2020 has been a year for the ages and, luckily, it was no different for us that were stuck at home playing video games. The year provided plenty of opportunities to get in some heavy duty gaming time. As 2020 FINALLY comes to an end, let’s take a look at all the games that got us through the year and made this pandemic just a little more enjoyable… for me, anyway.
Top 10 here we go!
10. Genshin Impact – PC, Mobile
This was my first taste of a gacha game and it did not disappoint. Of course, you’re going to spend a lot of time and money hoping to land a high tier character, but behind the gacha was actually a very solid game. Using elemental combinations to drive your fighting mechanics paid off very well and allows players to have a solid grasp on how to build their teams in good old rock-paper-scissor fashion. When gamers are comparing you to Breath of the Wild, the game probably deserves some attention. Just good luck not getting caught in the gacha!
9. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5, PS4)
As a huge Spider-Man fan, this was going to undoubtedly make the list. Insomniac really nailed it with the original game and this was no exception. They surprisingly did by having a game that is essentially the same but feels different when you’re suiting up as Peter Parker vs Miles Morales. Even after finishing the game (which really should’ve just been considered DLC), I still find myself swinging through the streets of NYC with no real cares in the world.
8. Super Mario 3D All-Stars – Switch
Remakes and remasters seemed to be a recurring theme this year and Mario was right there with them. Celebrating 35 years, Nintendo blessed us with this trio of mainstay 3D Mario games. Oddly enough, Super Mario 64 was the only one I had played in the past so this was my first go at Sunshine and Galaxy, and I now understand why both hold special places in gamers’ hearts. While Nintendo is known to bank on nostalgia, a true remaster of the titles—especially Super Mario 64–would have been amazing to see. It’s also nice to see Nintendo continuing to make changes after launch for the sake of quality of life things like the camera angles.
7. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
When other companies need a gold standard on remakes and remasters, look no further. Vicarious Visions did such an amazing job of making sure that every single aspect of the originals was lovingly retained while making it look beautiful. Bringing back the original characters but in their older versions was awesome and hilarious. By including the new school wave of skaters, it really captures the skateboard community as a whole and goes to show that skateboarding is beyond generations. The only issue for me was the lack of music from the originals.
6. Persona 5 Royal (PS4)
Who knew that having to play Persona 5 again would actually be something to look forward to? It was a good move to add the additional content on the back end because Persona 5 was already an amazing game as-is. Persona 5 Royal is like the cherry on top of the sundae. While there were only a few notable JRPGs released this year, this revisit easily takes the top spot.
5. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (PC, PS4)
The premise is simple—be the last one standing. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is such a fun and quirky game that’s easy to pick up yet hard to master. There are still plenty of people ’til this day that have yet to win that coveted crown. With the updates coming at a steady pace, a plethora of costumes, and amazing collaborations, this game has definitely done much better than most probably thought it would. It may be the best game of the year as far as pick up and play goes, as it doesn’t take much time for a couple rounds and there’s no story to get invested in.
4. Hades (PC, Switch)
When rougelike action RPGs first hit the scene, they didn’t make much sense to me. Everything happens so fast, you die, and then you start all over. The concept was rarely done correctly and attributed to my loss of interest in the genre. It wasn’t till Hades came around that I realized the true potential of the genre. By tying the constant dying to a Greek mythology inspired storyline, Hades takes what’s foreign to gamers like me and presents it in a manner that can be easily understood. Throw in some beautiful artwork and gameplay that’s difficult to master, and you got yourself a nice little recipe that will keep you wanting more.
3. Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)
I have to give fair warning, this was my first experience with Final Fantasy VII. So on my initial playthrough everything was new and the experience was amazing. The Final Fantasy series continues to be one of the best visually rendered series, and they did a great job bringing that to this classic remake. Upon finishing the game, it did make me want to play the original and it still holds up to present day games. Unfortunately I didn’t get to experience this series the way it was intended to, but because this remake was done so well, I got the urge to revisit the classic and there’s only a handful of games that can do that correctly.
2. Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
You ever catch yourself playing a game and then just stopping whatever you’re doing to admire the scenery and appreciate all the work that’s gone into a game to make it look the way it does? Well, this game got me doing this way too much. There’s also something about taking weaponry from the past and honing the fighting mechanics that make the game enjoyable and satisfying. Include the newly added multiplayer and updates and this game could have easily went game of the year.
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)
Who knew that the last release major release before we all got locked in our homes would come in the form of one of the already highly anticipated releases? When a game is able to transcend the gaming world and reach out to those that don’t normally touch games, it speaks volumes. This game took an established franchise and gave fans just about everything they ever wanted. Pair that with the multitude of new Switch owners and it really became the world’s getaway from the world that seemed to be crumbling right before our eyes. It came at the perfect time when the world needed it most.
Nintendo takes the top spot but Sony dominated my list this year. With most of the year spent indoors, it was easier for me to get invested in some of these single player games that I normally don’t have the time for and I’m glad amidst the chaos that I was able to enjoy a lot of gaming this year.
With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X having already dropped, I have gotten to experience what next-gen gaming can potentially bring and I’m hoping to have much larger titles to take advantage of all the power behind both of these systems. The Quest 2 also being introduced to wireless VR at a much more affordable price should open up a wave of VR games.
With 2021 shaping up the way it is, I’m pushing myself to look at the positives in my life and look forward to another year of amazing games.