Press Start’s GOTY 2021 #1 – Returnal


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#1 – Returnal

Although it missed out on a nomination at The Game Awards, Returnal is our Game of the Year. Housemarque remained true to their arcade roots through slick mobility and action, while they arrived at the AAA pantheon through gorgeous presentation and mainstream appeal.

Returnal was, for all intents and purposes, the first true PlayStation 5 exclusive we saw that felt like a next-gen use of the console’s powerful bells and whistles. The game’s world, mystifying and intoxicating in all of the right ways, could easily neighbour those seen in Alien or Prometheus, as tone and atmosphere ooze from every ancient crevice.

As one of PlayStation’s studio acquisitions this past year, we’re excited to see what Housemarque do next.

In his review, Brodie gave Returnal a 9/10 and said: “With some doubt at the front of people’s minds, Returnal is a shushing finger across the lips of detractors as well as a tremendous example that PlayStation’s middle line titles can still offer as much value and entertainment as its tentpole exclusives. Housemarque achieves an atmosphere like few can and set up a universe ripe for expansion while marrying it to a grind — which is more forgiving than most of its kind but will still alienate some—that’s both brutal and gratifying all at once.”

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As it stands, Returnal is sitting at an 85 on Metacritic out of 114 critic reviews.


#1 – Returnal

#2 – Metroid Dread

#3 – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

#4 – Resident Evil Village

#5 – Deathloop

#6 – It Takes Two

#7 – Unpacking

#8 – Psychonauts 2

#9 – Forza Horizon 5

#10 – Halo Infinite

For a refresher on how our voting process works, refer to the #10 article where it’s all explained in detail.