2020 was a huge year for gaming. Even with two brand new console launches (PS5 and X-Box Series X and S) to close out the year, the Nintendo Switch was still the best seller all year long. There were even points early on in the pandemic when the Switch was sold out (this is over three years after its initial release). I played games for many, many hours last year. I know this to be true because Nintendo even sent me an email stating that my gaming hours in 2020 had almost quadrupled since 2019. I’m still waiting on my Playstation 2020 stats email.
Everyone played games in 2020. Even people who weren’t gamers got into games — or back into games. What else were we supposed to do? Not play games while home in lockdown. I even got my girlfriend back into games. And, from March to the summertime we were heavily playing Mario Kart 8, Rocket League, Splatoon 2 and other Switch games.
When I sat down last week to tally the games I had beaten in 2020, I was a bit disappointed. I did play a bunch of games, I just never reached the end of many of them (or I haven’t yet). It’s a pattern I’ve developed throughout my gaming lifespan. I’ve always loved games, but I would rarely finish them, and this year it seems I fell right back into that old habit. I don’t need to 100% every game. I just want to reach the credits in games (or “beat” them). Here is a list of the games I did in fact beat in 2020:
THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED (PS4)
This was my second full play-through of this game. I first played and beat The Last of Us (Remastered) in 2015. It was one of my favorite stories in games. I loved the characters and still do. I was living in Orlando at the time, by myself, and I remember playing it nightly after work. It was an emotional journey and I even remember it getting too spooky at times. It wasn’t until playing The Last of Us that I realized a game could make you feel so much.
Some time during the beginning of the pandemic I was thinking of replaying this game, but I also didn’t want to since the story in the game began with the outbreak of an extremely deadly disease. It felt too close to the real world. I did end up making myself replay it. There was one point where I faced off against a super mega bloater and I kept dying. I almost quit there, but decided to keep going. I’m glad I pushed through because it got me extremely excited for The Last of Us: Part II (another game on this list).
RACHET AND CLANK (2016) (PS4)
This was my first ever experience with Rachet and Clank. Two things made me feel like I had to play this game: (1) It was made by Insomniac — makers of Marvel’s Spider-Man — one of my other favorite games in recent years. And (2) the PS5 reveal showing off Rachet and Clank: Rift Apart got me so hyped to experience some form of this franchise.
Luckily, I found out that Rachet and Clank (2016) was a Free PS Plus game at some point. I downloaded it and quickly jumped into the action. I beat it in just a few short weeks. I loved how silly this game was, the cutscenes and writing were great and hilarious at times. It even had superior voice acting from well-known voice actors like James Arnold Taylor, Travis Willingham and Sam Riegel to some famous on-screen actors like Rosario Dawson and Paul Giamatti.
I adored the silliness of all the weapons and bad guys. My favorite weapon was the Groovitron (A.K.A. the Disco Gun that would make enemies dance). I’m sad that Rachet and Clank didn’t make their way into my life earlier, but I’m now very excited to see what comes next. I know that my next console will be a PS5, but Rachet and Clank: Rift Apart may be the big game that gets me to finally buy one.
THE LAST OF US PART II (PS4)
I know that people’s opinions on The Last of Us Part II are all over the place. I thought it was an excellent game. I think it was as perfect as a game could be. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have any problems with it, but no game can be truly perfect, so I think this may be as close as we’ve ever been.
The Last of Us Part II hit me in all the feels, from happiness to sadness to anger and even hate. But the main thing this game did so well is that it made you look at a story from two very different perspectives. I don’t want to go into spoiler territory, but the big twist in this game is one of the best ever in a game. At the midpoint of the game I was angry, and I thought, Why are they making me do this? But as the game went on I understood.
By the end of the game you realize that everyone has their own story, and sometimes it isn’t about who’s good and who’s bad. In this world it’s all about survival. I cried, I laughed and I smiled and I was even scared at some points. I questioned some of my decisions (which is always intense when a game makes you feel like maybe you did something wrong). There were parts that happened that I wished hadn’t, or went down different. It was a tough game to play though and I understand why some people didn’t like it. But to me, this is the best story game I’ve ever played (I don’t know if I would say it’s better than part I, but it’s a worthy continuation).
FALL GUYS: ULTIMATE KNOCKOUT (PS4)
Yes, I’m including Fall Guys on this list. I only truly beat three story games this year on my PS4. But, I did technically beat Fall Guys (during Season 1) when I got my first and only crown. It was a marvelous day. If you don’t believe me here’s some proof.
It was a great feeling to get that first crown, but just like any battle royale/survival game you always want to get another win. Making it past any round in Fall Guys is especially delightful. No matter if you’re exceptionally good or bad at the current mini game anyone can be knocked out with some bad luck.
I will continue to play this game despite already beating it, because it is non-stop fun. It’s not about beating the game or getting a crown. It’s about all of the silliness incurred along the way. It’s also about unlocking costumes, trying out new levels, and sometimes just messing with other people by grabbing or pushing them. Fall Guys is just a great time for everyone.
I also technically beat Fortnite, so many times. I had almost ten victory royales between PS4 and Nintendo Switch. I’ve tried this game out many times, but never really got into it. I had quit Fortnite forever during the Marvel season, since Epic messed up my account when I was trying to keep all of my Rocket League goodies, so I vowed to delete it and never play Fortnite ever again.
