The only GOTY list on TheGamer that RESPECTS VR.
Welcome to my own personal Game of the Year awards. Though 2020 has been the most challenging year of my entire life, ironically, choosing my 10 favorite games was no sweat at all. What I love about my list this year is how accurately it represents all of my favorite genres with only a few exceptions. This year I enjoyedtriple-A big event games, live service looters, arthouse games, and a few VR titles. I don't have any honorable mentions, but I do have a short FOMO list. I didn't get around to 13 Sentinels, Paradise Killer, or Five Dates, and I think there's a good chance some of those would have been top ten contenders.
The last thing I'd like to say before jumping into the list: there is no single game that defined 2020 for me. Looking back over the last few years, Disco Elysium, Return of the Obra Dinn, and Prey each made such a huge impact on me that it's difficult to even remember what other games came out the same year. This year, however, I never found one game that transformed me. Instead, I'll treasure all ten of these games for how much they helped me cope with the challenges and horrors of 2020.
Doom Eternal is such a bold game.Doom 2016 was a massive success; not only did it modernize Doom, but it also resurrectedthe arcade shooter. No one would have blamed id for making a straightforward sequel with a few more bells and whistles but that's not what they did. With Doom Eternal, id took a huge risk by reinventing Doom again. Eternal's combat is so complex that it's practically a puzzle game. A lot of people think of Doom as a nice way to shut your brain off and rip some monsters in half, but Eternal is incredibly demanding. Not everyone liked "the thinking man's Doom," but I really appreciate how far the developers went to make a truly one-of-a-kind game. Eternal set a new bar for video game sequels.
Beyond Light had a lot to overcome. A year ago, most people still believed Destiny 3 was on the way, per the original release schedule under Activision. When we learned that we'd be getting Beyond Light instead of Destiny 3, we also learned that its release would coincide with a huge chunk of the game disappearing into the Destiny Content Vault, as well as a new sunsetting system that made practically all of the good weapons obsolete. It was a tough pill to swallow, but we were assured by Bungie that it would be for the best. Beyond Light needed to be good enough to make up for everything the game was losing, and in a lot of ways, it did. The first month of the expansion felt like a never-ending buffet of fresh content, and even now as the season dies down, I'm still grinding away and having the time of my life. Europa is a fantastic location, the new raid is one of the best ever, and the new Stasis subclasses are a blast. Destiny 2 is in its fourth year, and it's only getting better and better.
If ever there was a killer app for VR, Half-Life: Alyx is it. As the resident virtual reality stan at TG, Alyx is probably the game that inspired me the most this year. Everything technically impressive about major tentpole games like The Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima pales in comparison to what Valve did in creating Half-Life: Alyx. Perhaps Alyx is ahead of its time, or maybe VR will never find mainstream success, but if you haven't played this game and you are physically able to, you're missing out on not just an incredible experience, but a historically significant moment in gaming. I really can't stress enough how much I hate to see Alyx get left out of the conversation because it's a VR game. It's an extraordinary game that pushed the entire medium forward in a big way.
I've intentionally blocked out almost all of 2020, but I played Savage Planet in January, and I haven't stopped thinking about it ever since. I had no idea how much I needed a game like Savage Planet until I was several hours in and realized what it was. It felt like tasting a new flavor for the first time. Journey to the Savage Planet pulls heavily from Metroid Prime but does more than enough to establish its own identity with tone and art direction. I've played through Savage Planet three times now, and there's just something about the cadence of exploration and upgrades that hit the reward center in my brain like a Mack Truck. Savage Planet is the most underrated game of the year.
This was the hardest review I ever had to write. Kentucky Route Zero is such a hard game to talk about because it's so emotionally evocative, yet narratively obscure. It's a surrealist experience that uses dream logic, music, and symbolic symmetry to express a multitude of themes that resonated strongly with me and seem to resonate with everyone that plays it too. It's an exploration of the human condition that I think is worthwhile for everyone to give a few hours over to. It's meant to be experienced and felt more than it's meant to be understood, I think. Kentucky Route Zero is something I plan to revisit often.
