It’s that time of year again, everyone, where we celebrate the best games of the year. Despite being a heavily disrupted year thanks to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, 2021 produced some incredible games, almost from day one, and as a result, our awards this year has the most variety of games ever – almost 50 different titles got at least one award, and as you’ll see as we announce each category, it really is an endless stream of incredible experiences.
This year we had a special, expanded judging panel, with the entire DDNet team participating, but we also invited some prominent people from independent game publications outside the Website to participate, so we could get a broader range of insights and thoughts into the winners from each category. Our additional judges this year included Pete Davison from Rice Digital, Thomas Knight of Nook Gaming, Robert Allen of Tech-Gaming, Matt Ryan from Shindig, and academic and freelancer, @TsuChanJohnson on Twitter. The total judging pool for the awards was ten people this year around, and there was some heated discussion about the worthiest titles in each category indeed!
Yesterday we celebrated the experiences that were best on PC, and today we’re celebrating those that we loved on consoles. The no-fuss, plug-and-play experience of consoles will always be appealing to us (and the fact that consoles aren’t work devices, which is a psychological barrier and I don’t care if anyone says otherwise), and these four games have all been particularly enjoyable in the way that they’ve tapped into that.
Unfortunately, Neo apparently failed to meet Square Enix’s expectations, and after the original was also only ever a marginal success, it is unlikely that there will ever be a third The World Ends With You. With that being the case, however, the series has gone out on a high, because Neo is a bundle of energy and verve, in just the right way.