Despite delays and the massive development changes brought on by the continued COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 saw a whole bunch of great games release. There were so many, in fact, that some absolute gems didn’t end up getting a spot in GameSpot’s top 10 games of 2021. Those games still deserve our respect and your attention, however, so the GameSpot staff chose some of our personal favorites and showed them some love. These are the best of the rest from 2021!
NHL 22 (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
I love ice hockey. And I really enjoy EA’s NHL series. This year’s game, NHL 22, was another winner in my book; it gave me hours upon hours of enjoyment throughout the year. The new X-Factor abilities, which come to the hockey series after spending several years in Madden,are also now in Madden 22, add a fun and exciting new layer of strategy to mix things up. But it’s really the bones–the gameplay and overall presentation package–that impressed me this year and kept me coming back.
The game does a stunning job of recreating the look and feel of an NHL game. The hits feel heavy and powerful, the one-timers are rewarding, and the dangles are as satisfying as ever to pull off. It just feels good. Every new match fills me with a sense of excitement about what’s about to happen. The game looks even more realistic this year, too, as the ice glistens more impressively, and the subtle animations of player movement and stick skills are so incredible that someone walking by might think you’re watching an actual NHL game. Excuse me, I have to go now to play more NHL 22. — Eddie Makuch, Editor