Share And Discuss Your 2020 GOTY List On The Site

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ZombiePie

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#1 ZombiePie  Staff

Hey everyone, I have been meaning to create this post for a while, but go ahead and share your 2020 GOTY list in this thread! Feel free to discuss what took the top spot for you or not; it's up to you. The important thing is that I'll be using the comments of this thread to keep track of the lists I need to include on the Community Spotlights for the next couple of weeks.

If you don't know how to include a list in a forum post/comment, you just need to click the "List" button next to the HTML and Tweet buttons in the editor. Here's a picture if you still do not understand where this button might be:

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  1. Hades - I have tried many roguelike and none have made me want to continue playing the loop. Hades changed all that. Dying no longer feels like a punishment but a learning experience. The artwork is fantastic and the script and voice acting requires players to seek out and talk to all the characters before your next run. Well done.]
  2. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  3. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
  4. Streets of Rage 4
  5. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
  6. Final Fantasy VII Remake (only because I played a few hours)
  7. Doom Eternal
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mellotronrules

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#3  Edited By mellotronrules
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willin

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GOTY 2020

3. Persona 5 Royal
2017’s Game of the Year just got better. Persona 5 Royal took what was already an outstanding game and added just enough to justify a new playthrough. Gameplay systems that were issues before are now smoothed over. The new characters and dungeon are excellent, but the star of the show is the new third-semester storyline which might be the best story and writing Persona has ever done. If you’ve never played Persona 5, this is a must-play.
2. Trackmania
You cannot improve on the gameplay of Trackmania. Ubisoft knew that. So, what they did was improve everything around it. A brand-new multiplayer system that allows anyone to host without a server. Tracks that can be brought to you from a press of a button. Most importantly, a new community system that allows anyone to play whatever track styles they like with other like-minded people. Trackmania continues to be my favourite racing game franchise.
8. Half-Life: Alyx
While not the world-shattering, game-changing revelation that a new Half-Life game from Valve that most people expected it is still one of the best VR experiences I’ve played. Incredibly immersive, wonderfully designed and endless modable, Half-Life: Alyx shows that when Valve can still make great games. Also features the best level I’ve played in a long time. I hate you, Jeff.
1. Doom Eternal
Doom Eternal takes a while to click with you. It needs to introduce systems and limit the player to slowly ramp them to where they need to be. I wouldn’t blame anyone who stopped a few hours in due to this. But if you stick with it the game will eventually click… and it becomes one of the best first-person shooters ever made. Playing Doom Eternal felt like a 15-hour adrenaline rush. A non-stop fury of action, movement and decision making all while jumping through jaw-dropping environments at a perfect framerate. The soundtrack banging on in your ear while ripping and tearing the many enemies. Doom Eternal was the only game I played this year that made me excited while playing it. That to me makes it my Game of the Year for 2020.
4. Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima is one of the best examples of ‘comfort-food’ games. Just sit down and start playing. It is the standard 3rd stealth-action game but done so well and so stylishly. Excellent gameplay systems, engaging story on top of the best looking game of the year, Ghost of Tsushima is a prime example that sometimes style over substance can be enough.
5. Hades
Perhaps the most evenly consistent game of this year, Hades is a game that everyone can enjoy. By turning a quite played of genre and turning into an incredibly polished, well-written exemplar of rogue-likes Supergiant Games may have put the final nail in the rogue-like coffin cause I don’t think anyone is capable of topping them.
6. Genshin Impact
Easily the biggest surprise of the year: A mobile gacha Breath of the Wild clone is one of my favourite games of the year. Genshin Impact honestly could have been a no effort cash in like so many other games of its ilk. But it has a massive world to explore, deeper-than-you-think combat system and the best character designs this year. Despite the gacha, it is immensely enjoyable.
10. Cyberpunk 2077
Yeah, I know. Cyberpunk 2077 as of writing is rawer than a living cow, but I managed to fall into the very slim Venn diagram of ‘Having a good PC capable of running it’ and ‘High tolerance of jank’. Honestly, this would have been in my top 3 had it not been highly jank. However, Cyberpunk 2077 still features a fantastic world to explore, endearing characters and a killer soundtrack. Hopefully, in six months, people can enjoy it as much as I did.
9. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
Blizzard continues the ‘Good Expansion-Bad Expansion’ pattern with what I think is an excellent expansion pack. Not only does Shadowlands feature a beautiful world to explore and exciting new mechanics like Torghast, but it also has me interested in the story of World of Warcraft for the first time in a decade. That is something to be commended.
7. Bugsnax
If there is any game that would be the dictionary definition of ‘delightful’, it would be Bugsnax. Just exploring the world and seeing all the fantastic designs of the Bugsnax is well worth the purchase price, but finding an oddly touching, personal story with superb voice acting is just a cherry on top of the Scoopy Banoopy.
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onlysony

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#6  Edited By yyninja

These were the games that stuck with me the most in 2020, most are not published in 2020 but whatever it's my list.

YYninja's 2020 GOTY List

1. Ring Fit Adventure
This game is not "good" in a traditional sense but was and still is an absolute lifesaver that is keeping me fit during the pandemic.
2. Hades
Extremely polished, tight controls and balanced combat. The narrative is the perfect carrot on a stick that has kept me playing this rogue-like well after the first clear.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I can't believe it took me this long to play this game, but it was an absolute joy to experience, especially with the amount of freedom you have over what you can do versus a traditional Zelda game.
4. Hollow Knight
Best Metroidvania I've played since Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Also played Ori and the Will of the Wisps this year, but that game tries too hard to imitate Hollow Knight and mostly fails.
5. Return of the Obra Dinn
The most unique game I've ever played. The best part of this game is experiencing it for the first time. The worst part is after I finished it, I know I can't have that same high as playing it for the first time again.
6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
My most played game of 2020. According to my Switch, I spent over 280 hours on this game. Has major story and pacing problems in the 2nd act, but I don't regret the time I spent. Best character: Lysithea. Best House: Golden Deer.
7. Yakuza Kiwami 2
Not as good as Yakuza 0 because the narrative is relatively weak. Outside of that, it's a joy running into every goofy side-story and character you meet. Good dumb fun!
8. Tell Me Why
Not sure why this game gets so little attention. This is from the creators of Life is Strange! And the funny thing is that I think this game has better characters and better narrative pacing than Life is Strange. Maybe it's the inclusion of a trans-character that has people so put-off? Honestly a hidden gem and please YouTube the bad ending once you finish the game (it is extremely hard to obtain), it left me in tears.
9. Steins;Gate 0
A game I thought I would like more because I'm a fan of Steins;Gate. The plot isn't as sharp and the characters are not as well fleshed out as the original game. Still worth a playthrough. Expect to dig through Reddit threads to fully understand the story once you're finished.
10. Outer Wilds
Another game I thought I would like more that I actually did. Conceptually super interesting and unique, but has problems once you run out of places to explore and can't figure out how to complete the game.
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Games I Enjoyed Throughout 2020

. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
I love Animal Crossing. New Horizons provided just that when it came to the lockdown throughout the majority of 2020. I found myself engaged with a lot of my friend group that I otherwise didn't always have time to see or focus on. I'm really grateful that this became the de facto hangout spot for my friends and I. The continued holiday updates gave me a reason to check back on it and even now I still find that charm hasn't faded. You would hope that with the lockdown games with a heavy focus on online cooperative play would receive whatever support they need to ensure a great online experience. Unfortunately, that was and still is not the case with most Nintendo online games. It's exhausting to have to deal with terrible online implications in games that want for your attention as much as Animal Crossing did this year. Here's to a 2021 where Nintendo figures out their shit and people stop accepting mediocre service as acceptable for purchase.
. Doom Eternal
2016's DOOM is probably one of my favourite FPS games ever. Doom Eternal didn't end up rising to the same status as it's predecessor, but it's still incredible. If DOOM is a 5, Eternal is a 4. The changes they made and the focus they put on combat puzzles kept me engaged, while the irreverent story of DOOM and it's masturbatory focus on that story kept me inching further and further away. The continual ramp up of difficulty felt smart. I was forced to approach each new encounter better and more efficient than before. That all combined with a lackluster, yet cool looking, final boss in the Icon of Sin made this game fall just short of the previous game.
. Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
Prior to Queen's Gambit igniting a passion for chess around the internet, the newest Clubhouse Games release did the same for me. I never knew how to play chess, or a lot of these games for that matter, but now I can and hey, turns out chess is pretty fun. The other games on this collection did a good job of giving me something to do when I wanted to play something simple before bed.
. Spelunky 2
If I bothered to number this list I feel like Spelunky 2 would be a strong number 2. It's more Spelunky, which is great and kind of exactly what I needed this year. To pick a game up for a short period of time and get mad, but continue to keep going back to it.
. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
2020 did a good job of making me feel older all the time, but this remaster of THPS 1 and 2 made me feel younger in my mind by at least 20 years. Vicarious Visions did a great job in rebuilding those old games into what feels like a smart combination of multiple Tony Hawk games. With the addition of more music and more characters, it was hard for me to put this game down.
. Streets of Rage 4
I managed to beat the newest game in the Streets of Rage franchise, not that it took very long. Thinking back on it, I'm pretty sure I was finished the story within the week I bought it. The gameplay and music kept me interested to unlock new characters and keep replaying old levels. I think I'd like to see a resurgence of the belt scrolling beat 'em up genre, it definitely holds a special place in my nostalgic heart and I could see myself playing more and more of these.
. Hades
Hades is an incredibly stylish game, that style is present in every corner and from every action you take. I do need to continue my playthrough, but from the time I've spent with it so far I can tell that dying again and again is not getting old. I would not be surprised to see Hades find it's way on to my list at the end of 2021.
. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Another 2019 game that took up much of my 2020 time. A small group of friends and I constantly found ourselves falling back into this fast paced online action. I feel like after spending the better part of a calendar year with this Call of Duty title I can say it's one of my favourites from the franchise. I ended up having the exact opposite reaction to the new game and that's why Black Ops: Cold War is not on this list at all. For everything I loved about MW, it felt like that was gone from Cold War and left me longing for 2019's release.
. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
I recently picked this game up on the Steam holiday sale and so far I've sunk around 10 hours into it. This game is just super cool, top to bottom. The character designs, set pieces and voice acting are all top notch. All of this tied with some incredible stealth action gameplay makes for a fantastic experience.
. Super Metroid
So, I beat Super Metroid for the first time this year on my Super NT, Analgoue's FPGA based SNES. I think all said and done it took me around 10 hours without any guides. And although I didn't receive the fabled bikini Samus, I really enjoyed my time runnin' and gunnin' on planet Zebes.
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TopCat88

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#8  Edited By TopCat88

GOTY 2020

1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2The perfect remake. Blew away the Robomoto nonsense of a few years ago, and brought THPS back to where it should be. THPS 2 is in my Top 3 of all time, and this hit the nostalgia hard. It played and looked "as you remember it", the challenge system was great, and everything just worked. BONUS POINTS for not adding Micro Transactions post launch. Has Activision turned a moral corner - I doubt it, but here's hoping.
2. Doom EternalAfter completing, but not particularly enjoying Doom 2016 (I intend to give it another go in 2021), Doom Eternal was a huge improvement for me. The combat arenas were well crafted, the shooting never felt repetitive, the story was goofy, and the platforming was surprisingly enjoyable. Hoping the expansions come to Game Pass next year.
3. Ori and the Will of the WispsThe top three are light years ahead of anything else I played with a 2020 release. Ori is wonderful. It's beautiful, it's challenging, but rewarding. It has a moving narrative, and most of all is a blast to play. Tight controls and a rare game where I went for and got the 100% completion.
4. FIFA 21I feel that Fifa 21 is a huge improvement over 20. It plays much closer to 'real' football and I enjoyed it enough to buy it despite Fifa 20 being included in Game Pass. The next gen update looks great.
5. Watch Dogs: LegionI bought this to have something next-gen (ish) to play on my Series S. It's my first Watch Dogs, and not too bad at all. My first Ray Tracing game, and I loved the city and how alive it felt. Solid gameplay and a serviceable story without being a classic.
6. Microsoft Flight SimulatorA stunning game, beautiful, and the global map made it special. Flying around famous and personal locations was a really joy.
7. Destiny 2Annual inclusion of Destiny / Destiny 2. Beyond Light was a good update and played it with my buddy across the world - his first Destiny experience (Thank you, Game Pass). For that alone it deserves the No. 7 spot.
8. Streets of Rage 4Really enjoyed co-oping this with my wife (not much of a video game fan). I learned that she enjoys 2D beat em' ups, and I remembered how much I adore Streets of Rage.
9. Fall Guys: Ultimate KnockoutI fell off of Fall Guys, (:p) but it's a game that I enjoyed my somewhat brief time with. Great concept.
10. Mario Kart Live: Home CircuitThe only game on this list I have not played. But for sheer innovation, and for the only game of the year that made we want a Switch, it takes the No. 10 spot above some games I actually played.

*** 11-99: Game Pass:

Microsoft's service was the really GOTY in 2020. A wonderful service, at a competitive price. I played 60-70 games this year because of it (not all to completion). It helped me try a whole bunch of things I wouldn't normally, and limited my spending (especially on Steam) to almost $0. ( I finally bought the expansions to Jurassic World: Evolution because that game is amazing enough for me to buy DLC, which I never normally do.)

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#9  Edited By Hunt270

1. RimWorld

The fun and magic of RimWorld immediately swept me off my feet. It’s not a better game than Dwarf Fortress per-se, but it has a great clean look and is way more accessible to the modern gamer than DF ever will be (Until the Steam release).

2. Yakuza 0

I finally gave in to Ian’s incessant pestering that I play this game. I can’t publicly say he’s right about anything, but this may be the exception. Gripping story, fun gameplay, and great graphics. Yakuza 0 is a modern classic.

3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing is very near and dear to my heart. The simple joy I get from playing these games is like nothing else. And even despite some shortcomings the latest entry in the series is the best yet.

4. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

My Metal Gear journey started all the way back in 2015 with Metal Gear for the MSX. Now seven games later I can finally say I’ve played Metal Gear. Also probably the best stealth game.

5. Dwarf Fortress

A game that I’ve been obsessed with for years and I finally play it! Dwarf Fortress is another game that is near and dear, but this year it also led me to an incredible realization, I like roguelikes...

