SmashPad’s Top 10 Games of 2020

We’re finally here. SmashPad’s Top 10 Games of 2020.

So this is the part of the feature where people talk about how rough 2020 was. We get that everybody on our staff and every GOTY feature you’ve read on the internet has already done that, so we won’t bore you with our first world problems. We’ve all struggled, but the fact of the matter is video games more often that not served as that escape we needed.

If you’re new to SmashPad, welcome. We have a pretty simple way that we determine our Top 10 Games of the Year.

Over the last few days, you’ve probably seen our staff list their Top Games of 2020. These are essentially votes. Every game they selected is tabulated on a spreadsheet and received a number of points. Their favorite game of the year is awarded 10 points, while the 10th ranked game they’ve selected receives one. So for example, if my Game of the Year was Fall Guys, it would get 10 points, but if Fall Guys was #9 on Patrick’s list, it would get 2 points. This way, we don’t have to worry about people on our staff lobbying or arguing over which game belongs where. You can get all that at Giant Bomb. With our method, it’s all there in black and white.

The other thing we consider is whether or not the game is actually a 2020 release. Games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 and Persona 5 Royal are both fantastic titles, but we didn’t include them in our tabulations because they aren’t original titles released this year. Yes, they’re better entries, but they don’t really do anything to call them new games. We let people include them in their lists, though, because well, they’re their lists. What about Final Fantasy VII Remake, you might wonder? We counted that!

Among our 13 lists, 41 games were nominated this year. That’s a lot of games, but we’re here to feature the best, so let’s move on to SmashPad’s Top 10 Games of 2020.

10. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV (PS4)

“Billed as “The End of Saga” in Japan, there was some concern that Cold Steel IV would mark the end of the epic Trails branch of The Legend of Heroes franchise altogether. Thankfully, it only marked the end of the epic-in-its-own-right Erebonia arc, and the subtitle was left off of the North American release. There isn’t much else to add here except that if you still haven’t experienced why Trails is so amazing, Cold Steel IV finishes the second full story arc for North American audiences (a third arc, Crossbell, is still lingering in the ether, but don’t give up hope on that one yet), so you can see for yourself how Falcom is blending quality storytelling with amazing gameplay for the best JRPG experience of our time.” – Patrick Mifflin – Senior Editor, Podcasts