2020 has come to a close, thankfully. As the outside world gets sorted, there are plenty of games to keep any type of person occupied while being cooped up inside. Whether you’re a multiplayer fan or prefer going solo, here are the games that got us through 2020, and quite frankly, will remain part of our go-to stash in 2021.
Doom Eternal remains a good choice for those looking for an entertaining first-person shooter game, complete with more weapons and battles. The space game has a cool new horde mode mod that sees you battling it out with demons until you die or not. There’s also more in-game dynamic sounds that add to the effects. The game is “one of the most ambitious projects” in id Software’s history.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
2020 was another year of interest for Animal Crossing fans. For the game’s fifth title, players are brought to a deserted island to collect items, catch fish, design their home (a.k.a. their island), pay debts, and explore. Anyone who loved Sims should be into this game, as it encourages building a life and managing that life while ongoing changes and updates arise, except with New Horizons it is mainly creatures, you, the animated human, are managing. Another cool feature is that New Horizons allows players to visit other islands to spice things up. The game is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch.
Among Us has become a breakout game of 2020, earning the awards for Best Multiplayer Game and Best Mobile Game at The Game Awards. It ranked up there with Minecraft in popularity, with nearly half a billion people playing it in November. The mystery game developed by Innersloth, a small studio comprised of four team members, sees players aboard a spaceship trying to uncover who out of the bunch is the imposter. It is about as connected as you can feel these days, plus fun to watch as the imposter tries to sabotage the game. It’s even better when you’re the imposter. Among Us comes with a simple interface and low PC system requirements, which makes it good for all types of players and setups. Watch for a new map coming in 2021.
The Last of Us Part 2
Ellie is not the innocent, moral-driven character anymore now that (spoiler!) her rock, Joel, has been killed. Instead, her vengeance to fight and kill Abby, the woman who took Joel from her, becomes a strong narrative in The Last of Us Part 2. You also get to spend some time playing Abby to feel out that side. Joel’s flashbacks are powerful and present sad and cherishing visuals to keep you as a player invested, like really invested. It won Best Game at the 2020 Game Awards.
Death Stranding has become a top release in 2020. It feels like it’s been years since first playing it during the early months of the pandemic. The game that seeks to “unite the divided” will hold a key piece in our 2020 hearts.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Developed by Moon Studios and published by Xbox Game Studios, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the direct sequel to 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest. Back again is Ori, who needs to save a broken land. The visuals are simply beautiful in this game, especially as you zip through the air and take in the music. It’s nominated as one of the best indie games at this year’s New York Game Awards, which will be held on January 26.
Ghost of Tsushima
If you’re in search of a strong samurai game then look no further than Ghost of Tsushima, which draws on Japan’s history, specifically the invasion of Japan by the Mongol Empire in 1274 that started on the Island of Tsushima. This game, exclusive to PS4, has a solid lifespan of 30 to 40 hours. If you need a visual escape that’s addictive and calming at the same time, certainly check out this open-world action/stealth title. It even had it’s own emoji.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars
Here’s an offering that brings together Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. As part of Super Mario’s 35th Anniversary, why not relive those earlier scenes while in company with Mario and the gang? We’re also mentioning it because you won’t be able to buy it from Nintendo after March 2021 (the company is delisting it). Whether you’re a new Nintendo fan or a loyalist, here’s a game that is easy to pick up and play at any time.
According to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, in 2021, 2.8 billion gamers will help the global games market generate revenues of $189.3 billion. The most-trusted games and esports analytics firm also predicts we’ll see more “Gaming-as-a-Platform” opportunities, where we’ll experience more simulated experiences like what was seen with Animal Crossing’s wedding ceremonies, Travis Scott’s Fortnite show, or Lil Nas X’s performance in Roblox.
The Game Awards put out a poll and asked users to share what game they hope is remade in 2021. Some of the answers included Silent Hill, Golden Sun, and Lost Odyssey. Agree? We’ll wait and see.