A pretty crappy year, but lots of great games
We're finally at the end of that dumpster fire of a year known as 2020. I'm sure many of us are happy that it's ending and hoping that the upcoming 2021 will be a much better year. While we don't know what 2021 will bring us, I can reflect on some of the better things of 2020; video games.
As far as gaming is concerned, 2020 was a fantastic year as we've seen more games than our wallets would have liked. And just like every end of year tradition, I'm looking back at a handful of my favorite games. Here are my 10 favorite games of 2020, in no specific order and believe me when I say that this was no small feat. I've changed this list so many times as there are easily 20 games that were some of the best moments (to me) that could be on this list. Alas, only 10 can be here, so chopping had to be done.
And be sure to look out for mine and the rest of The Outerhaven's upcoming "Anticipated Games of 2021".
When it was rumored that Bluepoint Games was working with a beloved PlayStation classic remake, I didn't imagine in a million years that it would be Demon's Souls. But I'm glad that it was because ever since I got my hands on a PlayStation 5, this game has not left my rotation. Not only did I platinum the game, something that I've ever done with Bloodborne, but I've played it multiple times. I've clocked in 179 hours at the time of this list, and I don't see myself stopping. Everything that made the game so good in the past has been tweaked, along with amazing graphics, haunting music, and one of the best reasons to own a PlayStation 5.
I still never got around to reviewing the game, as I'd been so busy getting my platinum trophy and helping other people in-game. Look for that review, eventually.
Resident Evil 3 Remake
Capcom's 2019 Resident Evil 2 Remake was one of my favorite games of that year, and the follow-up, Resident Evil 3 Remake, ranks up there as one of my 2020 favorite games. Just as visually impressive as RE2, RE3 isn't as long, and there are a few flaws with the game. Yet, despite that, I found that RE3 does have better boss encounters; let's be 100% here, Tyrant/Mister X can't hold a candle to Nemesis. And the quickstep mechanic is useful for getting out of pinches if you can master it. It's an enjoyable time - even if it feels like more of a DLC than a full game.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII was not only an amazing experience when it was originally released on the original PlayStation but also an important part of my life. One of the best RPGs I've ever played, it had everything; a great and engaging story, enjoyable characters, the combat system was fun, and it was also a game that my then-pregnant wife would watch me play or lay on me as she relaxed from a long day of work. Fast-forward to the remake, that child was not only much older but now she ended up watching me play the game - life repeats its self. As for FF7R, it was the stuff of dreams; just about everything of the original game was intact, and the enhancements, both visually and audibly, were the cherry on top. I seriously can't wait for the next part to be released, whenever that is.
If you haven't realized it by now, I live for these games, and Mortal Shell was an exciting change of pace. A game with nearly all the charm of Fromsoftware's titles, but I felt it made the game with its own interesting additions. Did I mention a small team also made this of passionate fans of the Soulsborne titles? Sure, the game was short, but it showed the greatness that you don't see often. That all said, if you're not a fan of these types of games, Mortal Shell won't change your mind.
Streets of Rage 4
I grew up on the Sega Genesis (and SNES), and the Streets of Rage series was always a favorite for me. So you can imagine I was one of the many who kept asking why the hell we never saw a follow-up to the series. Then out of nowhere, it was announced that SOR 4 was not only being developed by a team outside of Sega. I lost my shit but was quickly excited when I found out who was working on it. SOR4 ended up being exactly what I wanted and what the series needed; a banging soundtrack, an expanded combo system, new and returning characters, and more importantly, it was fun!
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
I know this comes as a surprise, especially since I'm both normally a Street Fighter kind of person, and I haven't openly expressed interest in many fighting games in quite some time. That in its self should tell you why MK11:A is on this list. It really surprised the heck out of me as well, and I've clocked in more hours in this game that I realized I had. It's a quality fighter, more fun than I expected, and It's really grown on me.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Now, here me out... I know this is a PlayStation 4 title, but it was re-released for PC this year. Yes, the original launch was rough and the game suffered from several issues, but the underlying game was intact and very much playable. On a capable PC, the playing experience is, at least in my eyes, superior. That's not a flex, but it does make one appreciate having the ability to see this game in its full glory. And that's all that I need to say.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
I've been a huge fan of Spider-Man comics since I was a child, and to this day, I continue to be a fan of Spidey and his ever-growing family. While Marvel's Spider-Man was one of my favorite games when it was released, it's the same for Spider-Man: Miles Morales, thanks to several reasons. It's an incredibly well-made game. New York looks even better thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5 and, well... Miles Morales, a fantastic character/superhero. Swinging through the skyline, all while admiring the ray-traced reflections, enjoying the combat mechanics, or just taking in the sights, this game hits all the right chords.
For years I was among the many who'd asked for a game featuring Miles Morales, and now that we have it, it's the stuff of dreams. Yes, it does play similar to the first PlayStation Spider-Man game, but there's there the similarities stop. This charming game is yet another reason to own a PlayStation 5.
Yakuza Like A Dragon
As a long time fan of the Yakuza series, I was one of the many who welcomed the change from the traditional 3D brawler to a turn-based RPG style of gameplay. And Sega nailed it! Not only is the gameplay similar to an RPG, which is a recurring theme in the game, but they've also introduced a new protagonist and is my favorite thus far; Ichiban Kasuga. He's just crazy cool, he's down to earth and he's someone you'd get along with if he was a real-life person. We can't forget the story, which is something that every (well, almost) Yakuza title does a good job with, as well as all those quirky missions. My own complaint is the end-game grinding does ruin the mood but other than this, I loved this game.
Seriously, if you haven't played this and you enjoy the Yakuza series, you're missing out. If you have Xbox Game Pass, give it a try. It won't disappoint... that is unless you're not open to trying new things.
Check out our review of Yakuza Like A Dragon.
Yet another title that made an appearance on the PlayStation 4, then eventually to the PC. Though, Death Stranding was originally announced for the PC. Everyone forgot about it thanks to Sony Interactive Entertainment. And while I already owned the PS4 version, I never played it due to the console's performance concerns - I'm weird like that. However, once I got my hands on the PC version, I played it nearly nonstop. There wasn't a single game I played until I saw the credits roll, and after that, I went back to finish up missions I skipped over. I loved every bit of this so-called "Walking Simulator," which was nothing short of amazing. I also loved the fact that the port was easily one of the best PC ports I've ever played.
Did I mention I loved this game?
And that's the list, folks! It was hard to get it to just 10 games but I think I managed it. What do you think about the list? Does it align with yours? Let me know in the comments.
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