While Covid-19 has given us quite a weird year, with many releases ending up postponed in one way or another, 2020 has still been a great year for video games. Whether you’re playing on the PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One, there are plenty of fantastic titles waiting to pull you in. That’s why we wanted to take a moment and look back over some of the best games we’ve seen so far, starting with a list of the best PlayStation 4 games from 2020.
The Best PS4 games of 2020
While the year is far from over, we thought it important to sit down and take a reflecting look over all the great games that have already come out this year. From serious stories like The Last of Us Part 2 to more laughable party games like Fall Guys, the year has seen some pretty stellar releases, even if many of those ended up delayed into the end of the year. While we're sure that we'll be adding to this list within the next couple of months, there's still plenty to rave about right now.
The Last of Us Part 2
While there was a lot of controversy surrounding The Last of Us Part 2 and key points of its story, the game still stands tall as one of the best I’ve played in the past couple of years. Building off of the characters introduced in the original game, TLOU2 does a great job of packing a punch while also offering upgrades to some of the basic mechanics that made The Last of Us so good. The tension and action are all there, and the relentlessness of Naughty Dog’s desire to tell a good story can be felt throughout.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
FInal Fantasy 7 is regarded by some to be the pinnacle of the series. At the very least, it’s one of the greatest JRPGs to ever grace us with its presence. So, as you can imagine, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding the long-awaited release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Fortunately, for fans old and new alike, the game lived up to its lofty expectations. It not only gave the game a very modern and detailed visual overhaul, but a new way of approaching combat that combined the series’ classic ATB turn-based system with some straightforward hacking and slashing. The quality of Final Fantasy 7 Remake cannot be denied: It’s flat-out gorgeous, the gameplay is solid, and man-oh-man that soundtrack! You really owe it to yourself to give this one a whirl.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Mediatonic’s Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was simply one of the biggest stories in gaming in 2020. The little indie that could, Fall Guys brought a fun twist to the battle royale genre, with a colorful and exciting game show full of obstacle courses and other challenges. In our preview, we described Fall Guys as “the game show Wipeout, if it was a Saturday morning cartoon.” Although Fall Guys’ records would quickly be surpassed by Among Us, it still stands as one of the best PS4 games of 2020.
Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch has a long-standing history of making very enjoyable open-world games, but they really outdid themselves with Ghost of Tsushima. An epic samurai tale that follows a lone warrior on his quest to save his island and his people at any cost. The combat is epic and walks a line between stealth and straight-up sword fights in a way that’s accessible to a number of gamers. And there’s just so much to do on the island of Tsushima that players are kept entertained for hours upon hours. This is a game that really deserves its place among the great open-world adventure games like Breath of the Wild and Spider-Man. And with the new 4-player co-op mode there’s even more reasons to check out Ghost of Tsushima if you haven’t had a chance yet.
Resident Evil 3
History repeats itself. Just as 1998’s Resident Evil 2 was a tough act to follow for the Resident Evil franchise, 2019’s RE2make was a hard act to follow in this new era of the zombie survival series. However, Resident Evil 3 managed to be one of the best releases in the opening months of 2020. Taking players back to Raccoon City, this title brought back the scares and amped up the chaos. Nemesis was without a doubt the breakout star in the remake of Resident Evil 3.
One of the strongest points of the Wasteland series has always been choice and flexibility throughout its vast world of situations, encounters, and decisions. Wasteland 3 is no different. The influence of your actions and reactions to it carries everything from the smallest ripple to a tidal wave of echoes across the Colorado tundra about how you might have shut down a club and its crime boss, let a synth escape murder to live its life, or even shirked the duties give to you by the region’s infamous leader. Those are the grand strokes, but even the subtle things count in Wasteland 3. From the specs of your characters and what they can do to what missions you’ll pursue, every decision makes it truly your personal journey. Wasteland 3 isn’t the first game to put a lengthy web of choices in a game, but it is perhaps one of the most expansive and flexible (and astoundingly quality at the same time) narrative RPGs we’ve ever played.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is, for all intents and purposes, a modern classic. With beautiful visuals and a fantastic soundtrack to back it all up, the fun and frantic action of the original Crash Bandicoot series is brought to life in an expertly crafted walk down memory lane. Every bit of Crash 4 feels like a nostalgia trip, and while there’s a lot to love for the game’s past, the new bits and bobs also help bring it all in for a homerun. New powers help accentuate the old mechanics, while also providing something that feels fresh and revitalizing for a series that hasn’t seen a main-line entry since the late 90s.
