Yawn, game critics and gamers never learn. How many times do GOTY winners simply not stand the test of time and how many games that were not awarded heavily dominate the gaming landscape? For example, in 2014, how does Dragon Age Inquisition, a game now emblematic of Bioware's fall, win over Mario Kart 8, which became a classic and is one of the best selling games today? And how did critics miss Minecraft in 2011? The signs of its longevity were there.
Its actually pretty easy to find out which games stand the test of time. They are either, the best or most unique game in the series if it is a series game. Too many games on this list are series games that really don't meet this. Is RE Village the classic that 2 or 4 were? Is Metroid Dread on the same level or as important as Super Metroid or Metroid Prime? Is Halo Infinite not just another Halo game in the long run? Does Rift Apart truly break away from other Ratchet and Clank games? Even Forza 5, is it not just another Forza game in the long run? The true answer is no. Really the only series games that fit this criteria this year are Tales of Arise and Life is Strange True Colors.
Or you have a unique game in any aspect that is universally praised and could be important for gaming. Here is where both Deathloop and Returnal have problems. They are simply too divisive. However, It Takes Two, which may be the overall winner this year, may actually stand the test of time and really be a classic. The Forgotten City also will stand the test of time and has so already when it was a mod. I think Inscryption and Wildermyth have a chance as well.
Another sign is a game that simply takes off, like Valheim did this year, or how what is looking like the actually GOTY last year did, which is Animal Crossing New Horizons.
I think THE GAME that will overall win my Test of Time award for 2021 is Psychonauts 2. I have already seen signs that it will be talked about for years, like how the first game was. It really is just like the first game, underappreciated at its launch year but is now seen as a classic. The new game not only is great in its own right, but it seems to make the original even better. Yet here are game reviewers, too clueless to get that is has every ingredient to stand the test of time, ignorant of his high acclaim rate by gamers, and really do not get why their choices may not hold up. And Psychonauts 2 simply does not have the sales of the player base to win Gamer's Choice Awards. Mark my words, we will still be talking about this game in 5 years as its own thing and not as a comparison.