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Game of the Year Awards 2020

We conclude a challenging year with a look back at the most memorable experiences

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Introduction  |  Presentation Awards  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best Shooter
Best Shooter 2020 Doom Eternal winner badge Doom Eternal

"Most of the actual gameplay, particularly the shooting and the maiming, is great fun. The demons look brutal, including new types like the Marauder — he requires a non-traditional approach more akin to a Dark Souls enemy. In general, the game has more enemy variety and this provides a refreshing starting point. The Slayer’s arsenal is familiar and gradually released into the player’s hands. Many of the returning weapons are better this time around, due to tweaks to secondary fire modes and general balance adjustments. The weapons look good, they sound good, and most importantly, they kill good." - Ben Thomas

Runners-up: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Star Wars: Squadrons, Serious Sam 4

 

Best Action Game
Best Action game 2020 Ghost of Tsushima winner badge Ghost of Tsushima

"Unlike most action games, Jin's katana is a weapon of art, and it's satisfying to see him stop with precision after a swing, perform moves to incapacitate an enemy with little flash, and all substance. The game doesn't have a big combo system, though you can unlock moves that deliver stronger blows. There is no stamina so you can swing away and dodge as much as needed, which is helpful to keep combat entertaining and free flowing." - Alex V

Runners-up: The Last of Us Part II, Hades, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

 

Best Racing Game
Best racing game 2020 WRC 9 winner badge WRC 9

"WRC 9 is a solid racing simulation both on and off the track, and it offers plenty of content to keep gamers busy for hours. Because of excellent vehicle handling and plenty of great courses, it has the raw elements of a great rally game. Plus it has the advantage of a more interesting off-track component with crew management, skill upgrades, and event scheduling. Even the visuals and weather effects are quite nice when they’re used appropriately." - Ben Thomas

Runners-up: F1 2020

 

Best Strategy Game
Best strategy game 2020 Crusader Kings 3 winner badge Crusader Kings 3

"It's a marvel of a video game with so much to manage and so many details going on that it's easy to get lost in all of the little things. That said, those many numbers and details come together to tell coherent and interesting stories that are easy to re-tell to others - which is the most incredible thing about Crusader Kings. Crusader Kings III is one of the most interesting strategy games you'll ever play and you owe it to yourself to give it a try." - Josh Hinke

Runners-up: Desperados 3, Gears Tactics, Total War Saga: Troy

 

Best Adventure Game
Best adventure game 2020 Tell Me Why winner badge Tell Me Why

"Tell Me Why is different. It’s a graphic adventure that strives to remain grounded as it tackles the traumatic history of twins. In a similar style to Life is Strange, and over three lengthy chapters, the twins explore their dark past in a small town to find out what really happened and why." - Ben Thomas

Runners-up: Call of the Sea, Paradise Killer, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope

 

Best RPG
Best RPG 2020 Cyberpunk 2077 winner badge Cyberpunk 2077

"Night City is enormous, detailed, and once the game world is fully opened, overwhelming. From a distance it looks like a real city with huge residential blocks, solar powered arrays, and digital advertising boards as big as skyscrapers. Up close, it is more impressive with alleys crammed with detritus and dilapidated tenements crawling with people struggling to survive. Gigs have a predictable scope but that does not mean their design is redundant. They are all hand-crafted mini-stories. V can complete tasks through enjoyable shooting or rewarding stealth, with many substantial options within each style via quickhacks, cyberware upgrades, and a self-reinforcing skill system." - Ben Thomas

Runners-up: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Wasteland 3, The Sinking City

 

Best Sports Game
Best sports game 2020 Football Manager 2021 winner badge Football Manager 2021

"If you’re a fan of football, then this is the best football game out there. While it is not the most visually appealing game on the market, it excels in every other area. There is nothing like managing your team to major domestic and international success. Football Manager 2021 builds on the previous entries in the franchise to create a more polished version of a great game." - Daniel Nichols

Runners-up: Super Mega Baseball 3, FIFA 21, EA Sports UFC 4

 

Best Platformer
Best Platformer 2020 Ori and the Will of the Wisps winner badge Ori and the Will of the Wisps

"Platforming is very pleasing. Ori will spend a lot of time jumping over obstacles and finding high ledges by scurrying up sheer walls. Jump pads provide height, wind tunnels can be navigated with the feather, and momentum can be gained from redirecting projectiles and dashing mid-air. The world size is large and most of the areas are dense with either challenge (creature or environmental) or collectibles. To keep the platforming fresh, Ori will gain access to new abilities in gratifying regularity." - Ben Thomas

Runners-up: Astro's Playroom, Crash Bandicoot 4, Sackboy: A Big Adventure

 

Best Puzzle Game
Best Puzzle game 2020 Creaks winner badge Creaks

"Creaks is a different beast than Amanita’s usual experience, but it is an extraordinary puzzle-platformer with great depth. Taking just under six hours to complete, each mechanic is carefully introduced and put to good use in challenges that have a perfect learning curve. Solutions are satisfying because the tricks are subtle. With intricate and twisted world design, and some fantastic music, the entire presentation is up there with the best from the developers." - Ben Thomas

Runners-up: Murder by Numbers, Manifold Garden, Tetris Effect: Connected

 

Best Simulation Game
Best Simulation game 2020 Microsoft Flight Simulator winner badge Microsoft Flight Simulator

"You'll learn the necessities of navigation, the key rudders and flaps, and a few terms. Despite being a simulation, the game has a variety of options to tweak the gameplay experience - from assisted landings and automatic comms with the Air Traffic Control, to fully manual taxiing and fuel mixing. In the flight deck, you can look around and use the mouse to interact with the hundreds of knobs and buttons in front of you. But what really makes MSF a startling gaming achievement is the fact that players are offered the chance to fly almost anywhere in the entire world." - Alex V

Runners-up: WRC 9, Football Manager 2021, F1 2020

 

You've reached the grand finale! Our 2020 Game of the Year is revealed on the next page!

 

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