2020 was a very tough year for all of us. With the pandemic spreading across the world, we had to make huge adjustments to how we live, work, and even play.
With most of us stuck at home, video games have become a very welcome escape from reality that everyone needed. In fact, it has also become one of the best ways to keep in touch and interact with friends and family too.
This is why we wanted to end 2020 with a special episode talking about the best video games of 2020. For this year-ender special, we bought in guests Dangoflash Gaming, DammitDanica, and Dirv De Venecia from Wrestling after work to talk about 15 games that made our 2020 gaming experiences that more special.
Best Games of 2020
A huge technical achievement, DOOM Eternal is an evolution of the classic 90s Doom formula. With faster and meatier gunplay, rock-solid enemy variety, and a heavy as hell soundtrack by Mick Gordon, this is arguable one of the best FPS campaigns of the generation next to Titanfall 2.
Though it was released in 2018, Among Us has become one of the biggest games of the year, finding an audience in both season and casual gamers across the world. It’s simple yet engaging formula that encourages people to actively engage made it a bona-fide quarantine gaming hit.
One of the more underrated releases of 2020, Nioh 2 is not only an improvement over its predecessor, but it provides more customization, and the same engaging combat of its predecessor.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Musou/Warriors games have a formula that feels all to same-y at times, Age of Calamity avoids this problem by using the formula to create a solid gameplay loop, and tell a great story that helps us understand Breath of the Wild’s world much better.
Most survival horror games tend to put you into the shoes of the character running away from the monsters. However, Carrion puts in the shoes of the monster itself, creating one of the more unique gameplay experiences of the year.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game that came out at the right time. When everyone was stuck at home during the pandemic, New Horizons gave gamers a nice little digital space where they can create their own islands, and hang out with friends, family, and loved ones.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Arguably one of the best AC experiences in the entire franchise, Valhalla was the Viking video game experience that people have been looking for. With an excellent historical setting, satisfying stealth and combat, this is another solid entry in a series that has seen a recent resurgence in quality, over the past few years.
Another big gaming surprise this 2020, Genshin Impact has introduced gacha video game mechanics to the mainstream, integrating it into a solid action RPG experience. With a game world that continues to expand after each update, along with a colorful and fun cast of characters that you’ll grow to care about, Genshin Impact is one of the best free games of the year.
Arguably the most successful debut game of 2020, Phasmophobia is another awesome multiplayer offering. Ever wanted to be one of those reality TV ghost hunters? This is your best chance. Along with an immersive and addictive gameplay loop, there’s an encyclopedia of ghosts to look for.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
2020 was a year full of remakes, remasters, and revivals. 90s franchises like DOOM and Mortal Kombat were able to take their games to a whole new level, and games like Crash Bandicoot 4 showing there’s still so much more to offer.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 remake is another example of how to revive a well-loved franchise and save it from being remembered for its awful previous entry. With faithfully recreated levels, along with the same awesome soundtrack, THPS 1+2 is a treat for both old and new fans alike.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Speaking of excellent remakes, Final Fantasy VII Remake was a re-imagining like no other. With a fully-realized world, characters looking as great as people wished them to be, and a soundtrack that improves upon the already impressive original. While this may only be the first part of the remake, this entry shows us that even better things are yet to come.
The Last Of Us Part II
One of the most controversial games of the year (and probably for the rest of the incoming decade) The Last of Us Part II is a violent journey of revenge that takes the already bleak outlook of the first game to extreme heights. Despite the extreme narrative, the game is a technical masterpiece, with amazing visuals, atmospheric sound design, and accessibility features that allow all kinds of gamers to play the game their own unique way.
Another controversial 2020 release, Cyberpunk 2077 clearly wasn’t ready for launch despite the multiple delays and long development time. However, that doesn’t stop the game from showing its shining moments. Night City is a place bustling with life and many things to find and interact with, and the game mechanics and customization should keep you hooked for ours on end. Once more patches arrive to fix this up, this will surely be a more wonderful experience.
Ghost of Tsushima
There are a few games as beautiful and cinematic as Ghost of Tsushima. A samurai open-world adventure finally done right, the game is a work of art from almost every angle. With breathtaking locations, an impactful story about honor and duty, along with an incredibly satisfying gameplay and combat loop, Ghost of Tsushima is an epic farewell to the PS4 era.
2020 is surely one of the best years in gaming, and helped add a few bright spots in this tough year for so many people across the world. 2021 has just arrived, and we will surely be looking forward to the new generation of consoles and gaming hardware, and see what they can bring to the table!
About the Author
A former teacher and guitarist, Jude (Twitter, Instagram) is currently a writer that covers video games and is one of the co-hosts of The Geeky Juans. Apart from hosting the podcast, you can also catch him streaming at Dude It’s Jude on Facebook.