The first full year of a new platform cycle is always exciting. Developers have new technologies to leverage in game releases, and players begin to glimpse the potential of new hardware. This particular new generation of gaming has had an unusual start. The global pandemic meant significant changes to development pipelines, causing production setbacks and global shipping delays. This resulted in games arriving later and new hardware that was difficult to find – even for the most diligent gaming enthusiasts. Despite those challenges, 2021 came together as an excellent year for video games, filled with remarkable new experiences for players to enjoy. We’ve selected and ranked our picks for the 10 best releases of the year, detailing exactly why these particular games are must-plays.