Windows Central Game Awards 2021

Windows Central Game Awards 2021
Windows Central Game Awards 2021 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows Central Game Awards 2021

Windows Central Game Awards 2021 (Image credit: Windows Central)

It's been another monumental year for video games, and whether eyeing the latest blockbusters or quirkiest indies, this year has presented something for everyone. We've seen an acclaimed lineup of games and hardware throughout 2021, and with the year-end fast approaching, it's now time to celebrate those that left their mark at Windows Central.

Global events continue to shape our lives, and while the world is steadily reopening, we're still reliant on daily Zoom calls and social distancing. The ongoing global chip shortage has throttled console stock amid high demand, while top publishers announce game delay after game delay. But digital entertainment also plays a more crucial role than ever, not only passing the time but presenting new ways to connect while apart.

This year has also proven a thrilling start to a new generation, with Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 marking a significant leap for consoles, and NVIDIA and AMD continue to disrupt the PC space. It's raised the bar for gaming experiences we can expect, with amped visuals, increasingly complex worlds, and shortened load times all tied to these gains.

This is our roundup of the best games and best gaming tech chosen by our illustrious panel of hardcore gaming writers and editors. We're a Microsoft blog first and foremost, meaning everything compatible with Microsoft hardware or software is fair game for a nomination as we look back on another excellent year for gaming. Don't forget to check out our broader Windows Central Awards, too, for a deeper dive into hardware and services.

These are the Windows Central Game Awards for 2021.

Best Games of 2021

Game Industry Awards of 2021

Best Gaming Hardware and Accessories of 2021

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

  • Resident Evil for Game of the Year? Really? To each their own I guess.
  • We bring together these game awards with input from the whole of Windows Central, so it's reflective of the most popular titles among all of our gaming team. While I personally haven't completed REV yet, it was the top pick among a fair number of us! Which game would you have put in the top spot?
  • Hmm, great question. I would say my personal might be Psychonauts 2 considering how much more I enjoyed it than I expected to and how well it played and worked.
  • Awesome awards! I like minimalism. Please add nomination for best Windows mini PC in future. Thank you & love you, Windows Central team.
  • Thanks for reading! Appreciate you. We switch up our categories each year, based on the industry and current trends, so we'll definitely keep an eye out for mini PCs in 2022 and consider that! Something we might expand into with our main WC awards, for sure.
  • I was considering Resident Evil 8 purchase to have something to bide my time before Halo Infinite Campaign destroys my free time. I will see if there are any Black Friday deals on that title. Very well reviewed by some of my gaming buds. Elden Ring as most Anticipated? I personally don't like Souls game mechanics thus I'd have chosen Halo Infinite or Starfield for this category..but to each their own.
  • I've seen a few REV deals popping up already in the lead up to Black Friday, I'll keep my eyes peeled for anything especially low over the coming days for you! We voted on these awards among our gaming team, and while Elden Ring took the lead, Starfield was a VERY close second for taking that award. Very excited for what that brings next year.
  • This looks like one big advertisement for gaming accessories. Very poor "awards" categories and winners.
  • The accessories take up a minority of the awards compared to our video game awards here, but we always try to get a good balance, to spotlight some successes in the hardware space. Are there any categories you'd hope to see in 2022?
  • I appreciate the technology awareness awards.
  • Love Resident Evil, Psychonauts 2 and Forza Horizon 5 and glad they made it on the list. They're all amazing in their own ways so Ican only imagine the tight criteria and stressful thoughts that went into this list lol.
    I'd probably give Psychonauts 2 my GOTY, but only just.
  • Are all review sites just going to completely overlook the fact that Forza Horizon 5 has been a broken mess since launch? I want to love the game but I'm finding it really hard to in it's current state, and the recent update appears to have broken more than it fixed. PGG aren't new to this, so I don't think it's unfair to expect better from them.