2020 may be feeling like two years, or not even half a year — depending on how it’s dragging for you — but there have been some great video games released so far. We have MANY big things to come later in the year and, of course, the release of two brand new consoles in the form of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Both of which look super exciting. And who knows what Nintendo may have up their sleeve? Nonetheless here are eight of the best games of 2020.
If a game you loved isn’t here, let me know in the comments below!
This list is in alphabetical order.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
One of the best games to have released as everyone entered lockdown was Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With a cast of colourful and cute characters, the journey of building your barren island into a lovely home for you and your villagers is nothing but a joy. This game fills you with joy to play and you can even play it with friends. Heading over to a friends island to have a meet-up or even host a talk show is the power that Animal Crossing has as a platform. The game only continues to get better with updates as well.
“ It doesn’t matter how mundane and tedious the tasks can seem at times, I constantly feel like I’m achieving or working towards something while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Doesn’t hurt it’s heckin’ adorable either.“
(PC, Nintendo Switch)
There’s a slight role-playing joy to playing Carrion. You control a monster who gets bigger and more powerful as the game progresses and you get to wreak havoc on the lives on the poor scientists and workers inside some sort of facility. Unlike Animal Crossing, Carrion isn’t very cute — but there’s certainly a loveable nature to the creature itself. This is one of 2020’s shorter bursts of fun with the campaign only taking 4-5 hours to complete, but it’s a blast.
“The best thing about Carrion is that no matter how many influences may be evident in its design and narrative, it’s utterly unique as a video game. For every bit of Metroidvania blood and 80’s monster movies in the blood of each tendril, I’ve never played a game quite like Carrion before.”
(PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
As far as tactical stealth games go, Desperados III is one of the best. You may think the wild west doesn’t make for the best setting in a stealth game but you’d be highly mistaken. With a cast of unique personalities and each with their own special abilities, playing through Desperados III’s meaty campaign offers a rewarding challenge and much more replay value than similar titles.
“Desperados III is simply one of the best stealth games you can play right now. Finishing each level left me feeling like I’d achieved something and outsmarted the system and when you can chain together the showdown kills it’s like putting together an old-western film.“
(PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
The reboot of the DOOM franchise only got more satisfying with DOOM Eternal. The sequel takes everything that made the 2016 game so much fun and only amplified it. Now the combat is faster, gorier and more intense than ever before with, yet again, a kick-ass soundtrack to rip and tear too.
“When the credits started rolling I was exhausted and my hands actually hurt from the intense mouse and keyboard action required in DOOM Eternal’s final levels. However, after I took a short break I jumped into the Master Levels because the combat is just so damn rewarding and fun, and you know I love the soundtrack. DOOM Eternal is easily one of this generation’s best FPS’s as it rips and tears its way to outdo the first game in every way possible.”
Media Molecules ambitious Dreams is one of the biggest ideas and video games ever created. There’s no way around that. It’s the most robust and yet, accessible game creator out there. And now it does VR games as well. It’s easy to dismiss Dreams if you pick it up and play a couple of bad user-created levels but even sitting down and playing through the campaign called ‘Art’s Dream’ you come out wowed. We have a selection of levels we’ve talked about on our PlayStation podcast, Platinum Explosion, right HERE you can save now to play.
“The toolset offered in Dreams is unreal, and the range of games, movies, music and more you’ll experience — there are no words. Dreams is like nothing we have ever seen before and it’s going to inspire the next generation of creators.”
The Last of Us: Part II
Following up what many consider a masterpiece is a big task and Naughty Dog surpassed all expectations with The Last of Us: Part II. The sequel see’s the introduction of the franchises most interesting and layered characters as well as the growth of Ellie. It’s one of the most intense and thought-provoking gaming experiences you can ever have.
“Refined combat makes for a more engaging combat experience in The Last of Us Part II, but there are simply too many encounters and it kills the pacing several times over in the second half of the game. The story is what pushes you through these repetitive fights and for good reason, it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. The Last of Us Part II is, simply put, another generation-defining narrative that will push the whole industry forward.”
Persona 5 Royal
The complete and best version of P5 is Persona 5 Royal. With the introduction of two new characters, Kasumi Yoshizaqa and Takuto Maruki, as well as the expansion of some characters from the original game, Royal is the only way to experience P5. Not only is the story more interesting with a brand new final chapter that’s the features the most engaging villain of the entire game, but gameplay changes also make for a better experience.
“If you’ve played Persona 5 before, the required amount of time and effort needed to see the new story content might be a big ask, but it’s undoubtedly worth it. Kasumi becomes one of the most interesting characters in the game and the way the story comes together in the final semester brought a tear to my eye. If you’ve never played Persona 5 or failed to finish it like me, then Persona 5 Royal is the definitive way to play one of the most stylish, emotional and engaging RPGs of all time.”
Streets of Rage 4
(PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
In a case of “didn’t know you wanted it til you had it,” Streets of Rage 4 came outta nowhere and utterly impressed. For the hardcore and casual beat-em-up fans, there’s everything that makes the Streets of Rage series enjoyable right here alongside an amazing original soundtrack. Make the game as hard or easy as you need with multiple difficulty options and punch and grab in solo or co-op either on the same machine or online.
“Longtime fans will have hours of fun replaying the game chasing high scores and beating it on all difficulties with friends. New players may just want an easier experience to listen to the music, kick some ass and take in the gorgeous artwork and design. However you decide to play Street of Rage 4, it’s going to be a fantastic time.”