Welcome to Fextralife’s 2021 Game of the Year awards! The Fexy Awards feature our favorite games of the last 12 months, but with a different twist than most sites: we focus on the games our community loves! These are the winners of this year’s Fexy Awards.
2021 Fexy Awards – The Best Games of 2021
Best Storytelling: Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is one of the biggest RPGs we’ve played in years. Not only is the Combat complex and deep, but the Story itself is also monumental, thereby taking our Best Storytelling Award! The game focuses on your battles against demons who have invaded the world of Golarion together with the tough choices you have to make along the way. You either give in to the temptation, or rise to be a hero.
Every decision you make is important because they heavily sway the direction of your playthrough in terms of the Mythic Abilities you gain. You’ll also bear witness to how the narrative unfolds, which could lead to more bloodshed depending on your actions. What makes these adventures all the more engaging is the Companions you’ll meet and recruit along the way because of their motivations and different personalities. Read our Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Review for more details.
Best Gameplay: Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise takes our Best Gameplay Award because of the new and seamless mechanics it has introduced in the Monster Hunter franchise. With significant additions to the gameplay such as the Wirebug and Palamutes, it has created something fresh and accessible for both veterans and newcomers alike.
For those who enjoy multiplayer mode, there are Rampage Quests to skillfully battle multiple monsters in an arena while supplying you with sufficient artillery and upgrade tickets in the process. Furthermore, Monster Hunter Rise continues to feature a variety of fascinating Monsters and boss encounters, which are familiar yet unique in terms of the Combat experiences they provide.
Even after more than 90 hours of playtime, the game’s mechanics remain as exciting and satisfying as ever, so you definitely won’t want to ignore this title especially when it comes out on PC next year! Read our Monster Hunter Rise Review for more details.
Best Visual & Audio: Resident Evil Village
Choosing the game with the best visual and audio design is no easy feat since there are a lot of strong contenders this year like Returnal and The Ascent. However, the one which stood out the most is Resident Evil Village. Similar to the previous Resident Evil games, Resident Evil Village has managed to maintain its stellar streak of impeccable visuals coupled with excellent music and sound effects. Although we did encounter some small performance and framerate issues, the game continued to richly depict the horrors of every location because of its ominous texture and realistic lighting.
What makes it all the more terrifying is the audio design that Capcom always nails. From the loud blasts of firing weapons to the nuanced shrieks of the creatures you hear, you’ll never run out of nightmarish encounters entrenched in strong, haunting atmospheres. As such, Resident Evil Village takes our Best Audiovisual Award! You can watch our Resident Evil Village Impressions for more details.
Best Multiplayer: New World
Even if New World hasn’t reached a stable state yet in terms of the major bugs that need to be addressed, the multiplayer elements of this MMORPG are definitely a strong point, making it our Best Multiplayer Game of the year.
Participating in PvP and PvE activities with your company are the game’s highlights on top of its deep Crafting Mechanics. From rallying your troops in order to take control of territories to defending forts against other players and creatures, you won’t be running out of things to do with your friends even after playing for more than 200 hours together. Although improvements could be made especially when it comes to combat, the multiplayer aspect certainly shines the most in New World. You can watch our New World Review for more details.
Best Value: Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
For 49.99 USD, you’ll be able to play through at least 80 hours of the gargantuan CRPG that is Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, and likely more than that if you’re a fan of these types of games as you playthrough again with different characters and builds. If you’ve been a fan of the Pathfinder series, and you want to experience the rest of the DLCs, including two new campaigns as well as a new rogue-like mode, then purchasing the Season Pass for 28.99 USD is also be a solid bargain.
With Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, you’ll definitely experience rich and intriguing storylines, deep combat mechanics that necessitates patience and practice, and the creation of optimized Builds to survive the most difficult encounters. Additionally, you’ll be able to replay the game for several more hours should you wish to try out another Class out of the 25 available classes or to change the initial string of choices you’ve made. It is for these reasons that Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous easily wins our Best Value Award!
Best Soulslike: Death’s Gambit: Afterlife
No other game this year has managed to present a fresh and familiar take on the Soulslike Genre like Death’s Gambit: Afterlife, from its dark and beautiful 2D pixel art style to the recognizably difficult yet satisfying Combat. For instance, boss encounters are very intimidating at the start because they require you to gain a strong understanding of the enemy’s movements in order to execute moves with great precision. There’s also no shortage of Classes and Talents to invest in, as well as Weapon and Stat Upgrades you can chase after to improve your Build further.