6. Ghost of Tsushima

Never have I played a game that so perfectly nails the aesthetic it’s going for. Even if the story isn’t living up, just inhabiting the world is enough for me.

7. Doom II: Hell on Earth

Not much to say here other than I played all the DOOM games and this is the best. So many good levels and so many good WADs.

8. System Shock 2

This game certainly shocked my system. Fantastic atmosphere, okay controls, and great design. I honestly wish I could forget the game just to replay it.

9. Deep Rock Galactic

ROCK AND STONE! Karen and I love playing this game together. The dwarves rule, the missions are fun, and lots of good unlockables.

10. ELEX

I spent the last year really getting into games I normally wouldn’t and it’s helped to expand my tastes a lot. ELEX isn’t going to win any awards, but it has some great systems and world building that are certainly worth the time.

If you'd like to see EVERY game I played in 2020 check out this list: Games Played 2020

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Games that came out this year that I played

  1. Ghost of Tsushima - I quite literally love everything about this game. It's the most enjoyment I've gotten out of a video game in a very long time. I loved the story, actually got emotional about it, and the world is just....wonderful.
  2. Final Fantasy VII Remake - I started playing this when it came out and found it kind of boring. I don't remember why, but I wasn't as impressed as I felt I should have been. I let a couple months go by and picked it up again and then had a complete turn around. I think they've done a stellar job with this, beyond expectation, and I can't wait to see the rest.
  3. Hades - So, I don't love Hades quite as much as everyone else, but I did have a very serious affair with it for several weeks. I fell off at some point because the post-credits stuff just didn't hold that much appeal to me, but I bet I'll go back to it at some point.
  4. Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Like God of War or Ghost of Tsushima, this is a game that appeals to me on so many levels. I've been waiting for AC to go Norse for a while, and I think they did it right with Valhalla. That I watched The Last Kingdom as I played it even added to its fun.
  5. Demons Souls - I've only just started playing, but it feels so fucking good to get back to Boletaria. I have a HISTORY with this game. I can't believe how beautiful it looks now.
  6. Miles Morales - Again, I've only just started this, but the original Spider-Man game was my GOTY when it game out, and this is every bit as fun. I love Miles, in everything I've seen or read, and this does him right.

Games that came out prior to this year but that I only this year played or continued playing.

  1. Final Fantasy XIV - This is basically on my list every year. I got into it more this year than in most others because I finally found a solid static to do savage content with, and it's made the game come alive again. It's nuts to think that I've been playing this game for most of a decade.
  2. Death Stranding - When Death Stranding came out, I was very lukewarm on it. It looked ridiculous, and despite my love of the Metal Gear, there wasn't much appealing to me about what I was seeing. I tried it on a lark, literally checked it out of a library, and was completely floored by how much I ended up loving it. It's stupid - make no mistake, but it's the kind of stupid I really like.
  3. God of War - I don't know why I waited so long to play God of War. I played nearly every other incarnation, am a complete Norse-myth lover, and it's basically everything I am looking for in a video game, particularly the fatherhood aspects of its story. I finally made myself sit down and do it this year and it's one of my favorite games of all time.
  4. Dark Souls Remastered - I bought this on a lark at the beginning of the pandemic and quickly realized how much I'd been wanting to play Dark Souls again. Nothing new here - just the same game that I loved when it came out years ago.
  5. Assassin's Creed Unity - What a story this game has, and I'm not referring to the in-game narrative (though that is quite good as well). I remember playing this on release and feeling like it was hot garbage, despite loving the series. Playing it this year was revelatory. It's so good. I can't even believe how good it is. It's one of the best AC games. I wish they'd have waited and fixed it before it was released so that it wouldn't have been so tarnished in the public eye.
  6. Hollow Knight - Hollow Knight is another game I slept on despite having very good initial impressions. When I made myself sit down and really put some time into it I found probably the best metroidvania I can think of. I am really looking forward to Silksong.
  7. Mutant Year Zero - This was a left fielder for me. I had heard good things about the game and picked it up cheap at some point, but had never really tried it until recently. I was initially a little put off by its difficulty, but I'm happy I stuck with it and figured out how to navigate within its parameters because it became fantastic.
  8. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - A true return to form. I loved Valkyria 1. I didn't enjoy the sequel's move to the PSP, and 3 was by all accounts a complete disaster. Valk 4 really feels like a love letter to that first game, and I enjoyed getting back into it style.
  9. NBA 2k20 - I pick up a sports game once every few years. Sometimes baseball, sometimes basketball. I got 2k20 as part of some bundle, and at some odd point in the year decided I felt like some basketball. Then I put 150 hours into the game, played through two seasons, and was basically obsessed with my player for months.
  10. Dishonored 2 - Thank you Game Pass! I liked the first Dishonored a lot, but I think the sequel tops it. Emily is a fun character to play as, and I think her side of the story is really interesting.
  11. Donut County - This is kind of an honorable mention, but this game holds a special place in my heart because its the first game where I handed the controller to my small child and let her play. It's charming as hell, and the simplistic controls make it work even in the hands of a four year old.

Dishonorable Mention - Zelda 2: Link's Adventure - The only Zelda game I'd never beaten until this year. I figured it was do-able with Nintendo Online and the rewind feature. It's barely do-able even while cheating. I hated this entire experience so much, and I'd have quit early on had I not been so angry at this stupid game. I love Zelda, but this is one of the worst games I've ever played.

Dishonorable Mention 2 - Fuck the pre-orders and fuck the releases for these two consoles. I am finally in a place in my life where I can afford to buy a new console and they put us all through so much bullshit that I probably never will again. That I managed to get them both eventually still feels like a miracle.

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Top 7 Games of 2020 Ranked

. Doom Eternal
#7 - DOOM Eternal I like DOOM Eternal. I liked it so much that I wanted to play it on my new TV that I was finally able to afford after somehow getting a job mid-pandemic. I liked it so much that I didn't want to have to strain my eyes to watch it on the Playstation tv they showed at E3 2011 that my friend lent me because I mentioned I didn't have a TV of my own for two years and his was just sitting in his closet (Thanks duder, I really appreciate it. I just have to sit 5 inches away when I'm playing FPS's tho). That unfortunately meant that I only got two hours in before I had to return it to the library. Which is why its in my least best spot.
. Helltaker
#6 - Helltaker Helltaker is a game that takes a misogynistic, overly played anime trope ("Man goes to fantasy destination and starts a harem with beautiful fantasy girls") and somehow makes something wholesome out of it? For one, all of the demon ladies in the game are overflowing with personality (so much so that you'll be shocked how little dialogue is actually in the game.) and make it known that they have their own agency in all of this (literally every demon girl can and will kill you if you don't answer their questions correctly). Secondly, the ending scene is the best description of a healthy polycule I've seen in video games? It's heartfelt and sweet and it's just a bunch of people (well, err, a human, an angel, and several demons) living in a house together and caring for one another. You know, in their own way... Also, it's nice to see something acknowledge Heroes of Might & Magic 3 as an absolute classic and the pinnacles of strategy games.
. Monster Hunter: World
#5 - Monster Hunter: World - Iceborne Is Iceborne a different game? Every other generation of Monster Hunter would have released the "G rank" as an "Ultimate" version of the game. Iceborne is sold as both an expansion and as a full package with the base game (arguably something the series should have been doing all along, but I understand the limitations on previous portable consoles made that... difficult). But, ultimately (HA!), does it matter? It's my list and the new snow location is a blast. It's more Monster Hunter World and that game fucking rules. How could it not make my list?
. Granblue Fantasy: Versus
#4 - Granblue Fantasy: Versus Granblue Fantasy: Versus is in contention to be my favourite fighting game this generation. Theoretically. Because I haven't actually *played* this. GB:VS launched and, by the time I was able to get a copy from the library, the pandemic hit. So I've never actually got to rush down people with my small potato where it matters: shoulder to shoulder at a local meetup, a tournament, or someone's basement for 5 hours straight. I mean, the online was... okay... when people were actually playing it.... and you could find someone who wasn't a wifi wimp. Plus, I'm not exactly convinced that the newly announced Battle Pass is going to reinvigorate the community the same way that, say, rollback netcode would (note: go play Guilty Gear +r) . That being said the fundamentals of this game are nearly perfected despite being shockingly simple for an arcsys game. It's closer to a Street Fighter than a Blazblue or Dragon Ball FighterZ. It is simply a joy to play. What's more is that it single handedly proved to me that tying special moves to cooldowns in fighting games can be used in a way that both make the game accessible (by using single button inputs for them like Rising Thunder) and adding depth not only to the input (weirdly by finding the same solution as Smash Ultimate: doing the input properly will produce a stronger version of the move while the single input allows you to do combos not possible otherwise (like using a charge move instantly)), but the implementation of the cooldowns themselves (do I use an EX version of this attack right now to push more damager or get myself out of a situation and lock myself out of this attack entirely for several seconds? Or do I risk just using the normal version now to use the normal version again to apply more pressure later?). This makes every situation in the game mean that to have a set gameplan, you have to hold yourself back. If you lose your ability to do your powerful combo ender or your DP by using it in a combo, you naturally need another way to finish that combo or another out if you get caught in an unfavourable situation. So not only are you looking to find the optimal combo for a situation and executing it, you're finding an optimal combo with the moves you have available to you. I find this so much more interesting to put into practice vs just metre management. It becomes less about comparing the marginal benefits of combo path a vs combo path b when you have 2 bars and becomes "well what can I do when I have my fireball, but not anything else? What if I have my fireball, but I know my tatsu is about to comeback mid-combo?" This change alone makes putting the time into training mode not become a slog of numbers and covering edgecases that most combo experimentation has become today for me, but fitting puzzle pieces together to find a solution that gets you the best outcome, both going forward in the match and for damage. Granblue Vs is a game that both pleases my game designer brain and lizard brain by playing it. I really wish I got a chance to *actually* play it this year.
. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
#3 - Animal Crossing: New Horizons If you would have told me at the start of the pandemic this wasn't going to be game of the year, I would have called you a fool. "It's perfect!" I thought, naïvely. And it's not like I didn't have precedence for Animal Crossing being a perfect escape. 2013 might still be the darkest year of my life (yes, maybe even darker than 2020) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in some ways, saved me from it. I played that game every day without fail for a large chunk of that year, stopping only when I felt like I was ready to rejoin society. But what I failed to understand is how much different it is to be in the deepest depression of your life, trying anything to avoid the world around you, and being in a bunker, wanting desperately to rejoin society, but being unable to do so without significant personal risk (especially considering my partner is immunocompromised). In 2020, Animal Crossing wasn't an escape to a world that was better than the one I was in like in 2013, Animal Crossing was a constant reminder of what I was missing out on. Friends, family, being able to walk into a store and get something you need. The small things in life. Hell, even just getting the swimming update filled me with the strongest desire to go swimming I've ever felt in my entire life. And when I was 11 in Disney World I wasn't able to go to the water parks that my parents promised me we could go to because it was """too cold""". Anyway, I'm not trying to say Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't a great game. It's probably the best game in the series. It's just not the right game for me this year. I needed escapism, not constant reminders of the things I can't do.
. Hades
#2 - Hades Hades will probably take the top spot barring some sort of storytelling shenanigans or awful last act game balance spike, both of which would be uncharacteristic of Supergiant. I just haven't beaten it yet so I don't feel comfortable putting it at the top spot. Hell, if this was a normal list in a normal year, I wouldn't even put it on the list yet. But considering the only game on this list I've "finished" is Helltaker, putting it on this list feels natural.
. Spelunky 2
#1 - Spelunky 2 Just last night I reached the "final boss" of a normal Spelunky 2 run for the first time. I died, naturally, having expended all my resources and desperately flailing at the boss with my whip, under so much pressure, and not knowing their patterns, attacks, etc. This might sound like I'm bad at Spelunky (I am) and inexperienced that I'm only not getting to the final boss, but I've been playing the game since release almost daily. This is a feat I wouldn't compare to getting to Olmec in Spelunky 1, but getting all the way through Hell. Spelunky 2 pulls no punches and, even if I am nowhere near ready to start working on (or even spoiling myself of what the mechanics are of) "the Quest" and what lies behind it, it is still out to kick my ass and send me back to 1-1. No shit, right? This is Spelunky we're talking about. It'll do that. But I feel like, this time around, I'm at peace with that a lot more. I feel like Spelunky 2 is an evolution of the original that lost nothing along the way. While the original I've had numerous problems with and been very vocal about through the years (why are the ice caves so much easier than the jungle?! Why?!), I'm hard pressed to find a part of the game I dislike... or at least disagree with from a design perspective. Like Hades, I don't know where this well cement itself in my list once my time with it is over, but I think I'm ready to call Spelunky 2 the word so many used for the original: perfect.
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I made a list! Eventually I'll write a more expanded rankings to touch on the games I played past my top 10.

