Best Art Direction for Video Games of 2021

Welcome to the time of year when we look back at some of the best games that came out in 2021. Over the past year we have seen different art styles in video games, such as the anime style in Guilty Gear -Strive- and the more cartoonish styles present in Psychonauts 2 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Without further ado, here are the games that had the best art direction of 2021.

Best Art Direction for Video Games of 2021

Honorable Mention: Guilty Gear -Strive-


Deputy Guides Editor Ethan Anderson: If we’re being honest, Guilty Gear Strive is arguably one of the best-looking anime-style fighting games – not just in 2021, but of all time. Arc System Works has outdone itself again, following the releases of Dragon Ball FighterZ and Granblue Fantasy Versus.

Thanks to some really great art direction, Strive makes you feel like you’re controlling characters straight out of an anime. Their designs have been updated from the previous installment, Guilty Gear Xrd, and the animations for regular attacks, special attacks, Roman Cancels and even taunts have received significant upgrades thanks to the new and improved style.

The top-notch visuals go beyond the characters, though, with striking landscapes in each of the game’s stages. The new phase transitions that happen when you knock opponents through the side of the screen even cause brand new sections of each phase to appear. And whether it’s a snow-covered factory in a blizzard or a sun-drenched jungle, each backdrop has the potential to leave players in awe.

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