Best Party Game of 2021 - ArticleChristian Evans , posted on 12 January 2022 / 2,267 Views
The party game... that traditional past-time or holiday experience, when family and friends try to prove who is king, or queen, under the guise of 'fun', by testing your knowledge and abilities in a variety of ways. In video game form party games would appear to encourage a Machiavellian attitude, especially in local play; I mean, who doesn’t have an anecdote from years past about a school friend going home from a sleepover because everyone kept targeting them when stealing stars in Mario Party...
The beauty of modern-day online capabilities is that they mean gaming victims no longer need to be present in person when you want to administer a virtual beating. The last person alive, Battle Royale-inspired genre is strong here, as games like Crab Game and Pac-Man 99 demonstrate. However, as Big Brain Academy: Brain vs Brain and the Jackbox series highlight, there's a thirst for somewhat more cerebral quiz-based party games, especially in the streaming arena. Not to be left out is the under-explored party game application for VR, with 2021’s Potato Party: Hash It Out trying to make an impact here. And of course there are the perennial Nintendo staples in this field: Mario Party and WarioWare.
WarioWare: Get It Together!
Mario Party Superstars
The Jackbox Party Pack 8
Mario Party Superstars
Runner-up: The Jackbox Party Pack 8
Winning the 2021 party crown relatively comfortably is Mario Party Superstars, fending off the eighth party pack entry in the Jackbox series. In truth, it wasn't the strongest of years for new games in the genre, with no breakout hits really emerging and going viral like Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout did in 2020, or the seemingly ever popular Among Us. It's testament to the longevity of such games that they become evergreens though, and Mario Party Superstars will no doubt join that list.
It helps that Superstars is as good as the series has been for a long time, which is slightly ironic as it's essentially a compilation of the best of earlier entries. Taking five classic boards from the N64 games, and 100 mini-games from across the entire series, the whole experience is much closer to what fans have wanted in recent years. It's the epitome of the family party game, the ultimate friend-tester, and well-deserved winner of this award.