GOTY 2020

1. Hades
It’s hard to know where to start with Hades. I could talk about how good the action feels, when you’re dashing and attacking in harmony with dangerous foes. I could talk about how much variety exists within each run, and how replayable it is. I could talk about the smooth progression of customizable upgrades that, at times, almost make it feel as much like a traditional single player campaign as a roguelike. I could talk about the sharp writing, keen attention to detail, infectious characters, and undeniable personality in all aspects of Hades’ presentation; not to mention its stunning art and killer soundtrack. Or I could talk about how all of these parts are executed to near perfection on their own, yet still come together to form a whole greater than their sum. Hades is a game that knows precisely what it wants to be, and nails its cohesive vision with such boundless positive energy and gusto that I can’t help but be smitten with it. On top of being a supremely well-made game, Hades makes its mark on me personally as the first roguelike I’ve fallen utterly in love with. It’s a genre I’ve generally appreciated more than I’ve enjoyed playing, but through a series of smart, considered design decisions, Hades meets me in the middle. It manages to retain the genre’s biggest strengths (variety and replayability run after run) while avoiding its biggest frustrations (overbearing RNG and obtuseness). Just as profound is the way Hades leverages its run-based structure to empower its narrative trappings, which reveals new potential I didn’t know the genre had. So here I am, 100+ runs into a roguelike, and loving every minute of it. Hades is the best game Supergiant has made by some margin, easily my favorite roguelike to date, one of my favorite games of all time, and most importantly for this list, my clear game of the year. It’s an incredible thing.
2. Final Fantasy VII Remake
I had no idea what to expect going in, but Final Fantasy VII Remake is nothing if not bold and audacious. Yes, ballooning the first 5 hours of the original game into its own 40 hour epic certainly comes with its share of filler. But it also allows Remake to dive much, much deeper into Midgar, Shinra, AVALANCHE, and its large cast of memorable characters. In fact, the narrative beats of FFVII are perhaps more resonant now than ever, and Remake’s portrayal and exploration of the first chapter of this classic is simultaneously extravagant and powerful. It also looks amazing, sounds even better -- holy crap is its adaptive soundtrack a treat -- and sports a fresh new take on the series’ strategic combat. And while its divisive ending could have been executed better, it certainly has me eager to see more. A remake of FFVII could never have the same impact as the beloved original. But a Remake? Count me in.
3. Monster Train
I’m as surprised as anyone that a second roguelike has wormed its way so high up this list, but Monster Train somehow pulls together numerous disparate ideas into a smart, balanced, and cohesive whole that really hooked me. I love trying out the different clan combinations and champions, and how unique they all are. I love the flow of a run and how you are presented with fewer, more meaningful battles and upgrades. I love the complex battles which reward thinking ahead and careful tactical play. I love the card synergies, and how you can create some absurdly powerful combos. I love the slick UI and generous amount of information it surfaces, which helps you make educated decisions. Monster Train is the kind of surprise I love this medium for, a game I could have never expected, yet kept coming back to throughout the year. And with more updates on the way, I’ll continue riding that train into 2021.
4. Demon's Souls
Is it cheating to include a remake of an 11 year old game on this list, one that’s mostly unchanged aside from graphical and performance enhancements? Especially when said game is already an all-time favorite? Maybe. But revisiting Demon’s Souls on the PlayStation 5 in 2020 serves as a poignant reminder of what made From Software’s iconic series stand out in the first place. The keen attention to detail, the trust it puts in the player, the intricate character-building options, the immaculately designed levels, the iconic enemies and bosses, the bold online features; it was all there from the start, and still holds up today. And on next gen hardware it looks and sounds truly incredible, and performs even better. It’s a magnificent facelift for a bonafide classic, and a strong showpiece for what the new consoles are capable of.
5. Desperados III
Desperados III was my first foray into this type of real-time tactical stealth game, and if its quality is indicative of the genre at large, it almost certainly won’t be my last. My favorite moments were when I was in the thick of it, deep into a mission surrounded by numerous guards and obstacles. That’s when I was forced to get creative, to make use of all the ridiculous and exciting abilities spread between my team of varied and entertaining characters, and craft my own solutions to the problems at hand. I appreciate how much trust Desperados III places in its players, and it works thanks to a super slick UI, stellar level design, and a varied campaign that constantly shakes things up and presents new problems to solve.
6. Paradise Killer
“Lady Love Dies,” “Doctor Doom Jazz,” and “Witness to the End” are but a few of the character names in Paradise Killer, and give a mere glimpse into the style this game is dripping with. It builds its own bizarre mythos, fills it out with wacky but endearing characters, and ties it all together with a bold art style and an absolutely groovy soundtrack. Best of all, however, is how it sets you loose to investigate its detailed island, and weaves a compelling mystery into every corner of it. What unfolds is a tale about power, who desires and wields it, and how they manipulate others to get what they want. Piecing it together myself was a real treat, and made for a fascinating and highly memorable open world detective game unlike anything I’ve played.
7. The Last of Us Part II
Allow me to have a rare measured take on The Last of Us Part II: this is a very good video game that also has some flaws. It’s easily the best stealth action Naughty Dog has crafted to date, and I had a lot of fun sneaking my way through its varied, detailed environments to systematically take down enemies for the entirety of its lengthy runtime; not to mention its numerous exciting set piece moments. Yet I will remember The Last of Us Part II primarily as a bold and intense character study of Ellie, not as a hero, but as a broken, violent person living in a broken, violent world. Exploring just how far she could fall was wrenching, and when presented with incredible production values and top-notch acting, it really stuck with me.
8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and The Will of the Wisps is one of those games that didn’t stick with me all that long after I finished it, but I greatly enjoyed every moment I spent with it. Like its predecessor, this is a beautiful game, with gorgeous art that looks even better in motion, a sweeping orchestral musical score, and some effective and emotional narrative moments. Yet even with all those standout traits, the act of playing Ori is still where it shines brightest. This is a tight platformer with more than adequate combat, and a lush, detailed world that’s fun to explore. I didn’t put this game down until I had found every item and completed every challenge it put before me. It’s just a good, polished game in every aspect, one that was a real treat to play.
9. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
New Horizons will forever be associated with the initial COVID-19 lockdown, but there’s no denying the timeliness of its release. Animal Crossing’s daily routine structure has never fit with the way I like to play games, but in 2020, such a grounded routine was welcome. Of course, it helps that this latest iteration came with improved progression, the ability to decorate your entire island, and a gorgeous audiovisual presentation. Having an equally invested friend group further helped keep me invested, and I’ll be damned if the stalk market didn’t hook me too. Some quality of life improvements are still needed, and I eventually burnt out on the Animal Crossing structure once more. But only after New Horizons charmed me for months.
10. Gears Tactics
Gears Tactics is better than it has any right to be. Not only does it translate the long-running shooter franchise into a turn-based tactics game surprisingly accurately -- complete with chest-high walls, curb stomps, chainsaws, and e-holes -- it also introduces plenty of fresh ideas to stand tall on its own as a tactics game. I especially like the action economy, where careful use of your characters’ skills can generate bonus actions to create some exciting combos and powerful turns; it’s a different way of thinking that had me consistently engaged in my moment to moment play. I could have done without the unnecessary loot and padded length, but Gears Tactics works as both a Gears game and a tactics game better than I could have expected.
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infantpipoc

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10 different escapes from a disastrous year : A Giantbomb user’s top game list of 2020

1. Hades
(My Game of the Year 2020. Played on Switch in English) Isometric action game is among my favorite genres and Supergiant Games seems to be the only developer around focusing on those. Their newest Hades the rouge-lite is easily my favorite of this year. It has a lot in common with my top picks in the last few years. Like NieR Automata, Hitman 2 and Fire Emblem Three Houses, Hades put player through similar or even same encounters multiple times yet has enough variable in builds or narrative to keep things fresh. And like Three Houses, one ultimately play to forge bonds with characters in the game. As a game in early-access for almost 2 years, Hades is more fine-tuned than id’s scripted DOOM sequel, with better pacing and more satisfying loops. This Greek pantheon is the most lively in the game business and one should not let the rouge-like elements scare them off this action masterpiece.
2. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
(Played on PS4 in Japanese) Vanillaware, like Supergiant Games, is a developer specializing in water color art presentation. Their newest, 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim also has more in common with Supergiant Games’ output, as the game’s battle plays like a less engaging version of Transistor to me. But 13 Sentinels is not a game to be remembered for its combat, for it’s an interactive graphic novel or stage play. The story plays out through 13 different points of view. The science fiction elements appear all over the place at first, with giant robots, alien invasion, time travel and space opera all blended together, yet it all come to a cohesive whole at the end. It’s sad to see once Hideo Kojima blind believers like Giantbomb’s Brad Shoemaker and IGN’s Lucy O’Brein rejected this game for the naked teens. The game has an explanation for it that is better than some of Kojima’s more convoluted bullshit. 13 Sentinels certainly deserves better than the cold shoulders way too many gave to it.
3. Gears Tactics
(Played on PC through Steam with mouse and keyboard in English) 2020 is the year I played Uncha'rted games, and yet that experience only cemented my fondness for Gears series. Days after my Uncharted binge ended on a high note with Lost Legacy, Gears 5 Hivebusters reminded me that as so-called prestige game developer, Naughty Dog is still lousy at making action games compared to many other hard working devs. Months before that, Gears Tactics somehow scratched the itch 2016’s DOOM left me better than DOOM Eternal did. Released on April, 28, Gears Tactics could not come out during a better time for me. It was made playable merely hours after I completed a run in XCOM Chimera Squad, left longing for turn-based tactic games with more polish and flourish. It was about a month after DOOM Eternal left a bleeding wound where 2016’s DOOM itch was and that wound had turned into a itchy scar. It was also more than a week after Strike Back, a military action drama concluded for a second time on Cinemax. Gears Tactics takes the turn and cover based firefight of XCOM into a Diablo-like context. The hard hitting sound effect, aggregation encouraging systems and color codes loots all take this tactic game closer to the series’ action root. It feels like I am finally directing action scenes after action scenes without too much consideration for resources in a game. All makes this the best tactic experience I had that is not a Japanese SRPG.
4. Call of the Sea
(Played on PC through Steam with mouse and keyboard in English) There is something to say about how fucked up 2020 is when a cosmic horror tale about a woman struggling out of her illness (or not) can feel very uplifting in Call of the Sea. This debut game from a small developer can be compared favorable to bigger titles from earlier years of this decade. It’s Bioshock Infinite without combat, one can just explore this Unreal Engine powered colorful painterly world. While the puzzles aren’t as well designed and distributed, this is the shorter version of Jonathan Blow’s Witness that I can see through from beginning to end. It also manage something even Sony’s so-called prestige studio does not dare to do (I’m looking at you in particular, Santa Monica!), telling a story about working out issues in marriage.
5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
(Played on PC through Steam with controller in English) I enjoyed 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest as a pure platformer, so I’m not too hot on the idea of adding combat to its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisp. But when I actually played the 2020 game, it all feels better than I expected. Boss fights are not my favorite parts but at least those are far better than the forced dances with Marauders in DOOM Eternal. While the platforming set pieces are just as good if not better than those in the 2015 original.
6. Spiritfarer
(Played on Switch in English) Mechanically speaking, Spiritfarer is a closer sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest than Will of the Wisp as it’s a platformer without combat. Narrative wise, Spiritfarer feels like a sequel to Supergiant’s Hades. The player character Stella is picked by the soon to move on Charon to, well, fare spirits. Spiritfarer is also a game of building, offering kindness and closure for people before their passing. It’s a game encouraging hugging and other gestures of kindness. The animation flourish on display here is all for drama instead of action. Like Gamespot’s review of it says, it offer lots of reward and ask for no risk. Ironically, it’s shown during Microsoft’s E3 2019 conference, at a time when many might have chosen as their bath break after the big Cyberpunk 2077 announcement. Now the smaller title ends up on this list while the humble maker of this list received refund for the offensively mediocre and “Bethesda” RPG from Steam.
7. A Summer's End - Hong Kong 1986
(Played on PC through Steam with mouse in English) This visual novel about romance between 2 young queer woman came at me through a Polygon article. I got to admit, given my gender and sexual orientation, it’s impossible for me not to look at lesbian romance in the so-called male-gazing way. But A Summer’s End eventually won its place here because it’s a quite unique visual novel. “Visual” wise, it actually nailed the look of Hong Kong comic. The city has a overlooked comic book industry and it offers an art style for people like me who occasionally found Manga’s big eye too fluffy or Comic’s square jaws too jarring. “Novel” wise, it tells a detailed story about young people struggling in a world of so-called free market. Reference to old days of Chinese cinema does not hurt either. A Summer’s End is not a game of mass appeal, but if you want something interesting to read, it would beat many thing in print. P.S. The Polygon article link: https://www.polygon.com/2020/6/30/21304214/summers-end-hong-kong-1986-love-visual-novel-romance-hope
8. The Solitaire Conspiracy
(Played on PC through Steam with mouse in English) Mixing the very first PC game I’ve played with a serviceable spy thriller plot, and you got the Solitaire Conspiracy, Bithell’s latest and kind of an ad for his second game, Volume. It’s solid solitaire with cards J, Q and K as special wild cards that would affect how one plays. A special shout out to the game cast member Greg Miller. Back in his days as IGN staff member, I often found his delivery in video review with too much passion and not enough clearance. Here as a character in Solitaire Conspiracy, Miller is better at delivering a game story than he ever was as a reviewer from outside. Guess I would not mind him showing up in more games.
9. The Flower Collectors
(Played on PC through Steam with mouse and keyboard in English) In short, the Flower Collectors is an interactive Rear Window with more to say about the society it’s set in. Recommended by Dr. Austin Walker on an episode of Waypoint Radio late April, this wheel chairing sim with fun animal is a more serious caution tale about police state than many narrative driven games. A must-play for socially aware people.
10. Sakura Wars
(Played on PS4 in Japanese) This soft reboot of SEGA’s long running power ranger dating sim series came out in English the same day as Gears Tactics, while I played the Japanese version December, 2019. It was after I put up my list last year, so I am including it here. Sakura Wars is a cinematic visual novel with simplified even by Musou standard hack-and-slash action segments. Relatively high production value is highest point of the game’s presentation with its story being a predictable affair not out of place in a Saturday morning cartoon. Yet reflecting on it, I found it increasingly more enjoyable in this year of uncertainty. To see Ms. Amamiya and her friends trying to rebuild their once great theatre is something to behold. And if SEGA dares to make the sequel to this a PS5 exclusive, a exclusivity that left PS4 out as well I mean, then I may finally give consideration to purchasing Sony’s newest console.
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#17  Edited By wtravis

Top 4 games that actually came out in 2020 that I played

  1. Crusader Kings 3
  2. Fuser
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  4. Microsoft Flight Simulator

Top 3 games from other years that I first played in 2020

  1. Disco Elysium
  2. Planet Zoo
  3. Yakuza 0

Seven quick observations about the above seven games

Crusader Kings 3 is a fantastic sequel that deftly builds on everything that made CK2 great.

Contrary to appearances, it is a fantastic character role-playing game - not (as much) a strategy game. Memorable emergent stories and goals you set for yourself as a player are what make this game endlessly fun.

I've been playing Fuser non-stop since Christmas.

(I have it open right now while I write this.) I hope that Jan and/or Vinny host some more Fuser streams - and maybe even do a little co-op freestyle with the community, because playing online co-op can be surprisingly fun. Only downside is that buying all the available songs can get very pricey very quickly.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is on the very exclusive list of games my partner and I enjoyed playing together.

(Even though it was fraught with little moments of tension when we disagreed about what to do with our town.)

