We took a bit of a different tact this year when it came to the best video games of 2020. In a year that had no shortage of excellence on offer, it was monumentally difficult to favour one game over the other in any particular category. What did we decide on? To look at the 20 best games that popped up between December 2019 through to November 2020, and find the X-factor that made each game so brilliant.
One award per game, highlighting its brilliance in a certain field. That’s how we settled on Necrobarista having some of the best storytelling of the year, DOOM Eternal’s action being unmatched, or Ghost of Tsushima’s art direction resulting in interesting locations to murder people within. If we do a second round of awards, we may just give SuckerPunch’s samurai sandbox the nod for best Assassin’s Creed game this year.
But what was the best game? Which game excelled in multiple fields, combined them all together, and let loose a ferocious flurry of blows to your expectations? The answer this year was obvious, but before we get to the top of the gaming 2020 food chain, let’s look at the honourable mentions:
Ghost of Tsushima
The Last of Us Part II
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance dammit Darryn it’s never going to happen
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
And the winner is…Hades
We always knew that Hades was going to be special. Having started life in the Epic Games Store as an early access title and moving to Steam a year later, developer Supergiant’s odyssey across the river Styx and the Greek afterlife had plenty going for it long before it was ready for the main event. Months of polish, fan feedback, and tweaks to its formula helped create a game which is nothing short of a masterpiece of design.
It’s hard to succinctly wrap up why Hades is so good, but between its mesmerising art style, brilliantly-paced action, and a soundtrack that draws you in, Hades manages to be constantly rewarding. In a game genre where your primary mantra is “live-die-repeat”, Hades always has something new to share with its players. Maybe it’s a few new dialogue options in the court of the underworld, perhaps it’s a new combination of weapons and talents that allow you to push further through the realm of the dead, or maybe it’s the drive to go give Cerberus some love before you face the big man himself.
Greece lightning in a bottle, Hades is pure excellence. It’ll leave your hands sweaty after a challenging run, it constantly pushes you to be better, and it gives so much in return. A beautifully-crafted explosion of action, charm, and a Greek epic for the ages, Hades is our 2020 game of the year.
Last Updated: December 9, 2020