Best of Gaming 2021

See what games and tech conquered the rest in 2021!
Britt Britt (153)
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As a whole, 2021 was a year of both personal and economic struggles, but that didn’t stop the video game industry. Continued time spent at home increased demand for quality, but affordable, technology products. We’ve seen a lot of progress, flops, and innovations in the gaming industry this year.

Remote working and disrupted supply lines continued to cause challenges in 2021 for both console and PC gamers. Regardless, in their Global Games Market 2021 report, Newzoo predicts the global games market will generate $175.8 billion this year. They even estimate that by 2024, the global number of players will pass 3 billion!

Surpassing many expectations, every tech company and developer put their best foot forward to try and make great gaming experiences overall. It’s time to go through the best of technology and games released in 2021!

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nintendo switch online expansion pack
Nintendo
Price: $49.99/year, $79.99/year (Family)

This year brought great additions to the Nintendo Switch lineup, but nothing compares to how much content added with the Expansion Pack to their online membership. While the standard membership includes class NES and Super NES games and online play, the Expansion Pack gives players even more. Their latest Nintendo Direct showcased the addition of SEGA Genesis and Nintendo 64 games. The Expansion Pack also includes DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which brings Happy Home Paradise to the game!

valorant
Riot Games
Price: Free to Play

This free-to-play, first-person shooter game is only a year old, but so popular that it reached 14 million players per month!

VALORANT is a great game for those either wanting to try a first-person shooter (FPS) or wanting a new game to get addicted to. With a wide selection of heroes to play and unlock, players don’t feel obligated to spend real money in order to do better in the game, although they can. Especially since the only items you can purchase are cosmetics, like weapon skins, sprays, and gun accessories.

Price: $249.99

Any gamer knows that space fills up quickly, regardless if they play on console or PC. With read speeds of up to 2000MB/s, you’ll be able to spend less time waiting and more time actually playing. The P50 features storage up to 4TB, is durable and shock-resistant, and a 5 year limited warranty.

It’s compatible with:

  • Windows 8.1/10
  • Mac OS 10.11+
  • Playstation 5 (for PS4 games only]
  • Xbox Series X/S (for Xbox One games only)
  • Playstation 4 Pro or PS4 with software version 4.50+
  • Xbox One
wd p50
Western Digital
Price: Series X ($499.99), Series S ($299.99)

Both versions of the console feature next gen technology. With DirectX Raytracing, spacial sound, quick resume, up to 120FPS, and hundreds of games to play, both are great options to consider.

Feature Series X Series S
Storage 1TB 512GB
Processor 12 Teraflops 4 Teraflops
Resolution True 4k 1440p
Disk Drive 4k UHD, Blue-ray Drive None
Video Up to 8k Capable of 8k (when used with Ultra High Speed HDMI cable)
Size 15.1cm x 15.1cm x 30.1cm 6.5cm x 15.1cm x 27.5cm
Weight 9.8lbs 4.25lbs
xbox series x s
Microsoft
Price: $99.99

An affordable headset with microphone option, HyperX’s Cloud Alpha continues to be the best choice overall. It gives an incredible listing experience with a detachable microphone, comfortable pads, and dual chamber 50mm drivers. This headset sounds and feels great, perfect for those wanting to avoid uncomfortable head squeezing.

hyperx cloud alpha headset
HyperX
Price: $199.99

Elgato is known for making exceptional and affordable products for both general gamers and content creators. It’s no surprise that their HD60 S+ capture card is the best of the bunch! This isn’t just for the Nintendo Switch, you can also connect it to your PS4 as well! Elgato’s software is impressive and includes flashback recording to go back and catch those must-see moments, live commentary, and an organized video archive!

Features include:

  • USB-C powered
  • Recording: Up to 2160p with 60FPS
  • Passthrough: 4K with 60FPS
  • Works with OBS and XSplit
  • Zero latency
elgato hd60 S+
Elgato
Price: $99.99

Whether you’re playing a game on your phone or in the cloud, you need something to help bring your best gaming skills to life while on the go. The Razer Kishi has a universal fit that can be stretched to most phones, along with face and bumper buttons. It connects directly to the phone’s charging port, meaning there’s ultra-low latency in your gameplay. Not only that, but if a phone’s energy is low, you can connect a charger directly to the controller to charge your device!

razer kishi
Razer
Price: $179.99

The price is certainly worth it with this Xbox controller. The Elite Series 2 features tons of customization (through Microsoft’s store), rechargeable battery, built in charging cradle, and superior gaming control.

xbox elite series 2
Microsoft
inscryption
Devolver Digital
Price: $19.99 (Steam)

Inscryption is a card-based adventure that blends the deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror into “a blood-laced smoothie.” Their words, not ours. While seemingly playing a card game with a mystery villain, the cabin surrounding you is not all that it seems. Nominated for Best Sim/Strategy Game at The 2021 Game Awards, Inscryption is a must-try for everyone!