Trials of Mana
Trials of Mana just celebrated its 30th anniversary and after playing through this remake, it's easy to see why it still resonates with so many players. It isn't just that there's an engaging JRPG story to follow, it's that there are six of them and they all take the overarching narrative in different directions depending on how you assemble your party.
Playing through all of these stories would sound like a large undertaking, but the real-time combat is such a strong point that it's worth seeing the Trials of Mana story from different viewpoints. Add in some bonus content after the credits roll and this is one of Square Enix's strongest efforts this year.
MLB: The Show 20
While Sony's flagship baseball franchise has not seen many major changes over the last couple of seasons, it remains as one of the finest sports simulation titles available on any platform. Its meticulous attention to detail and ocean of content make it an easy recommend to all baseball fans, especially those who have yet to play The Show previously.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
Skateboard video games have been making a comeback. These days, there's Session, Skatebird, and even the promise of a new Skate to look forward to. But we're not going to lie. Ever since the bitter taste of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5, we've longed for a return to form for the OG skateboard series. It finally came in 2020 in the form of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 from Vicarious Visions. We were nervous to be sure, but once it launched, all fears were swept away in a wave of delicious nostalgia and good gameplay that borrowed aspects of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and applied it to the first two games (1+2=3. Get it?).
The best part of these games isn't just that everything feels right. It's better than right. All the classic music is there plus tracks from the current age. All the skaters are there plus modern-day performers. All the levels are there and rebuilt from the ground up to look gorgeous. THPS 1+2 could have come back just feeling like THPS 1 or 2 and that might have been fine. Instead, it went far beyond most of our expectations to achieve status of a truly incredible remake.
If Spelunky 2 was simply more Spelunky, it would still be one of the best games to come out this year. But, Mossmouth adds to the Spelunky formula exponentially, bringing back everything from the first game and adding a metric ton of secrets. There's so much more to this game than "completing" a run and getting to the end credits. There are entire hidden worlds that require experimentation, skilled play, and a whole lot of luck.
Speaking of luck, there's so much death in Spelunky 2. This game is harsh. It finds new and exciting ways to kill you. There are times where you'll wonder exactly how you died. There are times you'll wonder why you fell for that bear trap for the hundredth time. There are times where you'll roll the dice (sometimes literally) and be at the wrong end of an embarrassing demise. That's part of the joy of Spelunky. It's discouraging for about five seconds, but it's such an intuitive platformer, has such a cute art style, and is so deceptively simple that you'll always be tempted to keep going.
There's probably always going to be that argument that Genshin Impact is just free-to-play Breath of the Wild on PS4, PC, and mobile devices. And we challenge you with the simple argument: Even if that were the entirety of it, what about that doesn't sound good or cool? Maybe if Breath of the Wild was already on PC, mobile, and PS4 and free-to-play, it'd be redundant, but even then, Genshin Impact does a good job of setting itself apart. Its world is fun to explore and the ability to collect characters (though tied to a fortune-or-failure gacha system) is cool in that they all play vastly different and have distinctly fun personalities to them.
For the low price of free, Genshin Impact sure does offer a lot of game, and it goes out of its way to feel good long before you might ever feel like you need to spend a dime. If every free-to-play game was this generous, people might not get as mad whenever they hear the dreaded "f2p" phrase.
Call of Duty: Warzone
It was wild to see Activision not only take Call of Duty back to the battle royale genre, but make it free-to-play in an effort to compete with the Fortnites of the world. They had the potential for something special with Black Ops 4's Blackout mode, but Call of Duty: Warzone lives up to it and more.
Warzone doesn't just build on Blackout's formula with the new Modern Warfare gunplay. Instead, it adds one of the best features to any battle royale in recent memory: The Gulag. The Gulag is such a cool idea where downed players (literally) fight to the death for a second chance at the game.
Add to that the frequent updates and Activision's intention to keep the game alive through Black Ops Cold War and it makes Warzone one of the best things to happen to Call of Duty in years.
What do you think about our list? Are there any titles that released this year that you think should be up here? We’d love to hear your thoughts. As for the rest of the games coming out this year, well, let’s just say that this list is bound to see some updates in the coming weeks, so make sure you check back soon to see what other games we think make the list of the best PS4 games of 2020.