I've been obsessed with this series for years. The first three The Room games are probably my favorite mobile games. I love puzzle boxes, but I'll likely never have one of my own because, as you can imagine, they have to be handmade and they're incredibly expensive. The Room VR lets you solve some of the best puzzle boxes ever created using your own hands. The series translates so well to VR and A Dark Matter plays to all of virtual reality's advantages. One of my favorite puzzles in the game requires you to change the orientation of the box before shrinking yourself down and navigating pathways inside the box. It's the kind of game that reminds you that there are actual genius-level developers out there, and they're creating game experiences you could never have even dreamed of.
Rocket Arena is an excellent competitive game that was D.O.A., thanks to poor monetization. It's still an active, live service game with seasonal updates and new content, and it may be doing better on PlayStation, thanks to its recent inclusion in PS+, but it doesn't seem like Rocket Arena will be able to grow a healthy player base at this point, which is a shame because it's genuinely a great game. I've included it here because I want to celebrate games that take risks and try to do new things. Rocket Arena has everything it needs except players.
Unlike Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us 2 somehow delivered on every bit of hype it had built up over the years.There's plenty of negativity around the game's story and characters, but I think most people would agree that technically and mechanically, TLOU2 is remarkable. It's difficult for me to turn off my critical eye when I play games, because I'm always looking for things to critique and write about, but this game swept me away in its giant setpieces, edge-of-your-seat combat, and fully realized characters for hours on end.I don't know if my heart can take a second playthrough of TLOU2, but I may never need to either. It left a big enough impression on me that I don't think I'll ever forget climbing down through that highrise building or riding the horse through that burning village, or any of the hundreds of other moments, both big and small.
The last VR game on this list is my personal favorite. Until You Fall is quintessential VR. You use your full body to play, it's great in short sessions, it's easy to learn but hard to master, and its visual style is unparalleled. Until You Fall is the first VR game I recommend to almost everyone, and no one has ever been disappointed. It's one of the best roguelike games I've played because it offers an exceptional balance of progression and variety. This game sets the bar for melee combat in VR.
I said at the start that every game on this list was equally special to me, but Squadrons is definitely the game that gave me the greatest feeling of uninhibited joy this year. I played dozens of hours of PvP in VR with flight sticks, and I have to imagine I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time.Boosting between asteroids before dumping power into your weapons to gun down an enemy TIE fighter is a blast each and every time. Immersion is a term that gets thrown around too much, but the Squadrons experience is so narrowly focused and fine-tuned that you can't help but feel like a real fighter pilot when you play it. When I think about the game that gave me the most carefree fun in 2020, it's definitely Star Wars: Squadrons.
READ NEXT:TheGamer Editors' Choices Of 2020 - Cian Maher
The Hivebusters DLC Is Better Than The Gears 5 Campaign
Eric Switzer is the Livestream News Editor for TheGamer as well as the lead for VR and Tech. He has written about comics and film for Bloody Disgusting and VFXwire. He is a graduate of University of Missouri - Columbia and Vancouver Film School. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey...but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokmon is Umbreon.
