The last week and a half, we’ve been looking at the best games of 2020, of which there was no shortage of contenders. We’ve seen the games that kept you around for the long haul, action experiences that were unrelenting carnivals of carnage, and titles whose art direction helped end a console generation.
We’re not done yet though! We’ve still got a few more games to recognise, and because we’re a bunch of lazy hacks who are counting down the minutes until we go on vacation, we’ve rounded the remaining standouts of excellence below. Here they, the best of the rest that 2020 had to offer:
Best RPG – Final Fantasy VII Remake
This year’s best game in the roleplaying genre strangely came down to two remakes: Final Fantasy VII and Demon’s Souls. Both had class, both retained the elements of what made them so special in the first place, and both games used nostalgia to deadly effect. But if fond memories were the sole benchmark for this year’s award, then Final Fantasy VII Remake Part One had Demon’s Souls beat hands down.
Arguably more iconic than FromSoftware’s masterpiece, the return of Final Fantasy was a blast from the past that merged multiple schools of thought together to not only create a fantastic game, but a brave new direction for a time-honoured franchise.
Best Xbox game – Ori and the Will of the Wisps
I know there’s a joke to be made about “huh what Xbox games”, but give the green devil its due because the handful of games that were exclusive to Microsoft’s console and PC ecosystem, were pure quality. Battletoads may have been odd, but Gears Tactics managed to transition the XCOM-style of strategy to Xbox in pitch-perfect fashion.
The winner though? Ori & The Will of the Wisps, which wasn’t even up for debate this year. The latest chapter in the heart-wrenching saga was a beautiful combination of quality: The art design was glorious, the music stirred all manner of emotions, and the gameplay was tighter than ever while providing meaningful additions to its core cadence philosophy. Xbox may have plenty of games on the way in the next couple of years, but for now Ori & The Will of the Wisps is the definitive game on that platform.
Biggest surprise hit – Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Beans! Gigantic anthropomorphic beans running around, fumbling their way through obstacles in a manner that would make the entirety of Japan proud. Fall Guys has been nothing short of a welcome reprieve in a horrible year, spreading joy and finding acclaim with people stuck at home and desperate for some form of normalcy in their lives.
What we got was a quirky and energetic collection of escapist competition, held together by a glue of quality that has been strengthened further by new seasons of content. With a social media account that is ridiculously on point thanks to its finger being jabbed directly into the pulse of pop culture, Fall Guys has been a breath of fresh air that we just couldn’t get enough of this year.
Best racing game – F1 2020
Every year, Codemasters has trotted out an F1 game that is better than what came before it. Always shaving off seconds from its previous best lap time, this year’s incarnation of F1 is a precise and elegant evolution that leaves the rest of the competition in the dust.
Cultural phenomenon of the year – Among Us
What’s a 2018 game doing on a best of 2020 list? I know it’s weird, but it’s a testament to the strength of Among Us and how it has taken the world by storm. What was once a game buried beneath a library of competition, somehow resurrected itself in 2020 as the group experience. Murder was in the air, adorable suspects were at large and everyone wanted to find out who was really the most sus member of their crew.
In the months since its revival, Among Us has been everywhere. Streams of it still dominate Twitch, notable personalities have joined in on the fun, and nobody can be trusted. In an age where studios are still hoping to find the next big battle royale formula of the year, this humble little indie game has rocked up from out of nowhere to take the top spot.
Nothing sus about that.
Best PS5 game – Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
It builds on what came before it, can be completed in a dedicated afternoon, and it has incredible puddles. Beyond that, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is simply the best launch game you could have asked for on the PS5. Familiar to pick up if you played the previous Spider-Man game from Insomniac? Absolutely. Packed with enough features to still give it a distinct feel and energy? Double-yes to that true believer.
Where Insomniac’s spin-off succeeds is in how it uses these elements to weave a new web of mystery, danger, and fun. Through all of that, the game beats with the heart of a true hero. It resets the clock with style, giving players a hero’s journey that culminates in spectacular fashion and reminds us why Miles is one of the best heroes around, having earned his title as Spider-Man and establishing himself as the hero of a new generation.
Best VR game – Half-Life Alyx
Half-Life 3 may never see the light of day, but if Valve is ready to push forward in other directions with the games such as Half-Life Alyx? It may never need to worry about living up to that hyped sequel which has been lost to the sands of time. Like a crowbar to the face, Half-Life Alyx has had our attention from launch day.
A tight and brilliant return to the Half-life universe wrapped up inside an incredible VR experience that makes the most of the hardware it’s on, Half-Life Alyx shows just what the medium is capable of when it’s given a chance to shine.
Last Updated: December 14, 2020
December 15, 2020 at 17:17
Half Life Alyx is probably the most revolutionary game I have played in 20 years. Easy pick for best game of 2020.