11 video games you should have played during 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Image Courtesy Nintendo
Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Image Courtesy Nintendo /

While 2020 was a difficult year, video games helped ease some of the uncertainty. We list off 11 of the best games you should have played this year.

At many points during 2020, video games were one of the main sources of entertainment. Between shutdowns and lockdowns and two-week quarantines, we spent most of our time in our houses/apartments/condos this year trying to keep ourselves from going crazy.

It’s a good thing so many excellent games came out this year. And here I thought 2019 couldn’t be beat. 2020 may have blown it out of the water. Which is great. It’s a great year to be a gamer, that’s for sure.

Here is our list of games you should have played during 2020, in alphabetical order.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons released on March 20th of this year, just as COVID ramped up. I actually didn’t buy my copy until the following week because I wasn’t interested, having never played any of the series before.

But New Horizons was a lifesaver as my state shut down. Many of us poured hours upon hours of our time on a daily basis crafting the perfect island, trying to increase its rank to get the legendary KK Slider to grace our island. I spent almost every night for a solid eight weeks farming DIYs, fossils, fish, and bugs and using Nook Miles tickets to visit other islands to farm out their resources, too.

Would this game have been so big if not for a global pandemic? Probably, as it’s a well-known series. But the community and camaraderie that came with it helped elevate it to the next level. Even Elijah Wood got in on the action!


This game was the weird one of the PlayStation 5 showcase over the summer. When it was announced that it would be free for PS Plus members and PS5 owners through the start of January, I decided to give it a try. Why not?

It’s Pokémon Snap. It’s Pokémon Snap but with Grumpuses as the characters and bugsnax as the Pokémon. It is all sorts of adorable and highly entertaining. You play as a journalist who crash lands on Snacktooth Island to interview Elizabert Megafig about her Bugsnax findings (and yes, all of the character names are ridiculous. Wiggle Wigglebottom is my personal favorite).

Of course, Lizbert is missing and you’re now tasked with bringing the residents of Snaxburg back to town, as they’ve all gone their separate ways since Liz disappeared. The game’s not terribly long (only about 8 hours, including side quests), but it will keep you relatively entertained the entire time, especially when it comes to the last 45 minutes or so of gameplay.

Cyberpunk 2077

Even though it only released on December 10th, it still counts as this year! While its release was pushed, pushed again, and pushed againCyberpunk 2077 finally released to the public. And while there have been an insane amount of bugs for the console versions with patches already available and more coming, PC has been running like a dream.

And it’s a gorgeous game with an insane amount of details. Just looking around the prologue areas made me stop and examine minute details. I’m not far into the game, but with dozens of hours of play ahead of me, there’s plenty more to uncover in this game. After waiting for eight years for this game since its announcement, it’s plenty of time to dig into Night City.

Doom Eternal

Can you really go wrong with a new Doom game? Doom Eternal released the same day as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the memes were excellent.

The single player campaign only takes about 15 to 20 hours to complete; the multiplayer battlemode offers a 2-vs-1 demons versus slayers setup where the most fun is just figuring out the capabilities of the demon you play. It’s highly entertaining.

Doom Eternal is just plain fun. You go from ripping demons in half with your bare hands to finessing your way through defensive lines of demons. The amount of weapons is just unsightly and necessary. It’s a Doom game, after all.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Fans have been clamoring for the Final Fantasy VII Remake for years. To see these characters from their Super Mario 64-esque 3D versions now looking like actual living, breathing beings makes you stop and take a moment to appreciate how far technology has come.

While it honors the original game in many ways, it also builds upon that original foundation and puts its own twist on the franchise. Side quests that took a handful of minutes in the original can sometimes now take upwards of an hour. But it’s not tedious; it builds on the world. It’s the first game my husband has ever Platinum’d on PlayStation. He was that invested in every aspect.

If you’re a huge Final Fantasy fan, you’ll be impressed with how much this game accomplishes.

Besides, there’s going to be a Part 2 in a few years with where the story ended. We just know it.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima is a very pretty game. I played it right on the heels of The Last of Us Part II and it’s artistic visuals felt like such a breath of fresh air. Watching Jin stand in the middle of a forest with falling flower petals obscuring the camera took my breath away.

