The best games of 2020

This story is part of Best of 2020.

The games are very personal. More than any other form of entertainment, video games offer a truly unique experience. Those who do not play probably think that every level, every game and every story is the same. But we know better than that. We know that no single game session is identical to another, and even the perception of what is ultimately similar can be very different. That is why it is difficult, even intimidating, to choose the first winner from this year’s outings.

That’s why we asked the employees what their personal game of the year is. Some people judge the overall quality of the game. Others by their pleasure factor. And some by their emotional or personal influence.

While some games clearly make waves, there are also a few that we haven’t seen on many other year-end lists, proving that a game doesn’t have to be a long-awaited AAA release or a trophy with critics or banners to have a real impact. Here, in alphabetical order, are the selections for the Game of the Year 2020.

Pet Cross: New Horizons

Crossing new horizons with animals Imaging by Nintendo

Normally I wouldn’t give such a name to a game with such an awkward menu interface, but in a year of isolating the people we love, Animal Crossing : New Horizons took the lead and did most of the work. Even though I couldn’t see my friends in person, visit their islands and even throw a birthday party, I felt connected with people again. In addition, the lack of gender-specific clothing locks and the great new characters such as Flick, Judy and Raymond made this fun game my game of the year. -Itan Ken

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Image via Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has developed the RPG style of the franchise with more exploration, puzzles and new battles. The size of the game card and the side quests never have the main story, which is really fun and heartbreaking, its playfulness – it only made it bigger. In this game you can escape in the sun to explore the map, or follow the story to visit different parts of England and Norway. When the credits start, you will be torn between leaving the game or downloading another file to play it over and over again. -Zack Palm

Service Call: War Zone

Military area Image by activation

The Battle Royale genre is often associated with a sense of madness, but basically this type of game is about tension and despair. The best proof of this is Call of Duty’s latest attempt at a Battle Royale, which has led to countless tense and exciting encounters on the map of Verdansk. The layout gives Warzone a sense of verticality and, unlike the nervous nature of the traditional Call of Duty, the Warzone players act more consciously, settle in a camp and try to persevere. The crate system gives a sense of progression in the middle of the game, and the drop-boxes are a smart way to allow players to customize their experience while turning it into a risky scenario. Fighting Royals makes the heart beat, and Warzone’s excitement has made mine explode more than any other game. See you in the Gulag. -Chris Compendio

Eternal destiny

Ancient God's Part One is a disappointing expansion that offers little variation Image via Bethesda

Hard to believe it came true this year – 2020 seems like an eternity – but Destiny Eternal is my game of the year. Improving the restart of Doom 2016 was a difficult job, but Bethesda and idiot succeeded. New crossing mechanisms, destructible demons, larger locations and boss battles, fun puzzles to collect and solve, and new canonical knowledge of the Doom universe make this a frantic, game-changing experience. Tearing demons to pieces has always been fun for me, but given the unprecedented difficulty of 2020, the cathartic gameplay of Doom Eternal was just what I needed. -Tom Power

Doom Eternal is, to say the least, an insane rush, and the complex gameplay combined with a flowing aesthetic makes it incredibly difficult to stop playing. It’s more the kind of game you want to keep playing until you’ve exhausted all the details. The Doom franchise has existed for more than 20 years and the last payment proves that it will not slow down quickly. -Chris Studley

Final Fantasy VII New Edition

Final Fantasy VII Remake Image via Square Enix

I never played the original Final Fantasy VII when I was a kid, and I decided to play it for the first time only last year because I felt I missed what many claim to be one of the greatest games of all time. Final Fantasy VII Remake took everything I liked from the first part of the original, modernized it, made it great, and expanded the story and the world in a way that seemed completely natural. From the characters in Tight Midgar to the new twists and turns in Square Enix, the game has already created and improved something incredible, while the spirit of the original has remained intact. -Cale Michael

Ghost of Tsushima Image via PlayStation studios

Ghost of Tsushima is my game of the year for one reason and only one reason: Designing an open world. While many of the game mechanics are borrowed from other games, not having markers on the map that rumble the screen and let the wind take over is a real game-changer. It’s something that has completely changed the way I think about how I deal with the game, which I hope will inspire other games in the future. Combine this with a star fighting system, and Ghost of Tsushima will take the crown in my place. -Cock Black


