As the hellish year that is 2020 draws to a close, we do at least have some decent games to look back on and celebrate the year with. Metacritic, which aggregates review scores from sites across the internet, has delivered a list of 2020’s highest scored games, and here they are.
Note: Metacritic lists the Xbox One edition of Dragon Quest XI S+ as #9 on their list, and the PS4 version at #3, but as they are direct ports of the Nintendo Switch that came out last year, they won’t be included in this list, and #11 will be #10 and so on. The Switch version of Ori & The Blind Forest also is the same deal, as is Hades. Also, this list may be different from The Nerd Stash’s own 2020 GOTY list, and should not be taken as our rankings. The Metacritic score will be in brackets, for example, Game (93). Finally, I’ll be pulling the version which has the most critic reviews on Metacritic, just for fairness.
The first Ori game, Ori and the Blind Forest was very acclaimed for its music and visuals, and its sequel pushes that even further. With deeply compelling storytelling and challenging platforming, Ori’s latest adventure is his best yet, and it’s earned its place as one of Xbox’s best exclusives.
- Read our review here: Ori and the Will of the Wisps Review
If there was ever a game that was a cure for 2020, it’d be this game. Launched around the time countries around the world were going into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, it came along at the perfect time to help us stay sane during those long weeks and months. I mean, when you’ve got someone like Flo the penguin to talk to every day, it would help, wouldn’t it?
- Read our review here: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review – A Truly Joyful Experience
#8 – Spelunky 2 (91)
The first Spelunky caught the world by surprise when it came out in 2008, and later 2012. The addictive “one more run” nature of the game kept people coming back again and again, and the cute art style contrasting with the punishing difficulty stays true in the sequel. A new emotional story and refreshing new mechanics help build on the original to create a worthy follow-up to an indie classic.
Crusader Kings III came out over eight years after its predecessor, during which many, many expansions were released for the beloved grand strategy game. Expectations were high for CK3, and it largely delivered on the hype to create a platform which, if history is anything to go by, will be supported for years to come.
- Read our review here: Crusader Kings 3 Review: A Medieval Sandbox
When Microsoft revealed that Flight Simulator would be returning at E3 2019, and it would even be coming to Xbox One, it was one of the biggest shocks in recent E3 memory. Perhaps an even bigger shock to casuals outside the hardcore flight-sim audience would come when it was released earlier this year, and it was amazing. Boasting an Earth that had been accurately mapped to a scale never seen before, it delivered big time, and we can’t wait to see this technology develop further, and maybe carry over to other genres.
After putting out the masterpiece that was the remake of Shadow of the Colossus in 2018, Bluepoint Games turned its talents towards remaking 2009’s Demons Souls, and it seems that they have a knack for making amazing remakes of classic games.
- Read our review here: Demon’s Souls Review: Even Dying Is Frustratingly Beautiful
#4 – Hades (93)
The latest hit in Supergiant Games’ arsenal, Hades can arguably be classed as one of the best games the indie developer has ever made. An exceptional roguelike, with great writing, mechanics, and art style, it’s certainly one not to miss out on.
- Read our review here: Hades Review: Dying Has Never Been So Fun
#3 – Half-Life: Alyx (93)
VR games may not have hit the mainstream as much as predicted, but the industry is popular, and some games have been very, very good. Case in point, Half-Life: Alyx, which saw a return to the series after 13 long years, that perhaps exceeded even the lofty expectations that players set on it. It’s probably one of the best VR games of all-time, and certainly one of the best games of the year.
This game has certainly had its fair share of controversy, from the data leaks to the reception it got from players when it was released. That didn’t stop the critical reception being so high, being the 2nd highest-rated game of the year. It’s a harrowing tale of revenge begets revenge, and Naughty Dog continues to push graphical boundaries with every game they make. Love it or hate it, it’s certainly memorable.
- Read our review here: The Last of Us Part II Review: Apocalyptic Greatness
#1 – Persona 5 Royal (95)
Allow me to display a certain amount of emotion for one moment – this is my favorite game I’ve ever played. It improved almost every aspect of the original and stands as one of the best JRPGs ever made. It changes enough from the original Persona 5 to not classify as a port, so I’ll keep it on here. It deserves the highest Metacritic score by a mile. I’m not biased, I promise.
- Read our review here: Persona 5 Royal Review: The Thieves Are Back In Town
And that’s the list of the top 10 games on Metacritic! Do you agree with these Metacritic scores? Let us know.