The results are in. We asked you, our fabulous readers, to vote on your favourite games of 2021 in a wide variety of categories, and you’ve made your voices heard. From the best single-player games of the year to the most surprising releases on PC, we had heaps and heaps of amazing games to choose from, and now we’re finally ready to unveil the winners of each category.
Of course, we have to also thank our partners at Fanatical for helping with these awards. Fanatical offered up free gifts for everyone who voted, from discounts (including spending sprees worth up to $250) on their store, including spend sprees worth up to $250, to magnificent free games for some lucky voters.
Voting may be over, but you can still get your hands on these gifts by providing your email address in the widget below, and you can always check out Fanatical’s store for some great deals on the biggest games on the market. And Chrome users can install the Fanatical Assistant to keep track of games on their Steam wishlist and show them an alert when the games go on sale.
But enough stalling. At last, it’s time to reveal the winners of the PCGamesN 2021 users choice awards, powered by Fanatical. Read on for the top games of last year, as voted by you.
The best single-player game of 2021: Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 dominated headlines in 2021 for what we’ll charitably describe as a difficult launch at the very end of 2020. But underneath its issues lies an astounding achievement in videogames, with a living, breathing cyberpunk world to explore, endless variety in how you approach quests, and Keanu Reeves. What more could you want?
Our runner-up, Resident Evil Village, is no less astounding, though for very different reasons. Offering up some of the series’ best scares and gorgeous graphics, there’s far more to this game than one giant vampire woman.
The best multiplayer game of 2021: Valheim
Sometimes the best stories are the ones we tell ourselves, and Valheim offers plenty of opportunities to craft your own narratives among friends. This open-world survival game took the world by storm in 2021, offering a chance for intense multiplayer action and crafting without holding your hand too much, letting you and your buddies figure out its intricacies for yourself.
Fans of more traditional multiplayer experiences – and much bigger player pools – should also take a look at runner-up Battlefield 2042. The latest entry in the FPS series opens up its maps to up to 128 players for some seriously explosive action, while still offering more intimate moments among your squad.
The most surprising game of 2021: Valheim
To say Valheim came out of nowhere in 2021 would be a lie – the game had been in development for years, and had already built up something of a following before its early access launch. But that launch rocketed the game’s popularity, and you couldn’t turn a corner in 2021 without hearing some praise for this hidden gem of the year.
Runner-up It Takes Two was just as surprising, though mostly thanks to its unique story and execution, which forces two players to learn new mechanics and solve weird and wonderful puzzles at an alarming rate.
The most satisfying gameplay of 2021: Hitman 3
The perfect plan. The spotless execution. The sneakiest escape. Hitman 3 has all this and more by the bucketload, making it an incredibly satisfying game whether it’s your first or fiftieth time playing any of its levels. Sticking to the game’s suggested routes is just as exciting as coming up with your own plan, meaning every player can enjoy the game no matter how they approach a target.
If you’ve not had your fill of stealth and planning, runner-up Deathloop will more than scratch that itch. It’s a very different beast to Hitman – it’s an FPS for starters – but it’s just as tactical and slick in its execution (if you want it to be).
The most enjoyable simulation game of 2021: Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 may not be entirely true to life with its depiction of racing around Mexico, but it’s one of the finest racing games in years, and the cars look exactly like their real-life counterparts. Forza Horizon 5 is an absolute blast whether you’re a racing veteran or a total newcomer, and shouldn’t be missed.
That said, if life in the fast lane is a little too intense for you, runner-up Farming Simulator 22 might be more your speed. This edition of the long running farm-’em-up introduces seasonal cycles to take into account, adding a new layer of strategy to your crop planting.
So, those are the winners of the PCGamesN users choice awards, powered by Fanatical. If you haven’t played some of these amazing games yet, be sure to check out the Fanatical store and see about getting one of these top games for a great price.