The Fancies 2021: Fanbyte Community Picks

Our community picks their favorite games of the year! No card games this time, we promise.

Community Picks include any game that prominent members of our community enjoyed this year, regardless of release date, genre, or format! (They’re really good, too. Last year’s list introduced me to some of my new favorites.) These goofballs genuinely made my year. Thanks to everyone who read, watched, kicked my ass during Fanbyte Fight Night, and posted pictures of their pets, and gave hot sauce recommendations! We really couldn’t do it without you.

See you on the Fanbyte Discord in 2022! Bongo dingus!

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

Guilty Gear Strive

(PC/PS4/PS5)

Why they loved it: “Enjoyment, time played, and how much of it I watched on Twitch made it my game of the year!”

-PantheraOnca

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye

(PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S)

Why they loved it: “It managed to do the impossible and actually live up to the standards of the base game by rewarding curiosity with mind-blowing revelations and heart-rending narrative moments that keep pulling you in closer to solve a grand mystery, all the while adding some genuinely bone-chilling scares. Also, the setting is fucking cool on every level, as it delivers jaw-dropping sights and clever new mechanics in a clockwork world, with every element affecting each other in surprising yet logical ways. Don’t care if it’s DLC, as it’s meatier and more resonant than any other full game I’ve played all year. Outer Wilds is the best game of the past decade, so it only makes sense that Echoes of the Eye is the best game of this new decade.”

young liar

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

The Forgotten City

(PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S/Nintendo Switch)

Why they loved it: “This was such a unique and engrossing game. Investigation games aren’t normally my cup of tea, but the characters and the writing were so good that I immediately got hooked in. The game had a few really surprising moments. It also stuck the landing with a really emotional ending. Just a great game all around that I am recommending to everyone I know.”

Gizmoto16

nier automata

NieR:Automata

(PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S)

Why they loved it: “What else is there to say about Automata that hasn’t been said already? It’s a solid character action game, but of course it’s more than that. It’s weird, yet its weirdness feels very specific, like someone has made a decision but won’t give you their reasoning behind it. I am very excited to see what other oddness the franchise holds.”

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

Genesis Noir

(PC/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S/Nintendo Switch)

Why they loved it: Genesis Noir has a beautifully expressed singular vision of desire and reconciliation and loss expressed across time. A singular artistic vision and a multisensory playfulness drives this point and click adventure through some finicky point-and-click mechanics into an evocative, free jazz exploration. The hub world (such that it is) is a frozen-in-time backstage dressing room where the love of your life is being shot by the personification of the chaos required for life to exist, and it’s set to free jazz. Genesis Noir has such a singular vision that it’s hard to shake, even after Inscryption and Dungeon Encounters and Wildermyth.”

dull focus (Chris)

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R

(PC/PS3/Vita/Xbox 360/Nintendo Switch)

Why they loved it: “While not as shiny and pretty as this year’s Guilty Gear Strive, I think it’s the more complete package. Strive is an excellent entry with rock solid rollback netcode (something big developers are still struggling to get right), but it can often be a struggle to successfully get into a match, even months after release. What makes 2013’s Guilty Gear Accent Core Plus R (GGACPR) my 2021 game of the year is the continued support from Team French CaliBurst to improve on an already amazing game.

Team French CaliBurst put themselves on the map when they added rollback netcode to GGACPR in late 2020 causing old and new players alike to flock to the seven-year-old game (which is itself the final revision of the original 2003 release). But TFC still had more in store, releasing major updates in 2021 to the player lobbies, matchmaking, and training mode features. My favorite new feature is the replay takeover, letting you take over control during a match replay so you can practice a scenario over and over till you can finally escape the corner.

So the next time Strive ‘Fails to Match with Opponent,’ consider picking up Plus R for $3.”

-boots

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

CrossCode

(PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S/Nintendo Switch)

Why they loved it: “Many role-playing games ask us to find strength in our bonds with others, and a game that positions itself as a far-future MMO played by millions across the galaxy has to work double duty to create a convincing edifice while also getting it out of your way so you can have fun with the game. That would be enough of an achievement if it was the only plate CrossCode kept spinning — but as you unfold the game’s story and mechanics, you’ll find a lot to love in the minute details.

Solving puzzles in and out of combat feels like an ongoing conversation with the designers, and while I had to look up the solution to the first step of many of CrossCode‘s complex and Rube Goldberg-ian puzzles, the satisfying feeling of ‘Oh, THAT’S what I’m supposed to do’ carries through iteration after iteration. All this and I haven’t even mentioned what makes CrossCode one of my favorite games of all time: the story and writing! But no spoilers. You’ll have to find out for yourself.”

-Max N

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

Inscryption

(PC)

Why they loved it: Inscryption is a game that makes you go, ‘Yeah this is what games are all about.’ In a world where so many games end up being checklists inside of an open world, Inscryption embodies the very specific materiality that is afforded to games in a way that can only be described as profound.”

@iseecarlos

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

Sable

(PC/Xbox One/Xbox Series X and S)

Why they loved it: “The entire game is one of self-discovery. The end doesn’t matter, the game tells you when you can end it and then says you can continue until you feel like ending it. The world Sable takes place in is beautiful in its barrenness and the history you can uncover is amazing. I’m torn between wanting another game and being satisfied with how my game ended.”

-Sgt. Sphynx

Community GOTY 2021 Fanbyte

Bloodborne

(PS4)

Why they loved it: Merritt Souls is a great way to vicariously re-experience Soulsborne games, and a launchpad for replaying them. Every playthrough of Bloodborne is compelling, it’s a great Spooky Season game, and playing through with different characters specializing in different builds and weapons is still fun after 7 years. Put BB on PC!”

-cat_dot_com