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DualShockers' Game of the Year Awards 2021

January 6, 2022

Another year of challenges lay in wait for us all but that didn’t stop the DualShocker’s staff from getting their hands on some of the best games of the year.

Thank goodness for video games. In challenging times and turmoil, as we have seen yet again in 2021, escaping into an exciting title can give players some much-needed respite from the outside world.

As always, we here at DualShockers have hunkered down and got stuck into some of the best titles from 2021 and while many of us naturally have a variety of likes and dislikes across the genre, we all came together to vote for our favourites.

With that being said, all of us at DualShockers are excited to officially reveal the winners of our Game of the Year Awards 2021, which saw a host of unique and exciting games nominated across all of our categories. 

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Horizon Forbidden West | New Threats Gameplay Trailer
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Below you’ll find the winners of our Game of the Year Awards 2021. We would like to thank all of the developers, studios, and publishers for their incredible titles released over the course of the year, and also thanks to our readers for their amazing support.

DualShockers’ Game of the Year Awards 2021 – Full Winners List

DualShockers’ Game of the Year:

  • Kena Bridge of Spirits (WINNER)
  • Metroid Dread
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart
  • Life is Strange:True Colors
  • Deathloop

You can check out our review right here

Most Anticipated Game:

  • Elden Ring (WINNER)
  • Gotham Knights
  • God of War: Ragnarok
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Dying Light 2
  • Zelda Breath of the Wild 2

Best Developer:

  • Nintendo (WINNER)
  • Capcom
  • Santa Monica Studio
  • Insomniac Games
  • Arkane
  • Ubisoft

Best Publisher:

  • Sony (WINNER)
  • Square Enix
  • Bethesda
  • Microsoft
  • EA
  • Annapurna Interactive

Best Game Direction:

  • Deathloop (WINNER)
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart
  • 12 Minutes
  • Life is Strange: True Colours
  • Kena Bridge of Spirits

You can check out our review right here

Best Indie Game:

  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits (WINNER)
  • Death’s Door
  • 12 Minutes
  • Eastward
  • Valheim
  • Unpacking

Best PS5 Game:

  • Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart (WINNER)
  • Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut
  • Returnal
  • Kena Bridge of Spirits
  • FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE
  • Far Cry 6

You can check out our review right here

Best PS4 Game:

  • Resident Evil Village (WINNER)
  • It Takes Two
  • Life is Strange: True Colours
  • Far Cry 6
  • Kena Bridge of Spirits
  • Psychonauts 2

You can check out our review right here

Best Xbox Series X|S Game:

  • Forza Horizon 5 (WINNER)
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Far Cry 6
  • It Takes Two
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Tales of Arise
  • Little Nightmares 2

Best Xbox Game:

  • Forza Horizon 5 (WINNER)
  • Little Nightmares 2
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Far Cry 6
  • Psychonauts 2

Best Nintendo Switch Game:

  • Metroid Dread (WINNER)
  • Pokemon Brilliant and Shining Pearl
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Super Mario Superstars
  • Eastward
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Best PC Game:

  • Valheim (WINNER)
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Age of Empires 4
  • Back 4 Blood
  • New World
  • Resident Evil Village

Best Mobile Game:

  • League of Legends: Wild Rift (WINNER)
  • Fantasian
  • Cozy Grove
  • The Witcher: Monster Slayer
  • PUBG: New State
  • Pokemon Unite

Best Multiplayer Game: 

  • It Takes Two (WINNER)
  • Back 4 Blood
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • New World
  • Knockout City

Best DLC or Expansion: 

  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode Intermission (WINNER)
  • Ghost of Tsushima: Iki Island Expansion
  • The Sims 4: Cottage Living
  • Super Mario: Bowser’s Fury
  • Assassins Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons Happy Home Paradise

Best Horror Game: 

  • Resident Evil Village (WINNER)
  • Little Nightmares 2
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
  • Returnal
  • The Medium
  • Back 4 Blood

Best Sports Game: 

  • Forza Horizon 5 (WINNER)
  • F1 2021
  • Football Manager 22
  • Riders Republic
  • Knockout City
  • NBA 2K22

Best RPG:

  • Tales of Arise (WINNER)
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Shin Megami Tensei V
  • NEO: The World Ends with You
  • Bravely Default 2
  • Baldur’s Gate 3

Best Action Game: 

  • Deathloop (WINNER)
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Far Cry 6
  • Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart
  • Kena Bridge of Spirits
  • Resident Evil Village

Best Simulation Game:

  • Jurassic World Evolution 2 (WINNER)
  • Story of Seasons Pioneers of Olive Town
  • The Sims 4: Cottage Living
  • Let’s Build a Zoo
  • Farm Manager 2021
  • Harvest Moon: One World

Best Gaming Character:

  • Alcina “Lady” Dimitrescu, Resident Evil Village (WINNER)
  • Colt Vahn, Deathloop
  • Julianna Blake, Deathloop
  • Alex Chen, Life is Strange True Colors
  • Antón Castillo, Far Cry 6
  • Rivet, Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart

Best Narrative:

  • Life is Strange: True Colors (WINNER)
  • Tales of Arise
  • 12 Minutes
  • Kena Bridge of Spirits
  • It Takes Two
  • Chernobylite

You can check out our review right here

Best Soundtrack:

  • Humankind (WINNER)
  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • Little Nightmares 2
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Monster Hunter Rise

Best Self-Care Game of 2021: 

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC (WINNER)
  • Unpacking
  • Sable
  • The Last Campfire

Biggest Shocker of 2021:

  • The disastrous launch of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition (WINNER)
  • Rainbow Six Caster Michael ‘KiXSTAr’ Stockley passes away
  • Genshin Impact x KFC Crossover in China

Congratulations to Kena: Bridge of Spirits for taking away the DualShockers’ Game of the Year award, it is very much deserved.

Even though Ember Lab weren’t on our radar prior to the announcement of Kena, the small studio that mostly produced animated commercials has, very obviously, taken over the gaming world with their incredible first video game.

It goes without saying that every single winner of each category on our list are worthy of their place and we are all so thankful for their amazing hard work through a very challenging period for developers. In the end, their diligence truly paid off and we can’t wait to see what they do next.

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Rachael Fiddis
@Irish_Soulful

Rachael (She/Her), who is Deputy Editor & Head of Stakeholder Relations, has been gaming for many years. Some of her favourite video games include The Witcher 3 and The Last of Us but also loves a good indie title. Gaming Culture is where her heart lies and spends many hours sieving through gaming fan art and cosplay displays. Other than gaming, Rachael is a book nerd and music lover.

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