Best Games of 2020

2020 was…a year. Thankfully, we had games to help us get through it. Here are our collective Top 21 favourite games of the year!

21. Half-Life: Alyx

This VR exclusive entry in the Half-Life series was far beyond a simple spin-off experience. Alyx is a fully realized Half-Life game in VR, and it stands out as the finest VR game on the market right now. Although it reached a very limited number of gamers due to the current low adoption rate of VR technology, I think it stands out as one of the best games this year, and one of my favorite games of all time. (TN)

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20. Streets of Rage 4

The classic beat ’em up gets a fresh coat of paint, but still delivers on the retro fun. (PB)

19. Marvel’s Avengers

It didn’t quite live up to initial hype, but it still delivers some pretty good superhero action. (PB)

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18. Hades

I’ve really enjoyed developer Supergiant’s output up to this point, but Hades captured and kept my attention in a way that far exceeded my expectations. It’s just a fantastically well-rounded game, glorious to look at, fun to play, with fantastic music and voice acting, and it’s hard to put down. Easily the best Switch experience I’ve had all year. (DC)

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17. Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Ichiban takes the #1 spot for me in 2020. This long running series takes a wild pivot without losing the things that makes it endearing. (SY)

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16. A Short Hike

It lives up to its name — being a game that’s literally about a short hike up a small mountain — but it’s thoroughly delightful throughout. I had a grin on my face the entire time I was playing A Short Hike, and in a pretty lousy year, this game stood out for its bright optimism, even in the face of adversity. (MP)

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15. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2

An absolutely fantastic remaster of two classic games that helps to wipe the slate clean for this franchise. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and does an excellent job of retaining the spirit and feel of the PlayStation-era classics while adding on new features, music, and other options to propel these games into the modern era. (DC)

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14. Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars may not add much to the originals — but when we’re talkinbg about a couple of the greatest games of all time, why mess with perfection? (MP)

13. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Not only did this game actually come out, but it also managed to subvert expectations and take the classic FF VII story off the rails in a way that makes me anticipate the follow-up even more. It might take another 10 plus years, but I’ll be there day one for Part 2. (DC)

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12. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

One of the best “Metroidvania” games gets a sequel, and it’s even better than the first. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is pretty close to perfect within this specific action-adventure subgenre, and it just helped cement Moon Studios even more as the leading developer in these types of games. The excellent Switch port that released later in the year was also no slouch, and sort of amazing to see from a technical standpoint. (DC)

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11. Carrion

A metroidvania with a fun twist: you play as the monster that devours everything in your past. It’s an interesting hook, and it takes the game a long way. (PB)

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10. Fall Guys

Fall Guys was such an unexpected hit, bringing some of the best elements of party games, battle royale, and platformers together in a cute but challenging, jelly bean madhouse. (TN)

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9. Astro’s Playroom

The PS5 is, somehow, an even bigger hit than the PS4 — and thanks to Astro’s Playroom, the system comes bundled with a game that doesn’t just show off the new hardware, but that is a pretty fun game in its own right! (PB)

8. Immortals Fenyx Rising

The name is kind of dumb, and its influences are incredibly obvious. But, somehow, Immortals Fenyx Rising takes all that and turns it into one of the best games of the year. At a time when most games aim for dark and serious, Immortals chooses to be joyful, and that decision is a big reason why it’s easy to get swept up in this fantastic adventure.

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7. Demon’s Souls

Demon’s Souls is everything I could ever want out of a Souls remake. It is a ground-up rebuild of the game that started the genre, and Bluepoint Games handled it perfectly. In addition to the in-game improvements, the fact that it is one of the few PS5 exclusive launch titles, and a title that manages to showcase how amazing that system is, and how incredible the DualSense Controller is, really earns it a shot at Game of the Year for 2020. (TN)

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6. Resident Evil 3

The Resident Evil 3 remake will remind hardcore fans what they loved about the game in the first place, while also bringing something fresh for newcomers to the series. (PB)

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5. Maneater

Video games are a power fantasy, and boy it felt good to exercise that power while swimming. (SY)

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4. Marvel?s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Growing up with Peter Parker as MY Spider-Man, I didn?t care much for the introduction of Miles Morales as another Spider-Man (or Ben Reilly before him for that matter). So when Insomniac?s first dabble with the web slinger came out and included Miles Morales I was a bit hesitant, but following that game and the release of Into the Spider-verse, I?ve grown to appreciate the character. Now with the release of Marvel?s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, we have a full story with Miles taking top billing while Peter is away on vacation (yes, really), so it?s not a direct sequel in as much as it?s an expansion in my opinion. But who am I to complain? We get more Spider-Man and when Insomniac Games is at the helm, that?s a very good thing. (PR)

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3. Genshin Impact

A free to play title with a massive world, colorful characters and deep lore, this title will monopolize your days! (SY)

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2. Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima was a great single-player experience when it launched, but was truly elevated to new heights with the subsequent Legends expansion. The incorporation of cooperative multiplayer paid off in ways I never could have imagined. Between the Survival mode and the excellent story missions, not to mention the tough-as-nails Raid to cap it all off, Ghost of Tsushima sits firmly atop my Game of the Year list. (TN)

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1. Animal Crossing: New Horizon

I do not know if a video game has ever come out at a more perfect time. I can’t say for sure if Animal Crossing: New Horizons would have been as successful as it was if the global pandemic hadn’t started when it did, but circumstances certainly led me and many others to log hundreds of hours in this amazing, escapist title, right when it was perhaps needed the most. On top of that, New Horizons has some of the best Animal Crossing experiences in the franchise, and stands out among the more traditional Game of the Year contenders and makes a solid case for itself. (TN)

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