Go here to read the rest:
TheGamer Editor's Choices Of 2020 - Eric Switzer | TheGamer - TheGamer
- Pillars of Active Aging - Old School Puzzles And Games To Promote Active Aging Brain Health - LNP | LancasterOnline - March 4th, 2021
- Tvinnr: Basic tips to help you enjoy this relaxing puzzle game - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Maquette is a neat puzzle game that packs an emotional punch - The Next Web - March 4th, 2021
- Our most anticipated indie games of 2021 - Rock Paper Shotgun - March 4th, 2021
- MonkeyBox 2: Cards! is an upcoming puzzle adventure game for iOS from TheCodingMonkeys - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Play with Gravity in Gravifire on Xbox and Switch - TheXboxHub - March 4th, 2021
- Lovin Games Weekly - There is a new Aliens game on the way - Lovin Dublin - March 4th, 2021
- It Takes Two Isn't Focusing on Replayability, Won't Have Collectibles - GameRant - March 4th, 2021
- The Video Games to Play This Month: Get Tiny with Maquette, It Takes Two, and More! - The Portland Mercury - March 4th, 2021
- 50% Kemco RPG and Puzzle Games on PS Store - GLYFE Nation - March 4th, 2021
- Worst Pokmon Spin-off Games Nintendo Should Never Remake - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- Super Rare Games giving immersive puzzle game Creaks a physical Switch release next week - GoNintendo - March 4th, 2021
- Every Uncharted Game, Ranked Worst To Best | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- 10 Games We Need To See On PSVR2 That Could Actually Happen On PS5 - TheGamer - March 4th, 2021
- PC Review - 'Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead' - WorthPlaying.com - March 4th, 2021
- The Next Hawks Coach Will Have to Solve the Trae Young Puzzle - The Ringer - March 4th, 2021
- Sponsored: 5 games that make you think like a programmer - Gamasutra - March 4th, 2021
- Inked review - "If only looks were everything" | Articles - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- From Portal to Witcher 3: The games people cheat at the most! - European Gaming Industry News - March 4th, 2021
- 5 Best PC Boxing games to play in 2021 - Gameranx - March 4th, 2021
- What Are the Most Popular Types of Mobile Game? | TechQuila - TechQuila - February 19th, 2021
- The Legend of Zelda games ranked! - The Guardian - February 19th, 2021
- Wordsmyth is a beautiful daily word game coming soon to iOS and Android - Pocket Gamer - February 19th, 2021
- Review: She Remembered Caterpillars - Movies Games and Tech - February 19th, 2021
- Artie raises $10 million as it pivots to make instant games - VentureBeat - February 19th, 2021
- Fortnite Creative gets callout for puzzles and platformers - AltChar - February 19th, 2021
- Top 10 games to download and play first on your new Apple iPhone - Gadget Bridge - February 19th, 2021
- Outer Wilds launches this summer on Nintendo Switch - Shacknews - February 19th, 2021
- Steam Developer Banned After Trying to Trick Users About Positive Reviews - VICE - February 19th, 2021
- Global Games and Puzzles Market 2020 Industry Analysis, Key Drivers, Business Strategy, Opportunities and Forecast to 2025 Express Keeper - Express... - February 19th, 2021
- Next 10 Classic Horror Games To Play If You Liked The Medium - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Game stores seeing an increase in new customers since the COVID-19 pandemic - WeAreGreenBay.com - February 17th, 2021
- The First 10 Games Released On The PS2 (In Chronological Order) - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Zynga Expects Its Mobile Gaming Empire to Grow More Than 30% In 2021 - Motley Fool - February 17th, 2021
- 8 Underrated Open-World Games (That Came Out In The Last 5 Years) - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- The Room 4: Old Sins Is Out For PC, And Prettier Than Ever - Kotaku - February 17th, 2021
- Knight's Retreat Review - Chess but not! - TheXboxHub - February 17th, 2021
- Soapbox: We Were Here, the Free PS4 Game No One Will Play with Me - Push Square - February 17th, 2021
- PS5 : HuniePop 2, another title that joins Twitch's list of banned games - Explica - February 17th, 2021
- 10 VR Games That Don't Give You Motion Sickness - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- 10 Things You Never Knew About The Origins Of Tetris | Game Rant - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- Games of the week: The Medium, Spire Blast, Encodya and Solas 128 - Inverness Courier - February 17th, 2021