In all seriousness though, this was the entry in the franchise that finally had what I've felt it was always missing: The ability to terraform, build and design the island. I've always wanted an Animal Crossing game that had city-building elements.

And yet, somehow, when I first wrote this list, I completely forgot that I played it at all this year. Maybe that's just 2020, but I can't discount the fact that neither of us have picked it up since the spring as being a possible reason for that.

Microsoft Flight Simulator made me feel like if I were in an actual emergency and had to fly a 747, I could maybe not immediately crash the plane.

I would at least know where to find the autopilot functions.

I also blame it with giving me a month-long obsession of plane-spotting with FlightRadar24 and listening to LiveATC to hear the planes back-and-forth radio chatter with the tower as they land. MFS2020 is the reason I know who "Kennedy Steve" is.

Disco Elysium perfectly captures the feeling of being in a dream.

Everything is strange yet familiar, nonsensical yet vividly real. It's a fantastic narrative experience. Even after having sunk hours into playing through the game twice, there's still a ton of things I haven't yet encountered that I've seen others post about.

For example, I never found out Kim is gay but at least I did get to see him dance in the church, which might have been my favourite moment of any game I played this year.

Planet Zoo is part of the reason 2020 is the year I learned I'm an "animal person".

I've never before considered myself an "animal person", or whatever. I mean, I wasn't anti-animal - but some people just really love animals, you know?

But, between playing Planet Zoo and going for nature walks in my city (for lack of anywhere else to go or anything to do because of COVID-19), it turns out I love animals, and especially my local wildlife (but most especially raccoons and coyotes). Now I want to open my own zoo where I can cuddle a grizzly bear. Until then, though, I'm just going to keep donating to my local wildlife sanctuary.

Also, 2020 is the year I saw a wild coyote for the first time ever. He was just walking down the street. He was adorable! Coyotes are adorable!

Yakuza 0 is how I learned that I'm nostalgic for a place and time I've never actually been.

Much like how I never considered myself an "animal person", I've never been a Japanophile. But, it turns out I am. Playing Yakuza 0 made me realize I've grown up with little, very subtle doses of Japanese culture - especially 80's, 90's and early 2000's Japan - throughout my life, just from playing games made in Japan: The cars in Penny Racers, the legal system in Phoenix Wright, etc. I was never totally ignorant of the fact that "Hey, dummy, this is what those things are like in Japan", but I never gave it much thought. But finally playing a game that doesn't try to hide the fact that its setting and characters are Japanese, it all suddenly, vividly clicked.

What hit me the hardest while playing Yakuza 0, though, was how much the architecture made me think of Metropolismania for the PS2. At the time, I don't think my brain processed that this was what buildings looked like specifically in Japan - the signage, the compactness, etc. Seeing the same buildings in a radically different game like Yakuza 0 gave me nostalgia for Metropolismania and the cities you could build in it - which, it turns out, are specifically modelled to look like they're in Japan from the late 90's/early 2000's. (Obvious, I know, but something that never really clicked for me.)

Unrelated note: I really wish they'd make another Metropolismania.

Games I played in 2020 that didn't make my list because I didn't think they were that special

  1. Transport Fever 2: It wasn't terrible, but just more of the same from the first game. Also, the campaign is badly written and feels kind of lazily/shoddily put together at times.
  2. Far Cry 5 and Far Cry New Dawn: Even though I had the ending spoiled for me (what with the plot of the spin-off and all), the ending of Far Cry 5 was still a great moment/twist. Unfortunately it was the only highlight of what was an extremely tepid and disappointing story. Far Cry New Dawn was maybe a bit better, but it was pretty lackluster in its own right. In both, it felt like they wanted to have it both ways: To appear to be saying something about politics, society, etc., but instead staying far, far away from anything remotely controversial once you actually start playing. (So, an Ubisoft game.)
  3. Imperator Rome: It was fine. Not bad, but obviously overshadowed by Crusader Kings 3 once it released for me, personally. Unlike that game, though, Imperator suffers from the usual Paradox game problems: Release a very thin base game, completely overhaul everything in it, wait a few months, overhaul everything again - repeat as necessary until people actually like playing it and you can start charging for DLC.
  4. Space Haven: It's a promising start for an Early Access game, but I'll wait until it's significantly expanded/polished before I go back to give it another try.
  5. Cyberpunk 2077: See above.
  6. Kingdoms and Castles: Was a fun little colony builder, but got a little finicky in the late-game. Also, it cribbed a bit too much from Banished to feel like a unique or interesting take on that same formula.
  7. Rise of Industry: Probably the game I disliked the most of what I played this year. Extremely shallow, paper-thin business/resource management. Takes what so many other games already do well, and does it poorly.
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My best games of 2020

My list looks a little different from most on this site, I think. I only own a Switch, and My MacBook Pro is 7 years old, so I don't get to play a lot of things that come out in any given year. This is an unranked list of the games I got the most enjoyment out of this year. Some of them are new, some of them are old, but they're all titles that I keep thinking about in 2021.

1. Children of Morta
This is an absolutely gorgeous piece of work. The pixel art and animation is stunning to behold. There is so much personality in every character, and every action. I was hooked from the first moment until the last battle. People praise Hades for how it leverages the rogue-like formula to deliver the story, but Children of Morta does it just as well. Each successful, or unsuccessful run, gives you a little more insight into the Bergson family and the world they live in, told through beautifully animated and voiced cutscenes. It's a true special game, and one I come back to often.
2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
What can I say about this that hasn't been said already? I've always been a fan of this series, and the latest one is just what I needed at the time. It's not perfect, but it doesn't need to be. It just needs to be. I've fallen off of it in the past few months, and I feel guilty every time I think about how I've neglected my villagers. I'll go back some day, and finish up all those projects that I started. Someday.
3. Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate
Yes, it's a ten year old game. It came out for the Switch in 2020, so it counts for my purposes. I played well over 300 hours of Mystery Dungeon: Shiren The Wanderer on the DS. It remains one of my favorite games of all time. The series is one of the purest Rogue experiences you can get on a modern console. That either appeals to you, or it doesn't. If it does, then you're not going to find a finer game to play. There's a tremendous amount of depth in the seemingly simple systems. The more you experiment, the more you learn. I've put over 90 hours into it so far, and I'm still finding out new ways to solve the problems it hands you. The main story dungeon is only a tiny fraction of what there is on offer. There are dozens of dungeons to conquer, each with unique rules that test your knowledge and creativity. I can't recommend this highly enough.
4. Sunless Sea
I had never heard of this before I saw it in the upcoming releases section of the Switch shop, and now I've spent well over 40 hours exploring the Zee. The writing in this is top-quality. There's a level of craft and detail that makes this sunless world something I wanted to immerse myself in. I needed to know how my crew's stories would play out, what mysteries each of the cities I visited held, and just what the deeper truth was behind everything I encountered. The Switch port has some issues. I wish that the UI had been overhauled to be more easily navigable by a controller, and that the font was scaled better to the display you're using. Minor complaints aside, this is something unique and fascinating.
5. Blasphemous
Blasphemous is haunting and macabre and beautiful and terrifying. It's oppressive and terrible and stunning. I love it, and I hate it. I got to a point very near the end, and couldn't get past one boss no matter what I did, or how hard I tried. I put it down and haven't gone back to it, but it remains one of the most interesting games I played this year. The world is fully developed and fascinating to explore. There's so much hidden lore that fleshes out who these people are, and why they are doing what they're doing. I just wish I was good enough to finish it.
6. Nowhere Prophet
A Magic: The Gathering type of card game with a unique twist. Your cards are archetypes, but they also have unique names and can be injured or killed in battle. It really adds a layer to both strategy and tactics. You have a long journey to reach the promised land, and you'll have to make some tough decisions to make it. I haven't gotten much past the third act, but I keep trying. It's gorgeous and difficult and filled with vibrant colors and stark choices in a dying world.
7. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE
Who wants some Fire Emblem in their Persona? This game is just about custom-designed for me. I love both of the series, and this strange mashup actually works on a lot of levels. I'm enjoying this goofy story about up-and-coming idols trying to stave off a demon apocalypse using spirits that turn into weapons. This fills the Persona-sized hole in the Switch's library, and it does an admirable job.
8. Hades
This has earned the praise it's received from everyone. Supergiant has outdone themselves. I've been a fan of theirs for a long time, and they haven't disappointed with Hades. I'm not going to rehash what everyone else has said about it, except to say that it's a masterpiece that's worth everyone's time.
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#19  Edited By GiantFragger

GiantFragger's Top 10 Games of 2020

  1. Deep Rock Galactic
  2. Kentucky Route Zero
  3. Factorio
  4. Hades
  5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  6. Crusader Kings III
  7. Doom Eternal
  8. Fall Guys
  9. Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
  10. Phasmophobia

Overall, I found 2020 to be rather weak. I wasn't wowed by anything except my Top 1 and 2. All the other games were perfectly fine but no real bangers. Personally I don't mind because that gave me more time to get through my backlog. But even the much maligned 2014 lineup seems to have more interesting stuff than this year. What do you think?

Anyway, here's to 2021! Happy new year everyone - and happy new games!

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#21 ZombiePie  Staff

I am making the cut for this week's Community Spotlight here. Anything posted after this comment will be showcased next week.

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Humanity

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#22  Edited By Humanity

A lot of these games aren't from 2020 but hey.. thats my list so far. It's also ordered chronologically as I played them and not best to worst..

1. Ori and the Will of the WispsReleased: Mar 11I really liked the first Ori because of it's unique mix of platforming and metroidvania map progression. Will of the Wisps builds on everything from the first game to create another excellent adventure wrought with emotional moments and gorgeous graphics.
2. Doom EternalReleased: Mar 20Generally I had mixed feelings about Eternal as the change in the formula was not something that spoke to me - ultimately though I did have some high octane fun through this very lengthy shooter. Maybe not the fun I would have preferred but you can't deny that when Doom is firing on all cylinders it's in a league of it's own, it's just a shame that Eternal feels like the developer took all the wrong cues for what made their 2016 debut such a hit.
3. The Last of Us Part IIReleased: Jun 19I really enjoyed the much more refined gameplay and cinematic feel of the entire experience. While the story didn't have that same shocking singular moment this time around, it was a slow burn and something to think over once I was done. As far as these single player, movie-like experiences go Naughty Dog is still leader of the pack.
4. CarrionReleased: Jul 23Devolver continues to publish weird, and often macabre indie games and Carrion is no different. I didn't really get that whole "reverse horror" twist that the marketing was leaning so hard on but I did think it was a unique and very stylized approach to the classic metroidvania formula.
5. Mutant Year Zero: Road to EdenReleased: 2018Gamepass provided respite between major released and one of those games I finally decided to try was Mutant Year Zero which turned out to be a really fun strategy game with some light RPG mechanics. I really liked the post-apocalyptic world but with weird animal hybrids setting and generally enjoyed their unique blend of turn based combat mechanics.
6. Monster Hunter: WorldReleased: 2018Another 2018 gem - Monster Hunter is a game I was intimated to try because of how many weird systems it seemed to have. While it took some effort to parse through it all with the help of youTube tutorials and Wikis once I started getting the hang of things this game provided countless hours of fun. I'm at the "end" of the main campaign and this is about 30 hours in, and I know there are hundreds of hours more I could potentially pour into it, not even mentioning the Iceborne expansion.
7. The Surge 2Released: Sep 2019After really enjoying the first game I was eagerly awaiting this sequel but when it came out something about it didn't sit right with me. Once I did finally get around to it I had a blast. Surge 2 is a faster paced, sci-fi Souls-one-of-those and I love that about it. I love all the different weapons, the systems, the builds that you can play around with and how the primary limb severing mechanic ties into every other aspect of the game. Keeping my fingers crossed for a third one.
8. ObservationReleased: May 2019This was a really interesting small adventure game. I enjoyed the role reversal of being the AI on the ship instead of the human, and the plethora of weird anachronistic computer interface mini games. The story had me guessing and after a rather grounded start the game certainly ends with a flourish.
9. The TourystReleased: 2019This Switch released made it's way to Gamepass and was a real pleasant surprise. The graphics alone had me hooked and in a way after a few heavy games it was a pleasant retreat to run around summer resort islands and solve some basic puzzles while sporting a Hawaiian shirt.
10. Final Fantasy XVReleased: 2016I'm not sure what drove me to play this but ultimately I had a fun time. FF XV is unlike any RPG or Final Fantasy game I've ever played. Everything about it from combat to the world design and story seems disjointed and weird. Yet there is fun to be had and at the time I played the game had undergone several major patches that were aimed at improving the overall flow of the story among other things (it is still a confusing mess).
11. Cyberpunk 2077Released: Dec 2020All bugs and developer drama aside, I played this game on PC and experienced mostly cosmetic issues and actually had a really fun time exploring the world and doing "cyberpunky" stuff. A year or two down the road I imagine this will be a pretty good experience for most people and it's a shame that it came out in such a messed up state, both because of the harm it did to consumers that unknowingly purchased an unfinished game and because it forever tainted any rational discussion about the actual product itself divorced from all the drama.
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TOP 10 GAMES I PLAYED IN 2020

1. The Walking Dead - The Final Season
I think I cried for the entire last hour of this season. What an incredible way to close the series and our time with Clementine--especially considering that TellTale went bankrupt in the middle of development.
2. Control
Control features the most satisfying combat I've ever found in a game. The mix of traversal powers, combat powers, and gunplay result in experiences that look cool and control well. The mysteries of the story delighted my intellect, but they didn't land emotionally as hard as some other on my list.
3. Cyberpunk 2077
I luckily avoided obvious bugs during my playthrough. The main story, and the side stories for several NPCs were very moving and well acted--second only to The Walking Dead: The Final Season. However, Control had more memorable gameplay, which elevated it over this game.
4. Moss
5. Beat Saber
6. Frostpunk
7. Return of the Obra Dinn
8. Carrion
9. Blazing Chrome
10. Half-Life: Alyx
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Pilgrimm1981

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Still need to play a number of games, anyway:

  1. Wasteland 3 Definitely the most fun I had with a game this year, excellent all around.
  2. Cyberpunk 2077 Haven't finished it yet, but I think people are being a bit kneejerky over this game. It's really great.
  3. Half Life: Alyx I really like VR, and while this is nothing revolutionary on the platform, it's just a well made product.
  4. Final Fantasy VII Remake I have huge nostalgia for the original, and while the filler here sucks, it's still a beautiful game.
  5. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Like the anti Dead Rising, very slow and atmospheric VR zombie game. Love it.
  6. Mafia: Definitive Edition Again huge nostalgia, and just a very competent remake.
  7. Streets of Rage 4 Played 1 to 3 to death with my buddy, this one is good too, but not like the original three games.
  8. Star Wars: Squadrons It's not a fantastic game, but seriously impressive in VR the first couple of times.

