2020 was… a year. But while it sure had its difficulties, we decided to focus on the good stuff – video games. Great video games, to be more precise. Some would even say “the best video games.”
We made a list of the best 20 games of 2020 – the AAA and indie titles we couldn’t possibly have made it through the year without. Here are the best games of 2020, in no real order.
Hades is a Roguelike from Supergiant Games, in which you will play Zagreus, the son of Hades. One morning, Zagreus realizes that life in Hell is, well, hell. So he decides to escape to the surface world. In Hades, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. And what does kill you also makes you stronger, as every failure strengthens Zagreus for his next attempt.
One of the things I love the most is the story that keeps you engaged and wanting to know more. The voice acting is amazing and brings every character to life. If all of that isn’t enough, the game’s soundtrack is great as well and includes songs and music we couldn’t stop listening to.
There’s no one explanation as to why Hades is one of the best games of 2020. Everything comes together into one magical package that makes you fall in love with Hell and its residents as you begin to wonder why Zagreus would ever want to leave.
The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us is one of the most beloved video games ever – it blurred the lines between video games and cinema in a way no game did before, and few managed to do after. This year, we finally got the much-anticipated sequel, The Last of Us Part 2, which reached new heights of gameplay and storytelling.
The Last of Us 2 will kick you in the stomach and lift you all the way back up. You’ll smile, you’ll cry, and often at the same time. The game is relentless, and no matter what’s your opinion, you can’t stay indifferent to it.
To put it simply, The Last of Us 2 is a masterpiece. It sets the standard for other games to try and follow, and if you somehow haven’t played it yet – what the heck are you waiting for?
The Last of Us Part 2 is available on PlayStation 4.
First of all, Inmost has some of the most beautiful pixel art we’ve ever seen in a game. Seriously, we couldn’t stop admiring every environment and location we came across. This game is just gorgeous.
Inmost isn’t long but leaves a lasting impression. It stars three different characters: you fight through dark caverns as a knight, jump and climb your way through a crumbling world as a nameless man, and explore an eerie house as a little girl. All three characters feel and play very differently from one another but are still connected somehow.
The game also tells a heartbreaking story that will stick with you for a while. Inmost keeps jumping between the characters and keeps its cards close to the chest. But as you play, you start to piece together what’s going, until eventually, the story hits you hard. What is it with 2020 and games that want to see you cry?
The Procession to Calvary
The Procession to Calvary is witty, twisted, and above all – funny as heck. It’s a delightful combination of high culture and silly humor that delivers gag after gag that almost always land. It’s basically what would’ve happened if Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a video game (well, a better video game than the Monty Python’s Flying Circus video game).
The game’s unique visuals serve a lovely background to the point-and-click gameplay. The puzzles are fun and always provide enough clues, so you don’t really get stuck for too long. But if you do lose your patience, you can always just cut your way through any puzzle you don’t like.
We loved The Procession to Calvary’s silly, over the top humor, and it’s clever writing. If you have a soft spot for the absurd and the bizarre, you got yourself a game you can’t afford to miss.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Blind Forest was one of our favorite Metroidvanias until we played Ori and the Will of the Wisps. The sequel improves on everything the original did, while filling in the gaps with new gameplay and features.
Ori’s new powers and abilities make exploring the open world a joy, with a lot of diverse locations and environments to discover. What’s more, the new combat system is now more precise and fluid, and works much better.
Just like the previous game, Ori and the Will of the Wisps tugs on your heartstrings with a beautiful, cinematic, and emotional story. Everything – the gameplay, story, and world – comes together into a worthy sequel and one of the best experiences of 2020.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
After years of waiting, the remake of the classic Final Fantasy 7 finally arrived. Join the new and improved Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and other beloved characters in Final Fantasy VII Remake. We can see how much love and effort went into this remake: the breathtaking graphics, the incredible soundtrack, the character models, or the new fighting mechanics.
The icing on the cake is the real-time combat system. While some of you will prefer to attack with swift and strong attacks as Cloud or Tifa, and some will prefer to attack from afar with Aerith or Barret. Combat feels different when playing as each character, but all of them have their advantages.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake stands on its own, and there’s no need to play the original from 1997 (unless you want to experience the original story and spot some of the easter eggs in the version).
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is available on PlayStation 4 as timed exclusive until April 2021.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
The Paper Mario series might not be as popular as Mario’s more mainstream titles, but it holds some of the mustachioed plumber’s best games. Yes, they are pretty experimental and can be a hit-or-a-miss, but The Origami King is definitely a hilarious and weird hit.
