DualShockers’ Favorite Games of 2020 — Logan's Top 10
I've come back to DualShockers one more time to share my Top 10 favorite games of 2020. And yes, League of Legends is on there.
As 2020 (thankfully) comes to a close, the DualShockers staff is coming together to share their personal favorite games throughout the year. Unlike our official Game of the Year Awards, each of these lists is meant to reflect which games stood out personally to each of our staff members. Additionally, any game — not just 2020 releases — can be considered in each Top 10 List.
Hello! Remember me? I’m that guy who used to work here for a long time and left just about a month ago. Well, apparently the crew at DualShockers forgot to change the locks because I’ve now found a way back onto the site for one final time.
Video games were strange for me this year. In a time where I’m sure many were turning to the medium more than ever before as a result of being trapped indoors, I actually got kind of burnt out on games this year. It turns out that when gaming is one of the only activities that I can do on a regular basis, I get a bit more sick of it. Overall, I played way fewer games in 2020 than I have in perhaps the last five to ten years. And honestly? I’m fine with that.
That’s not to say that I didn’t play anything in 2020 though. As a whole, I really enjoyed what the industry gave us this year. Besides that, I’m more impressed by what developers were able to release given the manner in which many of these games had to shift to being worked on from home. Developers don’t get enough credit as it is, and they deserve far more praise than normal for what many have surely had to go through over the past 12 months. If you’re a studio that found a way to ship a game this year, then bravo.
Before getting into my list properly, I would like to wish you a brighter and healthier 2021. This year has sucked; not only for the reasons we’re all aware of, but I’ve had plenty of personal moments of angst and strife in 2020 as well. And despite all of it, I’m finding myself optimistic as we move forward. Things aren’t going to get better overnight, but I’m choosing to believe that we have much better days ahead in the coming year.
10. League of Legends
Yeah, let’s get this over with. I have to put League of Legends on this list every year whether I want to or not because it’s still the thing I’m playing the most regularly. Ever since being introduced to it back in 2018, League has been the one game I consistently return to in between everything else.
Last year on my Top 10 I talked about how much I hated my experience with League over the course of 2019, but 2020 proved to be a bit different for me. Between the introduction of Clash, new champions that have become some of my favorites in the entire game (shoutout to Sett), and the fact that I finally reached Gold, League of Legends was very much an improvement year over year for me. Not to mention, I played fewer games as a whole, which is definitely a good thing.
I still have a love/hate relationship with League of Legends but I’m at least finding more contentment in it than before.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of League of Legends.
9. Demon’s Souls
Next-gen is finally here, and Demon’s Souls is one of my favorite games I’ve played on either new console thus far. As someone who never played the original, I have been dying to revisit the Soulslike that started it all for years, and Bluepoint’s latest was an immaculate way to do so.
Demon’s Souls didn’t resonate with me on the same level as some of FromSoftware’s other entries, but I still found so much to love with it. The structure of the game in particular was something I found to be a breath of fresh air. While I would have expected this one to chart higher on my year-end list, I still cannot deny the fantastic time that I had with it.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of Demon’s Souls.
8. Yakuza Kiwami
Yes, I didn’t mistype. I still haven’t played the latest Yakuza installment, Like a Dragon, but I did finally start my official trek through the series earlier this year with Kiwami. I actually played the entirety of it over the course of a single week that I had off from work and it resulted in one of my favorite one-shot gaming experiences of the year.
I think what I’m most surprised about with Yakuza Kiwami is just how well it holds up. Yes, this remaster/remake is only a few years old at this point, but the base game is still very much what it was when it launched back in 2005. I was surprised by how much I found myself loving the story and the character nearly from the jump. I still have many more games to get through, but I’m very much excited to continue digging through this series into 2021.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of Yakuza Kiwami.
7. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
When the pandemic first kicked off back in March, it actually wound up being the perfect time for myself and my buddy Michael Ruiz to continue our playthrough of the Halo saga. In a span of a couple weeks, we ended up blasting through every Halo campaign that released chronologically between Halo 3 and Halo 5: Guardians. More friends ended up joining us in our replay as we went, and it only got more fun over time.
