Well, it’s that time of year where it’s somewhat traditional in the industry to start throwing ‘best of’ lists together and despite all the problems that COVID-19 may have caused to society as a whole, I think we can agree that one of the more pleasant aspects, well, for those of us being forced to stay at home at least, has been the opportunity to spend a bit of time occupying ourselves with one of our favorite (mostly useless) pastimes. Namely, gaming!
So, what have I been up to this year in that regard, and, more specifically, what do I think have been the best games of 2020? Well, there’s only one way to find out! So keep reading!
Now, I should start by pointing out that I have never denied that my taste in games/gaming has often strayed into the realms of the unorthodox or outright unusual. More so, that this is my list and I daresay some of you will disagree with my picks! Put simply though, over the course of 2020, these are the games that I either loved the most or simply pumped the most hours into.
So, acknowledging that for some of you this may be a bumpy ride, let’s get into it! – Oh, and by the way, this list is in NO particular order.
Despite Death Stranding initially releasing for the PS4 back in 2019, I decided to hold fire on playing this game until the PC version arrived earlier this year. Largely because I tend to not have that much time for casual console gaming these days, and, let’s face it, Death Stranding was clearly never going to be a ‘drop-in drop-out’ kind of game.
Without a doubt, however, Death Stranding (on the PC) has been one of the best games I’ve played this year. Like all good PC ports, it has been well optimized and offers a number of significant graphical bells and whistles available when compared to the prior console version. More than anything, however, I simply enjoyed the journey.
Yes, the plot, like any Hideo Kojima game, is complex, convoluted, and at times more than a little confusing. By the end of the game, however, everything had been tied up very neatly and in an exceptionally satisfying manner. While I doubt it will ever happen, I would love to see this get either a sequel or some expansion DLC.
Incidentally, I do get why many people hated this game. It is, effectively, one long series of ‘fetch’ quest missions. Similar to how I loved the climbing and exploration in Zelda Breath of the Wild, however, I just enjoyed the environment and scenery I was placed within. Death Stranding isn’t for everyone, but for those of you who it is, the PC version of this game is an absolute joy to behold!
You can check out the official Steam storage website for this game via the link here!
Releasing in March (albeit, at this point, it feels a lot longer), Warzone was a free-to-play expansion to the highly-excellent Modern Warfare that brought the inevitable ‘battle royale’ mode to the game. Now, I would freely concede that ‘battle royales’ are verging on being done to death. In fact, it’s almost something of a no-brainer these days that most FPS titles will look to incorporate some version of it in their game. For me, however, Warzone has been, without a doubt, the best example of it to date.
Yes, the game mode has had its problems. Largely involving PC cheaters. Given that I’ve happily pumped over 400 hours into this game (with a fairly decent amount of wins I should add), Warzone just feels like the best implementation of the genre to date.
It’s free, there isn’t any ‘pay to win’ mechanics, and with the right skillset (and a hefty dose of luck) you too can get some pretty spectacular wins here!
For more information on Call of Duty Warzone, you can check out the official website via the link here!
It had been 14 years since Microsoft had last released a Flight Simulator game and lord knows that the community had been crying out for a new version for at least 10! Well, on August 18th, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 finally landed and, by all accounts, it was every bit as good and beautiful as we’d all hoped.
Now, being a flight simulator, this clearly wasn’t going to be a ‘game’ (if it can so be called) that would appeal to everyone. Perhaps surprisingly, however, it was quickly noted that being given the option to literally fly over and actually see your house (albeit somewhat crudely in many instances) was enough to tempt even those with no interest in flying to give it a bash. – The icing on the cake, however, was the fact that it got bundled in for ‘free’ as part of the Xbox PC Game pass.
While the game is already pretty amazing, we are literally just at the beginning of what will likely represent at least 5 years of continued development and improvement. For as great as it is now, we expect this to just keep getting better and better in the future!
You can check out the official Steam store website for this game via the link here! – NB. This is also available on the Xbox PC Games Pass and Microsoft Store!
If there is one particular memory I’ll take away from 2020, it’s the fact that some very unusual games managed to get into the AAA limelight that perhaps under different circumstances, would never have happened. Two excellent examples of this are titles such as ‘Among Us’ and ‘Phasmophobia’. Both games I would, incidentally, easily recommend.
Fall Guys, however, has been a huge phenomenon this year, and, rightly so. With it’s bright and bold aesthetics, easy to learn and hard to master gameplay, and above all, the fact that winning a match requires a hefty dose of both skill and luck, Fall Guys was the perfect antidote to a really crummy Summer. Better still, with more content updates on the way, while it may never hit the peak it saw around August again, Fall Guys still has some exceptionally committed fans out there all vying for those precious crowns!
For more information, you can check out the official Fall Guys Steam store website via the link here!
A very late addition to the list here. Albeit only because of more than a few delays seen over the year that saw an April release date pushed back to September, then November, and then finally December. It is also probably one of my most controversial inclusions when you see some of the titles I didn’t include on this specific list (see honorable mentions below).
So, let me get one elephant out of the room early. Even around 2 weeks on from its release, Cyberpunk 2077 is not perfect. In fact, even after a number of patches, the game still has more than a few bugs to work out of the machine. By and large, however, despite a lot of negative response from media outlets who seem intent on picking fault, I absolutely love Cyberpunk 2077. – ON THE PC THAT IS! – While not being able to entirely avoid spoilers, this game also ends up on ANOTHER one of my lists…
Did it live up to the hype? No, but then it never could have. – Having already pumped around 60-80 hours into it so far, however, I have (largely) loved every minute of it and fully expect to drop another 100-hours before I might finally be finished with it.
Put simply, Cyberpunk 2077 is both everything I wanted and expected from it and, while some will clearly never be satisfied with it, for me, while it came late, Cyberpunk 2077 is, without a doubt, one of the greatest and most ambitious games every made!
You can learn more about Cyberpunk 2077 via the official GOG.com product website via the link here!
Having only picked my top 5 games of 2020, I should clearly highlight that more than a few games came damn close to getting onto this list. If you are, therefore, frothing at the mouth that your personal pick didn’t make it, I daresay that me mentioning it below might at least calm you down a little.
The only caveat I’d throw in is that while I thought all of these games were excellent, they just didn’t manage to grab my attention enough to hit my top 5. Albeit, I’ll concede that with the PC release of Nioh 2 anticipated for early 2021, this might (finally) make my list next year!
So, there you have one, probably my most rage-inducing and controversial article of 2020 is often, but what do you think? – What’s the best game you’ve played this year? – With lockdown, were you able to do more or less gaming than usual? – Let us know in the comments!
NB. Mikes Rant is a semi-comedic opinion piece and may not reflect the opinion of eTeknix as a whole!
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