The best new games released in 2020 so far

Want to experience the best that 2020 has to offer? Find it here.

Animal Crossing New Horizons

With only a portion of 2020 over, the quality of games already released this year is staggering. The release schedule for this year has been stacked, with many of the final major games wrapping up production to prepare for the next generation of consoles.

If you want to pick up a recent game to engross yourself in, there’s already a plethora of options to pick from, and here, we intend to present to you the best of what’s on offer.

Here are the best games released in 2020 so far.

Doom Eternal

Image via Bethesda

You’d be surprised at how tough it is to make blowing up enemies with your favorite weaponry this much fun. Some games take themselves a little too seriously and forget that sometimes, keeping it simple is why gaming is so much fun in the first place. Doom 2016 realized this, and that’s what made it some of the best shooting action of the year. Doom Eternal is one of the best shooters of this year for almost the exact same reason. Not every game benefits from more of the same, but this one definitely does. It’s gloriously bloody, and we love it.

Nioh 2

Nioh 2
Image via Team Ninja

A big trend in this generation of gaming is the emergence of the “souls-borne” genre. These are games that are built on a foundation of rock-solid combat mechanics while offering RPG-like storytelling and progression, before hitting you with the often extreme difficulty curve. Even lower budget titles like The Surge have something about them that makes them enjoyable. Nioh is one of the best “clones” of the Dark Souls games, and Nioh 2 is just as impressive, offering improved combat and some incredible boss battles to continue the quality from its predecessor. If the Souls series of games is your thing and you want more, Nioh 2 is your best bet in 2020 so far.

Dreams

Dreams PS4
Image via Sony

In one of the best “creation” games ever made, Dreams does what developer Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet did before it. It removes the limitations that come with creating video games that typically give people headaches—the programming—and provides the tools you need to develop the design aspect of your vision. The result is a number of wonderful games within Dreams, some of which have already lead to creators receiving work at actual game development studios. So if you think you have a great idea for a game, consider putting it together in Dreams first. Equally, if you want to try some bright creations from your average Joe, Dreams is the place to be.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Screengrab via Microsoft Game Studios

Moon Studios took exactly five years to bring us the sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest, and boy was it worth the wait. An improvement in all aspects, this sequel is impressive in scale, looks utterly gorgeous, and tugs at the heartstrings harder than a sad puppy that wants attention. Ori and the Will of the Wisps may not bring any new ideas, but it does take what’s already there and make the most of it. In such a crowded market space, it’s found its place as the best Metroidvania in some time and for that alone, you should take notice.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Image via Nintendo

Planning on starting a new life? Do you enjoy the world’s simple pleasures, such as finding a fossil from your dig on the beach or seeing the reaction of your fellow neighbors when handing them gifts that you know they’ve wanted for some time? Are said neighbors all talking animals? Then, boy, do you need Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s packed with plenty of content and allows you and your friends to get the most out of living on your own island. Shape the landscape in any way you wish and turn your home into a paradise, all from the comfort of your Nintendo Switch. It’s been a long time since New Leaf on 3DS, but Animal Crossing is back, and it’s better than ever. 

Temtem

TemTem
Image via Crema

It’s about time that a little guy took on a Goliath at their own game, and Temtem is aiming at one of the biggest of all: Pokémon. It’s easy to call it a clone, and while many of the mechanics and themes work similarly to its Nintendo counterpart, Temtem is more of an evolutionary step forward for the monster collecting and battle genre than even Pokémon Sword and Shield. Even elements as simple as stamina bars show that you can grow the genre without ruining the formula. It might only be in Early Access, but Temtem is worth the price of entry.

Call of Duty: Warzone

Call of Duty: Warzone

It’s been rumored for some time that a Call of Duty battle royale was coming to Modern Warfare. The assets have been in the game for months and leaks from within Activision ruined what would have been a cool surprise launch, similar to the launch of Apex Legends. However, it’s not deterred the enthusiasm from players, and it’s no surprise as Warzone is more than just your normal competent Call of Duty experience. The new engine from Modern Warfare powers Warzone into a huge leap forward from Black Ops 4’s Blackout, with smooth action and a huge 150 players per match. It’s a thrill ride that’s the definitive battle royale experience. And it’s free to play!

Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life Alyx
Image via Valve

Valve doesn’t make many games these days. Its focus on improving the Steam platform means that game development takes a backseat. But Half-Life: Alyx goes to prove that the old dev can still hang with the best. Not only is Alyx one of the best VR games ever created, but it’s a stunning looking thrill ride in its own right. Set five years before the events of Half-Life 2, it’s up to you to help Alyx Vance fulfil her destiny as one of the major drivers against the Combine forces.

What sets this apart from other VR first-person shooters is the customizable play styles. You can simply warp to a position of your choosing, but the option to continuously move based on head position is also there for those who want the most immersive experience. If you have a VR headset, and you have any interest in the legendary Half-Life series, Alyx is a must buy.

Resident Evil 3

Resident Evil 3
Image via Capcom

Returning to the classic original trilogy of Resident Evil games is one of the smartest decisions that Capcom has made in years. The trio in their original form was stunning in their day, but age has not been kind to their zombie bones. The remakes of each though have all been top class, and show that great design (for the most part) can transcend generations.

The remakes peaked at last year’s Resident Evil 2, and while Resident Evil 3 isn’t quite on the level of its predecessor, it’s still a fantastic journey to escape the clutches of Nemesis. Full of scares and some fantastic action means the game is an easy recommendation for any horror or series fans.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake
Image via Square Enix

Back when the game was announced at E3 in 2015, the expectations for Final Fantasy VII Remake were astronomical. The Final Fantasy series owes a huge amount of its success to Final Fantasy VII, especially in the West. Many believed that creating a modern remake of the game was Square Enix’s panic button if they were struggling to see success.

Whatever Square Enix’s reasoning for recreating Final Fantasy VII now, the remake is a resounding success. Fantastic implementation of the origin ATB system with real-time combat, an expanded story that gives more progression to character development, especially amongst minor characters, and a stunning world that breathes life into a Midgar that previously looked so lifeless and unimportant all make up a phenomenal foundation to the games to come. It’s been worth the wait, and the next episodes can’t come soon enough.

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