My top 10 games of 2020 are officially finished. Just like I did with my top 10 worst games of 2020, I’ve compiled every article that I’ve written over the last two weeks into one really, really long read for those of you that prefer to read it all in one go.
My criteria for my top 10 games of 2020 is below.
In order for a game to make my top 10 games of 2020 it has to be released in 2020 and not a remaster. Remakes count before they’re rebuilt from the ground up and is basically a whole new game. I must have completed the game or sunk an incredible amount of time into them. Early access games do not count and will no make my top 10 games list no matter how much I like them. When they release they’ll count towards my top 10 list of that year.
10. Nexomon Extinction
2020 wasn’t a great year for video games for me. Nexomon Extinction gave me that Pokemon fix that I was craving after I completed Sword & Shield and it’s more than a simple clone too. Every monster-catching game will be compared to Pokemon. You can’t escape from that even if your game is really different than Pokemon.
The only thing Nexomon has in common with Pokemon is the fact that you can catch monsters. Everything else is different. You don’t run around different towns winning badges. Instead, you’re trying to save the world. This game is called Extinction for a reason and I’ll leave it at that. This game is well written, funny, and puts everything Gamefreak put out with Pokemon (outside of Sun, Moon, Black, and White) to shame.
The characters are funny and this game isn’t afraid to break the fourth wall. Nexomon doesn’t take itself seriously and that just added to the charm for me. The battling is where things get interesting. You have a stamina bar right under your health. If you run out of stamina you’ll damage yourself. There are items you can use to take your stamina back up or you can switch to another member of your party.
Nexomon Extinction does starters the way it should’ve been done. You can catch every starting Nexomon in the game and even though it says they’re mega rare they’re really not. They show up frequently enough for you to fill your whole party with them if you want to. There are 9 starters to choose from and you can only have 6 Nexomon in your party at a single time so if your goal is to raise all of the starters you’ll have to choose your 6 favorite ones.
My favorite part of the game is the freedom I had from the very beginning. I can go anywhere and do anything I want. I was so used to Pokemon gatekeeping me from progressing to where I wanted. There was always some NPC blocking my path because I didn’t beat that gym behind me. Do you know how Nexomon handled this? The entire world levels with you. This means you can visit the desert region and catch some nice desert Nexomon that are around your level. I loved this. I had a very diverse team of Nexomon because I went all over the map catching everything.
Nexomon Extinction is an incredibly underrated game. Its witty dialogue made me chuckle on multiple occasions and the gameplay was just good enough to keep me going until I completed the game on my Switch. Will this game elevate the monster-catching genre or give Pokemon a run for its money? No, but it’s a really good, and cheap, game that can easily give you over 40 hours of entertainment and it’s a game that I highly recommend if you’re looking for something that’s not Pokemon or super grindy like Temtem.
9. Banner of the Maid
Banner of the Maid is an SRPG that takes place during the French Revolution. I really enjoyed playing this game. Azure Flame Studio did a fantastic job with the story, characters, and gameplay. There’s a lot to do in this game and you can play at your pace. You don’t have to progress in the story right away if you don’t want to. Which is a godsend for me because I like to take my time and grind my party up before every main mission so I’m not underpowered.
Banner of the Maid is one of many successful Chinese games that have been localized in English for us to enjoy and the English is really well done. It’s a quality port and isn’t filled with broken English like most Chinese games I played last year.
The best part of the game, for me, is the gameplay and story. Getting to know the characters, ranking up the different factions by improving my relationship with them, and going through all of the dialogue was a treat for me. This game is really, really good and was an easy choice for my top 10 games of 2020. I even contemplated placing it higher on my list I could have easily placed this in my top 5.
I love the way the characters are designed and have their own unique look. I actually wanted to use everyone in battle because of this. I obviously had my favorite units that I used regularly, but I always made sure to keep everyone within two to three levels of each other just in case I was forced to use units I wasn’t too familiar with. That tactic actually paid off big time and just made me like the game even more.
I like managing my troops, upgrading my characters, promoting them to better classes (like Fire Emblem), and grinding away on those free missions in between the next big story battle. The good story is just added to it and when it was all said and done I wanted more. I want story expansions, extra maps, more units, etc. Even if none of that stuff comes I would still be more than happy to experience this game again. It has good replay value and it even has a new game plus mode that actually lets you keep everything you’ve acquired in the main game.