Also REALLY happy I gave Sekiro another go and beat it this time! Also still play Gwent, cool card game.

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Top 10 games I played this year. For those who aren't interested in clicking the link:

10. Pacman Championship Edition 2

9. Nier Automata

8. Final Fantasy XV

7. 7th Dragon 2020

6. Katana Zero

5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

4. Bloodstained Ritual of the Night

3. Celeste

2. Undertale

1. Dragonball FighterZ

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@zombiepie: Sorry, but I couldn't get this into a list. My edit box does not contain all the fancy buttons you have. For reference, this is what I'm seeing in the text edit box.

No Caption Provided

Game of the Year - TitleVacant

2020 was a crap year for a multitude of reasons, so why shouldn't the crappiness extend into games, too? The three arguably biggest releases of the year (Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us Part II, and DOOM: Eternal) are all games that I found colossally disappointing in one way or another, and lot of games on other people's lists are things I just never got around to playing. While I did play some games I liked, there was nothing that blew my socks off in a way that I see myself going back to it down the line. It therefore seems appropriate that this title should remain vacant for 2020.

The [Insert Minnesota Sports Team] Award for Most Mediocre Game - Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

Any sports fan in Minnesota can tell you the existential horror of having to root for our teams. Each and every one will show you just enough to keep stringing you along week to week until suddenly the season is over and the team is almost exactly .500 for the eleventh year in a row. The Vikings are a franchise quarterback away from a Superbowl? Let's sign Kirk Cousins! The Twins might make the playoffs, but they will have to play the Yankees again. I'm not quite sure what the Wild are up to these days, but I'm sure it will end with them backing into the playoffs as the 8 seed and then getting blown out by a much better team. Probably the Dallas Stars, because God hates us.

Which brings me to the Assassin's Creed series. Like Minnesota teams, the most recent spate of AC games are consistently good enough to con you into a purchase, but always end up being deeply mediocre once you've actually bought them. And so it is with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. The combat is better than Odyssey, but the platforming sucks. The story has a lot of interesting ideas, but the game isn't focused enough to take advantage of them. The itemization of weapons and armor is better, but the inventory screen is still a total disaster. The game remains 50% too long. One step forward, one step back.

The "Best One of Those" Award - Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima is what happens when a developer makes an Assassin's Creed game, but actually spends more than 5 minutes thinking about the combat, platforming, story, setting, or graphics. The game is gorgeous, and the combat is rad, if a bit simple. I'm not a huge fan of the story, and the stealth mechanics suffer from being put alongside the great melee combat and standoff system. Having said that, I'll take more of this over the next 5000 Ubisoft games.

The School Commencement Just Shut the Fuck Up and Get On With It Already Award - Yakuza: Like a Dragon

I'll give Yakuza credit - the transition from brawler to RPG went better than it probably had any right to, but that didn't stop them from falling into basically every single genre-trap imaginable - none more than poor pacing. Even by the languid standards of the JRPG genre, this game takes forever to get going. For some reason, the devs decided that each new gameplay mechanic needed a one or two hour quest to introduce it. Even mainlining the plot, it was almost twenty hours in before I had a full slate of side-activities available and even longer before I could actually have characters change jobs.

All of which might be fine if the game around it were interesting enough to hold my interest during the build-up, but LADs combat is just too damn basic, the music too damn repetitive, and city and characters too damn uninteresting for me to care. The game has all of the trappings of a Yakuza game, but can never seem to bottle them all together well enough to stand with the rest of the series.

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#28  Edited By mynameisfatmike
  1. Hades
  2. Control: ultimate edition
  3. Cyberpunk
  4. Diabotical
  5. Tony hawk 1 + 2 remake
  6. Doom eternal
  7. The last of us 2
  8. Paper mario: the origami king
  9. Valorant
  10. Fifa 21

Hades is the clear winner for me. I was completely taken by what is clearly supergiant's finest work to date. Control is a masterpiece and among the very best games I have ever played, it struck all the right chords with me. Diabotical is mostly dead now but it had a few glorious months of a thriving community. I'm playing cyberpunk on a brand new zen3 + 3090 PC and performance is stellar. I won't deny its many technical issues but I feel the marvel of night city and the phenomenal cast are severely under appreciated in the media. The last of us 2 was such a mixed bag but an overwhelming masterpiece of presentation that I can't deny it was gripping.

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#29  Edited By Drachmalius

Here's mine! ty zombie <3

2020 Sure Was Interesting, Wasn't It?

. Yakuza: Like a DragonHonorable Mention: I have not finished this game. I haven't even played 5 hours probably. It came out in the midst of familial tragedy, so I will have to play it next year. Nonetheless, it makes a fantastic first impression and I can't wait to put more time into it. What did I like? The way it sets up the protagonist and his mentor/surrogate father figure was really well done and I feel like I already knew the major characters and stakes after a few hours of playing. I also got a feel for the combat and city exploration, which impressed me. My only complaint is that the main character is another dude, and I'd like a game that lets you play as a woman from this series at some point. But, I wouldn't hold that against this particular game for any reason unless it pisses me off.
. Good Job!Honorable Mention: It shadowdropped on a day when I was really in need of some cheering up. This game is simply fucking delightful, though it gets old. I didn't finish it, but I'll always remember it fondly and might go back to it someday. It's like if project mayhem was run by inspector clouseau or something.
. Star Wars: Episode I - Racer10. Yes, the tenth best game of 2020 is a rerelease of an N64 game. Friendly reminder that all lists are subjective. This rerelease was very special to me as it came around on Switch right when I needed it. I was all set to take a road trip out midwest in the middle of a pandemic to help extricate a loved one from a dangerous situation. And having an old favorite like this to play on the trip was just a blast and a half (I'm sorry)! All the blocky graphics, corny sound effects and music ripped from the movies, and tight controls were exactly what I needed this year. The actual tracks in this game were okay, but I'd really like a portable version of Racer Revenge next year (I will accept Stadia ((no really, I have a stadia controller and android phone)) or Xcloud as an alternative to Switch. Don't call me a Switch port beggar please).
. Streets of Rage 49. Another blast of nostalgia here, but this game was also really fresh and fun in its own right. It is trying to capitalize on series nostalgia by recreating a retro experience, just with new characters (Cherry ftw!) and stages and all that good sequel stuff. You know. Anyway, it's here because I played it with my sister, the same person I played the old games with. We had a ball, the final boss fight was a real fun challenge. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes these kinds of brawlers.
. Nowhere Prophet8. Last year I had Slay the Spire on my list, and this game is in the same vein. It is a deckbuilding roguelike, which is now I guess a favorite genre of mine (monster train switch port pls. forget what I said earlier, I'm a filthy port beggar). There's nothing I love more than bringing people together in a caravan to make their way across the vast wastelands, dodging trouble wherever it may crop up. So, it turns out that's what you do in this game. You dodge trouble by killing fools what mess with you and your people, mostly, but there is also a lot of great decision making. Along your journey, there are branching paths where you make a choice of some kind, as well as settlements to visit for their shops and landmarks. And all the while, your deck is in need of management as people in your caravan can become injured or die. I really enjoyed the layer of story and setting that this game draped over the gameplay of something like Slay the Spire. Nowhere Prophet is mostly here because it helped me to keep my hands busy while my mom was on her death bed. That's just a fact, sorry if it sounds grim.
. Resident Evil 37. I'll have a lot of difficulty saying this: Resident Evil 3 didn't make the top 5. I was one of this game's defenders earlier this year (still am, fight me!). Clearly it isn't as good as REmake 2, but it entertained me and won me over with its charm and adherence to a formula I love. Shameful, I know, to like something that is formulaic and perhaps cynically made to capitalize on the history of a beloved franchise. Yet I really did like this game. "bitch can't even swim" is my favorite line from any game this year, and that's saying something. The donut shop save room had a lot of cool obstacles around it at various points in the game. The Nemesis fights are all epic and schlocky in the best way possible. REmake 3 goes down so easy, and invites you back for more if you so choose (I do). Can we get another mainline entry with playable Jill now, please? (I'm always asking for something)
. Gears Tactics6. This one really surprised me. It was going to pass me by, but I decided to try it out based on my mood one night and it grabbed me. Normally X-com and the like are too involved for me, I don't get into all the base management and planning character builds and all that jazz. I'm more of a seat of the pants style of player, I guess. I'm impulsive and like to trial and error my way through games. Turns out, the people who made this spinoff know this trait about a likely sizeable chunk of Gears players and made a tactics game that wouldn't scare us away. Call it dumbed down or lacking in replayability, I honestly don't give a shit. I played a tactics RPG that felt like a shooter campaign and loved every minute.
. Final Fantasy VII Remake5. Here come the real heavy hitters! I came into this remake quite ready to be bored by it, or at least be unaffected by the nostalgia. I had a flirtation with FF7 back in the day, but never finished it (because it was too frustrating to make it up a mountain in disc 3 or something, I have no idea. I did eventually watch the ending on YouTube). Suffice to say, it was a long time since I'd had any real feelings on FF7 other than annoyance at the fanbase. No way they could win ME over! But, they did. Props to the localization team, who must have worked some real magic to get as many of the lines of dialogue to work as well as they did. The game has a lot of that same charm to it that the original did, but it's also more fleshed out and fun to play. It's a strictly better game than the original, but it also holds its own against other big games of the modern era. The writing and treatment of the characters, combined with the satisfying combat make this a shoo-in for number five. It didn't quite get higher for me because of its misshapenness and awkwardness. That's the best way I can put it. Something just ain't entirely right, but it's mostly a fun ride. And the ending just made me laugh, idk why people take this stuff so seriously i mean really have you even seen what's going on in the world its just a video gam-
. Hades4. Everyone likes Hades! Everyone who plays Hades likes Hades! That's the sense I got on twitter at least, for the last few months. Hey! I like Hades too! I bought it in 2018 (installed epic launcher on day one lol), said, "I love you but we need to part until you have aged to perfection", and proceeded to buy it again for Switch this year. Hell of a game. That's it, story done. But wait! Why is it here??? Honestly, the story didn't really grab me. It was a weaker showing in terms of the plot for Supergiant. But the characters are VERY well designed, and the dialogue flows like you want it to. Obviously, the big draw here though is the combat. This is a very fun game, you'll be hitting buttons like crazy trying to dodge and get in attacks where you can against increasingly tough foes. I made it to the end once and unlocked the harder modes, but had already put 50 hours in and am likely done for now. It is here though because like Nowhere Prophet, Hades was a game I played during my mom's final days. I couldn't attack the cancer that was killing her, but Zagreus could attack the legions of the underworld and beat them back little by little. I felt like I was making steady progress against...something. And I really needed that this year, so thank you to Supergiant for another master class video game.
. The Last of Us Part II3. HAHAHA I am silly sometimes. I hate Naughty Dog games, traditionally. Played Uncharted 1 from start to finish, hated everything about it. Played the first hour of Uncharted 2 and decided this wasn't a developer I liked, which is fine. There's a lot of folks making games that aren't for me. But, a friend convinced me to try playing TLOU remastered back in 2014 and I...still didn't like ND much. At least The Last of Us had some resemblance to Resident Evil, but I didn't really like the shooting or the crafting - or the story and cutscenes. It was an okay but forgettable experience to me. When TLOU2 came out, I was determined not to buy it. I held out for over a month, but that same friend from before kept telling me how great it was and not to listen to all the hate. Well, I played it and it's a really great game. I was not prepared to like it as much as I did. No spoilers, but THAT moment early on actually had me laughing hysterically. They won me over by doing the thing that pissed off so many gamers. They centered the story around women (there were still some weird forced "dad-ification of games" moments, but it was much more subdued here than in the first game). And they won me over by sticking the landing, while making the most fun third person shooter I've played since Control. I was baffled to see some people didn't like the gameplay, but there's no pleasing everyone.
. Ori and the Will of the Wisps2. This game almost didn't make the list. Like, it was unplayable at launch on my Xbox One X. I made it to some water level where the frame rate was really hitchy and I got stuck in the level geometry, and dropped the game for over two months. They did fix it though, and I got back to the game. It's one of my favorite Metroidvanias of all time now, I think. Might have to play it again to be sure, but the whole thing delivered so well on the promises of that first Ori game. The visuals go beyond what I could describe in words, they've achieved something so stunning that it shouldn't even be possible. Let alone be playable by humans in 2020. It might be the prettiest game I've ever played, if that counts for anything. I know it counts for a lot in Metroidvanias. What fun would exploring a world be if that world was ugly and boring? Moon studios gets why people like the genre, they've crafted a world that is a joy to traverse. Which is made easier by Ori's revamped move set and abilities. Ori and the Will of the Wisps does the thing that good sequels do, which is building out from the first game to make something that is closer to perfect than that which came before. The modern era of Metroidvanias is so rich now, I love it. We have so many great developers making games like this, continuing the legacy that bigger companies have tried to step out of the shadow of. That should be celebrated. I love this genre and I love the Ori series!
. Persona 5 Royal1. Obligatory "never saw it coming" comment. Some people are out there saying that Persona 5 Royal shouldn't be in consideration for GOTY because it isn't a brand new game. Well, fuck those people! If you've looked at my other lists, you'll see Persona 5 vanilla only made the number two spot. It was a little too flawed to call it my favorite game of that year. Royal fixes everything, though. They fixed the ending (by adding to it...a lot), they fixed a lot of the pacing issues and weird restrictions, they even fixed Mementos! My eyes might have glazed over when I was forced to replay boss fights from three years earlier, but this was a hugely additive experience as someone familiar with the vanilla version. The new characters and ending gave me a sense of closure that the original didn't. That new chunk of story was written well enough to jive with the themes of the main game and also provide a much tighter and definitive ending. And the game itself is still really fun, mixing dungeon crawling with a social sim in a way that feels really fresh and rewarding. Part of 2020 for me was realizing that I don't have to play every video game that comes out. I started to play only the ones that ACTUALLY interest me, like a rational human being. This was one of them, and it didn't let me down. It surpassed my expectations (which were fairly light) and gave me another 100 hours of heart stealing fun! I loved all of the games on this list. There were a bunch of others I played this year, some I beat, but they just didn't do a whole lot for me. For my new years resolution: gameing edition, I will resolve to try to stick to playing only the games that genuinely pique my interest. See you next year! But first, we have a special DIShonorable mention:
. Super Mario 3D All-StarsBIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Fuck everyone at Nintendo who OK'd this project without any kind of improvements on the original games. I don't care what they say they did, they didn't do shit. All-Stars my foot
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Aevovle

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GOTY but not...