Price: $84.99

This mouse is, without-a-doubt, the best lightweight gaming mouse out there. With two sizing options, the Model O is built for speed, control, and comfort. When you work up a sweat, the honeycomb shell provides ventilation to keep your palms cool. Plus, cleaning is easy as you can just use any air canister to keep it free of dust or dirt. The DPI indicator and RGB colors can be set to whatever you want, letting each mouse feel unique to the player. You can also customize the mouse coating to either glossy or matte.

glorious model o mouse
Glorious
Price: $59.99

The Halo series returns with the most expansive and open world Master Chief campaign and a free to play multiplayer experience. Xbox and Microsoft announced the early beta release of their multiplayer during their 20th anniversary celebration, and the game has been on everyone’s radar since!

“When all hope is lost and humanity’s fate hangs in the balance, the Master Chief is ready to confront the most ruthless foe he’s ever faced. Step inside the armor of humanity’s greatest hero to experience an epic adventure and explore the massive scale of the Halo ring.”

halo infinite
Xbox Game Studios
intel 12th gen
Intel
Price: $311.25

Codenamed “Alder Lake,” Intel’s latest generation of processors launched this fall. While at a high price point, it’s still cheaper than AMD’s competing Ryzen models. What makes this generation so different is the new hybrid architecture, which combines performance-cores and efficient-cores. A few of the other new features are the new Intel Thread Director, DDR5 support, enhanced core and memory overclocking, up to 8 DMI 4.0 lanes.

Some featured tech of Intel’s 12th generation:

  • DDR4 support
  • PCIe 4.0
  • Deep Learning Boost
  • Gaussian and Neural Accelerator 3.0
  • Discrete Thunderbolt 4 technology support
  • Optane memory support
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6/6E

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-i5-12600KF-Desktop-Processor-Unlocked/dp/B09FXFJW2F

Price: $399

The Quest 2 has an advanced processor and highest resolution display so far in its field. It turns gaming or visual entertainment into a front row experience that anyone can enjoy if they want. With a mobile app to simplify setup, players can quickly get into their favorite game, meet new people in VR, or even work out!

oculus quest 2
Oculus
it takes two
EA
Price: $39.99

Game of the Year Winner for The Game Awards in 2021, It Takes Two is a co-op platform adventure to play as clashing couple Cody and May, humans magically turned into dolls. Friends can join together with Remote Play or couch co-op to work together to discover the story about overcoming differences.

geforce rtx 30 series
NVIDIA
Price: $329.99

Anyone interested in PC gaming or technology knows how hard NVIDIA’s 30 Series is to get a hold of. Still, there’s a reason for it! To start, the GeForce RTX 30 Series have cutting edge AI, realistic ray-tracing, and performance boosting for gaming. With GPU acceleration and AI-accelerated apps, content creators can work faster, not harder. IT’s also built with live streaming in mind with the NVIDIA Encoder, meant to improve performance and image quality.

Price: $59.99

Resident Evil Village is the eight installment in the Resident Evil franchise, set a few years after the previous game, Resident Evil 7 biohazard. Return to playing as Ethan Winters, who must discover the truth of his own life and his beloved Mia. The game was a hit overall. Even the game’s villain, Lady Dimitrescu, took the internet by storm before the game even released!

resident evil village
CAPCOM
Price: $249

While other earphones have a lower price point, you can’t deny the power and comfort that come with the UE Fits. The earbud tips use Lightform Technology to mold themselves to your ears, giving you the perfect amount of comfort and immersion. With 8 hour bud life, fast charging, Bluetooth 5.0, these earbuds are the perfect gift for anyone (including yourself).

ue fits
Ultimate Ears
Price: $499

The PS5 continues the beautiful graphics of its predecessors with an ultra-high speed SSD and integrated I/O. Gaming takes on a whole new (and better) graphic quality with ray tracking, up to 120FPS, and HDR, 4K, and 8K technology. Even its wireless controller has all the goods, including adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and a built-in microphone.

playstation 5
Sony
Price: $199.99

Corsair has always been a PC lover’s go-to for keyboards, and their K95 Platinum stands above the rest. It nearly does it all! Between being scratch and ding resistant, it uses high grade mechanical switches that’s both responsive and comfortable. The keyboard includes a set of multimedia controls, six customizable macro keys, a USB port, and 8MB of onboard storage with up to three RGB lighting profiles.

corsair k95 rgb
Corsair
Price: $24.88 (DLC), $49.99/year (Online Membership)

2021 continued to bring joy in the form of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Version 2.0 update launched this fall that included new characters, features, islands, items, and more! The list is so expansive that we can’t write it here, so you’ll have to take our word on how amazing it is. The Version 2.0 update is free, however, Nintendo also released the first DLC, Happy Homes Paradise which brings the previous game of the same title to New Horizons. It’s included with Nintendo’s Online Membership Expansion Pack or can be bought separately for $24.88.

animal crossing new horizons happy home paradise
Nintendo
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