winters, as he searches for his kidnapped daughter and finds himself in a village infested with mutants.
Hood: Outlaws & Legends (XBox Series X/S, PS5)
It’s you, and your crew, against the State in this multiplayer, 3rd person action game from developer Sumo Newcastle. Released in May, Hood: Outlaws & Legends has recieved mixed reviews. We love it, and think it will convert a lot more fans over time, once more players find it.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy (Nintendo Switch, PS5)
Of the 22 main entries in the acclaimed RPG series, this is the first to feature the same protagonist as its predecessor.
Originally released in December 2020, in Japan, Ryza 2 LLSF was released with English subtitles in January and both hardcore fans of the property and new players alike have been delighted by its unique combination of turn-based and real-time combat.