My 2020 Games of the Year

2020 has been a pretty interesting year, hasn't it? For me personally, it's been a year of a lot of ups and downs.

In terms of my gaming year, it's probably been more downs than ups with many games that I was looking forward to coming out this year not coming out (Bayonetta 3, SMT 5, and a few others) or games that I was looking forward to not turning out as I would have liked them (Cyberpunk 2077, Dragonball Z: Kakarot).

With that said, there were a few games that managed to at least distract me from the downs of the year; and at most, really impress me.

But before I get to those, I just wanted to list off a couple games that I couldn't justify putting on this list for one reason or another:

  • Spelunky 2 - Looking back at the small amount of time that I had with Spelunky 2, it probably wasn't a great idea to jump into another rogue-like right after Hades. I like what I've played of it so far but I was just not really feeling it at the time. I may go back to it one day though.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 - Like Spelunky, I haven't put much time into this one. Hopefully I will in the future.
  • Streets of Rage 4 - This is another game that I only picked up recently. I've gone through the story mode once so far and the game is pretty good, but playing it on my own is probably not the ideal way to play for me personally. With what I've played so far, the game is really good. I just need to get some people together to experience this one properly.

Okay, I think it's time to get to the list.

List items

  • As someone who has put a bit of time into Spelunky and Rogue Legacy (probably a couple hours each), I can definitely say that Hades is the best rogue-like(lite) game that I have ever had the pleasure of playing.

    I can also say as someone who has played a bit of Bastion and Transistor (again, about a couple hours in each) that this is the best Supergiant game that I have ever played.

    This game is absolutely fantastic. The gameplay feels amazing. Controlling Zagreus is simple and very intuitive. The storytelling is engaging. I love the characters in this game and the dialogue between them and Zagreus. The loop of the game is great and rewarding. I never felt like I wasn't making progress with each death. I love the art style and overall look of the game. The character portraits are very stylized and they look great.

    Hades is amazing and easily belongs on my list of the best games of 2020.

  • Wow! This game really blew me away!

    After Final Fantasy 15 (a game that I did like overall but had it's problems), I didn't know what to think before FF7R came out. I wasn't even sure if I would pick it up. In the end, I'm really glad that I did.

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake is amazing. I love the characters in this game (Cloud, Tifa, Barrett... everyone, pretty much). I love the gameplay. The action of Final Fantasy 15 combined with the active time battles of the original FF7 was a great blend that I really enjoyed. I really like the look of the game. The characters all looked great and the effects really catch the eye. Gotta love that music, as well.

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a fantastic game, a great start to this trilogy(?) and is easily one of the best games that I played this year.

  • I now own 3 separate copies of Xenoblade Chronicles - on the Wii, 3DS and now on the Switch. I really like this game and the Definitive edition is the absolute best version of it.

    I probably don't need to say too much more than that.

  • This is my surprise of the year! I didn't know what I was getting myself into with this game before I decided to pick it up. I do like some real time strategy-type games, but I don't play too many visual novels (I'm not sure if Phoenix Wright counts). Overall, I'm really glad that I took a chance on this one!

    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an amazing game! The art style looks absolute superb. The story, while almost completely incomprehensible in the beginning (and the middle... and right up until the end...), kept me glued to the TV and coming back day after day to see how it played out. It's the characters in this game and the interaction between them that really kept me going when it comes to the story. I like all of them. The gameplay of the strategy sections is really fun and surprisingly simple and intuitive, as well.

    13 Sentinels is a sleeper hit for me and is definitely one of the best games that I played this year.

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons was an interesting pick up for me this year. I've never really gotten into any AC games in the past. I didn't play too much Wild World on the DS and New Leaf bored me. So, it's easy for me to say that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is my favorite Animal Crossing game.

    It's the multiplayer and the community aspect that really kept me going in this one. Visiting other people's towns and having them come to mine was a real treat and an interesting experience for this year.

    That's not to say that the game on it's own isn't great. The game looks fantastic. The simple art and colour really pop on the screen. The gameplay loop, while a little boring for me over time, kept me coming back right up till the credits rolled. It was fun for a lot longer than I thought it would be and I may return to it if I get the itch to.

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a lot of fun. It's a fine pick for my best games of 2020.