In 2021, the popularity and sale of video games reached record highs. This kept with a general trend; video game revenue currently surpasses that of movies and music combined.

But the COVID-19 pandemic further spurred this upswing. Millions of adults and children quarantined in their homes rediscovered a high-tech way of entertaining themselves. Video games helped us maintain social contact and collaborative relationships with friends at a time when we could not meet up face to face. Multiple industries faced downturns or outright collapse over the past year, but gaming remained resilient. At times, it thrived. 

There was no generational, genre-defining game release this year–along the lines of Red Dead Redemption 2, or Dark Souls, or The Last of Us—but 2021 still had a handful of incredible titles that diverted us from our difficult reality. Here are the 10 best video games of 2021.