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.
It’s been another historic year for video games, and whether you’re looking for the hottest blockbusters or the oddest indies, there’s something for everyone this year. We’ve seen a terrific lineup of games and hardware throughout 2021, and now that the year is coming to a close, it’s time to honour those who have made an impact at Windows Central.
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.
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.