Every year the list of games that want to exist as “live services” continues to grow, but only a few manage to push out the quality content and continual updates that leave fans happy to stick around playing. Our picks for the games that do it best include a massive anime-like adventure and two battle royales, one that adds characters from the game it’s a spin-off from and the other from every property it can shake hands with.
Here are our picks for the Best On-Going Games of 2021.
5.) Apex Legends – Respawn
With the continued commitment to tweaking and keeping gameplay in Apex Legends fresh, Respawn Entertainment again had a stellar year with their battle royale. In 2021 Respawn added a new mode called “Arenas” that plays similar to CS: GO or Valorant. Respawn continually built the lore of the Titanfall/Apex universe through story content in the form of a significant quest each season. The return of the character Ash from Titanfall 2 helped strengthen the fanbase. The Nintendo Switch version of the game was also released this year. This is all without mentioning the new weapons, tweaks, or even the latest map or map changes that keep Apex Legends in our rotation throughout the year.
– Dylan Blight
4.) Knockout City – Velan Studios
Knockout City has had a stellar first year after back in May. The multiplayer team-based dodgeball game quickly built up a dedicated audience and Velan Studios has succeeded in keeping them around, with the game now in its fourth season with new maps and balls adding greater diversity to the game. With different variations of the core modes popping up to try and a balanced battle pass, there were many reasons to jump back into Knockout City for a few rounds, even just to help complete your Crew’s challenges (Shout out to Buddy Watson).
– Ashley Hobley
3.) Genshin Impact – miHoYo, Shanghai Miha Touring Film Technology Co
Genshin Impact continued to be a massive ongoing and worldwide phenomenon in 2021. Each new update brought skins, characters or additional areas and quests—players of Genshin Impact in 2021 were never in short of content to be tackling. If the idea of collecting Waifus & Husbandos sounds like your ideal loot box unlocks, Genshin Impacts new characters had you covered. Plus, there was some crossover content this year, as the addition of Aloy from the Horizon games.
– Dylan Blight
2.) Fortnite – Epic Games
Fortnite continued to be a media juggernaut in 2021 with skins and items available in-game for properties like Rick and Morty, Spider-Man, Street Fighter, Space Jam and Naruto. If there is a pop-culture character you love, you can properly shoot at other people as them in this game.
Fortnite also had a bunch of live events through the end like Rift Tour which featured an Arianna Grande concert experience before ending the year with “The End”, leading into Chapter 3. It even has The Rock in it as the character The Foundation. This game just continues to surprise four years after launch and showcase that this platform is capable of much more.
– Ashley Hobley
1.) FINAL FANTASY XIV Online – Square Enix
It is truly an achievement for a game to find success eight years after it had to be relaunched due to the failure of its initial release. But since Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was released, the MMO has gone from strength to strength across four expansions that strove to show that members of the MMO genre can tell a high-quality narrative while incorporating the gameplay and endgame features of the successful MMOs. Across from the central pillar of the MMO genre, many have come and failed where Final Fantasy has succeeded. With the release of the Endwalker expansion, the team at Creative Business Unit III have set up the game for a new story and another ten years of content.
– Ciaran Marchant