I really want to post a great list of my ranked top 10 games but I personally think such a thing is flawed when discussing such a wide and varied category. Normally I don't have a GOTY because I like different games in different ways, 'videogames' is not a simple and comparable category.

All that being said I think I've come to a sort of top game list of my year. Not all were released in 2020, some because they are old, others are STILL early acess :-/ Also, a game being ranked higher on my list doesn't necessarily mean I think it is a better game, it's more a gut feeling combined with looking at my in-game hours.

6.Satisfactory has managed to suck up many a quarrantined hour! The scale and complexity are at times a little overwhealming but that's why I love it. Also it has vaccum tube personnel transportation... Astroneer nearly took this spot but runs out of pace far too quickly. Subnautica gets an honerable mention as well but I'm holding off playing 'below zero' until 1.0

5. KSP Remains to be a big hit in my library many, many years after release. A few mods here, a Manley video there and I can still find pleasure in launching a little green kerbal to their cold death as they crash unceremoniously into Eeloo because some idiot didn't check the staging. Still hoping KSP2 can contend for GOTY 202X. I like hope.

4. Empyrion was a huuuge time sink in the Q1/Q2 of the year (often overlooked by the time we reach the latter months). I've found I can be more creative than, for example, Space Engineers. Combined with a functional, challenging and fun set of survival and exploration mechanics.

3. Stellaris is responsible for one of the longest multiplayer games I've played over the course of a long lockdown weekend. Grand strategy can be a bit too grand though...and that was one of the smaller galaxies.

2. Hades very nearly took my top spot. A truly exceptional roguelike with combat that feels both challenging and satisfying. My previous favorite in the category was Dead Cells but Hades changed that very quickly. Definately my favorite switch game (I'm mostly a PC snob :P ) What really surprised me however was the story, integrating the mechanics effectively into the narritive with some good humour and a script that must be longer than the encyclopedia britannica. Seriously how many different ways are there to say 'you died'!

1. Among Us for me is the true 'Game of the Year 2020'. It is not the most extensive game, it has some very basic mechanics, has more than a few bugs and issues. It was almost ignored by most (including myself) For two years after release. Yet somehow in the summer of 2020 the word of 'sus' began to spread like a virus. Among Us has become such a large hit in the space of 2020 it has already had a sequal announced and cancelled (something mainstream AAA titles take years to do) grew so rapidly to completely overwhealm the backend with a tiny team working like mad to boost this from a game capable of thousands to a game of millions. Not to mention the recent launching of a truly incredible twitter account. Yet NONE of what I've discussed this far is why it sits here in my top spot.

2020 Has been an incredibly difficult year for many, freinds and families seperated, social interaction cancelled and millions left isolated and alone. Nothing has brought my groups of freinds closer than a few rounds of murdering each other in Among Us. It is a game that in a year of social distance has brought us closer together. The socialisation and connectivity it has wrought is the anti-CV19. Any other year (like 2018 when it was released) Among Us wouldn't be on this list, but looking for the game of 2020? Well there is a damn good reason that it waited this long to become a phenomenon.

Also fyi @zombiepie unfortunately I don't have a list button, I did look very carefully but it's defiantely not there :(

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ItsMagicNeal

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I tried to put up a blog but I got an error saying I'm IP banned, I sent an email since it might be my VPN or something? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Seikenfreak

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#32  Edited By Seikenfreak

Not sure why the list function is all messed up for me.. Can find the proper full year long journal/write-up I did for 2020 games here. (It's actually formatted correctly and has images etc etc. Spent a ton of time putting it together)

Game of the Year 2020 Users Choice

8. Dragon Quest Builders 22/9/20 - Dragon Quest Builders 2 was a late 2019 pickup. I've played it a bunch over the span of about 2 months and I think I'm near the end of the game. That ending isn't going to come though. I've had my fill. I made it fairly far in the original DQ Builders but grew tired of the repetitiveness of the gameplay loop, and thus fell off of it. A small part of me always thought "I probably should've finished that" and so I thought I'd make amends with the sequel. Unfortunately, DQB2 is a lot of the same. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what has been changed other than increased item capacity. It still operates on a fairly similar loop of building up a town on a map, fighting a boss, moving to a new map and starting over. Each area feels like it takes a substantial amount of time, even if you're trying to rush it. They give you this large multi-biome area to build up your own personal stuff, but I was so exhausted from building during the story maps, the last thing I wanted to do was immediately start again on my own area which didn't seem to matter in the grand scheme. Eh, I've had enough I think. I just can't muster the motivation to finish off what is likely the last 10% of the story. It's a shame.
3. Half-Life: AlyxAh.. VR. Half-Life: Alyx was pretty damn good. Boneworks (which I think I wrote about last year?) is probably closer to a more traditional Half-Life/old linear FPS experience than Alyx is. This felt more like a series of areas designed around VR mechanics.. which is sort've how HL2 was I guess, except for physics. Anyway, I'm rambling and that's reductive. I loved this game for all the reasons that I love VR. It tries to move video games forward as an interactive medium. It's been awhile since I played it so I don't exactly have many profound thoughts and details about it pouring out of my head but.. yea. How bout that Jeff level, eh?
5. Final Fantasy VII Remake4/13/20 - Finished the game on "Classic" difficulty with about 33 hours on the clock. A historically monumental release, oddly enough within weeks of Half-Life: Alyx's release. My thoughts on FF7R are all over the place at the moment. + The visuals are outstanding, aside from the texture issues. + The music is generally very good. Some of the more unique tracks, usually reserved for smaller areas or moments, aren't to my particular tastes. The boss battles made me put my controller down to crank up the volume. + The characters are amazingly realized. Their voice acting is mostly good. Their writing is pretty good most of the time. + It's incredible how much they were able to flesh out what essentially felt like the tutorial of the original release. The Shinra building portion is noteworthy. + The Materia System is still fantastic. But.. - What the fuck are they doing with these weird changes in the over-arching narrative? Are they going to fuck everything up or not? I can't tell, but it seems like it. Everything was good up until the end, and then I was lost. After watching EuroGamer's ending video, I am thoroughly disappointed that Square Enix has likely found a way to pussy out on making a proper remake and had to create a weird meta loophole of bullshit to free them of that burden and opens the whole thing up to doing whatever the hell they want.. which likely means garbage, instead of just copying the original story (with minor tweaks) which is known and beloved - The combat system isn't quite my jam. I'm not a fan of the action oriented direction they've taken the games starting with FF13. If you're going to do action, then it better be on par with Sekiro or why even bother. IMO, just stick to the series roots and build a really pretty and cool turn-based combat system. This just moves too fast and has too much going on. I had brief glimpses of fun with it, usually when it was 1v1 or 3v1? Not when there were a handful of enemies just spamming you and everyone creating massive glitterbomb farts on the screen. - Summons continue to be a let down ever since FF10. Implementing them into parties and having them awkwardly float around in the background and occasionally do some small flashy bits is just such a bummer. - The way the game ends and they want you to replay individual chapters if you want to explore.. But like, you need to complete to chapter to retain any progress? I don't know. It's dumb though. - The constant shimmying, crouching under debris, and balancing across stuff is a real crap way of masking loads. Taken right out of SE's Tomb Raider stuff. I guess this is one thing that the new systems are claiming to eliminate. There is a lot of fascinating discussion to be had about FF7R.
7. Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 34/18/20 - Had my eye on this since release earlier in the year but finally scooped it up after a sudden random 50% price drop I spotted from a third party seller on Amazon only a couple months later. The original ME Supercross, a 2018 release I believe, was one of my surprise hits that year leading me to an eventual Platinum trophy. I skipped over the second one, because this is one of those barely iterative, yearly franchise games it seems and thus it didn't seem worth the time or money. The experience was still fresh in my memory. It's been two years now though and with the quarantine going on it seemed like the moment was right. There really isn't much to say about it honestly. As far as I can tell, it's the same game from two years ago. The main menu interface is different but I don't think I could name a single thing that's an improvement over 2018's title. That's not to say I am disappointed with my purchase. It's still fun. I still went through the 250 east, then west, and finally 450 championships in Career mode. I kinda doubt I'll Platinum this one, but I think I will go back in and collect some more trophies as just an excuse to play a little more of the game.
2. SnowRunnerI huge sequel to the SpinTires series I've loved. SnowRunner is an incredible step forward for these games. While the previous titles pretty much just had you drive logs from point A to point B, back and forth on a couple maps, SnowRunner took everything to the next level by overhauling the entire interface and experience. Now they had all these maps, connected in a way that allowed for something of a progression system. You had lists of tasks and goals (again, still mostly hauling stuff) that weren't just one type of thing between two spots, but a variety of cargo to all different spots on the maps. You had to repair bridges and roads. You earned money to unlock bigger, more capable, and sometimes more specialized vehicles. I was able to mostly clear two of the three world areas (each area contained three to four maps) before I wore myself out on the game, and they've since added even more. SnowRunner was another title where I became thoroughly addicted, just as I did with the previous releases. The visuals even more detailed and gritty. The physics were as good as ever. Perhaps I didn't like the look and style of a lot of the vehicles in this one? For the most part though, I didn't have any issues with the game. Couple minor technical hiccups related to the quests/jobs. It's been awhile since I played it though so I might be forgetting any more nuanced complaints I may have had. Still want to play it more, just haven't been in the right mood at the right time.
6. Ghost of Tsushima
9. CarrionHeyoooo here comes something unique! Carrion was a nice little surprise. Wonderful look and premise to it. Has a cool feeling to controlling the.. thing. The novelty of the idea wears off after a bit and while it takes only a handful of hours to beat, it still took me a few sessions spread out over time to finish. Feels a little.. simplistic? The gatling guns on the mechs is one of the best portrayals of said weapon. Great sound. Yea.. just a neat game. Maybe not as impactful as I'd hope it'd have been.
1. Demon's SoulsTHE PlayStation 5 release, of course. I hadn't touched Demon's Souls since the original PS3 release I believe. Bluepoint's remake is fantastic. Cleared my first run through the other day and already started another just to mess around and try some other styles. Maybe I'll even go for the Platinum?' Looks incredible. Runs at 60 which rocks. Not sure what else to say that I haven't already said about any of the other From Software games on my list. I feel like they're often #1. Still fascinating as a case study for what would explode into this whole new genre and shift design throughout the industry. The part that kinda sucks is that it makes me want to replay Dark Souls 2 for example, but now the old games look like ass in comparison and I just want all of them to be remade at this level.
4. Cyberpunk 20771/1/2021 - Cyberpunk 2077 is a proverbial mountain range of discussion material. I can only talk about what I see from where I am. I'm also not the type of person to get involved in the political subject matter of games, their development, or politics in real life for that matter. That isn't what draws me to or allows me to enjoy this medium. I finished up most of the endings today with a game time around 95 hours. Level 43 ish and maxed street cred. I completed most, if not all Side Jobs, and huge amount of Gigs and other miscellaneous small tasks scattered around the world. I also played it on a medium-high end PC with a Ryzen 3900x w/ GTX 2080ti. So, that all out of the way, I generally enjoyed my time with Cyberpunk 2077. I went in with little to no expectations, and I came out with a Fallout/Skyrim-adjacent experience. It's most impressive from a technical point of view: Night City is amazing to be in and a sight to behold. I remember the reveal years ago, that POV step out into the bustling streets and thinking to myself.. "This is nuts. This will not happen on current PCs, let alone consoles." But, sure as hell, they did it. On PC only of course, because even with the advancement of hardware since that reveal, even the best hardware struggles to handle it with grace. As for the rest of Cyberpunk? I found it perfectly adequate. The shooting felt alright to me. The skill and perk system was there. The story has its moments. The voice acting was hit or miss. Keanu did a decent job. It was all just in service of me existing in this world. I want to watch Cyberpunk 2077 and how it unfolds in the years to come. I hope a modding community flourishes around it and takes it to the next level. There is so much potential here.
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"That Is A Thing That They Want, And Here's a New One" - Austin Walker, or, My Top 10-ish Games of the Year

There's my full thoughts on this list, but for TL;DR and the sake of consolidation...

  1. The Last of Us Part II
  2. Ghost of Tsushima
  3. Final Fantasy VII Remake
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  5. MLB The Show 2020 (in the list proper, I imported Vampyr from 2018, but I want to give some love to my third consecutive year with ~1,000 hours in the baseball world somehwere)
  6. Kentucky Route Zero: Home Edition
  7. Genshin Impact
  8. Cyberpunk 2077 (with the caveat that I played about 15 hours on a base PS4, uninstalled the game and asked for a refund...)
  9. Spiritfarer
  10. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
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chrispy145

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1. Hades

2. Wasteland 3

3. Rimworld

4. Satisfactory

5. Final Fantasy 7 Remake

6. Blasphemous

7. Persona 5 Royale

8. Tony Hawk 1 +2

9. Resident Evil 7

10. COD: Warzone

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CombatBoots12

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#36  Edited By CombatBoots12

I spent much of my year playing backlog games, one(two?) had to make my list, but in a year spent almost entirely at my desk in quarantine, games and GB kept me sane and gave me something to look forward to. Sadly my box has no list button? I blame Mac or Firefox, and surely not my own rampant incompetence.

1. Hades

Been playing since it came out in early access, but the game shines and sings in a way now that it never did back then. I still can't beat Hades himself, but to make something as played-out and over-referenced as Greco-Roman myth feel fresh and new is a serious achievement. The relationships that build between each run, while not surprising, are told with love and a fresh voice.