In the Origami King, the paper kingdom faces a new and terrifying threat – the art of folding. It might not sound so serious, but wait till you fight a giant hole puncher with a thing for disco, who stole the faces of dozens of toads. That is the game’s best quality – it’s as bizarre as they come. You can tell Nintendo really let their hair down when writing this weird game’s funny dialogue and crazy characters.
Some will say the game’s combat is a bit repetitive, and that’s true. But since every encounter is a puzzle, the game keeps challenging you every time. We recommend Paper Mario: The Origami King to anyone who wants to see the different side of Mario – a bold, wacky, and intriguing side.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is available on Switch.
Röki is a wholesome adventure game straight out of a storybook. It tells a modern fairy tale about a magical forest full of magical creatures and dark secrets, and the brave young girl facing them. It’s a touching story brimming with charm that feels grounded in reality, despite its folklore roots.
During the adventure, we’re faced with creative puzzles that manage to be challenging yet approachable. Developer Polygon Treehouse made sure anyone will be able to play Röki without making the game too easy for veteran adventurers. We love the world it creates and the puzzles within it.
Everything is wrapped with enchanting graphics, animations, and sounds. The creatures and locations all look fantastic, and the haunting music perfectly sets the mood for this new fairy tale. Everything is just… right.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a narrative-driven game full of surprises. It’s a complex story, told from 13 different perspectives, taking place at different points in the overarching story’s timeline. It’s not only surprisingly coherent (unlike other sci-fi games), it also tells a fascinating sci-fi plot.
Every scene in the game can introduce a new story twist, shed light on one of the many mysteries in the overarching plot, and throw a couple of new mysteries into the mix at the same time. Robots, time travel, and memory editing are just a few of the many themes the story dives into. It celebrates the sci-fi genre in every way possible.
Alongside its excellent plot, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim offers a surprisingly fun real-time tactical combat. Combining these with its beautiful and unique art style, it leaves you hungry for more.
Horror games hold a dear place for us here at GamersPack, but this year only one horror game made it to our list of the best games of the year. That game is Carrion, a “reverse horror” game that puts you in the slimy, meaty tentacles of a shapeless monster.
While Carrion isn’t scary per se, it pays homage to some of the best ’80s horror movies there are, movies like The Thing and The Blob. Playing a pulsating mess of teeth and tentacles is strangely empowering and fun. You get to rampage through a research facility and enjoy the pixelated gore, but also solve puzzles, use stealth, and learn more about your origins.
Carrion is a Metroidvania at its core, and your gross creature will learn new abilities that will help it navigate the facility and face tougher enemies. The game lets you use these abilities in some clever ways and never ceases to challenge you. If you want to shed some of the pent-up anxieties of 2020, Carrion can do you good.
Ghost of Tsushima
2020 one of the best games Sony and Sucker Punch ever made – Ghost of Tsushima. Not only did this game blew us away, but it set a new standard for open-world RPGs.
Ghost of Tsushima is a masterpiece. The game is stunning, and every corner of the picturesque island is full of activities and hidden secrets. There are plenty of quests and side missions to do, but the main campaign – a young samurai’s quest for vengeance against the Mongol invaders – is up there with the best samurai movies of history.
We often found ourselves torn between moving on with the gripping story, and just riding aimlessly through the breathtaking landscapes. We’d love to revisit the island of Tsushima in the future, so we hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of Jin Sakai.
Ghost of Tsushima is available on PlayStation 4.
In Other Waters
In Other Waters is a peaceful and immersive underwater adventure that looks and sounds great. You play as an AI aboard an advanced diving suit, perceiving and interacting with the world through an array of sensors and simple commands. And you, the player, experience the game through a deceptively complex user interface.
While the graphics may appear simplistic, the stylish blue-and-yellow interface turns into a living, breathing alien ocean thanks to some excellent writing and a captivating mystery. And story is what In Other Waters is all about. It’s sad, scary, hopeful – everything a good story needs to be.
In Other Waters is a game to relax with. To quietly catalog alien lifeforms, solve some clever puzzles, and explore the mysteries of an alien planet at your own pace (unless you’re running low on oxygen).
Persona 5 Royal
The original Persona 5 was one of our “best RPGs of 2017.” But Persona 5 Royal adds so much new stuff, it deserves to make a second appearance in 2020. We get a longer, more exciting story, improved gameplay, and more thought-provoking drama.
Persona 5 Royal’s biggest success is how it weaves the new characters and their tragic backstories into its own plot to offer a better, more satisfying ending than that of the original.
After playing this new version, some of us went back and started playing the entire Persona series. Those are games with over 100 hours of content, so you can tell how strong of an “appetite” Persona 5 Royal leaves you with.
