Noisy Pixel Picks: Nathan’s Top Five Games of 2021

When I started writing for Noisy Pixel in February, I was a neophyte writer afraid of asserting his opinions. However, with the support of the team and community, I gained my voice and confidence in my writing.

So, to celebrate surviving nearly a year at Noisy Pixel and another year in the game of life. I’ve put together a personal list of recommended releases for the year. These are the games I think you need to have played. Otherwise, were you alive at all this year?

5. Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread was the first 2D Metroid game in 19 years, continuing where Fusion left off in 2002. As a result, expectations for the title were higher than the moon when it was released in October. Dread not only managed to meet those expectations but blew them out of the water turning this into my favorite entry in the franchise.

There is a certain satisfaction I get when exploring the world. The ability to merge atmosphere with fast-paced gameplay makes this title a must-own for anyone with a Switch and a love for classic Metroidvanias. I promise that you won’t be disappointed picking this gem up.

4. Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

I’ll admit I debated putting the Legendary Edition on this list at first. However, after careful consideration, this re-release gave a franchise I care deeply about a revival earning this spot. Even though the original Mass Effect team didn’t work on this version of the game, plenty of love and care went into this port.

This love shows through the massive amount of player feedback taken to try and make each game the best version that it could be, from giving the original title a much-needed facelift to restructuring a system entirely in the final game. This re-release is to get new fans into a classic trilogy while showing veterans that there are plenty of reasons to hop back in.

3. In Sound Mind

InSoundMind Keyart Final

I have always been a fan of horror games, taking a morbid joy out of being scared and feeling hunted by something I barely comprehend. However, In Sound Mind surprised me by having eldritch horrors and presenting relatable stories to the player. The fear that you aren’t sane or that nobody can understand you is something everybody has experienced once in their life.

The gameplay can be repetitive, but the story has enough to keep players engaged for years to come. This game managed to climb its way into my heart and mind, slowly feeding on my fears, and I am sure it will do the same for you.

2. Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

Final Fantasy XIV

Have you heard about the critically acclaimed MMO Final Fantasy XIV? I would be surprised if you hadn’t at this point. I’ve had a dedicated subscription to the service since the launch of A Realm Reborn in 2013. There have been laughs and tears throughout the years, but none had me as captivated as Endwalker.

The fact that Square had stopped allowing new subscriptions to the service when Endwalker launched is a testament to not only the popularity of FFXIV as a whole but the quality of Endwalker. When subscriptions go back on sale, I recommend anyone who hasn’t already to travel to the world of Eorzea.

1. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village 4

Welcome back to the world of survival horror. Resident Evil has been a part of my life the moment I caught a glimpse of my older relatives playing the original on the Playstation. I would say that it’s the whole reason I like horror games as much as I do, even though I am a massive coward.

Village further entrenches the series further into first-person gameplay while keeping the most defining elements in place. This mix of new and nostalgic quickly makes this title one of the best in the franchise. Even if first-person horror isn’t your forte, I assure you that the story and atmosphere will pull you in.

I feel like if I was allowed, I could have put so many more games on this list. However, these five are the ones that stood out the most to me this year. Here’s looking forward to 2022 and even better releases in the future.


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Nathan Mejia

The guy who will play anything you throw at him. Will talk your ear off about anything and everything Video Game, Music, and Anime related. You have been warned.