The gameplay is sublime, I find myself hitting a trance state few games can induce. Tight controls, countless builds, and the "weight" of impact and movement are top-tier.

2. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC + SC (Old Game)

Quarantine finally allowed me the time to sit down and play this series. While The 3rd was fun, the arc of the first two games of the Trails in the Sky series simply cannot be missed for JRPG fans. The world is so fully realized and the relationships and interactions between characters are peerless in the genre. Combat is by no means unique, but has a great rhythm and allows for a lot of customization. I can't wait for Geofront to finish translating Ao no Kiseki so I can continue my Trails adventure.

3. Microsoft Flight Simulator

I finally understand the joy of Sim flight, and I can't wait until flight sticks are back in stock at regular price. The Bush Trips are a great structure for those of us used to traditional games, curated flights through some of the world's most beautiful wild terrain. I love a good modding community and it seems the Flight Sim crowd might be the most dedicated of them all.

4. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2

Pretending I'm a Superman and a 10-year old again. What a ride it was to revisit one of my very favorite series, finally given the love and attention it deserves. I hope we get more remakes (3, THUG) or a whole new THPS from this team. It's Tony Hawk, it's still as great as it ever was.

5. Blaseball

The Commissioner is doing a great job. It's not often I add a new bookmark to the ol' Firefox toolbar, Blaseball and it's community are such a good time.

6. The Falconeer

I love flight games, the Ace Combat series is one of my absolute favorite series in games. Falconeer takes a novel approach to arcadey flight action in a very cool dystopian waterworld. It recently got a free content update and I hope there's more to come. Dive bombing my bird at enemy airships then barrel rolling to the side at the last second as I shoot them down is not getting old anytime soon.

7. Monster Train

It's a shame the animation and sound design in this game are so bad, but crank combat speed up to insanity mode and turn off the sound and you have the ultimate "podcast game". I personally enjoyed this even more than Slay the Spire, I just wish the animation wasn't so "Macromedia's Flash"-y.

8. Sakuna: of Rice and Run

A wonderful hybrid of farming and Action RPG systems. The rice farming is a long multi-faceted process with a lot of hidden depth. The combat is ok, but serviceable and the levels have a nice design. The music was a wonderful surprise, especially the main farm theme.

9. Airborne Kingdom

A really cool idea for a city builder, wish there was more to the campaign, but steady exploration of a very cool stylized map while managing my city is fun plate-spinning act. Multiple times my city was slowly sinking to the earth only to find more coal at the last minute and keep my citizens afloat.

10. Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord

M&B is back and jankier than ever, but I love it all the same. The modding community will undoubtedly make a dozen total overhauls and mods to fix and improve on what's there. At times it made me want to return to Warband, but there is already enough QoL and graphical improvements to make Bannerlord a worth successor to the eurojank throne.

------------------------------------------

"Sorry I Missed You" goes out to:

Final Fantasy 7 Remake (waiting to see if a part 2 even exists before I get invested), 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim, Kentucky Route Zero, Captain Tsubasa, In Other Waters, OG Sakura Wars fan translation, Miles Morales, and some others I'm sure.

------------------------------------------

Biggest Disappointments

Star Wars: Squadrons:

I love Star Wars and the fighter pilot side of the lore is my favorite aspect, Rogue Squadron my favorite SW Game ever. I'm so sad the controls in this game are a mess, and remapping can only fix them so much. I can't believe they stuck with the awful and incomplete Battlefield flight system. At least I got it on sale. Maybe when flight sticks exist again I can make that mapping tolerable.

Animal Crossing NH:

That first 2 weeks with this game is the only time it's playable. I've ready every defense of it I can, but the complete and total lack of any quality of life features is nothing less than disrespectful to a player's time. The online content is a mess of hoops to jump through and unreliable even on my wired gigabit connection. I haven't picked the game up since April and really wish I'd bought it physically so I could trade it in somewhere.

-------------------------------------------

2021 is looking like the year of Caves of Qud, I put 30 hours into it over the New Year's Weekend and can't get enough. I pulled it out of my backlog after watching Going Rogue, and can not recommend it enough if you enjoy that type of game.

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VongolaGearX

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5.Granblue fantasy versus.

4. Yakuza 7.

3. Legend of heroes:Trails to zero

2. Legend of heros:trails of cold steel IV

1. Final Fantasy 7 remake.

game I sinked the most time into:Final Fantasy XIV.(2-3 hours minimum a day for 8 months grinding class)

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LeoKurtz

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My top 2020 games:

  1. Hotshot Racing
  2. Battletoads
  3. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions
  4. Tetris Effect: Connected
  5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

My top games in 2020 that were NOT released in 2020:

  1. F1 2019
  2. Starlink: Battle for Atlantis
  3. Devil May Cry 5
  4. AI: The Somnium Files
  5. Ryse: Son of Rome

And top 5 Playstation exclusives that I didn´t get to play because they don´t run on my PS3 nor Vita:

  1. Ghosts of Tsushima
  2. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  3. Astro´s Playroom
  4. Sackboy A Big Adventure
  5. Final Fantasy 7 Remake
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denisxcore

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Here's my list as of this point in time. I just started Yakuza: Like a Dragon last night, so the list might look different after I finish that but as it stands it's:

  1. Hades
  2. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  3. Doom Eternal
  4. Kentucky Route Zero
  5. Röki
  6. Wide Ocean Big Jacket
  7. Resident Evil 3 Remake
  8. Inmost
  9. Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
  10. Paradise Killer

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cosi83

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Ah, only played the one game released this year

Streets of Rage 4. It was okay?

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Here's mine!

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons - I've never played an Animal Crossing game before. I absolutely loved the game. I still check in about 2-3 times a week on my island just to see what's in the shop and what's going on.
  2. Ghost of Tsushima - Wow, great open world game. Loved the way the world look and the story itself was a blast. The combat itself was really fun and engaging as well.
  3. Final Fantasy VII Remake - The original FF7 is one of my favorite games of all time. It is literally the first RPG I ever played. The music, the characters, the story, are all top notch in my opinion. The remake did a great job bringing all those aspects into the 21st century. It was an awesome nostalgic fest with fun combat that presented the story in a new and engaging way.
  4. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time - I didn't think a new Crash Bandicoot would be decent in 2020, that wasn't simply a remake. This game did a wonderful job bringing the series to modern standards. The "modern" mode was a godsend and allowed me to complete the game in almost a Meat Boy style where it keeps track of your deaths and doesn't kick you out after losing so many lives like a standard platformer. Loved the fact that they brought back more of the original cast. Sign me up for another one.
  5. Star Wars: Squadrons - I love me a solid space flight sim. I grew up playing a TON of Colony Wars back on the ps1. This is a great game, and when you add in the fact that it has full PSVR support at an affordable price? It's a no-brainer.
  6. Streets of Rage 4 - The original first two games in the series are some of my favorites. I grew up playing both of them with my cousins on our Genesis. The 4th game in the series does a great job being modern. The music (both the new and old soundtracks) are great. It's just a blast to play.
  7. Paper Mario: The Origami King - I've never played a Paper Mario before, so I wasn't familiar with the frustrations with past games and their battle systems/XP. I really dug the turn table style battles and it made it engaging to play. Fun story, fun dialogue, and fun characters make for a great game.
  8. Tony Hawk 1+2 Remake - This is what Tony Hawk should be. It's smooth, fun, and handles great. The development team did a great job giving the game a fresh look. The original soundtrack and it's new additions were great!
  9. Hades - I bounce back and forth on how I feel about rogue-likes. However, this game is a blast to play, and the fact that the story ties in the reason that you keep dying? That's just great writing!
  10. Immortals: Fenyx Rising - When I first played the game, I put in a few hours and initially bounced off. I wanted to give it another chance, and once I got the hang of building up my character before charging off into battle, I was hooked. It's actually made me want to go back and give Breath of the Wild another short, which I initially bounced off of.

Other games I played in 2020.

  • Mario 3D All Stars Collection - I haven't really had a Nintendo console since my Gameboy Color, so I missed out on all of these games. Mario Galaxy is awesome. Mario Sunshine was actually more fun than I thought it would be! Mario 64, dare I say...the controls are rough and might not hold up as well as I thought.
  • Watch Dogs 2 - This was actually a lot of fun. Better story and characters than the original. I enjoyed the more lighthearted approach in this one. Although, I think I'm good now, and don't need Legion.
  • Gran Turismo Sport - Picked this up finally in 2020 once I heard it had a pretty robust single player campaign. I got a solid 25 hours in the game until I got to a point where I couldn't keep up with the higher level cars and their handling. I loved Gran Turismo 3 and this has been the closest thing to it since. I'm optimistic for GT7 on PS5.
  • Trials of Mana - Fun action RPG. Won't light the world on fire, but it was enjoyable. That voice acting though...woof!
  • Fortnite - Still my go to online game with friends. I took a few months off from it, but it's got us hooked again. Now if only they would create a "no build" mode for us 30 somethings that don't have the dexterity to build fast with all the punk kids.
  • Battlefield V - Finally went back to play the single player campaign. I thought it was pretty well done with some interested historical aspects. I'm a history teacher so I always dig this kind of stuff.
  • A Hat in Time - Fun platformer. Few graphical hiccups here and there but I enjoyed it. Felt like a throwback which was really enjoyable.
  • Maneater - Neat idea/concept. Fun to play, good length for what it offers.
  • Super Mario All Stars - I've been playing Mario since the early 90s when I was old enough to finally hold an NES controller. I had never beaten any of the original 3 games. Thanks to the magic of the Switch rewind feature I did it!
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas - If you like StarFox style space games, give this a shot on the Switch. It's a tad grindy at times, but I had a lot of fun with it.
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Zackington

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Zackington's Top 6 Games of 2020

1. Hades
This game is perfect. It rules. There is honestly nothing I can say about this game that hasn’t been said by so many games journalist, streamers, Youtubers, and the millions of people who have been playing it. It is an insane achievement. The gameplay is so tight and the loop is so rewarding that its always pushing you to do “just one more run”. And on top of that, the story is so engaging. All the characters are fully developed and interesting AND fully voice acted. This game didn’t need to be voice acted. But they did it. And the game shines even more because of it. Art design, game design, character design, music, boss fights, EVERYTHING. They all are perfect. My only complaint is that they won’t let me fully romance my girl Dusa. Dusa is best girl. I love her and she deserves only the best. Supergiant has made 4 games, all of which are great and unique, but Hades is their masterpiece. It’s this beautiful culmination of their whole body of work. I have no idea where Supergiant goes from here, but all eyes will be on what their next project is due to just how much Hades has taken the gaming world by storm. But for now, I’m going to do another run and see if I can get Meg to kiss me.
2. Persona 5 Royal
It surprises me that this game is where it is on my list because A) the original Persona 5 was both my favorite game of 2017 and last decade, and B) P5R is a better game than its predecessor. But we’ll get to the game that beat it for the top spot later. P5R kicks so much ass. It took a game I absolutely loved, made some tweaks to the gameplay to improve the user experience (crafting multiple lockpicks at once, letting you know when you find a better weapon and equipping it right away, palace navigation, etc), and added two new characters, and an expanded third semester story that felt like a perfect continuation of the ending of the original game. Having only played Persona 4 Golden and not original Persona 4, I do feel like the added palace and story of Golden was a weak and took away from a very strong ending of the original. But this new P5 palace and boss was implemented so well, and dealt with some powerful thoughts on making the world a better place and forging your own path. Being stuck at home gave me so much extra time to play this game, and I savored it as I took my time playing through the game in April and May. Its always quite an ordeal to choose to replay a game of this length, especially when its now even longer than it previously was, but putting in 100+ hours and getting that platinum was so worth it. (And yes, getting the platinum in Royal is significantly easier than P5 and P4 Golden)
3. The Last of Us Part II
This game had me captivated from beginning to end. I HAD to know what was next. Just one more mission. Just one more cut scene. I was just so entranced by this unrelenting story of revenge and how it can affect us. Like so many of us, I never expected this game to be as long as it was, and the moment I thought we were at the end, but it was just the halfway point, blew me away. When this game was announced, I understood why it was being made, but I thought it was unnecessary, which is also how I felt about Uncharted 4 when it was announced. To me the story was done. Yes, there was room to tell another story, but would this really add anything, or is it just a money grab? In both instances, I was wrong. Uncharted 4 is my favorite in that series and a beautiful ending to the Nathan Drake saga, and The Last of Us Part II is definitely not an ending the way Uncharted 4 is, but it is definitely a story worthy of its predecessor and a story needing to be told. So many movies, books, and games focus on getting revenge for a wrong committed against the main character, but we rarely ever see how that person continues on after the revenge has been obtained. Abby’s story shows how empty she is after she has gotten her revenge, and how what she did has negatively affected her life. Her friends are worried about her, and the one person she loves the most is planning on leaving her. As I played the final moments of the game, I just sat there pained and what I was having to do. I just wanted everyone to go home and stop this unnecessary violence. I know there was so much hate directed at this game (some deserved, others not so much) but to make this game with this story is such a ballsy choice, and I am so glad to have experienced it. I don’t know what Naughty Dog is planning to do next, but I will be there day 1 to play it. (Assuming I can find a PS5 by then)
4. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Not only did I not see this game coming at all, I didn’t expect to love it this much. I did love the original Hyrule Warriors, clocking in over 100 hours on the WiiU, but AoC is just a blast. Every character feels unique, and though I don’t love to play all the characters, I do love that no two characters are the same. Even the 3 main characters who had counterparts in the original Hyrule Warriors (Link, Zelda, and Impa) all play and feel different. The story is focused and really gave me a stronger sense of who these champions were since so much of our time with them in Breath of the Wild was through flashbacks and quick Force Ghost hangs. I know some people out there are not a fan of the direction this game went at around the midway point, but I loved it. I thought it was a clever way to tell this story. And in all honesty, if the game had gone the way we all thought it was going to go from the original reveal, the game would have just been one long bummer, and I didn’t really need any more of that energy in 2020. I’m not generally someone would is a stickler for frame rate hitches, but AoC can start to drag in intense situations. The Divine Beast levels when dozens of Lynels are bombarding you with shock arrows can really cause the game to get a hitch in its giddy-up. Some of the story missions where there are so many enemies plus multiple Guardians and maybe a Lynel or two all attacking at once can drop it down as well. But I can forgive it because the feeling of wiping out hundreds of enemies and using the champions to kick some ass was a blast.
5. Spiritfarer
This game took me completely by surprise. Watching the trailer on one of Nintendo’s Indie Directs, I was immediately captivated by what I saw. This game looked just charming and calming. And it was, but it also delivered one of the biggest emotional gut punches I have received since I finished The Last Guardian. The first time you take a passenger on your boat to the Everdoor, it is a very sad, but positive experience. Helping these souls find completion in their life and experience the calm talked about in the series finale of The Good Place, made me incredible emotional, but I knew this was their time. And all this time while growing close to the spirits on your ship, you are playing a management sim. Watering crops, cooking food, sawing logs, making sure everyone is fed and needs are met. The last few hours did get a little too long trying to find what I needed to finish the final few quests before completing the game. Some of the quests can be a little difficult to find what you need and where to go. I have no shame in admitting I had to look up where to find certain items for quests. But the final moments of that game are so powerful and moving. This game is not for everyone, but I do think if you give it a chance, you will fall in love with this game and the journey it takes you through the other side.
6. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
When I started planning to do this list, I was only going to do 5 games, but when I sat down and went over my list, I noticed Animal Crossing wasn’t there. So instead of doing a Top 5 and an Honorable Mention, I just made it 6 games. Its my list I can do what I want. Yes, the other games on this list resonated with me more, but ACNH had such a major impact on 2020 for me. I haven’t played it since September, missing so many end of the year holiday events, but I have so many fond memories of my island. For my partner and I’s anniversary, I got us both a copy of the game for our Switches, and everyday for months, we would sit side by side on the couch watching tv and working on our islands. We even chose to be in different hemispheres so we could get different bugs and fish quickly to complete our museums faster (which I don’t think either of us ever did). We would make each other jealous when we would find a villager the other wanted and then bring them to our islands. We would have island parties with our friends where we goofed off and raided each others stores. And according to Nintendo’s Year in Review, ACNH was my most played game on my Switch in 2020. I honestly may never go back to my island, but the time I spent there was very special. I hope my island girlfriends Bella and Audie are ok without me.
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Fakey's 2020 Games of the Year