Aida Image via super giant games

Hades was tested in 2018, but the official release in 2020 made the black year even brighter for many of us. Sneaky Crawler has become one of my favorite games and will be permanently installed on my computer. The interesting story and addictive gameplay can draw any player into a beautifully designed world. Even after hundreds of games, this game can still surprise you with new power-ups and weapon combinations. You never know how a race is going to go, no matter how you prepare for it. Hades’ great repetition value and addictive action make it the best release of 2020, and it’s another great entry in the fantastic SuperGiant Games catalogue. -Davi Davison

Half-life: Alix

Instructions for half-life Easter eggs Picture on the valve

Half a life: Alix is the return of a glorious and beloved franchise, which brings the same world into a new era. It is also an ideal testing ground for virtual reality. Half a life: Alix is the first game that really makes you conscious and shows you that the platform can offer a high-quality, masterfully designed experience. If you’ve been waiting for a game that gives you a clear idea of what a VR experience can be like, now would be the right time. VR may not be a force in the present, but it has a half-life: Alix will make you think this is the future of the game. -Aidan O’Brien

The immortal phoenix goes to

In the middle of an eventful second half, Immortals Fenyx Rising lost one game in the scrum. Unlike other Ubisoft games, Immortals Fenyx Rising is not inflated, and the memorable story that accompanies the game makes it a great opening game. This is exactly the example of how video games become more convincing when they move away from realism. Although there are enough similarities with Zelda games, this is a convincing argument for a completely new intellectual property. Immortals Fenyx Rising has the potential to become one of Ubisoft’s best games, and I would like to see the same open world formula in future Ubisoft games. -Ms Armugandudin

The last of our Part II

Red Dead Redemption 2 Patch 1.03 Change the image of blog via PlayStation Studios

This isn’t about Joel. When I think of the last of us, especially the second part, I think of Ellie, Abby, and the fact that nothing is as it seems at first glance. Playing this game and persevering with every punch in the stomach and every moment of loss has made me think about things I don’t want to see in my nightmares, even in the middle of a real pandemic. Naughty Dog’s animators, programmers and writers challenge what it means to get lost in a video game, and the world is a better place for it. -Adam Nystrom

The second part of Last of Us is a bold statement from a company that has relied too much on its powers in the past. An ambiguous story that calls for introspection, combined with a beautiful and powerful score and some disturbingly subtle performances by the different characters, closes the circle around the theme of the cycle of violence. Even if the painfully long campaign and repetitive battles prevent it from being the phenomenon that many expected, The Last Of Us Part II is still a bold proof of the AAA kingdom, something you will remember long after the credits. -Shreyansh Katsura

Some people hate change, but I like it – especially in predictable stories. The last of us in the second part Joel and Ellie could walk for 12 hours through extra clickers and another cult. However, this love letter from Naughty Dog refreshingly ignores the narrative structure typical of video games and leaves the player wondering what the true definition of a protagonist is and if such a thing exists. Despite its length, not a single minute should be lost, because that’s all it takes to win the Game of the Year title. -Ryan Willcox

Runetra Legends

Runetra Legends Image via Riot Games

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the card game – Legends of Runeterra by Riot Games is an obvious candidate for Game of the Year. The introduction of new mechanics, loyalty to the source material, constant support from the developer and friendliness towards newcomers are the features that make this game an ideal tool for players interested in the genre. Legends of Runeterra offers an infinite number of card game combinations, so no two decks are the same. Riot’s daring excursion into the world of card games has paid off, and they’ve made one of their best games ever. -Carlos Brandt

Ori and the will of the wise

Ori and the Will of the Wise Image via Xbox Game Studios

Ori and the Will of the Wise is for me the most complete game of the year 2020. The gameplay is enlarged compared to that on the Ori and in the Blind Forest, and is therefore much better. The artistic style is one of the best of all video games and the beautiful soundtrack by Gareth Coker fits perfectly into the emotional and epic storyline of the game. Will of the Wisps is a perfect example of what a sequel to a video game should be. It continues to make use of what has previously been introduced, but it is growing and striving for improvement in every respect. -John Hansen

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