Zack’s Top Games of 2020!

Well, 2020 is near wrapping up (thank god), and 2021 rolls ever closer. With that, we wave a fond goodbye to many of the games that kept us sane throughout this unfathomable year. Today I’ll be going over all 6 of my Top Games of 2020! Let’s get stuck in.

6) Demon’s Souls Remake

I said in my review that Demon’s Souls sets the new bar for remakes moving forward, and I stand by it. The quality of life changes, the stunning visual updates, the new animations, and the faithful recreation of the world of Demon’s Souls, all amounts to a near masterful creation.

Any other year, like a lot of the runner ups today, Demon’s Souls could have been my GOTY. Today it stands at #6 but make no mistake, if Souls games are your thing, Demon’s Souls is a proper system seller

There’s potential for dozens of playthroughs, and even optional world states to try and engage with. The breadth of weapons and builds is something that can increase and enhance your time with the game. 

Demon’s Souls Remake is a testament to the 2007 original, and a real representation of what Bluepoint are capable of. It’s just a shame you need a PS5 to play it. A worthy #6 on my top games of 2020.

5) Immortals Fenyx Rising

It has a terrible name. Which is just about my only major criticism of the game if I’m honest. I gave it an 89/100 in my review and, as that score indicates, it caught me by major surprise.

The writing and humour is… subjective, to say the least. I’ve seen as many who hate it, as those who love it. But I quite enjoyed it! Sensible humour is all well and good, but a less mature approach is appreciated every now and again. There were laugh out loud moments, plenty of smiles, and more than a few smirks.

As important, the gameplay is varied and laid back. There’s no ‘fear of missing out’ like with other open world games. There’s plenty to do, but it all benefits you. Whether it be upgrade materials, Charon Coins for skill, or new visuals for your armour. Everything is in service of you. Much like Ghost of Tsushima (which VERY narrowly missed this list), the feeling of the world being designed for you is both the best thing, and the worst thing. 

I don’t know exactly why I loved Immortals so much, aside from what I said in my review, but I did love it. Don’t skip over it if you’re looking for something else to play. It replaced Ghost of Tsushima on my top games of 2020!

4) Miles Morales 

Spider-Man 2018 was a fantastic game, and still is, but Miles Morales is better, as you can tell by my 91/100 review score.

That might seem like a bold claim, given that Miles Morales is less than half the length. But Miles Morales takes everything that worked, the character development, the writing, the combat, the movement, and the story. It takes all of that, and focuses it down into a succinct and emotional Spider-Man narrative.

Not only that but Miles is just a far more relatable hero than Insomniac’s version of Peter Parker. At least for me. He’s fresher, more prone to making mistakes, less sure of himself. That made taking control as the player more engaging.

Along with this, the new combat abilities add an appreciated spark to the system. Chaining combos together, juggling people, and ploughing through swathes of new enemies is so satisfying. 

Miles Morales is the formula from 2018, focused down into a video game that’s more accessible, more relatable, and of a higher overall quality. Play it, if you get the chance. The last game before the upper half of my top games of 2020.

3) Hades

Hades is fantastic. Supergiant Games are fantastic. After a string of great but flawed indie experiences, Hades is one that could be considered, and is by many, as perfect.

Roguelikes are a troublesome genre as their very gameplay hook relies on failure, often with little reward beyond the experience itself.

Hades bucks that trend entirely, providing narrative incentive to your inevitable failures throughout. In doing so Hades sets a new bar for practically an entire genre. Death no longer frustrated me, I relished it. Death gave me more chances to learn about the interesting characters and the world of Hades. 

On top of the interesting narrative styling, the gameplay in Hades is truly rock solid. A cycle of boons to increase your abilities, randomised rooms with different threats, and thoroughly different sections of Hades. The game even provides gratifying and challenging bosses! 

Hades is a very hard game to criticise, in the way that it doesn’t have any major flaws. It doesn’t even really have that many minor flaws. If Hades isn’t already in your catalogue, it needs to be your next addition. 

2) Ori and The Will of the Wisps 

On a different day, Hades could be here. Fun fact, this is the only game on todays list that I didn’t get the chance to review for our site. Ori gave me the one singular thing that Hades didn’t. Emotional investment, and the eventual payoff of that investment.

Ori and The Will of The Wisps, which I’ll just be calling Ori 2 from now on to save my fingers, is like a truck full of feelings hitting you head on.

Of course, Ori 2 is home to excellent platforming, weighty combat, and satisfying exploration, much like the first game. But the journey there is nothing short of an emotional crescendo. 

Ori 2 is everything from a brilliant story, to the finest example of video game artwork, to near perfect gameplay. It’s also criminally underrated and under appreciated, both by general consumers, and by critics. Rounding out at a deserved #2, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is fantastic. 

The Last of Us Part 2

Shock horror am I right? I’ve already written an article about why TLOU2 is my Game of The Year. I also reviewed it at 98/100, and wrote an article about why I fell in love with the inverse stories of Abby and Ellie. 

Simply put, The Last of Us Part 2 is the single best video game I’ve ever played. It elevates itself above any other game I’ve ever played, in pretty much every way.

Its use of 3D audio is top tier. The animations are nearly peerless. The writing and acting is simply some of the best I’ve seen in two decades of video games. The gameplay is sublime, as are the situations you’re put in to use it. Hell even the shot by shot direction is hard to criticise. 

Along with all of this, all of this perfection, this industry capping work, The Last of Us Part 2 managed to surprise me. Following the first game could’ve been oh so predictable, in dozens of ways. But they do things that I never would’ve guessed, and it happens constantly.

Subverting expectations can be risky, but it never really feels forced in TLOU2, it feels perfectly in tune with the world Naughty Dog has crafted. 

If you’d asked me after playing the first game whether I wanted a sequel, I would have said no. But after The Last of Us Part 2? I’m grateful to have experienced such a stellar video game, and to have had a chance to write about it. 

Outro

Well, there you have it! My Top 6 Games of 2020! I’ll give an honorable mention to Ghost of Tsushima that almost certainly would’ve made the list today if Immortals Fenyx Rising hadn’t snuck in at the end. 

Ghost of Tsushima is an excellently crafted game, with gratifying combat and fantastic character development.

(Not to mention it’s absolutely gorgeous)

But I just found the writing and the moment to moment activities in Immortals that much more entertaining. 

With that out of the way, I hope you enjoyed my favourite games of 2020! If there’s anything you missed out on playing, now’s your chance!

Until next time, have a fantastic New Year!

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