HipHopWired Featured Video
HHW Gaming: 15 Games We Enjoyed Picking Up The Sticks For In 2020

Source: Square Enix / Final Fantasy VII Remake

2020, just mere mention of the year sends utter chills down our spines for obvious reasons. BUT, there was a silver lining in the year of COVID-19; we got some great video games.

If you’re a gamer, even a casual one, 2020 can be considered a win in terms of the great titles that have dropped, giving us a reason to stay home and stay safe. We also witnessed the arrival of next-gen consoles. Yes, the rollout has been sloppy. As both Microsoft and Sony warned us, the number of consoles that would be available after the PS5 and Xbox Series S|X’s launch is indeed limited to production limitations and other forces.

But, for those who managed to beat out scalpers and bots, they got to experience what super-fast load times and the graphics PC Gamers have long enjoyed.

As for the games, we have indulged in many during what seemed like an entirety since the world was flipped upside down. Now, this is OUR personal list, so, of course, there might be a game you may feel deserved to be mention. That’s where your personal timelines come in, where you can share your thoughts on the matter.

But since you’re still here, that means you are intrigued and want to see what games we enjoyed very much this year. You can find that out by stepping into the gallery below.

Photo: Square Enix / Final Fantasy VII Remake

1. ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’


The return to Midgar was a glorious one for fans of the original version of Square Enix’s insanely-popular RPG game. Rebuilt from the ground up, we got to replay the story of Cloud Strife as he reluctantly signs up to save the world from destruction at the hands of Shinra and Sephiroth. Fans got the same story but told through an entirely different perspective thanks to the next-gen graphics featuring the characters we got emotionally attached to in the original game. 

While it wasn’t a popular idea when the game’s developers first announced it, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an episodic adventure with the first installment being strictly about the Midgar chapter. We have no idea when we will partake in Chapter 2, but we are patiently waiting to find out when.

2. ‘Immortals Fenyx Rising’


When Ubisoft first announced Immortals Fenyx Rising, which was first known as Gods and Monsters, it wasn’t a game that immediately stood out as a “must-play” title. When we had the opportunity to take the game for a spin for a review, we are absolutely stunned at how good the game is.

Immortals Fenyx Rising is basically what happens you combine The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, God of War with a sprinkle of Assassin’s Creed. When playing games that revolve around Greek mythology, the tone is usually dark and serious. However, in Immortals Fenyx Rising, we get a more lighthearted but still fun take that is not void of the action we come to expect from games based on the historical time period. 

Immortals Fenyx Rising is definitely one of those rare gems that sneak up on you once you play it.

3. ‘Resident Evil 3 Remake’


Capcom looked to continue the momentum it built up with the release of 2019’s brilliant Resident Evil 2 Remake with the rehash of Resident Evil 3. While it’s not on the same level as RE2, RE3 manages to bring scare sugar honey iced tea out of you while keeping you entertained. 

Oh, and we can’t forget that big elephant in the room, which is the Nemesis chasing Jill Valentine all over a zombie-infested Raccoon City. 

4. ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’


Marvel’s Spider-Man: Morales isn’t as grand of an adventure as Marvel’s Spider-Man, but it still delivers the same experience. First billed as a PS5 exclusive, before current-gen consoles learned they would also be able to enjoy the adventure starring Harlem’s own Miles Morales, the game is pretty much the reason everyone wanted to get their hands on Sony’s new next-gen console. 

The game gives fans of  Afro-Latino superhero the video game experience they begged for when he was first introduced in Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is easily one of the best games of 2020 and helps expand the virtual universe that Insomnianc Games is building involving Marvel’s popular character. 

5. ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’


Every year we get a new entry into the famed Call of Duty first-person shooter franchise and each game with the exception of Call of Duty: Ghost is always solid. The Black Ops franchise gave COD fans a different feel from the Modern Warfare games by introducing new gameplay mechanics and the beloved Zombies game mode. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings the franchise to the world of next-gen gaming with an intriguing campaign story and multiplayer that should please long-time fans of the franchise.

6. ‘Astro’s Playroom’


Astro’s Playroom is another one of those games not on gamer’s radar at all but surprised the hell out of many when they played it. Preloaded onto PS5 console’s the gem serves as a highly entertaining way for gamers to acclimated to the console’s new DualSense controller and its amazing haptic feedback features.

So not only do you get a creative tutorial situation but a fun platform adventure featuring PlayStation’s new mascot. 

7. ‘Assassin’s Creeds Valhalla’


Ubisoft hit the reset button on the Assassin’s Creed franchise when players were growing bored with it following Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. With Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s introduction, the studio decided to put an RPG spin on the game to breathe new life into the now-iconic video game franchise, and it worked. 