If you’re looking for a great SRPG that’s not Fire Emblem play this game. It’s every platform outside of the new Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. You’ll easily get over 40 hours per playthrough on top of a good story, a great cast of characters, and gameplay too. This is one of those must-buy games and the fact that it’s less than $20 brand new makes it that much easier to recommend.
8. Genshin Impact
I love Genshin Impact. It’s beautiful, plays really well, and has some really interesting characters. I’m not against throwing cash at it because I enjoy it and if you listen to idiots that’s a bad thing. I’ve never been one to listen to people trying to tell me what to do with MY money though. They don’t pay my bills or have any say in my life whatsoever so I’ll support whatever I wish.
Genshin Impact does a lot of really good things and some bad stuff too. For starters, I like it more than Breath of the Wild. Why? Because Breath of the Wild didn’t do anything particularly well. That’s a topic for another day though. Genshin Impact took the gaming world by storm and is making 6 million dollars a day.
People love this game and for good reason. The gameplay, characters, voice acting, and story are good. Every character plays differently. I haven’t run into a clone character yet and I have close to 20 of them. Most of them being greatsword users. Exploring the beautiful, handcrafted open world was a real treat for me and the crazy part is that this game isn’t even finished yet! There are more zones planned and this game was already huge, to begin with.
Genshin Impact is an absolute joy to explore. Especially in multiplayer. My wife and I really enjoyed exploring the world and finding secrets, interesting side quests, getting to know the various different characters in the world, and fighting world bosses. The only thing that sucks about it all is that she can’t open any treasure chest. The only loot she gets is from enemy drops and boss fights. That kind of made exploring together worthless, but since the world is designed so well that eventually didn’t even matter anymore.
If I would have made this list a few months ago Genshin Impact would’ve easily made my top 3. The stupid energy system (that plagues every phone game), overly harsh gatcha system, and not being able to access loot in treasure chests really impacted my enjoyment of the game. Even though they increased the energy limit it’s still not enough. It should be removed. They’ll still make a shit ton of money from the gatcha stuff so it’s not really needed for this game to make a profit.
Outside of that stuff, I love this game. It’s easy to lose track of time playing Genshin Impact because there’s so much stuff to do in this game. You can solve interesting world puzzles that actually reward you for your time and not just with a useless piece of gold poop. Fighting world bosses is a good way to get some neat loot for your characters or I can lose myself in the many dungeons scattered around the world or just do story and side quests.
Genshin Impact IS a really good game and it should only get better as more content is added to it. It would’ve been higher, but I couldn’t see myself leaving it off of my list simply because of how long I played it and how much fun I had with it.
7. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX
A lot of critics hated this game because of its “boring” dungeons and repetitive gameplay. What did you expect this remake to do exactly? They can’t change too much because if they did you would complain that it’s not enough like the original game. It’s a lose/lose situation. There’s nothing wrong with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX. It’s a faithful recreation of the original GBA game and it actually told a really good story.
I enjoyed entering the world of Pokemon from a different perspective and getting to know all of the characters again. I’ve always enjoyed Mystery Dungeon games and this one is no different. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon was actually my introduction to this style of game and I fell in love with it back in 15 years ago. This game took me back to 2005, but with better animations and gorgeous graphics. The gameplay is simplified, but in a good way.
Pressing the A button will use the most effective move that you know against the aggressive Pokemon that you’ll encounter in the various different dungeons. If you’re facing a grass type you’ll use a fire or flying-type move by simply pressing A. If you want full control you can easily choose the moves yourself.
I think I enjoyed this game more this time around than when I first played it because of the art style. This game is gorgeous. The hand-drawn storybook watercolors just pop. Especially in handheld mode. This game is one of the best looking games on the Switch and I wouldn’t be against a full-blown Pokemon game having a similar art style to this game.
I’ve always loved the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games (outside of Gates to Infinity) and this one is easily one of my favorites in the series. I can’t wait to see where this series goes from here and I’m expecting some Pokemon from the highly successful Sword & Shield to make an appearance in the next game.
This Pokemon game is harder than the base games, but you can put this game in easy mode by over leveling your team which isn’t hard to do if you like doing rescue missions. Are they repetitive? Yes, but they’re fun and at the end of the day, that’s why I play video games. To have fun and adding this game to my top 10 games of 2020 was an easy choice to make and I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of Pokemon or mystery dungeon games in general.
