Psychonauts, empires, disguised killers and a game for couples: Our favorite games of 2021

Yes, 2021 could have been an even more spectacular gaming year if the pandemic hadn’t forced a number of games into the next year due to a lack of work resources and disrupted development processes. Nevertheless, the titles that were released in 2021 had a lot to offer and were able to thrill gaming fans of all kinds. We present our favorite games of the year.

Hitman 3 kicked things off right in January: As Agent 47, the killer with a penchant for adventurous disguises, we travel around the world and come up with ever new nasty methods in many varied episodes to get rid of our victims in the most creative way possible: perhaps using a wine press or a poisoned cake? There are no limits to the imagination.

In March, our next highlight followed for all those who wanted to play with their better half again: It Takes Two combines cuddly Pixar-style graphics with a story about a constantly fighting couple who finally have to (and will) get their act together in an adventure that could hardly combine more different gameplay elements. So many gameplay ideas in just one title is a rarity. A game that can only be played in co-op and takes teamwork to the next level.

Can anyone still remember Psychonauts? In 2005, a small, bizarre adventure game about a squad of psychics was released: Agents who could jump into the psyche of others for all sorts of mental adventures. The look was reminiscent of Tim Burton’s films and the humor was unique. In August, after 16 years, fans of the then cult title from the forge of Tim Schafer (Monkey Island, Brütal Legend) could finally get back into the heads of several characters with Psychonauts 2 and experience a real trip. In principle, everything has remained the same, only bigger, better and more colorful.Speaking of a time gap of 16 years, Age of Empires 4 also comes in after the exact same amount of years after the third game of this successful strategy game series. Part four brings back all the elements that fans love, taking full advantage of the newly acquired power of modern PCs to thrill all would-be generals and history nerds. Historical background information without end, an elegant narrator that accompanies the single-player campaign and new civilizations bring so much fun, even in multiplayer, that we’ll surely need 16 years before boredom sets in.