1. Kentucky Route Zero
I bought Kentucky Route Zero a week after the first Act was released because of a write-up in Kill Screen. I played every Act and Interlude as they were released up until the last Act this year. I don't feel the last Act is the strongest, but they did a nice job, and I teared up at least once. Kentucky Route Zero, overall, is one of my favorite games of all time, and I'm looking forward to playing through it again back-to-back...instead of spread out over a 7 year period. :D
2. Detroit: Become Human
I know the response Detroit got, but this game really touched me. It didn't have any revelations, and I was frustrated at how it handled some topics, but I was gripped by the story and couldn't wait to see what happened next, thinking about the game every hour I wasn't playing it. After not liking Beyond: Two Souls at all, I'm now hoping Quantic Dream can make an even better game next time.
3. Grand Theft Auto IV
GTA IV came out at the time I wasn't playing video games, so I just got around to it this year, and it was well worth it. It still holds up in 2020, and with a couple mods, the art style just makes it feel like a different cartoony take on the graphics, as opposed to V. And, of course, the DLC is great.
4. If Found...
I'm a bit obsessed with my Irish heritage, am learning Irish, and I was supposed to take my family to Ireland in 2020 where my wife and I honeymooned 10 years ago. So, If Found gave me a great Irish setting with an impactful interpersonal story and creative storytelling/gameplay.
5. Void Bastards
I'm not really into rogue-likes/lites, but a first-person stealth take on it already is going to grab me. I then liked the way the tools and levels were built. I only got a bit frustrated at the end. Otherwise, I loved the experience.
6. Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Honestly, this game and the last 2 are basically tied for 4th, for me, as they just all did different things. AC Syndicate is, in my opinion, the best old-style AC game. The setting is fascinating, the characters are very good, and the graphics still look very nice in 2020. I was very happy to finally get this off my backlog, and I'm very much looking forward to playing Origins in 2021, bringing me into the new style of AC games.
7. Yakuza Kiwami
I loved Yakuza 0, but Kiwami was very disappointing for several reasons. The story is not as good, I got frustrated in several parts. However, I still enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to playing through Kiwami 2 and Yakuza 3 this year!
8. A Short Hike
A Short Hike was very meditative for me. Besides a couple spots, it was very relaxing, and I loved the short length along with the visuals, as well. I played it on PC, but I just bought it on Switch for my wife to play. :)
9. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Vice City is my favorite GTA game. I'm not sure if it still holds up, as I've been afraid to go back to it, but it is the only GTA I loved from start to finish due to the setting, visuals (at the time), and the music. I just bought the soundtrack on CD, actually, after playing Vice City Stories. VCS is not as good as the original, of course, but it was nice to relive the setting, and the appearance of Phil Collins sealed the deal to put it on this list.
10. Omikron: The Nomad Soul
I bought and played Omikron when it first came out due to David Bowie being in it, but I don't know how far I got in it. This year, I played all the way through it, and the gameplay really needs to be refreshed, controls completely redone. However, I personally think there is enough in Omikron with the setting and story that it would be worthwhile for Quantic Dream to outsource a remake to some other company and just refresh it a bit.
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Game of the Year 2020

1. Call of Duty: Warzone
Warzone picked up where Apex Legends left off for me. The core Call of Duty shooting is already great and added great ideas onto the battle royal Genre. The fact that there is a shop and you can keep buying your teammates back and the gulag are excellent additions. I also play this game with my friends where as in Apex I played solo queue and my friends and i are still having a blast playing this game and getting our first win felt sooo good. The only thing that they need to do to make this better is make the ping system better and easy to read as well as making it easier to read and see there your teammates are.
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
This is the best Zelda game and everyone should play it. The dungeons and levels are fantastic in this game, the gameplay for 2D is perfect and there is a ton of side activities to do and explore if you chose to do so. Also this is my top ten I played Ocarine of Time this year as well out of 28 games I played it was 16 and Spirit Tracks this year too was 22.
3. The Last of Us Part II
This game is really really good guys. The core gameplay is better than the first game and a lot more fun to play. I enjoyed the story a whole lot as well and not to mention the visuals in this game are phenomenal. I do think it does overstay is welcome a bit and find it insane that the fanbase of the first game turned on this game without a bat of the eye.
4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
I really like this game played it almost every day this year. It a joy and pleasure to look at and experience. I wish the game was faster with everything you did and I really with the awards you get for completing parts of the museum were actually worth while and they just felt like a slap in the face.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
So, spoilers but this isn’t the best Zelda game I played this year nor do I think it is the best Zelda ever. This game is a really good game, but not a good Zelda game. I did not like the combat it is very clunky. Every said that they loved the exploration, but I found most of the world to just be dead and a lot of empty space. Having he 4 core dungeons the same aesthetic was also just a poor choice and disappointing. But why do I like the game, because it is a lot of fun to play overall and had a great time with it even with the flaws.
6. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Great RPG game that started it all. Thought that it would be dated like some of the other games on this list, but it totally wasn’t! I definitely had some hard fights but overall a fun RPG.
7. Golf Story
What a great game! Simple golf game with great writing and gameplay. I am excited to see what they do with Sports story. I think the game is just a tad too long
8. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
This game really is as great as everyone says it is and lived up to my expectations unlike Mario 64, Halo and Ocarina of Time. A lot of fun to roam around the castle, level up, and find the secrets. Only issue I have is it is very tedious roaming around the castle when you are back tracking the movement is a tad slow.
9. Planet Coaster
Got this game at the beginning of the lockdown and one that I want to go back and play. I got addict to it for only a week, but making my small little Pirate theme park was a blast, so many customization options and looking at tutorials was a lot of fun. Definitely will go back had to delete off my laptop due space issues.
10. Forager
Yup was a addicted to this one for a few weeks very simple game and does a great job making you want to see what is the next piece of land you are going to add to your island
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#47  Edited By Sirmax

In loose order, only games released in 2020:

  1. Immortals Fenyx Rising - I rarely play triple-A titles but this one had so much charm I simply had to get it. It's just fantastic: wonderful visual style, wonderful narration, fun characters, lots of puzzles, highly enjoyable combat, enjoyable environments. I could go on and on. It takes a lot to make me buy and invest in a triple-A game, so this game is extra special to me.
  2. Dark Fall: Ghost Vigil - as expected from this developer; a great atmosphere and good puzzles. Also, novel gameplay mechanics that expand what you can do in this sub-genre. I feel that each game in this franchise continues to push what is possible.
  3. Port Royale 4 - I've been waiting for this one for many years. It's what I expected and wanted: thinking, planning, optimizing trade routes, building and manufacturing, expanding, tactical combat, immersive atmosphere. Looks great and plays well.
  4. Creeper World 4 - another one of my favourite franchises. A perfectly unique and fun mix of tower defense and strategy.
  5. Spellforce 3 Fallen Gods - a fun fusion of RTS and RPG, with deep Fantasy stuff.
  6. Panzer Corps 2 - hex-based combat + WW2 theme ? sign me up. Can't get enough of this stuff. Wargaming done really well.
  7. Hunting Simulator 2 - not as pretty or big as Call of the Wild, but it does its own unique thing - and you can have dogs!
  8. SnowRunner - vehicular physics puzzles where some tactical planning is required. Even better than Mudrunner and Spintires.
  9. Maneater - the kind of game I've always wanted to play but nobody bothered to make, so I was overjoyed at its announcement. It's a bit grindy for sure, but I think everything about this game is unique, and the mechanics are fun.
  10. Art of Rally - you really don't need licenses to make a great racing game. This game captures the core spirit of rally racing and is lots of fun.

Honorable mentions:

* Zombie Army 4 Dead War - a simple formula but that's all I really want from a shooter, and I'm far from tired of zombies. A cool fun game.

* Shadow Empire - a challenging 4x colony-building game, a tonne of depth and options.

* Wizards and Warlords - 4X Fantasy with lots of depth. Very old-school, which is only a plus to me.

* Partisans 1941 - a theme poorly covered in games. I enjoyed the game's historical aspects, and it's tactical combat.

* WRC 9 and MotoGP 20 - two very solid racing titles, the very best in each respective franchise I would argue.

* Desperados III - a formula that really can't fail in my opinion. I'll happily see more of this from this developer.

* Airborne Kingdom and Before We Leave - two awesome games with unique takes on city-building.

* Aquanox Deep Descent - very immersive and captures the undersea atmosphere really well. Fun combat.

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#48  Edited By AV_Gamer

Here is my list. Kind of challenging as I realized I was still playing a lot of games that came out last year.

GOTY 2020 Top 10

1. The Last of Us Part II

Don't listen to the naysayers. Not only is this game better than the original, it is an achievement in storytelling, presentation, gameplay, and sound design. If you can open your mind and let go of your personal hang ups, you'll be in for a great gaming experience.

2. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Simpy put, if you want an example of how you make a remake of a classic game, this game shows you how it's done. Everything you love about FFVII with an expanded story of the Midgar Arc. Better character development than in the original. Very well done remix of the original game's soundtrack. Great graphical presentation and gameplay to match. And an unexpected ending that could change everything, just like a great remake is suppose to do.

3. Hades

Hades is one of the best actions games to come out in years. Not only is the story, presentation, and soundtrack very well done. The amount of good dialogue in the game is amazing in itself. The gameplay is so addictive you'll find yourself not being able to put the controller down, even though you will die many times before you really get anywhere. Now that is something special.

4. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

This game is meant to be a showpiece for the PS5 and it delivers on that front. However, outside of that, Miles is a great addition to Marvel's Spiderman from the PS4. The world and gameplay is more of the same, but its the powerful story and well done pacing that grabs you. And if the ending is any indication, it's a great game that bridges between Spiderman and the upcoming Spiderman 2.

5. Persona 5 Royal

Atlus once again released an updated version to an already great game. And once again, the game is well worth replaying. The expanded story, better gameplay changes, and addition of interesting new characters makes the journey with the Phantom Thieves once again worth taking.

6. Astro's Playroom

Even though this cute little platformer was meant just to show off the new DualSense controller for the PS5, the game is actually a very good platformer that pays tribute to Playstation's history. I for one found myself smiling at the many reveals and Easter eggs packed into this game.

7. Streets of Rage 4

Many people said it couldn't be done, that the SOR series and brawlers in general were dead. An old gaming genre that has faded into memory. Good thing a series of great brawlers have come out in the recent couple of years, and this game is one of the best. It stays faithful to the SOR concept, including a great soundtrack that changes with almost every battle encounter.

8. Resident Evil 3

After hearing mixed opinions about the remake of RE3, one of my favorite in the series, I decided to give it a try. Glad I did, because it is a very well done remake. And like most good remakes, it doesn't do everything the original game did, but the stuff it does do is just as good and in some cases better. And even the multiplayer mode that was included is actually fun.

9. Watch Dogs: Legion

This might be the best Watch Dogs game in the series. Simply, because this game has gone beyond being a GTA clone with a hacking hook. In this game, the concept of the hacking has become the foundation of the gameplay, not just a concept like in the previous games. And as a result, the game is a blast to play. Infiltrating areas and using your skills to create havoc is a lot of fun. And controlling different characters you can recruit actually works towards the game benefit in making the hacking the main focus of the game. And the story is pretty good once you get into it.

10. Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is not a 2020 game, but it did come out with an expansion that not only continues the storyline from the other expansions, but it also reworked and simplified a lot of things, almost making it like a new game. Many of the stuff in the original D2 is gone and replaced. Smart choices were made to make upgrading gear and weapons a lot easier and better. I could go on, but it results in a smart and very fun package that keeps the game alive for years to come. D2 is a great multitasking game.

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  • Assassin's Creed Unity - What a story this game has, and I'm not referring to the in-game narrative (though that is quite good as well). I remember playing this on release and feeling like it was hot garbage, despite loving the series. Playing it this year was revelatory. It's so good. I can't even believe how good it is. It's one of the best AC games. I wish they'd have waited and fixed it before it was released so that it wouldn't have been so tarnished in the public eye.

I'm happy to read this. Having never tried it before, I'm about to start playing it on Series X where I've read that it holds a solid 60fps.