The 2021 Xbox Series X lineup is full of familiar games that look and run better than ever. Optimizing what already works appears to be the console’s ethos. But just because these honorees feel familiar doesn’t mean they’re not stellar in their own right!
These awards represent the consensus of the Siliconera staff. For more of the year’s award selections, check out our Game of the Year 2021 archive.
Winner: Lost Judgment
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s latest brings back some of the action that skipped Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It focuses on a bullying narrative and has a lot of fun with its school setting. And yeah, it’s also full of fun substories and diversions along the way. It’s a complete, polished game in a long line of ’em, but it does enough with its characters and combat to feel distinct. In doing so, it earned out 2021 Xbox Series X Game of the Year honor.
Scarlet Nexus is full of things we don’t want to spoil. After all, in true anime tradition, so much cool stuff happens along the way. And hey, for a third-person action game with a bunch of visible damage numbers? These games can be derivative and monotonous, but Nexus implements some interesting ideas and creative enemy designs to keep that from happening.
Forza Horizon 5
Car games have always been a technical showpiece for new hardware, but Forza Horizon 5 backs it up with compelling, immersive gameplay. It’s a game that lets you just hang around, cruising through ridiculously detailed environments on the way to new races and discoveries. The flagship Forza games may be on the cutting edge of tech, but the Horizon entries really deliver on the fun to go along with the impressive visuals.
What are your Xbox Series X Game of the Year 2021 selections? Let us know in the comments! And stay tuned for more of Siliconera’s GotY 2021 awards.