Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing

The 2020s have seen big changes in video gaming. New game systems like the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, along with the popular Nintendo Switch, have taken gaming to new levels. Every year has brought exciting new games with great stories and fun multiplayer experiences. The year 2020 started off strong with games like “Kentucky Route Zero” and “Paper Mario: The Origami King.” As time went on, game makers kept improving their work, making games that people will always remember and helping to build a strong gaming community. There’s always something to look forward to each year, whether you like scary games like “Alan Wake 2” or thoughtful games like “Two Point Hospital.” The 2020s have been an amazing time for video games so far.

2020s Gaming: A Definitive Guide to the Decade’s Best

2020

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  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: A relaxing and charming life sim that captured hearts worldwide during lockdowns.
  • The Last of Us Part II: A gritty and emotional sequel that sparked intense debate and critical acclaim.
  • Ghost of Tsushima: A stunning open-world samurai epic with breathtaking visuals and satisfying combat.
  • Hades: A roguelike dungeon crawler with addictive gameplay, a rich story, and memorable characters.

2021

It Takes Two Game
It Takes Two Game
  • Resident Evil Village: A thrilling horror adventure that continued the franchise’s resurgence.
  • Deathloop: A mind-bending time loop shooter with stylish visuals and innovative gameplay.
  • It Takes Two: A delightful co-op adventure with inventive puzzles and a heartwarming story.
  • Returnal: A challenging roguelike shooter with a haunting atmosphere and a compelling sci-fi mystery.

2022

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  • Elden Ring: FromSoftware’s magnum opus, a sprawling open-world RPG with deep lore and demanding combat.
  • God of War Ragnarök: A powerful and emotional conclusion to Kratos’ Norse saga.
  • Horizon Forbidden West: A stunning sequel that expanded on the original’s open world and robot-dinosaur hunting.
  • Stray: A charming adventure where you play as a cat, exploring a cyberpunk city filled with secrets.

2023

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  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: A highly anticipated sequel that expands on the open world and exploration of Breath of the Wild.
  • Starfield: Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years, a spacefaring RPG promising vast exploration and adventure.
  • Baldur’s Gate 3: A critically acclaimed RPG based on Dungeons & Dragons, offering deep character customization and tactical combat.
  • Final Fantasy XVI: A return to form for the beloved franchise, featuring action-packed combat and a dark fantasy setting.
YearGame TitleGenrePlatform(s)
2020Animal Crossing: New HorizonsLife SimulationNintendo Switch
2020The Last of Us Part IIAction-AdventurePlayStation 4
2020Ghost of TsushimaAction-AdventurePlayStation 4
2020HadesRoguelike Dungeon CrawlerPC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
2021Resident Evil VillageSurvival HorrorPC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
2021DeathloopFirst-Person ShooterPC, PlayStation 5
2021It Takes TwoAction-AdventurePC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
2021ReturnalThird-Person ShooterPlayStation 5
2022Elden RingAction RPGPC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
2022God of War RagnarökAction-AdventurePlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
2022Horizon Forbidden WestAction RPGPlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
2022StrayAdventurePC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
2023The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the KingdomAction-AdventureNintendo Switch
2023StarfieldAction RPGPC, Xbox Series X/S
2023Baldur’s Gate 3RPGPC
2023Final Fantasy XVIAction RPGPlayStation 5

Key Takeaways

  • Each year of the 2020s has featured standout video games across different genres.
  • New consoles have pushed game development to new levels.
  • The decade has offered something for all players, from engaging stories to exciting multiplayer modes.

Annual Gaming Highlights of the 2020s

The 2020s have seen rapid advancements in game design, new consoles, and a mix of strong storytelling and innovative technology. Some years have been particularly notable for major game releases and new trends.

Best Games of 2020

The year 2020 was pivotal for gaming. The Last of Us Part II by Naughty Dog received widespread praise for its deep narrative and complex characters. Half-Life: Alyx from Valve brought VR to new heights with its visual quality and gameplay. Animal Crossing: New Horizons provided a much-needed escape for many with its relaxing gameplay on the Nintendo Switch.

Other key titles included Doom Eternal, a fast-paced shooter, and the RPG Persona 5 Royal. Final Fantasy VII Remake also stood out with its revamped gameplay. Ghost of Tsushima was celebrated for its beautiful open world and engaging combat. Smaller but equally significant games like Kentucky Route Zero and Ori and the Will of the Wisps also left their mark.

Evolving Trends and Technologies

New generations of consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X launched, redefining game graphics and performance. The introduction of the DualSense controller for the PS5 was a game-changer with its advanced haptics.

Virtual Reality (VR) saw gains with titles like Half-Life: Alyx, pushing the limits of immersive storytelling. More game developers began to focus on cross-platform play, ensuring higher community engagement across different devices.

The rise of free-to-play games and in-game purchases became more prominent, shaping the business models of many studios. Fortnite continued to dominate the multiplayer landscape, evolving with regular updates and collaborations.

Key Game Releases by Year

Each year of the 2020s brought its own major releases. 2021 saw games like Resident Evil Village and Returnal, which highlighted strong storytelling and challenging gameplay. 2022 was notable for the release of Elden Ring, which combined RPG elements with an intricate open world.

In 2023, Hogwarts Legacy offered fans a deep dive into the Harry Potter universe in an RPG format. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom also renewed interest in the franchise with its expansive world and puzzles.

As for 2024, early standouts include Alan Wake 2, which blends horror with a gripping narrative. Street Fighter 6 continues to be a favorite in the fighting game community, while Forza Horizon 5 impresses with its racing experience. These releases have set high benchmarks in storytelling, gameplay mechanics, and technical performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides clear answers about the best games of the 2020s by year, covering top-rated games, award winners, and popular titles across different platforms.

What are the best-rated video games for each year of the 2020s?

Each year has had standout releases. In 2020, “The Last of Us Part II” and “Hades” received high praise. 2021 saw “It Takes Two” and “Resident Evil Village” score well. In 2022, “Elden Ring” and “Horizon Forbidden West” were favorites. 2023 featured “Starfield” and “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.” For 2024, early reviews favor “Alan Wake 2.”

Which game won the ‘Game of the Year’ award for each year in the 2020s?

The Game Awards highlight top picks since 2020. “The Last of Us Part II” won in 2020. “It Takes Two” was the winner in 2021. In 2022, “Elden Ring” took the crown. “Starfield” secured the award in 2023. Predictions for 2024 suggest strong contenders, but an official winner is pending.

What are the most critically acclaimed video games on the PS4 since the start of the 2020s?

For the PS4, some standout titles include “The Last of Us Part II,” “Ghost of Tsushima,” and “Final Fantasy VII Remake.” Each has high ratings and strong fan support. Additional favorites are “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Demon’s Souls.”

Which PC video games released in the past five years have received the highest reviews?

Since 2020, PC gamers have enjoyed titles like “Hades,” “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut,” and “Cyberpunk 2077” after its updates. More recent hits include “Baldur’s Gate 3” and “Half-Life: Alyx.” These games have earned high ratings and critical acclaim.

What video games have the largest player base in the first half of the 2020s?

Games with significant player bases include “Fortnite,” “Apex Legends,” and “Among Us.” “Call of Duty: Warzone” also remains highly played. “Genshin Impact” and “Valorant” have quickly built large communities. These games attract millions of players each month.

Which year since 2020 has been recognized as the most influential in the video game industry?

Many consider 2022 a pivotal year given its major releases and innovations. Games like “Elden Ring” and “Horizon Forbidden West” set high standards. Advances in virtual reality and streaming also marked this year as significant in shaping the industry’s future.

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