Way Too Many Games of the Year 2020
2020 will be remembered as one of the rockiest years in history. Between natural disasters, political division, civil unrest, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are happy to see it end. Thankfully, not everything was a total disaster. Now that 2020 has officially passed, it’s time to take a look back at some of the things that made it great: the games. We at Way Too Many Games would like to present to you our personal choices for our Game of the Year for 2020.
Leo – DOOM Eternal
Throughout the entirety of 2020, there was just one game I ended up scoring a perfect ten: DOOM Eternal. In a year full of stressful news and moments where I desperately needed a means of catharsis, a game that purely about making me forget about the world around, a game all about relieving anger and anxiety. DOOM Eternal provided that exact treatment in spades: a game all about shooting everything in sight in the most absurd and exciting ways imaginable. A game to shut my brain off. A game to make me feel unbelievably powerful, feared, unstoppable. And on top of that, Mick Gordon going full bananas with his soundtrack.
Heidi – Ghost of Tsushima
This was a tough one, because there were so many great games this year to choose from. I myself even gave out two 10/10s on our Top 20 list. However, the game that blew me away the most was Ghost of Tsushima. This is first game in a long time that didn’t give me open-world fatigue and kept me engaged throughout the entire experience. The combat was satisfying and the methods of leveling up felt realistic. I absolutely loved the inventive ways of letting nature guide you towards points of interest. Then there’s the sheer beauty of the island of Tsushima that constantly took my breath away. Not to mention the Photo Mode that I sunk quite a few hours into.
Jason – The Last of Us Part II
Regardless of how you feel about the game as a whole, The Last of Us Part II put Naughty Dog’s exceptional talent on full display again. It has its fair share of critics for what it did to fan-favorite characters and the switch in protagonists half-way through. Either way, TLoU2 took some very bold risks for a franchise so large. It’s another technical marvel that throws players onto an emotional roller coaster ride through tense combat, heart-wrenching loss, and the occasional uplifting moment. Without a Factions multiplayer mode like its predecessor, I don’t see myself replaying it as frequently as I did the original, but the story managed to stay with me for longer than most gaming experiences. It won’t be play this through on repeat, but I’ll be returning to it again some day very soon.
Jordan – Ghost of Tsushima
Looking back over 2020’s games, there are a handful I was really debating selecting for my GotY pick. Half Life: Alyx impressed me a ton. Hades was and one of the best roguelikes I’ve every played. Doom Eternal had my blood pumping and cheering the whole time. However, Ghost of Tsushima was the only game that held my attention to the point I didn’t play anything else until I beat it. It’s also the only game that pulled me back in even after beating most of the content just to wrap up side stuff. The natural way it guided you to points-of-interest made exploring a blast and the effort put into side stories made it so no moment was dull. On top of the content filled main campaign, Sucker Punch even added a whole new co-op mode for free.
Kyle – Hades
My pick for my personal Game of the Year has been a brutally tough one. It’s been a fantastic year for games with Cyberpunk 2077 consuming my life for the past few weeks and Ori and the Will of the Wisps being an emotional and beautiful journey. However, Hades is a game that I kept coming back to; a stunning roguelike that is perfect in almost every way. From its fast-paced combat, excellent interpretation of Hell, and some of the best characters of the year. It’s an utterly engrossing experience that appeals to fans of the genre and newcomers alike. I’ve even went as far as to double dip the game thanks to the ability of cross-save between the PC and Switch versions. Now if you excuse me, I’ve got to escape the Underworld yet again.
Todd – Ghost of Tsushima
Don’t overthink this, it’s The Last of Us Part II. Wait, no, it’s Ghost of Tsushima. Ehh, nevermind, put me back down for TLoU2. No, no, GoT is correct, lock me in. I batted this around more than a couple times. Naughty Dog did it again and improved on a masterpiece, but what Sucker Punch did with a new IP was truly special. Game play, game production, game design, it was all top notch. Exploring Tsushima and its history was fun and satisfying and the landscape was breathtaking. Please don’t get me started on Kurosawa Mode; I just may have used their robust, bar-setting Photo Mode more than I used the jump button. All that said, I still would have picked Naughty Dog’s post-apocolyptic opus over this, that is had Legends Mode not been introduced. At least three nights I week, I end my day with a match or two.
Thomas – Final Fantasy VII Remake
I can’t remember the last time a game entranced me the same way FF7R did. It’s absolutely bizarre too, I’d been nothing but skeptical of it since announcement. I’ve never been a FF7 megafan either. Hell, I’m one of those people who believes Final Fantasy as a franchise has spent the last two decades in constant decline. But FF7R is special. It recaptures that Squaresoft magic in a way the franchise has completely lacked, and brings Final Fantasy VII to life in a way the original never could. The music, the graphics, the world, the phenomenal battle system, the return to classic characterization for Cloud and the gang it does everything right. Especially the way it manages to exist as a remake while maintaining the importance of the original. It’s almost a perfect game for me. Almost, as the wait for FF7R2 has already been excruciating, let alone the parts after. Seven seconds till the end my ass…
Aaron – Hades
Up for game of the year at the Video Game Awards, even if it was just a token indie game for the title, Hades has been making splashes left, right, and centre this year. Being a fan of roguelike games, as well as the top down arcade style, this was a game I picked up expecting a few hours of fun. Little did I know this would turn out to be one of the most addicting games I would play in 2020. Lore built from talking to characters, building relationships, and finishing runs. The various builds to tackle each run with. Plus, one of the absolute best songs in any game in 2020, “God of the Dead” by Darren Korb, which plays while you take on Hades himself. Yup, this game I intended to only have a few hours of fun with, quickly turned into well over fifty hours and counting.
Baylen – Final Fantasy VII Remake
While Crash Bandicoot 4: Its About Time sets the bar unbelievably high and sits far an wide as the prime example of play forming excellence everyone should be talking about, my pick for Game of the Year goes to Final Fantasy VII Remake. As an avid player (and replayer) of nearly all entries in the beloved franchise, my expectations for the long waited remake were through the roof. Thankfully, this game passes the test with flying colors and did all the extra credit questions like the goddamn overachieving nerd it is. Beautifully retelling an already beloved story, Remake takes its time developing its supporting characters to become instant fan favorites. Jessie was merely an afterthought in the original and now she’s my favorite flirtatious little pizza maker. With stunning visuals, incredible attention to detail, an amped up soundtrack, a near flawless battle system, and phenomenal challenges aplenty, there isn’t a second where you aren’t slack jawed in amazement and invested in completing this masterpiece. The best news is that there’s at least two more full games to continue in order to get through this slightly altered retelling of a classic.