Hades is a lot of people’s game of the year and for good reason. It’s the best game Supergiant Games has made to date and they’ve made some really good games over the years. Hades nonstop action and interesting story is what kept me going for multiple runs. Completing this game is just the beginning of the journey. You’ll have to master the mechanics if you truly wish to 100% this game and unlock the whole story.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. I found various upgrades that added special abilities to Zagreus as I progressed through the game. These upgrades were absolutely vital in my completion of the game. What I like the most about Hades is that I always felt rewarded when I started another run in the game. I’m not a Roguelike fan at all and I played 3 good ones in 2020. The best of them was Hades and is the only one that made this list.
Another thing I really liked in this game is how the story unfolded over time. After every successful (or unsuccessful) run I unlocked new dialogue with the various different NPCs in the game and with dear ole dad (Hades). This game had some of the most memorable boss fights in 2020 for me. Hades topped them all for me. The bosses weren’t overly difficult, but their design and mechanics made them all memorable for me.
Hades is absolutely fantastic and deserves all of the accolades it received. Out of the poor choices that the official GOTY Awards presented to us Hades was the best game on the list. I can’t recommend this game enough. If you haven’t played it you should. Even if you’re not a fan of this genre. I’m NOT a roguelike fan at all. I find them very annoying to play, but I fell in love with Hades because I felt like I was being rewarded for the time I sunk into it, unlike other roguelikes that I’ve played in the past. Even though this game didn’t crack my top 5 I would still recommend buying it and experiencing this gem for yourself. It’s worth it.
5. Wolcen Lords Of Mayhem
I still remember the controversy surrounding this game at launch. Impatient gamers were upset because they couldn’t play online with their friends. Why? Because the servers crashed from the vast amount of players trying to log in and play at the same time. So my first attempt with the game was in offline mode. A few days later I was able to play online with no problem outside of the occasional desync which has long been fixed.
So what is Wolcen Lords of Mayhem? Wolcen is like Diablo, an isometric RPG that tasks players with killing millions of enemies for better loot. I fell in love with Wolcen shortly after I started playing it because of how meaty the gameplay felt when compared to other games in the genre. This game is what I would call a true next-gen ARPG. It has a good, not great, story, awesome gameplay, and the best graphics in the genre by far.
The Cry Engine is a very versatile engine and has powered many different genres. Wolcen is pure eye candy with enough oomph in the gameplay to impress anyone. Add in the crazy builds you can make with the large passive and active skill system and you’ve got yourself a really solid ARPG. Most of the hate for this game is from early backers and people that are mad that this isn’t the next Diablo game. Wolcen is actually a very solid game that I can see coming to the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X in the near future.
Unlike Diablo, this game actually has an end game at launch. And that’s not a slight at Diablo III. I LOVE that game despite what the Internet thinks of it. Wolcen’s end game isn’t the best and won’t give you thousands of hours of entertainment as some other games in this genre would, but it’s good. It’s a great time sink and I love it when games give me a goal to work towards. While I’m out trying to get better loot I can use the currency I earn at the end of each mission to upgrade the city that I acquired after completing the game.
Wolcen isn’t nearly as bad as Steam would have you believe. There’s a lot to like here. It’s true that it can be buggy at times, but it’s no near as bad as games like Hellpoint and SAO Alicization. I really, really enjoyed the 87 hours I’ve put into this game so far. I’m actually in the middle of my fourth playthrough. If a game keeps me coming back it’s doing something right and that’s why it’s so high up on my list. I keep coming back to it and wanting more. Is Wolcen the best game in its genre? No, but it feels like a true next-generation ARPG and combat is so good that it was hard for me to go back to other games that released before it.
4. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
I love the new direction that Ubisoft has taken Assassin’s Creed in. This is another example of a lose/lose situation though. I called theIndiana Jones situation a lose/lose for Microsoft yesterday because of the perception that the game media and Playstation gamers have created for the Xbox platform.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is in a similar situation. For many years everyone was begging Ubisoft to do something different with Assassins’ Creed after the failure of Unity. And when they did do something different with Origins (the best game in the series) people complained that it was too different and it wasn’t what they wanted.
Valhalla is a great game that actually tells a really good story too. Ubisoft mixed old Assassin’s Creed with the new in Valhalla. It’s as close as you’ll get to one of the older Assassin’s Creed games today and it honestly worked really well. I do miss all of the RPG mechanics from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but I don’t miss how long Odyssey is. Odyssey is probably the biggest game I’ve ever played and I’ve played just about every open-world game that’s released in the last 5 years.