The best part of this experience is that, for me, it was less about playing through all of these Halo campaigns (even though most of them are quite good) and more about just playing some video games with my buds. In a year where I didn’t get to see my friends as much as normal, social gaming became way more important than normal. And to that end, Halo ended up being the top social video game I played in 2020.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
6. Astro’s Playroom
I never would have expected my favorite next-gen launch game to be a pack-in title that’s barely three hours long, but here we are. Astro’s Playroom is pure joy. While it’s largely just a basic platformer, the nostalgia and jolliness that it exudes is unmatched. This game made me happier than anything else I played in 2020.
Before I played Astro’s Playroom, I also didn’t realize how much PlayStation has meant to me over the years. Nostalgia when done lazily (looking at you, Ready Player One) can be eye roll-inducing, but Astro’s Playroom is more of a love letter to PlayStation than anything. They say that before you can move forward you sometimes have to look back, and with that in mind, no game felt more appropriate to usher in the PS5 era.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of Astro’s Playroom.
5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps could very well be the best Metroidvania game I have ever played, and it’s fifth on my list. That’s how contentious we’re getting from here on out.
I honestly didn’t love Blind Forest all that much, so when Will of the Wisps came out, my expectations weren’t that high. For me to have become absolutely enchanted by it took me by surprise. Then again, the fact that Ori and the Will of the Wisps boasts some of the best gameplay and storytelling of the year makes it easy to fall in love with.
There are so many things I could continue saying about this game, but I’ll instead just stress that you need to play it if you have the means. This is perhaps the year’s most slept-on release and the more of you who play it, the better.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
4. The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II impresses me; I think that’s the best way for me to describe how I feel about it. I have a lot of complicated feelings about the game as a whole, but I’m overall just shocked by the final product that Naughty Dog ended up releasing.
Sure, it has its problems, but The Last of Us Part II is also a technical masterpiece that tells a gripping story. While that story was one that often made me feel dirty, it was one that I couldn’t look away from until I had finally seen the credits. It’s hard for me to say that this is a game I love given the nature of it, but it’s one that I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing. All these months later, I’m still dwelling on it.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of The Last of Us Part II.
Hades was a game that everyone I knew had recommended to me by the time I finally played it and somehow, it lived up to the hype. As someone who looks for quality gameplay before anything else in an experience, Hades ended up being everything I wanted and more.
What’s most ironic about my love for Hades is that I nearly decided to skip it entirely. Despite loving Supergiant Games, I usually am not one to ever give Early Access titles a fair shake. In addition, I’m not the biggest fan of the roguelike genre. For me to overcome both of these hurdles and become yet another person who is preaching the gospel of Hades says all you need to know about the game’s quality and my admiration for it.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of Hades.
2. DOOM Eternal
DOOM Eternal jams, and if you don’t like it, then I think there’s something wrong with you. I have heard a lot of mixed opinions on this one as the year has gone on, and I honestly just don’t understand the complaints whatsoever. It’s not only one of my favorite games of the year, it’s one of my favorite shooters ever made.
Even though it doesn’t stick the landing perfectly, the middle portion of DOOM Eternal puts the pedal to the metal more than any other game I can remember playing this generation. If you can’t get some inkling of enjoyment out of ripping and tearing your way through this one, then you should go get your head checked.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of DOOM Eternal.
1. Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 Royal is one of my favorite games of all-time. I put off playing the original for years and I’m not really sure why. I always knew that I would enjoy it if I ever got around to just committing to the time sink that is needed to finish it, and hey, that proved to be more than true. It’s on a shortlist alongside Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect 2 as my favorite RPGs ever made.
Outside of its gameplay and storytelling merits, the aspect of Persona 5 Royal I’ve fallen in love with most is just its aesthetic. This extends to the soundtrack specifically, which I also believe is now my favorite gaming soundtrack ever. Everything about Persona 5 just exudes a level of swagger that other games fail to achieve, even though they might try.
More than anything else I can say about Persona 5 Royal, the thing that it does so well is just getting you invested in its characters and world. In the months since I finally beat it, I have found myself actually missing hearing the voices of Ryuji, Yusuke, Morgana, Ann, and the rest of the game’s beloved cast. I’d give anything to go back in blind and play this through all over again. Luckily, there are still many other games in the Persona series that I have yet to play and I’ll be looking to rectify that in 2021.
Check out DualShockers‘ review of Persona 5 Royal.
Check out the rest of the DualShockers staff Top 10 lists and our official Game of the Year Awards nominees:
January 1: Iyane Agossah (Managing Editor) // Logan Moore (Special Guest)
January 4: Game of the Year Awards 2020 Official Winners Revealed