The Longing is a unique experience about waiting alone, underground for 400 days (real-time). You explore, decorate your home, read books… Maybe one day you’ll go outside. Maybe.
The amazing part is the game was released in March 2020, before all of us had to remain indoors for months and months. So while The Longing isn’t necessarily the most fun game to come out this year, it is definitely the most “2020” game. We’re not sure if that’s something to be proud of or not, but we’re going to recommend this one either way.
The lone Shade is oddly relatable, and the underground kingdom is full of secrets. So what if you sometimes have to wait two weeks (again, in real-time) to unlock a new area? It’s not like you’re going anywhere…
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is a role-playing game that focuses on Tokyo’s entertainment industry. Its premise might be a crossover between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei, but it manages to forge its own identity.
The game gives us a fun and wholesome plot, cute characters, and songs our characters perform, alongside turn-based gameplay with a unique twist. And, of course, plenty of catchy J-Pop tunes that had us singing along, even though we never really knew the words.
But what makes Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore a memorable game is how its story progresses as our characters overcome their difficulties and accomplish their dreams along the way. We don’t usually get to play games that are all about making our characters’ dreams come true, which is what makes this one so truly heartwarming. This kind of positive story is what we really needed in 2020.
Star Renegades is a rogue-lite that stands out from its countless competitors. You might think it’s thanks to its multitude of legendary inspirations, such as Fire Emblem or Shadow of Mordor, and you might be right, as those inspirations give it a lot of its appeal.
But Star Renegades is a special game on its own accord, thanks to its creative battle system. With a unique initiative-driven turn-based combat system, the game challenges you to think carefully on how to counteract and cancel your opponents’ moves, and deliver swift justice at the same time. It adds an exciting new twist that takes turn-based combat to new heights.
Star Renegades combines this amazing combat system with slice-of-life friendship arcs that your characters form between themselves, creating a distinct experience for each run.
Yes, Your Grace
Yes, Your Grace is proof you don’t need realistic graphics to bond with characters that have nothing to do with your day-to-day life. You won’t have a choice but to get seriously attached to the small world slowly growing in your heart as you play this game – a world where you get to be a king!
As king Eryk, you’re tasked with managing both the kingdom of Davern and the smaller kingdom that is the royal family. The interactions between these two worlds are where the game excels, and we can’t think of a game that does it better.
Between the excellent music by the awesome Merkfolk and the gorgeous pixel art, there’s no way not to get sucked in. If you’re planning on taking on this adventure, you better prepare room in your heart for your three new daughters – because you’re gonna need it.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a direct sequel to a 20-year old game, but it feels like Crash never left us. The new game maintains the winning formula that made the series so great all these years ago, while introducing original ideas and mechanics.
Visually, developer Toys for Bob did a great job, both with Crash and Coco’s characters and the worlds they run through. Every level is new and exciting, full of small yet so crucial details. We’ll visit pirate ships, junkyards, snowy trails, and even Japan.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is simply a fantastic game, with lots to do and see. It should be on every platformer enthusiast’s “best of” 2020 list and at the top of your priorities.
Genshin Impact is, without a doubt, one of 2020’s biggest surprises. When it was first announced, it was criticized for its uncanny resemblance to Breath of the Wild, and no one really believed it would have the same impact. Boy, were we wrong.
With its pretty anime graphics and excellent crafting, exploration, and combat systems, Genshin Impact had us hooked from the moment it landed. In fact, we’d be happy if more online games will learn from it on how to combine multiple systems into one solid experience.
You can also play the game with friends, although this mode still has a few kinks. We’re certain Genshin Impact will continue to grow, evolve, and improve in 2021, and we’ll be there along for the ride.
Genshin Impact is available on PC, PlayStation 5, and iOS and Android devices.
Chicken Police: Paint it Red is a hard-boiled detective drama, but with chickens. It shouldn’t work, but it clucking does. The game follows a detective duo (who are roosters) as they, little by little, unravel a mystery that will forever change their lives and the corrupt city of Clawville.
The game is one big homage to classic film noir. It has it all – a jaded yet oddly poetic protagonist, a mysterious woman who sets the whole thing in motion, and a heartless villain manipulating everything from the shadows. It even has a morphine-addicted owl, a staple of the genre.
The black-and-white photorealistic graphics makes everything feel a tad more grounded, even when you’re interrogating a nurse who’s also a giraffe. The amazing cast of actors brings the thrilling plot of murder, betrayal, and corruption to life, making Chicken Police one of the best games of 2020.