Over the course of a nearly 5-hour episode of That Nerdy Site Show, Trevor, Logan, Cameron, and Frank sat down to discuss our favorite games of 2020. Across our four top ten lists, we had a total of 28 unique games. Each of our number 10s got one point, 9s two points, and so on. Then we added up all the points and ranked the results to determine the overall top ten (well…eleven thanks to a few ties) games of 2020 from That Nerdy Site.
But first, all of the honorable mentions that appeared on at least one person’s list.
Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order): Animal Crossing New Horizons, Bloodroots, Bugsnax, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, Genshin Impact, Ghostrunner, Grounded, Haven, Persona 5 Royal, Raji: An Ancient Epic, Spiritfarer, Super Meat Boy Forever, Tell Me Why, The Alto Collection, Umarangi Generations
Now on to the list.
11. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Fall Guys, and Astro’s Playroom (3-way tie)
Because of how the scoring worked out, all of our top three entries were guaranteed to appear on the list so Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Astro’s Playroom earn their spots as Frank and Trevor’s #3, respectively. Fall Guys appeared on Frank and Logan’s lists, totaling up enough points to tie with them. Frank touted Valhalla as a continuation of the Assassin’s Cree renaissance that Origins and Odyssey introduced. Trevor loved the amount of love, care, and reverence that Astro’s Playroom has for all things PlayStation. And Fall Guys’ easy to learn, difficult to master and chaos-filled battle royale gameplay won over Frank and Logan.
8. Call of Duty: Warzone and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
The last two games that only feature on a single list here are Call of Duty: Warzone as Logan’s #2 game and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, which made a last-minute play on Cameron’s list to earn his #2 spot. Logan loved Warzone as an opportunity to stay connected with his friends in Missouri, while Cameron was drawn in by 13 Sentinels story, vibrant cast of characters, and strategic tactical combat.
6. The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II – the sequel to Logan Wilkinson’s favorite game of all time – might have climbed higher in our rankings if Logan actually got around to playing it (Logan took a few light shots at Trevor in his top ten so Trevor is firing back in this write-up).
But with Logan unable to weigh in on the game, it fell to Cam, Frank, and Trevor, all of whom appreciated many elements of Naughty Dog’s critically-acclaimed juggernaut, from the design elements to the performances, narrative and characters. But they all had enough issues keeping it from rising too high on their lists (Frank ranked it the highest as his #4). The Last of Us Part II made some bold choices with its scope and even if they didn’t all appeal to us, we still enjoying spending many hours diving into the game’s moments and themes in our spoilercast.
5. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Trevor and Frank both had the latest Spider-Man adventure from Insomniac on their lists, while Cam and Logan are waiting until they secure PlayStation 5s. Even playing on the PlayStation 4, Frank was impressed by how great the game looked and how smoothly it ran. And both Frank and Trevor loved the smaller-sized take on a Spider-Man adventure, as well as the decisions Insomniac made to move Miles to Harlem and create a new iteration of the Tinkerer with a personal connection to the new Spider-Man on the block.
4. Final Fantasy VII Remake
These final four games also conveniently happen to represent our four diverse personal best games of 2020. Trevor wrote extensively about his love for Final Fantasy VII Remake in his review of it earlier in the year and no game was ever able to top it in his eyes. A phenomenal approach at revisiting one of the most iconic stories in gaming, both Trevor and Cameron agreed that Final Fantasy VII Remake is a game that almost has no right being as good as it is.
3. Hades and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2
Hades, representing Cameron’s #1 game, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 as Frank’s, each got love from 3 out of the 4 voting team members. Trevor, Cam, and a late-in-the-year inclusion from Logan supported Hades groundbreaking approach to narrative design within a roguelike and Supergiant’s latest entry in their string of incredibly-designed games.
On the flip side, Frank, Cam, and Logan (who all expressed love for the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 as part of the first season of That Ultimate Video Game List Show) all excitedly got behind the incredible Vicarious Visions remaster of the iconic franchise. As Frank described it on the podcast, the real charm of THPS1+2 is how well they captured the feeling of the series, making it feel like we remember those games playing.
1. Ghost of Tsushima
Rounding out our quartet of personal Games of the Year holding down the top four spots is Logan’s choice: Ghost of Tsushima. It also conveniently continues the precedent established last year as being the only game ranked by all four of us. Logan, Cameron, and Trevor all talked extensively about the game in their spoilercast, celebrating the game’s beautiful Tsushima island design, the style (including Cameron’s love of the Kurasawa mode option), characters, and combat. Frank came late to the party, having really only just begun his adventure when we finalized our rankings but as already suggested it would have been even higher on his list now that he’s spent more time with it. Sucker Punch delivered one of the best games of the year and, in Logan’s eyes, one of the best games of the generation. In his write-up, Cameron presented a haiku he composed to celebrate the game:
Ghost of Tsushima
A blade through Autumn Leaves
The legend lives on
As the one compiling this final listing, I (Trevor) thought I’d throw out my own:
That Nerdy Site gives
Our Game of the Year prize to
Ghost of Tsushima