—Let’s be real, 2020 was a total dumpster fire. Despite all the can-it-get-any-worse moments from this year, there has been a remarkable medium that stood out in these (and I’m tired of seeing it) trying times: video games. More importantly, video games released in 2020.
From polarizing titles to disappointing launches, 2020 has its fair share of moments. The team at GG Network will recount the games that made this awful year a bit bearable.
With so many high-profile releases taking the spotlight this year, I feel like it’s my duty to spread the good word of the one, true G.O.T.Y. that is 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. It’s a game that defines my 2020 simply because it’s the best game I’ve played all year. It’s almost blasphemy for me to think that it’s better than Yakuza: Like a Dragon or The Last of Us Part II, but it’s just that good. Its storytelling and gameplay push the boundaries of what a video game can be, and it’s an absolute must-play for fans of sci-fi and anime. Explaining it will just ruin the magic, but you can read my full review of the game (with only mild spoilers) here. Please, play 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. – Paolo Arciga
Finally, Cloud gets his own game where he looks better than he does in other Square Enix titles (ehem, Kingdom Hearts 2). Given that the game isn’t as complete as its 4-disc, 1997 predecessor, it still managed to give us Square Enix fangirls (and fanboys) the sauce, erm, excitement we so badly needed during the start of the boring—and ongoing!—lockdown since last March. While Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Persona 5 The Royal deserve a mention on my list, I feel like FFVII Remake brought out the beauty of Midgar and revamped the characters in a huge way that was still true to the source. I’m usually not a big fan of reboots or remakes (like the Disney live-action ones), but the game was definitely refreshing and updated to fit 2020 gaming standards.
From the voice acting to the real-time battle system and stunning graphics (on a PS4!), I was delighted. I did all the side quests and sought out all the weapons for Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and Barret, playing the game as slowly as possible to savor it. It may have been short with only 18 chapters, but it made me look forward to the next big releases in the FF series on new-gen consoles (FFXVI in particular on PS5!). In this chaotic year, at least something has gone right for me, and that was this game—FFVII gave me major feels: a mix of euphoria, warmth, and nostalgia for one of the greatest RPGs of all time. – Donna Almonte
The pandemic put all of our travel plans and engagements to a striking halt, bringing an incessant need for everyone to venture out amid the limitations brought by several lockdowns. Thankfully, Sucker Punch responded in the form of Ghost of Tsushima, an open-world action-adventure title that harkens back to the dark years of the Mongols’ invasion of Japan. The game’s sandbox nature, coupled with its impressive photographic controls and thrilling samurai battles definitely quenched my thirst for travelling. Moreover, I’ve been clamoring for an Assassin’s Creed game set in Japanese shores for years, and this game definitely filled that wide gap in my heart.
To add, GoT’s engaging storyline and a plethora of side quests will leave you asking for more. Perhaps we need another Ghost title in the future? – Yuri Mangahas
I think it’s safe to say, this really wasn’t the best year for social interactions. As such, I, like many others, have been constantly starved for chances to hang out and spend some good time with friends and family. That’s why no other game defines my 2020 better than the Jackbox Party Packs. They’re an absolute crowd favorite when it comes to online hangouts just because it’s so accessible, easy to play, and most of heck of a lot of fun. No other game has ever gotten the friends together faster or been a better conduit for hilarity and good quality time.
With our weekly Jackbox sessions, I feel like I’ve honestly gotten to know a lot of my friends better as well as make a whole bunch of new ones, all through the gift of hilarious improv-based party games and fart jokes. – Raffy Leynes
Yes, I know this one technically got released in 2019 but the PC version was released this year, so it still counts. If there’s any game that could encapsulate the current affairs in our world, it has to be Death Stranding. Socially distant people, (dis)connected people, and aphenphosmphobia—sounds familiar, ain’t it?
If there’s any game that really moved me to the core, it’s got to be this one. Thank you once again, Hideo Kojima, for making a game that is way ahead of its time. Keep on keeping on. – Degs de Guia
What’s the game that defined your 2020?
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