Another year means another long time of deliberating my ten favourite games of the year, and Covid-19 hasn’t stopped this from being another great year for video games. Quick note: I previously worked at SEGA/ATLUS, so I’ve not included games I’ve worked on in some form — you should play Persona 5 Royal, though!
Anyway, without further ado, here’s a game which needs no introduction…
Final Fantasy VII Remake
One of my most anticipated games ever, and a remake of the most iconic JRPG of all-time, and it genuinely blew away all expectations that I had. I think it handled its story and characters better than it ever has, and its action-RPG gameplay is the perfect blend of turn-based and real-time — honestly, this might be my favourite combat in a game to date, and I’d love to see more JRPGs adopt something similar.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been the chill, social game that I needed this year. Being able to spend time with my partner and friends, when I couldn’t in person, was great, and it’s a game that’s given me several experiences unique to it. I don’t play it quite as much now, but I still absolutely love it, and I’m thankful to have finally gotten into the series.
The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II is an incredible, exhaustive journey that I still think about a lot now, despite having finished it months and months ago. I vastly prefer it to the first game, and Ellie and Abby are both fantastic leads. The ending left me emotionally drained, in a good way, and ultimately the game has earned its well-deserved praise in spades.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a game that feels so alive. It’s a personal story with a city that feels equally as personable, and it builds upon the strengths of its predecessor whilst highlighting how Miles is different to Peter. He feels weaker and scrappier right now, but he is every bit the hero that Peter is, and I’m hoping he has another solo outing, or a sequel with an equal split between our two heroes, to come in the future.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
Like with Miles Morales, Melody of Memory filled me with a sense of awe and joy. This is a series I’m very familiar with, and it has been with me for a long time, so to get a rhythm game, finally, is a dream come true. The new content in this has me very excited for what’s to come next, too! Come on, playable Kairi!
Is Nioh 2 the best Souls-like? It darn well might be! It breaks my heart to know that there isn’t a big chance of a third entry happening, but Nioh 2 is so packed full with content that I’m still playing it now, with plenty left to do, after several dozen hours put into it. That character customisation is great stuff, too.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
An open-world RPG that covers the entire Z saga? Enough said, let’s move on.
But seriously, CyberConnect2 did an amazing job with Kakarot, and it’s been wonderful to experience the entirety of Z in the way that Kakarot has allowed me to. Of course, you know your boy mains adult Gohan!
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Hyrule Warriors continues to be among the best when it comes to the Musou genre, and I’ve wanted to explore the past of Breath of the Wild’s world for a long time. Despite knowing how much of this game pans out, it doesn’t stop it from being a blast to play, and it has a fair few emotional gut punches on the way, too.
Highway Blossoms: Next Exit
Medium readers may not know it yet, but anybody who has followed my work in the past will know that I adore Highway Blossoms, and will recommend it to anyone looking for a visual novel, an Indie game, or a game with positive LGBTQ+ representation. I was over the moon when Studio Élan announced a sequel, Next Exit, and it didn’t disappoint. Support them by buying on Steam or itch.io!
Café Enchanté is an otome visual novel which revolves around Awaki Kotone, a young woman who is taking over a family cafe as her grandfather passed and left it in her care. She realises that it actually acts as a door to other worlds, and this is her journey in bringing the human world and other worlds together, to show that they truly can get along. Canus is best boy, by the way.
Honourable Mention: Fitness Boxing 2
Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise hasn’t quite made my top 10 of 2020, but I wanted to shout it out as another game on Switch which makes exercise fun. Between this and Ring Fit, I’ve been making remarkable progress with myself, and I’m able to be comfortable and have fun whilst doing it, and I think that’s pretty amazing. Give the demo a go!