Valhalla never felt too long and even though I missed the RPG mechanics of Odyssey it wasn’t a deal-breaker that they were missing. Eivor (male) is a much better protagonist than both Alexios and Kassandra and I prefer playing as a battle-hardened Viking over a Spartan mercenary. Not everything is all rainbows and butterflies with Valhalla.
After a while, I stopped raiding villages completely because there was little to no point in doing so once I upgraded my village and found the loot I wanted to find. There’s also a real lack of interesting armor sets in the game. Most of the really cool ones are locked behind a paywall and that’s not cool. I feel like Ubisoft is continuously pushing how far they can take microtransactions in their single-player games to see where the line is.
What’s there is great, but I wish I could’ve had more variety. Having a lot of loot in an open-world game is a must for me and in Valhalla, it’s just… okay. That’s probably my biggest negative though. I LOVE this game. The gameplay is a lot slower than Odyssey (thank the video game gods for that) and meatier too. The execution animations are fantastic and the world is jaw-droppingly beautiful and this game has no ray tracing whatsoever. Ubisoft made this game look this good without the need for ray tracing and I applaud them for that.
I can’t put into words how much I enjoyed exploring the world that Ubisoft built here. I was always going off in a random direction and finding interesting things to do. If I’m not solving a side quest that popped up out of nowhere I’m solving an interesting puzzle, or just sneaking around in the shadows murdering every guard in town while looting everything that’s not nailed to the ground.
I really enjoyed the minigames too. Drinking, flyting, etc. They’re all fun and gave me some good laughs outside of the combat. I thought Magnus Bruun Nielson did a fantastic job and was the best character in the game. His voice felt natural while female Eivor (Cecil Stenspil) overacted and fucked up too many of her lines for me to find any enjoyment in her performance.
I could make the argument that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the best game in the series. That’s how much I enjoyed it. This game is absolutely worth buying and it easily earned the number 4 spot on my list.
3. Streets Of Rage 4
Streets of Rage 4 is just a damn good time. It didn’t matter if I played solo or in a group of family and friends I still had fun. This game is absolutely perfect outside of the performance issues that I had on the Xbox One X. The gameplay, characters, simple to follow story, and co-op made this one unforgettable experience for me and I’ll go as far as to say that this is one of, if not the best, games in this genre.
For those of you that don’t know what Streets of Rage is (it’s a pretty old series), it’s a side scroll beat em up that has you going from the left to right beating the living crap out of everything that pops up on the screen. It’s a basic formula that’s worked for this series since 1991 and it works here too. This game can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
You can easily go through the entire game doing basic combos and throws, but if you want to master it you’ll have to put forth the extra effort into chaining up both aerial and ground-based moves. Every character has a unique fighting style and they all play brilliantly. Yes, even Axel! There are 5 playable characters with a bunch of unlockables. There are only 4 unique unlockable characters while the rest of them are just different variants of Axel, Blaze, and Adam.
What I really enjoyed about this game was all of the easter eggs and retro stages (and boss fights) I unlocked while playing. Streets of Rage was always one of my favorite series growing up and being able to return to those moments was a good nostalgia trip for me. That doesn’t take anything away from the new stuff that’s been added to this game though. The new bosses, locations, and characters are great. I only wish this game would’ve gotten more support than it did because I would love to play the old retro characters in the new art style that’s in this game.
They stick out like a sore thumb while playing and is the primary reason why I, mostly, stuck to using the new characters. The bugs were also an issue for me, but not enough of a reason for me to drop this game any spots on my list. Streets of Rage 4 could’ve easily been my game of the year. I enjoyed it that much and if you’ve never played a game in this series or are a veteran player returning to it I highly recommend it. It’s a lot of fun and at the end of the day, we play video games to have fun. This game didn’t need an amazing story or 90+ hours of gameplay to be perfect.
It’s just a really fun, tight gameplay experience that kept me coming back to it months after I had already completed it.
2. Resident Evil 3 Remake
Jill Valentine made her return to the Resident Evil series last year and it was glorious. Let’s get the controversy out of the way before I go any further. Yes, Resident Evil 3 is a short game, but so is every other Resident Evil game. Yes, there is some cut content in this remake, but that didn’t impact my enjoyment of it at all.
