Well, it's no secret that 2020 wasn't one of the best years because of that ongoing pandemic thing. But at least there has been plenty of great releases. Also staying more at home and reducing any social contact contributed to having more time available for gaming!
So with no further ado, here are my favourite games of this year in no specific order:
I enjoyed all releases of Supergiant Games so far and I was quite excited when the studio announced that their next game will be an action roguelite. Because damn, I'm a sucker for roguelites. Hades nailed every aspect that makes this genre good and is highly replayable. Plus the added narrative, which a lot of roguelites lack, makes the whole "just one more run" feeling even stronger.
The only thing it's lacking in is the variety of locations, enemies and bosses. Fingers crossed there's more content coming to address these concerns.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
This game released shortly after Germany got hit by the pandemic and to be honest, it was the perfect game for these trying times. It even arrived a day earlier for me! Animal Crossing helped me to escape the real world and just relax on an island filled with cute animals for a few hours each day.
It also motivated me enough to start working on a new side project called Blathers to keep track of all museum donations, go check it out!
I haven't played it in a while though because it, unfortunately, started to feel like a chore and the latest updates haven't added any quality of life features. The crafting, inventory management and implementation of multiplayer could use some improvements.
Deep Rock Galactic
Another game I got in early access back in 2019 and it finally released this year. It's amazing how the game just kept getting better and better with each update. The team nailed so many aspects perfectly, be it gameplay, audio or graphics. I still can't comprehend how good the procedural generation of the caves is.
It is probably THE best online co-op FPS right now and I can't wait to see what's planned in the future. There's only one thing left to say: Rock and stone, brother! ⛏️🍻
Streets of Rage 4
Streets of Rage 2 belongs to my most loved childhood games and is one of the few games I replay a lot. Well, it sure helps that a playthrough can only take up to one hour. Anyway, Dotemu did a great job with the fourth title and were able to perfectly capture the charm of the series. Also the soundtrack is filled with jammin’ 90s beats. Seriously, listen to the track Funky HQ.
The game was a bit rough at launch (noticeable on higher difficulties) but the latest balancing patch made it near perfect. I can't wait for any upcoming DLC and return to this glorious beat 'em up.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Just wow. This was one of my most anticipated sequel ever and Moon Studio sure as heck delivered. The outstanding visual style, the beautiful way of telling the story, the orchestrated music score and the tight gameplay. A must-play for everyone who loves metroidvanias.
I ought to replay this someday on my new ultrawide monitor. Or get the stunning port for the Nintendo Switch.
Tetris Effect: Connected
If I could only play one game for the rest of my life, it would probably be Tetris. Especially this version of Tetris. This game is an audio visual bliss on an ultrawide monitor coupled with decent headphones. And it can even be played in VR which enhances the experience even more. It's just not as crisp on an Oculus Rift S though.
The added multiplayer modes are well done and I especially love the classic score attack mode which resembles the NES version of Tetris.
DJMax Respect V
I've been playing rhythm games for over a decade now but I could never quite get into the DJMax series. Well, they finally released a DJMax game on Steam and I gave it another try. Why exactly you may ask? Because I'm a huge fan of the music which often appeared in other rhythm games. Most notably the V Extension Pack is filled with bangers.
100 hours later and I can now beat charts up to 14* difficulty on 4B, 5B and 6B. Higher difficulties and 8B are still quite difficult for me but I'm getting there.
Even more games I greatly enjoyed this year and I want to put more hours into them. Except for Monster Hunter because Rise is on its way.
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
- Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (Steam)
- Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
- Risk of Rain 2
- Spelunky 2
Games I didn't play but would probably be on this list
These games were high on my to-play list but I didn't get around playing them (yet) and/or wasn't in the mood. Might pick them up early next year.
- DOOM Eternal
- Half-Life: Alyx
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2
- Black Mesa
Update: I've now beaten DOOM Eternal and Half-Life: Alyx in January and yes, they would absolutely land on this list. Two truly fantastic games!
DOOM is like an extreme version of rock paper scissors and Alyx is easily the best VR experience out there. Valve has outdone itself and I hope it is not their last VR game.