We are starting our End of Year Awards for 2020 with a look at a group of genres. Each day, we plan to reveal more awards leading up to our official game of the year. So take a look below at the winners of this first batch of winners.
Ghost of Tsushima
It’s rare to find yourself exploring an open-world and never wanting to fast travel only because you feel like you’ll miss out on something beautiful. Ghost of Tsushima gave us an adventure that provided a sense of immersion during every moment of gameplay. It’s action systems also allowed players to approach encounters the way they wanted with a host of sub-activities available across the map. The gripping narrative, complexly woven cast and jaw-dropping beauty of the world make it one of the decade’s best open-world titles.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Here is an adventure that does far more than we could have asked for. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim tells multiple stories that revolve around the same incident with a world-ending conclusion in sight. Using time travel, mechs, hidden agendas, and more, players are taken down an intense story that will keep their eyes glued to the screen for hours. If that wasn’t enough, there are strategic mech battles to fight your through, which only acts as the cherry on top of this wonderful adventure.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Some might overlook the Warriors series, but if this is you, then you’re missing out on a grand action experience in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Set before the events of Breath of the Wild, players assume the role of notable characters from the series to fight hordes of enemies. Each character has access to unique skills and abilities that give players the chance to choose how they wish to take on the battle in front of them. Regardless of your path, there’s a lot of content in this game that makes it one of the best in the genre.
Hades made a grand entrance this year as it’s been a highly anticipated release from developer Supergiant Games. Not to mistake this game for a simple roguelike; there’s so much depth found in each run and following every death that sometimes you may die only to see what new narrative paths you’ll unlock. A huge bonus is also how mechanically sound the gameplay is. Through it’s punishingly difficult procedurally generated rooms, numerous enemies, and environmental gimmicks, there’s plenty of systems in place to allow you to take on whatever the game throws at you.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
The long-awaited fresh return of Crash was delivered this year with Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. With it comes a series of difficult and exciting new levels that challenge players’ skills and make a new name for Crash in this latest gaming generation. With the options to play as other characters and approach levels differently along with multiple secrets and tons of collectibles, this is one game that should stay in your rotation of games until you 100% it because every moment is absolutely worth it.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
A lot was riding on the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the hype train was at full steam ahead for its release. Luckily for fans, this is a game that nailed the retelling of an amazing RPG. While not the story was not what some fans were hoping for, it introduced its own unique flair that made the city of Midgar and the world of Final Fantasy VII far more compelling than we were expecting. Character animations, battle systems, mechanics, exploration, and everything else came together to make it tough not to see this game as anything less the best RPG of 2020.
Granblue Fantasy Versus
Arc System Works is known for its array of quality 2D fighters, and Granblue Fantasy Versus only adds to that lineup. Not only does it have an excellently diverse cast of playable characters, but this 2D fighter, more than the others in Arc System Works’ library, is especially beginner-friendly and acts as an excellent entry point into this intimidating genre. Prospective onlookers looking to get into the fighting game scene should certainly give Granblue Fantasy Versus a fair shot if they haven’t already.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons needs no introduction. It was one of 2020’s most-played titles for a good reason. Not only is it a relaxing, fulfilling simulation title with cutesy characters and environments, but it also released during a challenging time for the world. It was and still is a viral game on the Switch, and its impressive player base shows no signs of slowing down.
DOOM Eternal was one of the most highly anticipated FPS titles this year, and its great positive reception still managed to blow its predecessor, DOOM 2016, out of the water. Along with introducing its own appeal of hardcore gory action, this title kept the intense addictiveness that the DOOM series is known for and amped it all up considerably. Fans of the genre or those merely curious should certainly give this and DOOM 2016 a run for their money.
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