As a matter of fact, this game was my game of the year for the entirety of 2020 until I played the next game on my list. Resident Evil 3 Remake, like part 2, is absolutely fantastic. I loved Jill, Carlos, and running from Nemesis. Some people made a fuss over Jill’s new look. I honestly don’t mind her new look. I love it, actually.
Both classic Jill and new Jill look really, really good in my opinion, and in the grand scheme of things dIdn’t really matter or impact my enjoyment of the game whatsoever. The story, fantastic gameplay, soundtrack, and Nemesis made the game for me. I enjoyed the hell out of this game completed it over 10 times last year.
I got more replay value out of the Resident Evil 2 Remake because there was more content in that game, but Resident Evil 3 is still a damn good game and it’s a game I would highly recommend to survival horror, or just plain horror, fans in general.
The gameplay is a major step up from the Resident Evil 2 Remake (which already had good gameplay) because you can dodge. And you’re going to be dodging a lot in this game because Nemesis will be on your ass for a good chunk of it.
Resident Evil 3 Remake never let up. The action was non-stop (which was a refreshing change of pace after RE2R) and I love how over the top everything was. Graphically, this is probably the best looking horror game ever made. At least until Resident Evil 8 releases in a few months and I’m not even interested in buying that game.
I know it’s the cool thing to hate on this game. I’ve never been one to jump on the hate train and bash a game that I genuinely enjoy. I defended Mass Effect Andromeda, Fallout 76, and Cyberpunk 2077 because none of those are bad games. Resident Evil 3 Remake is NOT a bad game and it absolutely deserved to be this high on my top 10 games of 2020.
1. Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 has been piled on since it released. As a matter of fact, the piling on began long before release. Idiot “journalist” from Polygon tried their best to slow the momentum of Cyberpunk by calling it racist and transphobic before they even played the game!
How can you as a “journalist” hate something before you play it? I’m getting distracted though. I’m not here to retread old topics on all of the controversies this game has. I’ve done that already and you can find those pieces here and here.
Cyberpunk 2077 is incredible. This is the only game I played last year that when I finished my session I immediately wanted to get back in and play some more. The side quest is absolutely incredible, the story is incredible, the characters are incredible, and it has good gameplay too! Now this game isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s no dumpster and it’s not the “worst AAA launch of the generation”.
This game is about as buggy as other open-world games are at launch. I’ve played much worse than this and I’ve played better too. In 100 hours I crashed 3 times. That was the worst thing that happened to me. I fell in love with this game almost as soon as I booted it up. I love driving around and completing random missions that pop up. I loved getting to know the new characters that CD Projekt Red created and I loved murdering everyone with different builds.
In my first playthrough, I was a katana-wielding tank and in my second playthrough, I’m a sneaky intelligence build that can murder everyone on the map with a single contagion hack. I love the build diversity in this game. Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t racist. Nor is it transphobic. I already proved the latter was a lie in a piece I wrote after playing the game for 60 hours.
Cyberpunk 2077 was everything I hoped it would be and kept me entertained for 100 hours before I shelved it. Not many games can do that. Especially open-world games. There’s a lot to do here and I never felt as if I was checking off a box. It all felt natural to me. It’s the cool thing to hate on CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077, but I honestly haven’t met a single person that hated the game yet. All of the hate is on Twitter and from a vocal minority of players (and non-players) that’s sole purpose is to spread hate and misinformation on the game.
When I started making this list I already knew that this game would be number 1. That’s how much I enjoyed it. Last year I struggled with deciding on if Resident Evil 2 Remake or Total War Three Kingdoms should be my game of the year. This year, it was easy because no game came close to the excellence of Cyberpunk 2077 and I’ll keep on defending and calling out the bullshit when I see it because CD Projekt Red did an incredible job with this game.
And that wraps up my top 10 games of 2020! I had some controversial picks on this year’s list and I couldn’t care less. As long as I enjoyed a game I could care less what others think. That’s the beauty of lists like these. They’ll all be different.
I’m Omar. I’m the founder of drakulus.com and the new founder of Petescorner.net. I cover every type of game genre there is and I’m using all of the skills I learned over the last 7 years working on Drakulus to make Pete’s Corner the best it can be. My favorite types of games are strategy, RPGs, and Shooters. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other types of genres. Those are just my top 3. You can expect my brutally honest opinion on what I think of games in long reviews, editorial pieces, and game news coverage.