Best Non-2020 Games I Played In 2020

2020 was a terrible year, video games were needed. I played a fair number of games during the year that didn't fit on my 2020 GOTY list because they didn't come out in 2020. So here they are.

List items

  • Tetris Effect was my GOTY in 2018 and digging back into it in 2020 was wonderful. I built a new PC in 2020 and playing the game at 4K/120fps is stunning. And the Connected expansion for the Xbox Game Pass version is a really fun addition. Co-op Tetris, a great idea that works really well.

  • Finally going back to finish Superhot was satisfying. I'm not sure why I bounced off the game when it was new but I'm glad I got back to it. It's a great concept with a simple but effective visual design.

  • Every few years I go back and play the last few COD campaigns that I've missed. I like the series well enough but it's never been my favourite. And I don't particularly care about the competitive multiplayer so I usually wait until the games are on sale to pick them up.

    2020 was the year I went back and played the Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare campaigns and had a damn great time with the latter. Infinite got a lot of hate around its release was the game that forced them to "go back to basics" with the franchise and have less outlandish settings. Which I think is a shame because the Infinite campaign is my favourite COD story to date. It's the only one that has a good, coherent story. It helped that I was catching up on a couple seasons of The Expanse at the time and Infinite Warfare has a very similar vibe.

    If breaking into a spaceship after a zero-g gunfight to steal a prototype spacefighter by getting into it and blasting a hole in the ship's hull and flying the fighter out through said hole sounds like a good time to you, check this game out.

  • I missed Dead Space somehow. The vibe and aesthetic was always something I was interested in, but at the time I was so against survival horror as a concept. The Resident Evil games never clicked with me, and setting one of those in an Event Horizon/Alien-like environment sounded great, but until last year I never got into it.

    That was my mistake. Dead Space is great. Excited to finish Dead Space 2 and 3 in 2021.

  • In the early summer I was in a Star Wars mood as I started to recover from the profound disappointment that was Rise Of Skywalker. I wanted some new-to-me Star Wars stories. So over the course of my summer vacation from work, I played through the entire Dark Forces series. Which includes Dark Forces, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and its expansion, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, and Jedi Academy. I had played the original Dark Forces when I was a kid but the rest of the series passed me by for whatever reason.

    I think the original probably holds up the best in terms of gameplay, because it's the simplest of them all and early 3D games don't often hold up well. Overall I enjoyed the series, which I played using some fanmade HD mods and had a great time. It's a cheesy and fun story.

  • Ratchet & Clank is another one of those series that entirely passed me by somehow. I was looking for something new last summer that was different than the other games I was playing and this remake jumped to mind. And I'm very glad it did, a very fun game that is still visually impressive in 2020. Excited for the sequel on PS5. Also, Clank rules.

  • Normally when I hear "It's kinda like Dark Souls but ______" my brain immediately shuts off. The challenging and impenetrable nature of the "Souls" games has never appealed to me. I took a slight interest when It's-Dark-Souls-But-Guns first came out, but it quickly fell off my radar until Remnant became free on the Epic store.

    I decided to give it a shot, and that shot-giving led to me playing through the campaign multiple times on two different platforms with different groups of co-op partners. I love Remnant, the gameplay, especially the co-op aspect of it drew me right in. I also loved the setting, and ended up digging into some lore online to put the somewhat vague story into perspective.

    Recently the originally-VR-only-but-now-no-longer-just-VR prequel game Chronos: Before The Ashes launched and I've played a bit of that as well. That game however is much closer to the traditional Souls formula and I can't say it's grabbing me.

    From what I understand, Remnant has done very well for Gunfire Games and I really hope that means we'll get a sequel at some point. I've put dozens of hours into the game and aside from a few bugs, have thoroughly enjoyed my time. Some of the most fun I had with video games in 2020 was centered around Remnant. Joining in the cheers of my co-op partners as we all shout into our headsets after beating a particularly difficult boss was always satisfying. If I had played Remnant in its original release year I'm sure it would've ranked very highly on my list. I might actually play some more later today...

  • And the Best Non-2020 Game Played In 2020 Award goes to....

    It's back. No one stays away from Destiny forever. It always sucks you back in. And suck me it did. Wait. Nevermind.

    I played a lot of original Destiny, and a bunch of Destiny 2 when it first launched, but fell off after the first few months and never went back. Not that I didn't enjoy my time with it, but I felt like after 50-60 hours I got what I wanted from the game. I ignored it until early 2020, pre-lockdown, when I had the idea to get back into Destiny. The game had a new expansion, Beyond Light, coming later in the year so it was a good time to catch up I thought. And catch up I did. Having so much content to explore coupled with the early days of the lockdown and spending even more time at home, I spent about 200 hours playing Destiny 2 in 2020 before Beyond Light had even launched. I even brought a friend along, and boy, did I ever create a loot monster in him. He ended up playing significantly more than I did, and I thought I was playing too much.

    Also, getting into the Remnant lore was nothing, Destiny has too much damn lore and I love it. The game was occupying my brain even when I wasn't playing it. Anything was better than thinking about the outside world obviously. So I spent a decent chunk of my lockdown days playing Animal Crossing while watching Byf lore videos on YouTube and skimming lore books before bed.

    I've fallen off a bit since the new expansion, I've enjoyed the new campaign and some of the new areas but repetitive seasonal activities bore me a bit, as per usual. Can't wait to dive back in for at least a few weeks next season though.

  • Honourable Mention

    A late edit and honourable mention for Metro Exodus. Not my favourite of the Metro series, but I got my first RTX card in early 2020 and this was a good test for it. A decent game as well.

  • Honourable Mention

    This represents all of the Jackbox Party Packs which were, and continue to be in 2021, a good way to spend time with family and friends during the pandemic.