Not wanting to mess up the momentum, Ubisoft followed Odyssey with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which shifted the story from Ancient Greece to ninth-century England during the Viking invasion on the role of a Viking raider named Eivor who can be male or female. 

Like in Odyssey, you embark on another massive adventure that will have you taking on missions across the still-developing world of Britain as well as the Norse mythological world of Asgard as you learn about the secret battle between the Hidden Ones (Assassins) and Templar Order. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is another great entry in the video game franchise.

8. ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’


While we didn’t get on the wave, we would be crazy not to recognize Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ impact gaming in 2020. The Nintendo Switch title made it hard for people to find one of Nintendo’s hybrid consoles on shelves during the pandemic. 

So what exactly do you do in the game? 

Described as “never-ending gameplay,” you literally build an island, name it and establish a small village that other players can visit and exchange goods with you. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold an astounding 14.3 million copies to date and was so popular that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris used it to build an island in the game to virtually campaign and reach out to young voters. 

This game was definitely a game-changer.

9. ‘The Last of Us Part II’


The road to The Last of Us Part II’s launch was an extremely bumpy one. Leaks of the game’s plot hit the web. Haters seized the opportunity to sh*t on the game’s dark plot and alleged ending. Reports claiming the team behind the game crunching to complete the game had people giving Naughty Dog the side-eye. 

But through all of that, the studio pushed on and released one of the best games this year. Oh, and The Last of Us Part II also cleaned up at this year’s Video Games Awards, taking home the top honor of Game of The Year. Not bad for a game that faced tons of hate and fake backlash. 

10. ‘Ghost of Tsushima’


Sucker Punch’s original samurai adventure that lives exclusively on the PS4 and now PS5 blew gamers away. All we have to say about Ghost of Tsushima is you haven’t played this game yet what the hell are you waiting for? It’s that damn good.

11. ‘NBA 2K21’ Next-Gen


While NBA 2k21 on current-gen consoles wasn’t a slam dunk, its arrival on PS5 and Xbox Series X delivered a whole new experience both in gameplay and presentation. The 2K franchise hit a snag in the road and fell victim to its own success now that it’s basically the ONLY basketball simulation game out. Hence, it fell off when it came to innovation and offering gamers new experiences. 

2K decided with the PS5 and Xbox Series X’s arrival; it was time to hit the reset button and rebuild the game from the ground up. Smartly putting current NBA phenom Zion Williamson on the cover to help launch NBA 2K21 into the next generation. It still has some issues, but the sky is the limit for the franchise. 

12. ‘Doom Eternal’


2016’s Doom brought gave the iconic shooter new life. 2020’s Doom Eternal is the game on steroids. In the game, you become the Doom Slayer look to stop the demons from taking over the planet once again. In your face action, the game’s fast-paced action is what separates it from other first-person shooters and is the reason to this day. It’s one of the best. 

13. ‘Star Wars: Squadrons’


Star Wars fans have been screaming for years for a video game that delivered an authentic experience of engaging battle inside an X-Wing or Tie Fighter, Star Wars: Squadrons delivered that feeling. 

In our review of the game:

“We were totally impressed at the quality of Star Wars: Squadrons being that it’s only $39.99. Normally a game at that price point only gives you half an experience, not a full one, and keep in mind they will constantly be updating the game as time goes along. Star Wars: Squadrons is also PSVR ready, and honestly, I wished I did experience the game in the VR format and now has me considering purchasing Sony’s VR headset.”

“If you have been waiting for a Star Wars game that gives you that sensation of piloting an X-Wing or Tie Fighter, Star Wars: Squadrons is definitely the game you have been waiting for. I am definitely intrigued to see how this game will grow as time goes on.”

14. ‘Watch Dogs: Legion’


Ubisoft said instead of one protagonist, what if we allowed anyone to save the day in Watch Dogs: Legion, and we loved that idea. In the follow-up to very solid Watch Dogs 2, you are tasked with helping the hacker group Dedsec clear its name after being framed for a bombing that pushing a dystopian London into an authoritarian state.

In our review of the game, we said, “Watch Dogs: Legion is a ridiculously fun experience that will have side-eyeing your own smartphone and technology in the real world thanks to its focus on big tech controlling everyone’s lives.

15. ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2’


When it comes to skateboard video games, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 are regarded the best. It was no surprise fans were extremely excited when it was announced the reboot of those two games was coming and when they arrived it’s as if it never left. 

The rehash of the games keeps everything we came to love from the original but now we get to pull of insane skateboard tricks including Tony Hawk’s iconic 900 aerial spin in 4k.