- Nokia 5.4 review this ones for the stock Android fans on a tight budget - Business Insider India - February 17th, 2021
- Thorny Puzzle Title Room To Grow Is Coming To PC This Month - Bleeding Cool News - February 14th, 2021
- Imaginative Puzzle Game QV Heading To Steam | TheGamer - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- 10 Open World Games That Have No Combat | Game Rant - GameRant - February 14th, 2021
- Schell Games Talks I Expect You To Die 2 And VR's Future - UploadVR - February 14th, 2021
- ConnecTank Is a Multiplayer Tank Battle and Puzzle Game Coming This Fall - SuperParent - February 14th, 2021
- Best Valentines Day games for couples: top titles to play with your loved one - TechRadar - February 14th, 2021
- Outer Wilds And The Best Games That Use Time Loops - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- The Most Peaceful Games of 2020, Ranked | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - February 14th, 2021
- Best new mobile games on iOS and Android this February - Metro.co.uk - February 14th, 2021
- PS4 Update: Download This New F2P PlayStation 4 Game - RealSport101 - February 14th, 2021
- The Best Free PC Games of Multiple Category in 2021 - TechnoSports - February 14th, 2021
- The DeanBeat: Has the game industry hit its peak with crazy valuations or just begun its growth? - VentureBeat - February 14th, 2021
- Video game review: 'The Medium' a messy horror game with inventive puzzles - telegraphherald.com - February 14th, 2021
- TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Knightin'+' - Touch Arcade - February 14th, 2021
- Numskull Games Offers Sneak Peek At Upcoming Titles, Reveals RICO London - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- Recursive Puzzle Game, Maquette, to be Released in March - mxdwn.com - February 11th, 2021
- Tackle thorny problems in 'Room to Grow' a plant pushing puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021! - Gamasutra - February 11th, 2021
- PS5 and PS4 free game bonus: Grab a friend and download co-op puzzler for free - Express - February 11th, 2021
- Somethings Fishy About This Steam Games Very Positive Reviews - Kotaku - February 11th, 2021
- Human Fall Flat Was Originally Designed To Be Portal Meets Limbo - TheGamer - February 11th, 2021
- Tilting Point will invest up to $60 million in user acquisition for Loop Games Match 3D game - VentureBeat - February 11th, 2021
- Every App And VR Game Coming To Oculus App Lab For Quest - UploadVR - February 11th, 2021
- Nuts Review- Hiding Above the Trees, Looking For Squirrels - DualShockers - February 11th, 2021
- A bit about our currently nameless game company, and what we're working on at the moment - Gamasutra - February 11th, 2021
- 'Breath Of The Wild' Reinvented Zelda Games. 'Bowser's Fury' Does That For Mario - Mashable India - February 11th, 2021
- Slipways was the best demo in the Steam Games Festival, but it's gone now - Rock Paper Shotgun - February 9th, 2021
- Move Over, Mother 3 - THESE Nintendo Games Should Be Localized Too - CBR - Comic Book Resources - February 9th, 2021
- Solve puzzles in a recursive world where everything is simultaneously tiny and massive - PC Gamer - February 9th, 2021
- The best PSVR games to try on a PS5 - CNET - February 9th, 2021
- Xbox One: The 7 Easiest Games to Unlock Every Achievement | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - February 9th, 2021
- Knightin'+ is a Zelda-inspired puzzle-adventure game that's heading for iOS and Android tomorrow - Pocket Gamer - February 9th, 2021
- Cross-Play Video Game Publisher TLM Partners, Inc. Announces Their First Indie Title "Zorya: The Celestial Sisters" developed by MadLife... - February 9th, 2021
- The Video Games to Play This Month: Giant Bowser, Fractal Planet Exploration, and Werewolves! - TheStranger.com - February 9th, 2021
- The ultimate guide to getting into the Resident Evil games - PC Gamer - February 9th, 2021
- Games of the week: Hitman 3, The Pillar: Puzzle Escape, Nuts and Ride 4 - Inverness Courier - February 9th, 2021
- 5 Awesome Video Game Sequels That Defined A Franchise (& 5 That Were Way Overrated) - Screen Rant - February 9th, 2021
- 10 Terrifying Horror Games Most Gamers Have Never Heard Of - GameRant - February 9th, 2021