…Yeah, so fuck this year right? Seriously.
According to historians, the worst year to have been alive in recorded history was 536 AD. A volcano eruption spread a cloud of ash across much of Europe and China, causing temperatures to drop and crops to fail, in turn causing widespread famine. This was on top of the collapse of the Roman Empire, the unrest growing in Byzantium, and the first rumbling of what would be known as the ‘Justinian Plague.’
So yeah, humanity has had it worse before. But still: Fuck. This. year.
Anyway, here are the games that kept us relatively sane.
10. Cyberpunk 2077 (PC, Stadia, Xbox, PlayStation 4)
Yes, even in its incredibly flawed and buggy form, this game turned out to be a real favorite of mine this year.
9. Streets of Rage 4 (Multiplatform)
In another bold bit of franchise resurrection, Sega created a stylish beat-em-up that was both fun and challenging. Great character design, too.
8. Persona 5 Royal (PS4)
Take an already great game, do some revisions on its essential parts, and add a whole new story arc–bingo, you’ve got a real winner.
7. Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
In spite of the title, this game brought some much needed freshness to this story’s entry in the series, even actively deconstructing it’s own premise.
6. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5, PS4)
Insomniac pulls out the stops for this stand-alone expansion to their hit Spider-man game. Miles makes a great addition to the cast.
5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)
Coming out just as the world went into lockdown, this game more than any other kept most of us sane during this year of bullshit.
4. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV (PS4)
Falcom went in hard with the story-telling to bring this game’s long story arc to a close. It even lampshades some of its own tropes!
3. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PS4)
What starts with a clichéd premise evolves into one of the most compelling pieces of science fiction I have ever encountered. Copies may be hard to find, but it’s worth it.
2. Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
You know a game about samurai is good when even Japanese players are floored by the game. A beautifully cinematic and addictive experience.
1. The Last of Us, Part II (PS4)
Dramatic, emotional, viscerally unsettling, and ultimately a brilliant meditation of trauma, revenge, and the nature of good and evil. This game was the real winner this year, no matter how many man-babies complained.