2020 was a weird year, but for games it was pretty much business as usual (if not bigger business than usual due to so many people staying at home!) and the same goes with my experience with them. I played quite a few 2020 games this year, but once again I lost a couple of months to a Super Robot Wars game, plus I played a lot of older games thanks to both the Games to Movie marathon and the “Scrolling Sundays” weekly feature. That’s not me complaining, for the record! Just explaining why some big releases are missing (with the exception of The Last of Us Part 2, which I didn’t end up getting due to having a bunch of things spoiled for me by whiny idiots… Stupid internet! *shakes fist*), and with that: let’s take a look!
I really enjoyed One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 a couple of years ago, so I was ready for round 4… sadly a lot of the main mode is far too cut-scene heavy, and the early chapters I’ve seen play out in games so often I’m starting to get annoyed by them. That being said the Warriors combat is very satisfying, especially with the addition of air-combos, so I did enjoy my time with the game, and hopefully I’ll go back and finish it one of these days… (Yes I was reaching for a Number 10…)
I’ve loved the Gundam: Extreme VS. games, they’re one of the few game series I actually imported from Japan when they didn’t get a local release, so when Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON got announced for PAL territories I was excited, and while some missions were unfairly difficult rather than fun difficult, I enjoyed playing with the massive roster of mobile suits for a good number of weeks. I don’t play online, so obviously the appeal only lasted so long, but it was a good time while it lasted. (My review of the game can be found HERE)
Okay so this is technically an expanded version of a previously released game, but I’m happy to count it as separate! The Warriors Orochi series is always good fun, seeing a mix of Three Kingdoms era Chinese warriors and Sengoku era Japanese warriors join forces with characters from myth to fight enemies also from myth never gets old, and 4 Ultimate took that one step further and included characters from both Greek and Norse mythology. Fighting through massive hordes of foes in chaotic battlefields playing as Zhao Yu from Dynasty Warriors, Yukimura Sanada from Samurai Warriors and Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, rallying against Odin on Zeus’s behalf is an experience I certainly never thought I’d see, but it was fun to do it! (My review of the game can be found HERE)
Yeah, yeah, I know… This is just a free expansion for a 2016 game, but it added so much and absorbed so much of my time once again that I felt like it needed a place here. With new planet terrain generation, ships, races and base building stuff, vehicles and all that jazz, No Man’s Sky is a completely different experience in 2020, and one I was thrilled to return to. Chilled, free roaming gaming at its best!
So, this is the third Warriors game to appear on this list, and I’ll admit that if it wasn’t a prequel to one of my favourite games of recent memory, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with this right away and instead got it next year. In fact, with Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla now on my plate, I’m sure I won’t finish this until then, but still: the combat is fun and nicely tailored to the gameplay style seen in Breath of the Wild, and while there is a lot to do it isn’t overwhelming either… Plus the story has been fun so far! Definitely look out for a review of this at some point early next year, but it’s safe to say that this blends just enough of Warriors and BoW that it feels like a genuinely new experience, and that’s rare for a Warriors game!
After the superb Resident Evil 2 Remake last year, I was ready for RE3’s remake, and while it wasn’t as perfect as its predecessor (which got the number 1 spot in last year’s Top 10) it was still a lot of fun. Some slower moments from the original were cut, some perfectly harmless stuff was also cut, but overall I had fun each time I played through this game, and that’s the main thing. Less a perfect remake (like RE1 and RE2) and more a new interpretation but a still a fun experience! (My review of the game can be found HERE)
Another year, another Assassin’s Creed game (though to be fair there was a gap last year, if only I hadn’t delayed buying Odyssey) Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla takes the revamped combat from the previous two games, thankfully drops the stupid mercenaries stuff and rather than setting it in one part of a country, it sets it in both Norway and England (plus more if you buy the DLC) during the whole Viking invasion period of history. While I’m only 12 or so hours into it (which judging by Origins and Odyssey is probably about 2% of the way there) I can say that the combination of Raiding, sailing and fighting, plus being set in a period of history I actually know all about is making it a fun experience so far. Look out for a review next… March or something, given the length of these games combined with my free time…
I very nearly put this at #1 purely because it’s a sequel to one of my favourite games series of all time AND it managed to both deliver nostalgia and new gameplay elements, making it a proper sequel rather than a retread for the hardcore fan. Those first two or three weeks, where my life was work, play through SOR4 again, sleep, repeat, was joyous, and if it weren’t for the other two games delivering longer, more rewarding experiences, this would be an easy win… (My review of the game can be found HERE)
Ghost of Tsushima was an amazing experience. When I first heard about it I dismissed it as “someone doing Assassin’s Creed in Japan before Ubisoft”, and while that still appealed (especially as it wouldn’t have the needless modern day stuff) it was very much just … there, then it was suddenly released to massive fanfare. Before I knew it I was just absorbed in it, not just the well told story, but the combat… oh man, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has felt empty due to how much better Ghost of Tsushima was to play in actual combat. If it weren’t for a nostalgic twang, this would’ve easily been #1… (My review of the game can be found HERE)
Final Fantasy VII: Remake is an odd one, as it’s both a remake and seemingly a sequel. It takes story beats and cutscenes from the original game and adds tonnes of new depth and layers. The combat is fun, the remixed music is still top notch, and it’s one of those games that I think I had more fun discussing the story after I completed it than actually completing it. I can’t wait for Part 2, but already the Remake has far surpassed my expectations and was definitely my favourite gaming experience of 2020. (My review of the game can be found HERE)