2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but if we are to take any kind of light in the situation, we are halfway through it. Video games, alike everything else in the world, are in questionable situations. On one hand, the next generation of consoles are set to launch this year, but on the other, development and production teams are dealing with brand new challenges.
For as tumultuous a year that 2020 has been, there have been great games released. It is a little early to crown one as “Game of the Year” yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look back on the best experiences we have played so far. In no particular order, here are the best video games of 2020 (so far).
The Last of Us Part II
Easily the most controversial game of 2020 so far, it seemed whoever played the highly anticipated sequel to 2013’s The Last of Us either thought it was a masterpiece, or they absolutely hated it. We found ourselves somewhere in the middle as you can tell by our article focused on where the game fails and succeeds. Focusing on its successes, The Last of Us Part 2 is unquestionably one of the best animated games ever with a beautiful landscape, and another dark, gripping tale.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Announced at E3 2015, Square Enix pulled its common move of making fans wait years for a highly anticipated game. The wait seems to have been worth it. The Final Fantasy VII remake has been broken up into multiple parts and this game focuses on the Midgar section of the iconic 1997 game. They changed the gameplay to a more action RPG style and dove deep into the environment and storytelling opportunities that were missed the first time. While there is more on the way, the part one sample here is a great starting point that many will be excited to see continued.
Following up from the amazing return of Doom in 2016, Doom Eternal took ripping and tearing to a new level. The Doom Slayer returns to Earth absolutely invaded by demons and will gun his way through all of Hell’s armies to save humanity. Brand new movement abilities and weapons were added that all feel at home and just as smooth as they did in the 2016 game. No gunplay in 2020 even comes close to the feeling of Doom Eternal so far.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will go down as one of the most important video game releases ever because of it coming out near the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. Everyone was playing it and it received tremendous praise for its relaxing atmosphere and bringing the beloved series to the Nintendo Switch. They have continued putting out regular updates that brings more things for you to do and waste time. It still has some issues, but the impact Animal Crossing: New Horizons has made on our lives this year is immeasurable.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an amazing followup to Moon Studios’ debut title, Ori and the Blind Forest. The 2D Meteoidvania expanded its gameplay and improved on many aspects that were not even that big of issues in the first game. The music is again orchestrated by Gareth Coker who again delivers a gripping, emotional soundtrack to go along with the gorgeous environments and story that will have you in the feels.
For the first time in well over a decade, Valve released a Half-Life game. While it may not be the Half-Life 3 people are holding out hope for, Half-Life: Alyx is arguably the greatest virtual reality game made yet. While Valve might not make games regularly anymore, they showed they are still capable of making top of the line experiences. In the case of this VR titles, things feel fluid, the creepy atmosphere is welcomed, and the story set before Half-Life 2, while not moving the story forward, at least brings fans back to that world.