GameByte’s Games Of The Year 2020

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a sucky year for practically everything. As the year finally (!) comes to an end, we’re taking a look at some of the best things the year has given us: video games. The GameByte team tried to put our heads together to pick an overall winner, but that proved just too darn hard. 2020 has seen some excellent games release, and instead of crowning one choice winner, we’re crowning five! Here’s the GameByte staff’s Games of the Year 2020.

gamebyte indie games of the year text logo
Credit: GameByte

Brett Claxton, sENIOR Brand Manager.

Game of the Year 2020 – Final Fantasy 7 Remake

image from final fantasy 7 remake
Credit: Square Enix

“I’ve played some wonderful games this year, and they’re all deserving of my Games of the Year 2020. Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Fuser, Demon’s Souls and more have all sunk their claws into me in a way that made me not want to put the controller down.

“There’s one game though that stands out for me this year. A game that I didn’t fully know what to expect going into it and I can’t stop thinking about how it’s going to continue and what it does months after I’ve finished it. That game is Final Fantasy VII Remake.

“From the get-go, you’re introduced to some of the most fun combat in an RPG I’ve experienced, a beautiful blend of real-time with a turn-based twist. The story is what you’d expect, with it being a remake, and then what you don’t expect. It captures so much of what made the original wonderful and then builds upon it to make it its own thing in a way that makes it feel unique. You can read my full review of the game here.”

Rich White, GameByte Head of Gaming.

Game of the Year 2020 – Call of Duty: Warzone

COD warzone
Credit: Activision

“My Game of the Year 2020 is hands-down Call of Duty: Warzone. To strike a balance between the £50-plus AAA title that was 2019’s Modern Warfare, and the free-to-play battle royale game Warzone, without killing off your main game is a huge achievement.

“The seamless integration of Warzone into the bigger Call of Duty picture has given the series more playability than ever, and it’s something that’s only going to evolve now that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has been thrown into the mix.

“Couple all that with the fact CoD hasn’t really been within mainstream culture for a few years now, and it’s easy to see why Warzone has propelled it right to the front of everyone’s mind again. As a lifelong fan of the franchise it’s great to see.

“As a gamer, Modern Warfare and Warzone have given me endless hours of enjoyment this year, and there’s no game(s) more deserving of my GOTY pick!”

Oli Hope, GameByte Community Manager.

Game of the Year 2020 – Cyberpunk 2077

V in Cyberpunk
Credit: CD Projekt Red

“GOTY for me – not even joking – is Cyberpunk 2077, played specifically on PS5. Yes, it is buggy in parts but so are all games really, yet they don’t get half as much criticism as this game has.

“The storylines in the game are in-depth and have many differing paths based on your approach to their missions. Companions are realistic in terms of how you interact with them and ultimately, if you are successful in schmoozing them, sexual encounters are not as flippant as most people probably want them to be, but that makes the game feel even more realistic.

“The gun battles are great and enemies actually feel like a threat, even on the lower difficulties. The cars range from junkers to exotic supercars and are a genuine challenge to acquire. There are bugs, I won’t steer away from that, but they are being ironed out over time and for me they have not taken away from the amazing experience that Cyberpunk 2077 is. It’s been out for just over a week at the time of writing, and I have already sunk more hours into the game than I have with any other game released this year.”

Sara Heritage, GameByte Social Media Executive.

Game of the Year 2020 – Animal Crossing: New Horizons

sara animal crossing island at night
Credit: Sara Heritage/Nintendo

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons is my Game of the Year, no question. Coming as NO surprise to ANYONE who knows me IRL, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is easily my favourite AAA game of 2020.

“I’ve racked up nearly 400 hours on the island of Stardives, painstakingly crafting blossom cafes, starry observatories, outdoor diners and a shrine to pink flamingos. I’ve been a fan of Animal Crossing for my entire life, even going as far to book an appointment to permanently mark Isabelle’s face on my ankle (until lockdown hit, of course).

“It’s a huge part of who I am and I can confidently say this latest instalment in the franchise is the best one yet. It’s provided me with an escape from, well, everything going on in the world at the moment, which I’m very grateful for. Top marks.”

Lara Jackson, GameByte Journalist.

Game of the Year 2020: The Last Of Us Part 2

ellie with a gun the last of us part 2
Credit: Naughty Dog

“My Game of the Year 2020 has to be The Last of Us Part 2. Sure, it might have diverted so far off the path of expectancy that it broke the minds of half the fanbase, but what we got was something special.

“The Last Of Us Part 2’s narrative is aiming to subvert the traditional and force players into facing those uncomfortable realities we all shy away from. With phenomenal performances from all of the cast, incredible design and graphics from the developers, and a level of realism I honestly couldn’t believe came on PS4, this is hands-down on the best experiences of the year for me.

“In a few years, the game will be recognised for changing the face of gaming, not just in its storytelling, but also in its treatment of the audience, and even its accessibility options. GOTY 2020 for me!”

Richard Breslin, GameByte Freelance Writer.

Game of the Year 2020: The Last Of Us Part 2

“A double vote for one of the GameByte team’s Games of the Year 2020! I know for better or worse this game caused a lot of controversy and I understand why. The original The Last of Us is one of my all-time favourite games so experiencing some of those scenes in the sequel was very challenging and so was persevering through its story. 

“However I was glad that I saw this game through to the end because there’s not many games that pushed my emotions as much as The Last of Us Part 2. This game was a masterclass in storytelling and tested the PS4 to its absolute limits.”

So there you have it, the GameByte team’s Games of the Year 2020…mostly. Avid GameByte fans will notice one name is missing from our list, but there’s one staff member who actually couldn’t make a decision. More on that to come!

What do you think of our picks, and should Oli Hope even be allowed to give his opinion this year? What was your Game of the Year 2020? Let us know through the form below and don’t forget to check out our picks for Indie Games of the Year 2020 right here!

Featured Image Credit: GameByte