Best PC Games Of 2021 According To Metacritic
PC gamers had plenty of reasons to smile this year thanks to a selection of incredible games.
The year may have been dominated by the new arrival of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles this year, but PC gaming was stronger than ever in 2021. The versatile platform was home to hundreds of indie games and AAA blockbuster titles, but which of them were the best? Over on GameSpot's sister site Metacritic, we've gone through the critical consensus to find the best of the best, the 10 PC games that critics couldn't get enough. The result is a list of games spread across a wide variety of genres. They all have one thing in common, at least: They offered some of the best digital fun you could have in 2021.
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights
Take some inspiration from Hollow Knight and Dark Souls and mix it up with plenty of Metroidvania design influences, and you've got a delicious 2D action-RPG dish that'll keep you satisfied for hours on end. Even better, Ender Lilies adds a few modern ideas to a well-worn formula of exploration and intense combat, tackling some very mature themes along the way and dropping you right into the middle of some of the best boss fights possible within this genre.
Groundhog Day with guns, time-manipulating powers, and enough swearing to make a sailor blush sounds like a recipe for a good time, and in Deathloop, those ingredients were used to cook up one of the best games of 2021. Deathloop leans hard into its groovy time-looping formula, but the beauty of the game is in how every run rewards you with new knowledge, skills, and insight into finally breaking free of the cycle of violence that has engulfed the island of Blackreef.
It's quite possibly developer Arkane's best work yet, an endless sandbox of creativity, charisma, and carnage that oozes style and confidence.
Metascore: 86 | Read our Deathloop review.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
If you were looking for a remaster of a classic series that provided the best possible value for money, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition would fit that bill perfectly. Proving that there's still plenty of magic in BioWare's original sci-fi trilogy. With the first game given a healthy injection of upgrades that allowed it to be more in sync with its two chart-topping sequels, the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect is almost all the DLC of the entire Shepard saga--minus Mass Effect 3's fantastic multiplayer and a few other pieces of content here and there--top-notch visuals, and numerous tweaks under the hood to create the definitive version of this series.
Metascore: 86 | Read our Mass Effect: Legendary Edition review.
Wildermyth hits several sweet spots of video game design. Its art direction makes it look like a vibrant storybook come to life, its gameplay takes turn-based tactical RPG elements and combines them with a few neat twists on the genre, and it has an easily-digestible nature that makes it perfect for marathon gameplay sessions or quick lunchtime breaks. Few video games manage to strike a balance between catering to hardcore players of a specific genre and offering something new in a particular genre department, but Wildermyth rises up to the challenge and provides a bold experience in the process.
All good things come to an end, and in the case of Agent 47, Hitman 3 is a perfect finale to several years of touring the globe and ensuring that some overdue justice was dealt to people who considered themselves to be untouchable. Building on the previous two games, Hitman 3 is pure polish and class, a collection of sandboxes that you can spend dozens of hours inside of and revel in the karmic carnage that you can unleash on your unsuspecting marks.
Developer IO Interactive has kept the game running with additional content, Elusive Targets, and even VR support that'll soon be coming to PC. The future looks bright with a second year of content planned, as Hitman 3 continues to be an elegant and deadly trip around the world of assassination.
Metascore: 87 | Read our Hitman 3 review.
It Takes Two
In a year that saw no shortage of wild and imaginative games released, It Takes Two is one of the highlights of 2021 that stands out from the pack. A quirky adventure starring a bickering couple whose relationship is on the rocks, It Takes Two uses that foundation to tell a story about love, loss, and turmoil. It's all wrapped up in a package of incredibly clever co-op puzzles and platforms, it has an art direction that animation powerhouses should be taking note of, and it ends on a satisfying note.
Metascore: 88 | Read our It Takes Two review.
There's a lot that Psychonauts 2 gets right with its fun gameplay, well-written characters, and superb voice-acting, but it's the art direction where this game really shines and creates an experience that'll leave its mark on you. Combining all of these elements into a solid adventure that knows exactly what kind of game it wants to be, Psychonauts 2 is developer Double Fine at its very best, a rip-roaring tale through cerebral levels and imaginative locations that'll have you battling inner demons and learning a few lessons along the way.
Metascore: 89 | Read our Psychonauts 2 review.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale
In a year that featured genre-defining action, technical showcases for new consoles, and a lessons on how to make old games feel fresh again, Chicory: A Colorful Tale still stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of 2021. A collection of fun puzzles, cathartic painting, and colorful characters, Chicory core story is also an incredibly relatable one that plays out across several hours. A reminder that almost every person battles their own inner demons and deals with self-doubt constantly, Chicory expertly mixes humor with emotional cliffhangers, delivering a masterpiece of self-reflection and puzzles in a world that's as visually distinctive as you want to make it.
Metascore: 90 | Read our Chicory: A Colorful Tale review.
Forza Horizon 5
The latest chapter in the Forza Horizon series is nothing short of pure V8 bliss. Firing on all cylinders, Forza Horizon 5 is a celebration of car culture and a gorgeous tour of Mexico with dozens of fun distractions. More than just a collection of beautifully-rendered cars and plenty of variety in the racing department, Forza Horizon 5 puts a more personal touch on the entire experience that'll make you appreciate every car you add to your collection. Featuring a gorgeous showcase of graphical horsepower and some of the tightest racing mechanics yet under its hood, Forza Horizon 5 is open-world racing at its finest.
Metascore: 91 | Read our Forza Horizon 5 review.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Two years after it originally came out, Disco Elysium was back with a bang in 2021. Already a stellar game about murder and role-playing as a detective who had to grapple with all manner of personal failings, the Final Cut of Disco Elysium is just the cherry on top of a hard-hitting detective story. A rich cast of voice-actors breathe new life into the tale, the gameplay benefits from several covert and overt tweaks, new content extends the adventure, and a few quality-of-life upgrades makes it all flow better than ever before.
With a distinctive art style, mind-bending mysteries, and some of the best banter in video games, it doesn't get much better than Disco Elysium.
Metascore: 91 | Read our Disco Elysium: The Final Cut review.