Not only are the visuals stunning, but the game play is wonderful. The stealth doesn’t work as well as it should, but that’s one of the few detriments to this game. The story engages you, the combat is varied enough to keep you entertained and wanting to upgrade your armor and weapons to take on more enemies.

Plus, you can choose to play it in English or in Japanese with English subtitles. There’s also an option to play in Kurosawa mode, an homage to the Japanese filmmaker, and it’s excellent.


Hades was a surprise for me. I didn’t expect to fully enjoy nearly every single aspect of it, and I was even happier to see it nominated for Game of the Year.

If you haven’t played it, it’s a rogue-like game where every time you die, you start at the beginning. The only things you keep are a few different kinds of currency and the upgrades to your weapons. You play as Zagreus, son of Hades, as you attempt to break your way out of the layers of Hell and make it to Mount Olympus.

Along the way, you get different power ups from the gods, upgrades to your weapons, and a deeper story than you might think. Dying again and again isn’t like playing Demon’s Souls where it gets overly frustrating. Most of the time it’s a welcome thing. And the graphics and humor are just great. Zagreus’s sarcasm and wit are practically unmatched.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

Immortals Fenyx Rising is the closest you’ll get to playing Breath of the Wild for the first time again. Playing this is the perfect blend of Breath of the Wild and Final Fantasy. The graphics remind you of Zelda—as does a fair amount of the gameplay—but the combat is a cool blend of Zelda and Final Fantasy.

You’ll find yourself drawn into the story as it goes on, wanting to help Fenyx rescue the gods from Typhon’s wrath, especially if you’re a fan of Greek mythology. The leveling system and skill trees are just complicated enough to keep you invested in collecting ambrosia, Zeus’s lightning, and Coins of Charon.

Seriously. If you liked Breath of the Wild, give this one a try.

Resident Evil 3 (Remake)

Maybe it’s not a great idea to play a video game about a virus outbreak during a global pandemic, but it’s what my husband wanted to play when I wasn’t hogging the TV with Animal Crossing.

Despite the touchy plot, jumping back into the heart of Raccoon City feels like a warm welcome home… even with all of the zombies. And after last year’s Resident Evil 2 remake, this one just feels like a welcome addition to the slew of older game remakes that have come out in the last few years.

While it left out some elements from the original, it still packs a fun punch, even despite the shorter length. And seeing an old game “upgraded” in graphics is just enjoyable.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Who’s Morales?” is not something you asked at the end of the last Spider-Man game, and Miles is front and center in this sequel to Sony’s 2018 game. You got a taste for Miles in that game, but it was only revealed that he was bitten by a radioactive spider at the very end.

In this game, Peter Parker is on a work vacation in Europe with MJ and Miles is the only Spider-Man in New York. It’s a big responsibility for a kid still in high school, especially when it seems like Roxxon is suddenly up to no good and the Tinkerer is ramping up their forces to take Roxxon down.

There’s a running theme to plenty of the games on this list, and Miles Morales is just so pretty. I played on the PS5 with ray-tracing and at one point I just stopped to marvel at the snow hitting Miles’ suit and melting off. It looked so incredibly real.

If you played the first Spider-Man, you’ll love this one, too.

The Last of Us Part II

Naughty Dog always delivers high quality games, and this sequel was highly anticipated for several years. There’s a very large divide between critics’ opinions and players’ opinions when it comes to The Last of Us Part II. If you’re a fan of the first game, you’ll find yourself happy to be back in this world… or as happy as you can be playing a post-apocalyptic game during a global pandemic.

For the sequel, you play half of the game as Ellie, who you’ll know from the first game, and the other half as Abby, a newcomer who has caught a lot of heat from players given certain… plot points. We won’t go into spoiler details here, but she plays a big part in the overarching story.

Of course, Naughty Dog never fails to deliver absolutely breathtaking visuals, and The Last of Us Part II still looks gorgeous, building onto the world portrayed in the first game and taking us to snowy locations and inside crumbling museums. You can play this game just for the different locations.

And one final honorable mention for Among Us. The online multiplayer technically came out in 2018, but received a resurgence in the late summer/fall this year as a great way to hang out with friends virtually and turn into enemies!

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What games did you play in 2020 that didn’t make our list? Let us know in the comments!