Of course, that all changed when I saw they had added the Mandalorian into the game for the current season. I decided to give it one more try and buy the season pass (although I never received a refund or anything for my wasted season pass from the previous season). I have been playing a lot more after paying for this season, but I do play in bursts. I also haven’t got that Victory Royale since my first few weeks, but I’m sure I will get another if I stick with it. I’m just trying to work myself towards that Beskar armor for Mando.
ANIMAL CROSSING (Nintendo Switch)
Animal Crossing was the biggest game of 2020. It brought us all joy in a time of loneliness and sadness. I had some friends come and visit me on my island, which was nice when we weren’t able to see each other in real life. Would I have gotten so obsessed with this game in the normal times? I don’t know? I rolled credits a while back and can terraform now on my island, and I still continue to check in most days.
For the longest time I just needed to find a basketball in the shop for my basketball court (which I finally got about a month ago after playing since day one). Now, I just do a quick check-in most days, walk through the island, buy some goodies. I have been trying to think of new big projects.
My favorite rooms in my house are my server room (in the basement) and my secret arcade (in the back room). I had a bathroom but I’m now trying to build some sort of giant square tabletop gaming room? Perhaps? I’m not really sure. I also started placing full dinosaur fossils throughout my island because fossils are the most beautiful part of the game. I also have a dope amphitheater for concerts with friends.
OVERCOOKED 1 & 2 (Nintendo Switch)
I have played Overcooked 1 and 2 many times, but hadn’t beaten either until the pandemic. It was always a fun game we played together in groups of four, while at someone’s house. The Overcooked franchise isn’t so great on your own, you definitely need at least one other cook. They are the perfect couch co-op games. They are simple to learn, but they still get really hard as you progress.
In the start of the pandemic I began bringing my Switch with the dock to my girlfriend’s apartment to try out some games with her. There were a few games she enjoyed, but Overcooked became our main game and we were destined to beat it together. Everyone who knows of these games knows that they look cute but are pure, hilarious chaos in the kitchen.
Overcooked 1 and 2 were both just fun games to play through with my girlfriend. We got so happy anytime we would beat a level, or anytime we’d get a high enough score to make Kevin and the Onion King dance. Once we beat Overcooked my girlfriend was a little sad, but I told her there was an Overcooked 2. We made our way through that one and all of the DLC even faster than part 1. Some of the DLC was released recently, but we beat each of those in just a few hours. We’ve found some other games to play together, but we are really waiting on Overcooked 3.
I wrote an entire article on my obsession with Picross not too long ago. I began my Picross journey some time in 2019, and I continued to play through all of them through 2020. I have one left to buy and beat, Picross S5, but I’m waiting for a sale.
These games are perfect for when you have a few minutes to knock out some puzzles. You can also spend hours and hours on end playing through a bunch of these puzzles. I found myself playing a few puzzles here and there throughout the day, but my favorite time to play Picross is right before bedtime. It’s just a very therapeutic puzzle solving game and it works like melatonin to make me tired and ready for bed (perhaps it’s also the melatonin that made me tired and ready for bed?).
I hope they continue to make Picross games until the end of time. Although I enjoyed the S series, I also would really enjoy some more licensed Picross games. I heard the next one may be a licensed one.
TOWERFALL (Nintendo Switch & PC)
Towerfall was a free game on the Epic Games store at one point. I started playing it because it was made by the creators of Celeste (Matt Makes Games). I would wake up weekday mornings and beat some levels. This was either at the end of 2019 or at the beginning of 2020. I beat it in a few weeks time, and totally loved it.
I was a huge fan of Celeste and although it is a very different game, it feels the same when it comes to the controls. After beating Towerfall on PC, I later saw it on sale on the eShop and decided to buy it. I started all over and beat it on my Nintendo Switch too. I was able to play as Maddie (from Celeste) which made me keep going.
THE BINDING OF ISAAC (Nintendo Switch)
I started this game many years ago on the PS4. It was a Free PS Plus game and I had heard Emily Gordon of the Indoor Kids podcast (with Kumail Nanjiani) talk about how it was her favorite game. I gave it a try and it became a game that I would play most nights.
After playing whatever big adventure game I was playing I would do an Isaac run. It also came out on the Switch very soon after buying my Switch. I never wanted to pay full price, since I had already played so many hours and I thought I wouldn’t play too much on my switch (I was wrong). I purchased it on sale one day and I still continue to play the hell out of that game.
It’s the best airplane game on the Switch for some reason. I always plan to play or try to beat some big game on a plane trip and I end up jumping back into Isaac. Also, every few months I jump back in and play it over and over again. I put it on my list of games I beat this year because I definitely killed mom this year, and every year before this since 2015 or whenever I began my journey into Isaac. I love this game so much that I even kickstarted the campaign for the card game, which is also a great time. I even converted a few friends into fans of The Binding of Isaac (video game and card game).
Those are the games I “Beat” in 2020, although there are also many other games I picked up but never quite finished. Games like: Red Dead Redemption 2, Borderlands 3, Neir: Automata, Bioshock, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Alien: Isolation, Super Meat Boy, Hollow Knight, Steamworld Quest, Final Fantasy VII (original), Hades and many others. There are games that I went into knowing I was only going in for a taste. There are others that I continue to play and will (hopefully) beat in 2021.
I do plan to beat more games in 2021. I recently beat Ghost of Tsushima but didn’t include it on this list. Although I did play most of Ghost in 2020, I didn’t technically beat it until the first week of 2021, so I will save that one for next year’s list. I am keeping track of the games I play to completion this year, so I will have an easier time creating a post like this next year.
What’s the number of games you beat this year? Can you remember and list them all out? What were some of your favorites? Comment below…