2020 has been a strange year, one that we’ll all never forget. It has forced most of us to spend a lot more time indoors than ever before. This has led to many people looking to the pastime of gaming as a way to fill the void. Others have even found solace in the medium for the very first time. Video games offer us an opportunity to escape from the real world. With them, we can lose ourselves in the fantastical playgrounds that they provide.
This year, I have played some excellent games. Not all of them released in 2020 but they are all worthy of highlighting. With programs like Game Pass on Xbox getting bigger and better, it can be hard to know what to play. I hope this list of my 10 favourite Xbox games that I experienced in 2020 will encourage someone to try these games out for themselves.
10 – HyperDot
Sometimes, the best video games are the most simple, minimalist ones. In HyperDot you control a small coloured dot with one basic task, dodge everything. The campaign consists of over 100 trials, each with varying difficulty. This game manages to be relaxing at times and extremely stressful at others. I dare anyone to give it a try and not get completely addicted. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, you need some serious skill and reflexes to make it all the way to the end. One of my proudest achievements in 2020 was surviving for 30 seconds on the Swarmed mode.
09 – Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Do you love Metroidvania’s as much as I do? Well, this is one of the finest examples in the sub-genre. The game is considered to be a spiritual successor to the Castlevania series. Also, the game’s development was led by former Castlevania series producer Koji Igarashi. If that doesn’t convince you to check this gem out then I’m not sure what will.
08 – A Plague Tale: Innocence
Quality survival horror games are few and far between these days, especially ones that offer us something original. A Plague Tale achieves this as well as delivering exceptional performances from the cast involved. The swarms of rats still give me chills. The mechanics involving them and the different ways the game utilizes shadow and light is really innovative. If this one somehow passed you by then be sure to play it soon. It’s genuinely one of the best games released in the last few years that isn’t an exclusive. Review here.
07 – Nier: Automata
I wanted to play this game for so long but it was a PlayStation exclusive for some time. It finally came to Xbox. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on the game then check out my review here.
06 – Resident Evil 3
I know, this game is painfully short. However, the original was as well. Regardless, I loved the Resident Evil 2 remake so much it was delightful to play another game in the same vein. Unlike 2, this felt far more intense. It pretty much never gives you a chance to breathe before something crazy happens. Also, the short length makes it perfect for fun-filled speed runs. I’ll take all the Resident Evil I can get. Review here.
05 – Two Point Hospital
I didn’t play that much Theme Hospital back in the day. I actually preferred Theme Park instead. However, when this came to Game Pass it was too difficult to resist. I had a blast working my way through the different maps, getting 3 stars on all of them. My hospitals may not have been the best functioning out there but they sure as heck made a lot of money. Review here.
04 – No Man’s Sky
Anyone that wanted this game to be the one that was promised at launch and was left disappointed should consider giving this another chance. Most who have played it in recent times will tell you that it’s as close to what was originally advertised as it has ever been. Everyone needs to experience the feeling of blasting off from the surface of a beautiful alien world. It’s completely seamless and it never failed to fill me with awe. Review here.
03 – Yakuza 0
This was my very first Yakuza game and what an introduction it was. I could write an essay on why I loved this game but I’ll just leave my review here instead.
02 – Ori & the Will of the Wisps
What more can I say about this that hasn’t be said? It’s stunning to look at and the music, my god the music. I never expected the story to take the direction that it did but it truly took my breath away. A shame about the bugs though. Review here.
01 – Wandersong
Surprised? Have you even heard of it? This is why I am putting it as my favourite video game that I played in 2020. It deserves to be better known. No game has warmed my heart as much as this one did. It’s truly beautiful in every way possible. A musical-adventure game that puts you in the shoes of the unlikeliest of heroes, a bard. You must go on a journey to gather pieces of song which will hopefully save the world from destruction. I’m not saying this will be a game for everyone but it certainly deserves that everyone give it a try. No game put a bigger smile on my face in 2020 quite like this one. Review here.
And there you have it, those are my 10 favourite video games that I played in 2020. Have you played many of these? What are your favourites? Let us know!