White Rabbit has shown us that they’re capable of delivering an unforgettable Soulslike title while retaining the game’s charming qualities, which make it stand out from the rest. Death’s Gambit: Afterlife, without a doubt, takes our Best Soulslike Award! Read our Death’s Gambit: Afterlife Review for more details.
Best DLC: Death’s Gambit: Afterlife
Death’s Gambit: Afterlife is a testament to the good relationship the developers and its community continue to have years after the base game’s initial release in 2018. With this DLC, White Rabbit has transformed Death’s Gambit into a notable Metroidvania that makes it accessible to more players including those who enjoy Soulslike titles.
Each level is now more intricate and larger than before, pushing you to explore it as thoroughly as you can. There are also new Bosses, challenging platforming mechanics, and a multiclass feature to look forward to. What’s more is the improved combat style that feels natural and fluid since you’re able to execute a variety of actions, which weren’t present in the original game. There’s no better DLC than Death’s Gambit: Afterlife, easily taking our Best DLC Award!
Best Indie: The Ascent
The Ascent is one of the best RPGs we’ve played this year because of its exciting and fast-paced Combat that doesn’t try to imitate other Action RPGs like Diablo. Instead, the game treads its own path with confidence by providing an immersive cyberpunk experience in terms of its ambiance, narrative, and classless system, which allows you to come up with flexible Builds.
Neon Giant has also created a living world brimming with hand-crafted assets, perspective changes to show The Ascent’s scale and verticality, and fantastic audio design, further elevating your experiences when it comes to exploring the dystopian world. What’s even more impressive is that only 12 developers worked on this project in 3 years. It’s a feat worthy of recognition on top of the exhilarating gameplay The Ascent offers, making it our Best Indie of 2021! Read our The Ascent Review for more details.
Best Surprise: Returnal
Returnal came out of nowhere as a refreshing take on the Roguelike Genre that exceeded our expectations. Not only does the combat and weapon variety catch your attention, but the ways in which new things are also revealed in each of your runs provide exciting things to discover. The environments continue to change every time you fall to your death and respawn thereafter, making every playthrough feel unique and enticing at the same time.
Additionally, you can expect the same level of quality in terms of the game’s stellar audio, fantastic visuals, and commendable writing, which are the reasons why Returnal takes home our Best Surprise Award this year! Read our Returnal Review for more details.
Game of the Year: Monster Hunter Rise
Fextralife’s Game of the Year in 2021 is Monster Hunter Rise! While the story isn’t a strong suit, similar to other Monster Hunter titles, it’s new and engaging gameplay mechanics has certainly encouraged us to keep playing until the wee hours of the morning.
Monster Hunter Rise has introduced quality of life systems, which are heavily integrated into its core mechanics. There’s a certain level of thrill and satisfaction when you traverse from one mountain peak to the next using your Wirebug or every time you explore the world and fight monsters with your Palamute, on top of your Palicoes, of course!
But the improvements don’t end there since you also have numerous Weapons and Armor to chase after and craft, not only because of their functionalities, but also due to how good they make your character look. We can’t wait to relive the experience when Monster Hunter Rise comes out on PC in 2022!
2021 Fexy Community Awards
Community Member: AutumNyxis
Our Forums and Discord continue to grow with over 47,000 Discord users, making the choice of best community member more difficult with each passing year. In 2021, we’re going to put the spotlight on AutumNyxis, not only for her constant help moderating the Twitch channel, but also for participation in nearly every activity we put on. She’s always got a cool and collected demeanor, and is one of the people that really helps make Fextralife a place anyone can hang out and enjoy. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone else with such a great sense of humor, and laid back approach to life and gaming, so thank you Autumn for your time and dedication!
Wiki Contributor: Rougeric87
As it is every year, this was a VERY difficult choice! We now have over 180 wikis with dedicated community editors who go the extra mile to help out those who need guides. Rougeric87 stands out this year for his ongoing contributions to the Monster Hunter World Wiki, where he not only helped people with useful comment replies and information, but also made thousands of fixes to the many, many pages on MHW. Special mentions to Nioh 2 wiki contributor Adderflail who has provided incredible and extensive information to the Nioh wiki in over 1000 edits, and Vigil: The Longest Night contributor bami, who has added a record amount of great data to this wiki. As with last year, thank you to Lewisriver for an incredible amount of contributions to Monster Hunter Rise!
That’s it for our Fexy Awards 2021, congratulations to all the winners! We look forward to some great games coming in 2022, and we’ll have our list of what the best ones are, so keep an eye out for that video. What were some of your favorite games this year? How did we do? Let us know in the comments below!
To keep up with all upcoming releases, visit the Fextralife Wikis Hub